Friday, November 13, 2009

H2H #2 - Mama weer all crazee now Vs Blockbuster

Back for another head to head. H2H goes glam.

Remember, it's not the bands I am comparing, but the tracks. Do you prefer Sweet's androgynous call to arms or Slade's party anthem?





Over to you guys and gals. Alright.

19 comments:

Abahachi said...

No contest: "We just haven't a clue what to do!"

gordonimmel said...

Back in 1972 my brother and I divvied up Slade and Sweet between us. A coin was tossed and I got to support Sweet. I do have a grudging admiration for Slade ofcourse but they did do much better songs than this and my loyalties still lie with Sweet so that's where my vote is going.

Japanther said...

it's "Blockbuster" for me too.

Just last week the word "blockbuster" came up in it's idiomatic form in one of my lessons. After teaching what it meant I couldn't stop humming this track....my students asked what the hell I was doing, I told them and a couple of minutes later via the wonder of the iPhone's Youtube function we were all watching The Sweet on TOTP and I got to introduce the wonder of 70's UK glam rock to a couple of Japanese investment bankers!

Japanther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debbym said...

And the Hamburg vote is going to...
...Slade!
Mainly because the Sweet vid won't play in *my* country, and I enjoyed 'Mama' more than I'd expected to
(I was a MUD girl back then, just in case anybody's counting)

sourpus said...

gordonimmel, Im not sure I agree that Sweet did MUCH better songs than this, although its a moot point how much better some may have been - Hellraiser and Ballroom Blitz were both staggeringly good a sides. Personally, I always rated Sweet 45's by the b sides as well - proving that they were great writers, even without Chinichap/Mickie Most's help.

Blockbuster Vs Mama is a VERY tough call for me - even though I set it myself. Although Oasis tried to ruin the memory of the Slade track, they would never succeed. Both tracks just rock.

The jury's still out...

Something like this lets you get into the minutiae of the tracks and performances, which I personally enjoy.

Don Powell's military sounding snare drum rattle is quite innovative and powerfully teamed with the maracas. And let's face it, who doesnt love a drinking song? Noddy's unhinged vocal also scores high.

The Blockbuster guitar riff is neatly executed and sounds great, despite being lifted shamelessly from The Jean Genie. Mick Tucker's kettle drum fill was also ahead of its time, as are Steve Priest's tricky (and occasionally stuttered) interjections.

"We just havent go a cl..agh ha!"

The closing chants are both about on par as well. It's really very difficult to seperate them bottom up, so we really HAVE to go for a top down analysis.

Slade's honest and genuinely wild bovver boy stomp versus Sweet's Burgess-esque hym to teenage escapism?

Decisions, decisions...

Chris said...

Am I allowed to just say that - irrespective of their popularity - these are both utter shite.
(I am suffering a third consecutive day of very unpleasant back pain and felt the need to vent at something.)

sourpus said...

Chris, i've known such pain once or twice and my sympathies. All contributions are welcome at H2H for my money - however disparaging. Where's the fun otherwise?

Get well soon.

CaroleBristol said...

I agree with Chris.

Never liked either of them.

AliMunday said...

Both awful but I suppose it has to be Slade. DebbyM - do you remember Tiger Feet?

sourpus said...

Getting curious now about the reasons why some of your hate these glam classics so very much. Sure, you can talk about poor man's Bowie if you want or on the other hand you can just be plain nostalgic when you hear them again after so long, but for me they had a uniquely British flavour and a popularity unrivalled by anything you find today, in that they were genuinely popular with the mass audience (in the days when this was a literal expression) which I still find exciting, especially in these days of audience segmentation and so-called popular consensus. Plus, above all, they represent fun (with a capital F), which (in its own way) was more inclusive somehow than modern music often purports to be. My gran would dance along to Slade, for example, without any of us kids batting an eyelid, while the totally age-obsessed present tends to isolate the parental generation completely from current trends wherever it can. Plus those kind of songs were filled with the air of a people's rebellion against authority of any kind. A real sense of anarchy. Men and women were interchangeable in a way which was out of control - not prescribed by some style magazine. What music does this today?

debbym said...

I suspect it's got a lot to do with how old we were at the time - Chris and Carole are both a couple of years older than us and were probably too 'cool' at the time to take much interest in TOTP. I don't know about the 'Britishness' factor, but I remember being the only girl at school who wasn't enthralled by the Osmonds and/or David Cassidy (and at this point I quietly confess to not feeling Christmassy until I hear Slade and Wizzard with the Christmas hits of my childhood; I dare say I'd hate them if I'd not moved out of their broadcasting range).

Ali, of course I LOVED Tiger Feet! Progressed from Mud to 10cc, and thence to Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin, with a bit of Steeleye Span on the side...

Mnemonic said...

I think Debby's nailed it. I would hve been in my late twenties when these came out and they just leave me cold. If forced to choose, Blockbuster is marginally better but I wouldn't care if I never heard it again.

Chris said...

Debby's almost nailed it. Having grown up through the inventive music of the sixties and into the seventies, glam came across as novelty records, aimed firmly at young teens. Every band competed to look the most ridiculous (as opposed to simply looking dishevelled) and the tunes and words were invariably fairly crass. It was the law until some time in the nineties that everyone had to watch TOTP and so we'd get these things shoved at us every week.
I put that Crazy Frog thing (as an example) in the same category. I really don't mind pop having fun but I'm not that keen on the circus.

treefrogdemon said...

I'm with Chris, Carole and Mnemonic...and oh, debbym, you've reminded me that soon I won't be able to walk into a shop without hearing those darned Christmas records!

CaroleBristol said...

I was 16 at the end of 1971, so I was probably at the top end of the demographic for people like Slade and The Sweet.

Me and my friends used to be more into the underground bands, some of us had older brothers and sisters who used to get all the really hip and cool albums.

I wouldn't ever describe myself as "cool" although I would have certainly wanted to be back then.

We wanted to be outsiders, not mainstream.

I don't think that I've ever really stopped feeling that way.

sourpus said...

Perhaps I do yearn for simpler times, just a tad, a tiny tadm, at times..who doesnt?..but I yield not in my appreciation of 'mainstream' glam.

I read a piece (in Word magazine, home to RR's guru Paul) reviewing Frances Ween's book about the Seventies, yet again saying that we are too nostalgic about it, painting it much brighter than it was, but I beg to differ. Maybe for the working population drunk on sixties idealism, the seventies were a miserable time of polital stalemate and 3 day weeks, but for me (a 7 year old in 1971) the seventies were exciting and uplifting.

Before anyone says 'everyone's childhood is exciting' etc. I have to say I was not a typical child. I was very precoscious for my age - studying French and Latin in a private school, but coming from a very-near-the-knuckle trad working class background. My parents were older than my contemporaries (pre instead of post-war generation) and many commented that I saw the world through grown up eyes - I actually think I learned to be 'young' when I reached my late 20's. It isn't nostalgia for my 'innocent' childhood im describing, for my money at least.

Thanks for all the great contributions, of course. Fab, really. Punk, and what followed it, overturned all this stuff of course, but I never lost my love for glam rock as a thing - not ever. Forced to choose, im gonna go for Blockbuster, although Slade were a fantastic band and 'Mamma' is a cracking rave up. I have no real 'baggage' with either song, except joy.

Exodus said...

Quite liked both of them at the time, though I was about 8 or 9 when they came out so it was well before my record buying years.

Now it would have to be Slade - their stuff's worn really well.

ejaydee said...

I listened to them a couple of days apart, but the Slade wins for me.