Following Slade's performance at the Reading festival in 1980, the group enjoyed sold out shows and signed a major record deal with RCA. However, since the single "We'll Bring the House Down", it had not had any hits. Singles such as "Wheels Ain't Comin' Down", "Lock Up Your Daughters", "Ruby Red" and "C'est La Vie" did not perform well on the charts.
Bassist Jim Lea had always wanted to write a big, folksy ballad and when he presented his melody idea to Holder, the lyrics to "My Oh My" were created. Another song produced was "Run Runaway", a Celtic-flavoured rock-jig featuring Lea's fiddle. RCA hired John Punter to work on the tracks, sharing production duties with Lea.
Punter's methods were different from what Slade were accustomed to; for example he made the band record their parts separately. My Oh My became a hit in late 1983, peaking at #2, behind The Flying Pickets cover of Yazoo's "Only You".
The rock band Quiet Riot covered Slade's 1973 UK chart topper Cum On Feel The Noize. Although Slade's original had not been successful in the U.S., Quiet Riot's cover peaked at #5. The song helped Quiet Riot sell seven million copies of their album Metal Health. As a result of this success, Slade signed with CBS records.
Run Runaway was soon released in the US and UK. Its promotional video was shot at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire. The song became a top 10 hit in the UK and Slade's first top 20 hit in the States.
Shortly following the new success in America, the band set out to do a full American tour with Ozzy Osbourne where Slade ended up being managed by Sharon Osbourne for the entire tour. The band did a couple of warm up gigs; however, after a certain performance, Lea collapsed in the dressing room. He was eventually diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Slade ended up cancelling the tour and going back home to the UK. This was the final time the band would try to tour together mainly due to personal problems within the band and Holder's private life. The band decided to continue recording and releasing new material.
"Run Runaway", a Celtic-flavoured rock-jig featuring some elliptical lyrics and the return of Jim Lea's fiddle. RCA saw the potential of the track and appointed John Punter to work on the track. The album version is extended to give more time for the Linn drum gallop. This track became the first hit in the US for Slade after years of trying to crack the American market, peaking at #20. The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.
"My Oh My" came as Lea had always wanted to write a big, folksy ballad and when he presented his melody idea to Holder, the lyrics to My Oh My were created. The melody came from an idea that Lea had while listening to Hill and Holder tuning up in the dressing room before a gig at a University in Wales. This track became a huge hit in the UK, peaking at #2 and #37 in the US. The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.
"High and Dry" was originally covered by female rock band Girlschool which was produced by both Holder and Lea. Chris Ingham stated "High and Dry is known for showing notable Holder vocal, once memorably described by Melody Maker's Jim Arundel as "a blistering yell that's akin to Little Richard undergoing throat surgery by blowtorch without an anaesthetic". High And Dry is also for its unapologetic commemoration of insensitive womanising; "you want equality", goes the lyric, "you won't get none of that from me". How that fits with Slade's declaration in My Oh My that they "believe in woman" is difficult to say, but a politically correct Slade wouldn't be Slade at all."
"Slam the Hammer Down" opens the original album with a shouted soliloquy by Holder from a helicopter. Chris Ingham from Rock's Backpages stated "The track features an elaborately motor racing/sex metaphor." The track was issued as a promo in the US only. The single peaked at #92 in the US.
"In The Doghouse" featured brass instruments for the first time in a Slade track for years. Chris Ingham stated "In The Doghouse celebrates the carefree indiscretions of youth." Noddy Holder later recalled "there was plenty of good stuff on that album...we could have, theoretically, had another single...it would have been a hit", Holder was probably talking about In The Doghouse.
"Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply" appeared as a b-side to Slade's 1983 hit "My Oh My." The title was used for the American version of The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, and the song also appeared on the American release of the album (whereas it was not featured on the original Kamikaze Syndrome-titled version of the album). Chris Ingham wrote "the track is a song about a drunk driver strongly advising his amorous passenger not to grope him while he's being followed by the police. The chorus is as fast as anything Slade ever recorded while the production typifies Slade's sound in the mid-80s." The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.
"Cheap 'n' Nasty Luv" is described by Chris Ingham as "another in the series of Slade songs which display an interest in the oldest profession (see also Standing On The Corner, When Fantasy Calls) though the usual lusty appreciation is set aside here and replaced with an empathetic view of a young lady unhappy in her situation." On the American release, Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, the song is shorter than the European version which adds an extra snythesizer section.
"Can't Tame a Hurricane" was originally taken from the 12" version of "My Oh My." The track featured on Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, the American version of The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome. On the European "My Oh My" single, the title was changed to "Don't Tame a Hurricane." Chris Ingham wrote "'Don't Tame A Hurricane' has a rocking terseness and directness that recalls Slade's '70s heyday while packing an '80s punch. The 'hurricane' of the song title refers to a larger than life character who won't be tied down and who's an 'international cocktail who'll end up on the rocks.'"
"(And Now the Waltz) C'est La Vie", described by Chris Ingham as "a waltz-time anthem about the bittersweet feelings surrounding an end-of-affair tryst", was originally released in 1982 as a Christmas single. In November 2005 on one of his regular TV-reviewing slots on the Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2 show, Holder was asked to choose a track from the recently released Best of Slade. To Radcliffe's surprise Holder chose this flop single. Holder reasoned the track showed off his voice really well.
"Ready to Explode" is an eight-and-one-half-minute track that opened side two of the original vinyl album. It is a multi-themed song suite about the excitement of motor racing, inspired in part by the Jim Steinman's work with Meat Loaf. Guitarist Dave Hill said "I seem to remember that he was hooked on the Bat Out of Hell album at the time, and he wanted to make a record about...being on the edge and all this type of thing". The track also featured Pete Drummond doing announcements on the track. The song was split into four different parts:Part 1: The Warm Up
Part 2: The Grid
Part 3: The Race
Part 4: The Dream
In the September–December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade’s material. For the songs most wanted to be heard live, Ready to Explode placed at #2.
"Two Track Stereo One Track Mind" appeared as the b-side to the Run Runaway single. Chris Ingham describes the tune as "a jokey portrait of a girl who blocks out her lover during sex by listening to music through headphones. On one level, a punning piece of titillation, on another a comment on the difficulty achieving meaningful connection in an age of multi-media distractions. Perhaps."
Allmusic.com stated "An early-'80s album that managed to climb into the Top 40, thanks to the success of Quiet Riot's versions of "Cum On Feel the Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." On Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, Slade shows that they are still the masters of loud, trashy hard rock."
Upon release, American major daily newspaper Chicago Tribune wrote "A lot of people probably thought Slade had broken up. Stomp-rock kings in the early '70s, their fame faded fast as the '80s approached. But the band has been plugging away ever since its formation in the '60s and - with a single, "Run Runaway," now on the charts and heading for the Top 40 - Slade might have a shot at star status again. Part of the band's resurgence might be credited to the current heavy metal boom. While most of Slade's music isn't really heavy metal, it has some affinities. The band's sledgehammer style is akin to the intensity of metal attacks, and one of Slade's earlier songs, "Cum on Feel the Noize," became a big hit for Quiet Riot last year. Slade's approach is often a shade more melodic, though, and not given as frequently to rave-up guitar assaults. But that's almost splitting hairs. The two styles are certainly in the same camp. It's all loud, aggressive music, and new Slade numbers such as "Slam the Hammer Down" should satisfy even the most demanding metal-head."Noddy Holder - lead vocals, guitar, backing vocals
Dave Hill - guitar, backing vocals
Jim Lea - bass, piano, keyboards, guitar, violin (uncredited), backing vocals, lead vocals on "Ready to Explode", producer
Don Powell - drums, percussion, gong
Andy Dummit - Saxophone on "In the Doghouse"
Pete Drummond - Announcements on "Ready to Explode"
John Punter - producer
Lou Brooks - artwork (illustration)
Jo Di Donato - design (cover)