The Vault: Slade Storms The Castle

Jan 12th, 2007 // 11 Comments

Slade’s “Run Runaway” single has always been a point of contention among fans: Was it their calculated, last-ditch effort to gain notice in America? Or was it an unfairly maligned masterwork, the single finest bagpipe-influenced rock anthem of 1984?

Slade – Run, Runaway [YouTube]


  1. Ned Raggett

    It was the first time I ever heard of ‘em and I loved it, so therefore I must let it live.

  2. DK10

    I am going to steal the intellectual property of my brother-in-law to pose the following question:

    If “Sade” is pronounced “Shar-day,” should we not then pronounce “Slade,” “Slar-day”?

  3. Jude

    I remember seeing this, hearing that galloping sound, and getting it confused with Adam Ant’s “Stand And Deliver”. Seriously the most effective usage of ironic/unironic facial expressions ever (winner @ 2:16). To answer the question, I think they likely were trying to achieve the former, marginally succeeded, and wound up unintentionally securing the latter. Beauty…Now I’m gonna play it like 5 more times.

  4. mike a

    I never thought of this track as tailor-made for an American audience, but it actually makes sense. Americans were suckers at the time for British bands who could write anthemic choruses and appear “authentic” (here illustrated with faded denim and bagpipe-sounding guitars). Blame it on U2. Better yet, blame it on Big Country.

    As far as medieval-themed videos go, it’s more fun than “Safety Dance,” its only real competition. (It would be funny to see the Decemberists remake the “Safety Dance” video, now that I think of it.)

  5. brasstax

    Idolator and me in hivemind scandal once again. I’ve been playing this frequently on my pod since about Thanksgiving. It’s an aural drug of sorts.

  6. JoylessRockist

    Yep, That song’s going to be stuck in my head for the first time since I was 12 (and this video was the coolest thing in the world). Help me.

    My favorite? The British Rick Nielson rocking the zebra pants. Did a young Slash go hat shopping after seeing this?

  7. Chris Molanphy

    Big ups to mike a on the “Safety Dance” video comparison.

    But disagreements on U2 – believe it or not, at this point in ’84 U2 hadn’t socred their first U.S. hit yet (though their albums were doing decently). No, if anything I feel like Slade was sold to the American public as a cross between Def Leppard and Big Country. Cha-ching!

  8. Butch Huskey

    Quiet Riot had a massive hit with a cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize” , Kevin DuBrow (the QR singer) was suggested covering Slade since his voice was similar to (er, the Slade guy) … i think the selling point for “Run Runaway” was “it’s a new album from that band that Quiet Riot covered”‘ … nice hat & cheek dancing

  9. Paul D

    Quiet Riot made a career out of covering Slade.

    I’ve loved this song since I first saw the video in the early 80′s. Furthermore, it was one of the first MP3′s I illegally downloaded when Napster was big.

    And if this picture is any indication, they were going for “ugliest band on the planet”.

  10. skyco

    As Paul McCartney can attest, bagpipes aren’t the way to go if you’re looking to land a hit in the USA (see: “Mull of Kintyre/Girls School” double-A side).

    So my vote is that Slade simply chose to rock the castle down.

    My memories of this song are vivid. Our family was in the midst of a move, and for a few weeks we had to stay at our grandparents’ before our new place was ready. My brother (DK10′s brother-in-law) got the 45, and I remember him spinning it over and over again in the room we were staying it. No cable, so my memories are much more of the song without the visuals. Nice lasting power.

  11. hectorsavage

    This is such a ripoff of Big Country’s “Fields Of Fire” it’s frightening.

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