Slade – Far Far Away

I’ve become a fan of this band. I only heard them second-hand through Quiet Riot in the 80s until they finally had a couple of hits in the 1980s with Runaway and My Oh My. This song was a bit of a departure from the high-octane songs they had been releasing. They veered off the formula on purpose with this song.

I love watching old Slade videos on youtube. They were a lot of fun to listen to and watch. Slade was a hard-rocking glam band that somehow never made it in America until the 1980s. Their golden period was in the early to mid-seventies in the UK. Noddy’s voice is extremely strong and the melodic structure of their songs is very catchy but not in a bad way.

Slade was at the height of its success and their manager Chas Chandler suggested they make a movie. So they made a movie called Slade In Flame. The movie itself got good reviews and so did the soundtrack. BBC film critic Mark Kermode called it the “Citizen Kane of rock musicals.” I’ve never watched this film but I am going to now.

This was the first single to be taken from the soundtrack. The movie follows the history of a fictitious group in the early 1970s called Flame who were played by the members of Slade.

Singer Noddy Holder wrote the song after a long period of touring when he was thinking of home. He was looking out of a hotel window overlooking the Mississippi river with Slade’s manager Chas Chandler. The singer was thinking how far the band had come when a big paddle riverboat came down the river, all lit up. Holder had mentioned to Chandler that he saw the yellow lights go down the Mississippi …Chandler seeing the inspiration asked him to write something about it and he wrote Far Far Away with bass player Jim Lea.

The song peaked at #2 in the UK in 1974.

I found this description about the movie. A pretty gritty story of the formation of Flame, a fictional band played by the four members of Slade. In the movie, Flame were to hit the big time quickly, only to be hit by violence, and off-stage legal and financial battles, eventually leading them to split. It’s a hard-hitting look at the less glamorous side of the music biz.

Far Far Away

I’ve seen the yellow lights go down the MississippiI’ve seen the bridges of the world and they’re for realI’ve had a red light of the wristWithout me even gettin’ kissedIt still seems so unreal

I’ve seen the morning in the mountains of AlaskaI’ve seen the sunset in the east and in the westI’ve sang the glory that was RomeAnd passed the hound-dog singer’s homeIt still seems for the best

And I’m far, far awayWith my head up in the cloudsAnd I’m far, far awayWith my feet down in the crowdsLettin’ loose around the worldBut the call of home is loudStill is loud

I’ve seen the Paris lights from high upon MontmartreAnd felt the silence hanging low in No-Man’s-LandAnd all those spanish nights were fineIt wasn’t only from the wineIt still seems all in hand

And I’m far, far awayWith my head up in the cloudsAnd I’m far, far awayWith my feet down in the crowdsLettin’ loose around the worldBut the call of home is loudStill is loud

I’ve seen the yellow lights go down the MississippiThe grand Bahama island stories carry onAnd all those arigato smilesStay in your memory for a whileThere still seems more to come

And I’m far, far awayWith my head up in the cloudsAnd I’m far, far awayWith my feet down in the crowdsLettin’ loose around the worldBut the call of home is loudStill is loud

And I’m far, far awayWith my head up in the cloudsAnd I’m far, far awayWith my feet down in the crowdsAnd I’m far, far awayBut the sound of home is loudStill is loud