Mama Weer All Crazee Now

Polydor Records 2058-274

"SAMEY SLADE
Slade have brought out a new single "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". This record must be a gigantic hit just as have their previous releases.
Obviously Slade have achieved a hit format because all their recent singles have some kind of similarity but one is forced to wonder what would happen if they changed their single sound.
T. Rex changed style slightly with “Metal Guru" and that single didn't stay in the chart half as long as their others.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the funk of the sound produced by Messrs, Holder, Hill and the others who make up Slade. In fact, they’re a good rock band.
I would simply like to hear a new approach single-wise from them, just to see if it's the band that makes the hit. Or the sound they create."

New Musical Express: 2nd September 1972

Bearing in mind that, at this point, the groups track history "single-wise" consisted of Get Down & Get With It,  Coz I Love You, Look Wot You Dun and Take Me Bak 'Ome, can somebody explain to me, just what the hell is this guy talking about?

Once again, a Jim Lea and Noddy Holder composition produced by Chas Chandler, it was the band's third number-one single in the United Kingdom, spending three weeks at the top in September 1972 and topping the chart in Ireland. The single also managed to chart in the USA, where it peaked at #76..
"Mama Weer All Crazee Now was the first tune I actually wrote completely on my own... We were flying then. We were definitely catching up with Marc Bolan."
Jim Lea: 'Feel The Noize' 1984
According to Chris Charlesworth in the 1997 'Feel The Noize' Greatest Hits (remastered) sleevenotes, some months before the songs release, the band had played at the Boston Gliderdrome in Linolnshire. A bouncer had told them about another act who'd appeared there drunk - "crazy with whiskey" - which gave Holder the idea for the lyrics.
"I came up with the title after one of our shows. Wherever we played, the venue would be devastated by the end of the night. Loads of seats were always ripped out and smashed to pieces. Our repair bills were astronomical. We never made any money from touring because of it. At the height of the mayhem, it cost us a fortune. After one particular gig at Wembley Arena, I walked back out on stage to take a look at the hall. We had done two shows there that day, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. They were both for charity. All the money made was going to build a new wing on a handicapped kids' school in London, which we later went to open. All the fans had gone home and the place was deserted. I looked out at this huge hall and there was nothing but a massive pile of chairs in the middle of the floor. The cleaners had chucked them in a heap like it was a big bonfire. I thought, 'Christ, everyone must have been crazy tonight!' 
Crazy was one of my catchwords on stage. I used to shout, 'Everybody's crazy,' at the audience between songs, when they were going really wild. I came up with a song title there and then. It was 'My my, We're All Crazee Now'. A couple of days later, Jimmy and I had finished the song and we played it to Chas on acoustic guitars in the studio. He said, 'It's brilliant. I love it. And what a great title `"Mama We're All Crazee Now". What the hell does that mean?' I said, 'No, no. It's not "Mama", its "My my" ... ' As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew 'Mama' was much better. So, really, it was Chas' idea, although it was an accident. He had just misheard it. We all knew 'Mama' was a great single. We had hit on our benchmark sound. It was perfect for Slade, very raucous, but catchy and pop. It was a better stage song than 'Coz I Luv You'. It was a real powerhouse record. It had all the right ingredients, including a long playout at the end with me singing, 'Mama, mama, mama, mama, yeah!' It was my ad-libbing again. Chas was fantastic for catching things like that in the studio. I've never found another producer who does it. He'd let me sing whatever came into my head on the spur of the moment, then keep most of it in. He loved ad-libs. I'd just be trying stuff out and he'd tape the lot. He never wiped anything. He kept the howl at the start of 'Mama', which was actually me warming up my voice. On 'Cum On Feel The Noize', when I go 'Baby, baby, baby' at the beginning, it was just something I did on a guide vocal to bring the band in. It was never originally intended to be on the record. 
Musically, 'Mama' took us to another level. It was a classic Slade song. Everyone loved it and everyone knew all the words. The playout at the end was famous in itself. It went on for a minute after the song finished. On stage, I would sing it to the audience and they'd chant it back. It became another trademark."
Noddy Holder: "Who's Crazee Now?"
"After 'Coz I Luv You' and 'Take Me Bak Home' had both gone to No.1, it was a lot harder for us to make an impact. When a new band gets to the top of the charts, it seems fresh and exciting. When you've already been there a couple of times, people don't take as much notice. As usual, Chas had the answer. He said, 'Your next single has to enter the charts really high up, maybe at NO.1: Today, it means nothing for a record to go in at No.1, but back then it was a really big deal. Only five records since the start of the charts in 1952 had gone straight in at No.I. Chas and John Fruin, the head of Polydor, devised a plan. 

It was a totally new idea. The pair of them came up with a marketing campaign whereby our single would be played on TV and radio for a few weeks before it was in the shops. Again, it's common practice now, but in the '70s, all bands would cut a single in two days tops, mix it the following day, then it would be pressed, packaged and out the next week. The total turnaround time was about a fortnight. Singles were just churned out. 

As soon as 'Mama' was recorded, Chas put his marketing campaign into action. He got us on Top Of The Pops to preview the song and he got us pre-release radio play. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go according to plan. Before the record actually came out, we had to leave for the States. That meant we weren't around during the week of release to do any TV or press interviews. 'Mama' still entered the charts at NO.2. The following week, it was No.I. The whole business was flabbergasted. In those days, most records went in at No.30, climbed to No.25, then four or five weeks later got to No.I. Chas said, 'If you can make it to No.2 when you're not even in the country, you can definitely go straight in at No.1 next time'."
Noddy Holder: "Who's Crazee Now?"
When 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' hit the public domain, it was probably the defining moment for Slade. Everything before this release had been of a 'suck it and see' nature. Learning to write and experimenting with styles, "Let's try writing the violin in", record the claps and stomps, what about a Stones riff?

In Mama..., it came together and blew up! Mama... grew from the breakdown in Take Me Bak 'Ome, the "I Want You" bit near the end was apparently going to be done in the manner of "I don't want to..." in Mama.... Lea heard Holder singing it and got the idea for Mama... 

A great idea it was to, the roar of the opening chords, that thunderous bassline barging its way in and Noddy's howl. It's an animal and not one you want to meet in a dark alley. The 'out of control party' subject matter, chanting chorus and the handclaps, the euphoric guitar licks, this song has it all. Everything about it makes you want to howl at the moon. This song says S-L-A-D-E and in the dictionary, under Slade, it should say: "See Mama Weer All Crazee Now".


The B-side was another track treasured by Slade fans as it was unavailable elsewhere. An interesting title and on playing it for the first time I was surprised by the lowlife, dirt-bag chords and nasty vocals. Everything about this song is grimy, in a good way of but if sound was colour then 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' would be yellow and orange whereas this is a dark red. The chorus lifts it up with some interesting harmonies but it was completely different (again) and although its not as good as previous B-sides, I loved the dis-chord, the bass in the breakdown and the jangling guitar. 

I also loved the fact that it showed another side to Slade. I allowed me to play Slade alongside Black Sabbath without sounding daft.

This full face copy below sports the Barn Schroeder Music in the white box as I'd expect on a UK release but oddly, it's not my original copy. I am quite sure I bought the copy below it (from Guy Norris in East Ham) when it was released. Austro Mechana does not sound very UK though, does it?

  • Mama Weer All Crazee Now
  • Man Who Speeks Evil



The single was also successful in other European countries charting at #5 in Switzerland, #6 in Austria and Germany and #7 in the Netherlands. It also peaked at #76 in the US and #3 in Australia.
My thanks to Ralle for supplying the German picture cover. 



Mama Weer All Crazee Now
(Noddy Holder & Jimmy Lea)


I don't want to drink my whisky like you do
I don't need to spend my money but still do


Don't stop now a-c'mon
Another drop now a-c'mon
I wanna lot now so c'mon
That's right, that's right
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now


A you told me fool fire water won't hurt me
A you tease me and all my ladies desert me


Don't stop now a-c'mon
Another drop now a-c'mon
I wanna lot now so c'mon
That's right, that's right
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now


Stop it


I don't want to drink my whisky but still do
I had enough to fill up "H" Hill's left shoe


Don't stop now a-c'mon
Another drop now a-c'mon
I wanna lot now so c'mon
That's right, that's right
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now
I said mama but we're all crazy now


C'mon c'mon
I said my mama we're all crazy now
I said mama mama mama mama mama mama mama oh yeah...



Man Who Speeks Evil
(Noddy Holder & Jimmy Lea)


His mind is hurt so with grief
He sits and watches the grass or leaves
He can tell when a new one grows he can
And watches as maggots flee from the throat of a dead man


Across two seas he can hear,
And grabs your words before you speak them
He hears the sound of drinking grass he does
An the Arctic moves its gigantic load for his owner's sake?


He's a man who speeks evil, he's a man who is evil
He looks on evil as a good thing
He can speek evil, he can hear evil, he really really lives it


He can feel that all his thoughts are changing
That all his thoughts are changing by the hour, he can feel


This man is hurt so with grief, he sits and watches the grass or leaves
He talks to them all an' they grow, he does
And wanders like a God, made deep inside-out, down below you know


He's a man who speeks evil, he's a man who is evil
He looks on evil as a good thing
He can speek evil, he can hear evil, he really really lives it

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