Music is the soundtrack to our lives. And on Christmas Day 2012, four days after the world was supposed to end, GuysNation columnist Bryan Lienesch was given the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’. As he flipped through it, an idea dawned on him right then and there: he would attempt to knock all 1,001 albums off his list. Not just before he dies, but as fast as life would allow.

This is the Bucket Beats List.

For every rock legend – David Bowie, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen – there are at least a handful of artists that were just as talented but for whatever reason just never reached that “icon” status. Slade is one of those bands.

Often compared to Bowie both for their general genre (glam rock) and the time in which they really hit their stride, Slade is an afterthought where audiophiles may argue about how underrated they were.

The truth is, however, they were far from living in the shadows. They strung together several hits that climbed up the charts in the early and mid-1970’s. And, really, how “underground” can a band be after releasing a greatest hits album?

Slade SlayedThough ‘Slayed?’ is not said greatest hits album, it’s darn close. For one thing, it’s easily the best album they put out and (sorry, Slade fans) the only one we’ll cover in the Bucket Beats List.

Though, as already mentioned, Slade is often categorized as glam rock, that, quite frankly, may be mostly attributed to guitarist Dave Hill’s gloriously silver boots. Interestingly enough, the first thing one notices when listening to ‘Slayed?’ is just how varied the band’s influences are.

Yes, there is that pure glam rock sound in tracks like ‘Look At Last Nite’, but there’s also the classic rock and roll of ‘The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazee’, and the splashes of hard rock in ‘Gudbuy Gudbuy’. Plus, who can forget the all so bluesy ‘I Don’ Mind’?

Even though they will forever be squarely in the British rock and pop boat, the range of musical influences in the album are almost reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ (American? Heresy!) 1969 smash album ‘Let It Bleed’.

Even more like ‘Let It Bleed’ is the notion that someone’s favorite song or two could very well not be one of Slade’s hit songs. For every listener that loves ‘Gudbuy T’ Jane’ or ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, there’s surely at least one listener that much rather prefers ‘Gudbuy Gudbuy’ or perhaps their cover of Janis Joplin’s ‘Move Over’.

The point is that there’s something for almost everyone in ‘Slayed?’ and if you can’t find something for you, chances are it’s more your problem than theirs.

So, yes, Slade may not be David Bowie or The Beatles, but there’s a reason they’re on the list and in this collection. Slade doesn’t have to be your absolute favorite to warrant attention. They just have to be good enough that they’re memorable. And Slade very much is.

Why? Well, perhaps the book itself, ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’, said it best:

“In truth, what they did was not revolutionary, or even that new, but they did it so well and with such aplomb that three decades later they are now affectionately ingrained in the fabric of British popular culture.”

Favorite Tracks?
1. Gudbuy T’ Jane
2. Gudbuy Gudbuy
3. Move Over

Least Favorite Tracks?
1. Look At Last Nite
2. I Won’t Let It ‘Appen Agen
3. How D’You Ride

Do you really need to listen to this album before you die?
If we’re being completely honest? Sadly, not really.