Not really a Christmas album in the traditional sense, this is more 'party' fodder, mixing cover versions, Christmas songs and Slade originals. But by and large it does the job well, and is worth the money just for the rousing covers of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' 'Let's Have a Party' and 'Lets Dance' (the Chris Montez track, not the Bowie one). Slade always did have the knack of injecting some atmosphere and fun into their recordings (I mean Merry X-Mas Everybody still does the trick 35 years on doesn't it?!), and on the whole they succeeded in fueling this album with plenty of that party spirit, full of crunchin' guitars and Noddy Holder's shouty vocals!
Whilst wandering round Tesco's a couple of weeks ago I was gobsmacked to see a CD copy sitting in the racks, and with a much better 70's style cover to boot. A snip too at just three of four quid, and I snapped it up.... but buyer beware, it isn't quite a straight copy of the original release. There are no less that FIVE tracks missing (We'll Bring the House Down, All Join Hands, Do You Believe in Miracles, My Oh My and Run Runaway). I'm guessing here, but as this album was a mish-mash of specially recorded tracks plus recent (at that time) Slade singles, my bet is the licencing for the singles was owned by someone else, and it was probably easier just to remove them rather than get involved in multi-licencing. Still for the pocket money price, you can't go wrong with this one. The low point is an ill-advised cover of 'Do They Know It's Christmas (Feed the World)'. I guess you can forgive them for trying, and it was probably quite an 'up to the minute' track at the time. But it sticks out like a sore thumb now, and although it is the most recent song on the album, bizarrely, it is the one song that makes the album look dated.
Here are a couple of tasters from 'Crackers', one Christmas-y the other not so:
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN:
LET'S HAVE A PARTY: