Rock News & Interviews

Former AC/DC Drummer Chris Rudd New Album Timescape

A highly respected drummer who is still enjoying an amazing 60+ year career as a professional drummer at the highest levels in the music industry, Chris and his band – The Chris Slade Timeline – will be releasing their new album, Timescape, July 19 on BraveWords Records.  The double album will be available on digital platforms, CD and possibly as a double vinyl album.
As mentioned, Timescape is a double album that includes one album/CD of original new music that, except for one track, is written or co-written by Slade (besides his signature drum thunder, Chris also adds background vocals to most of the new tracks and sings lead vocal on one of the new tracks, Time Flies), along with a second album/CD of the band’s versions of songs that Chris has played previously with some of the many bands to which he’s lent his considerable talents including ASIA, Uriah Heep, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and, of course AC/DC.  


Chris Slade’s music career reads like a Who’s Who list of rock ‘n’ roll.  It’s truly amazing how many iconic bands and artists he has performed with over the decades.


His musical journey can be traced back to 1963.  Chris came from the same village in Wales as fellow Welshman Tom Jones and, as a 17-year-old lad, was hired by Jones to play drums in the singer’s backing band, The Squires, for seven years. It was the beginning of an incredible career that is still going strong today.
His first real success came in 1965 when Jones and the band recorded and released the single It’s Not Unusual, which became a huge worldwide hit for Jones and the band. Chris subsequently performed on all of Jones’s ‘60s hits and toured with Jones all over the world before quitting in 1969 to join a group called “Toomorrow” whose vocal attraction was an Australian blonde named Olivia Newton-John.
He became a founding member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in January of 1971. He spent seven years with the band, recording eight albums, all but one charting on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and helping the band achieve three UK Top Ten singles in the process: Joybringer (which charted at #9, October 1973), Blinded By The Light (originally written by Bruce Springsteen and which charted at #6, September 1976 and was also a multi-million selling #1 single in the US) and Davy’s On The Road Again (No.6, June 1978).
After the Earth Band era, Chris recorded two albums in 1979, first with Frankie Miller, and next with Kai Olsson, before joining Uriah Heep in time to play on their Conquest album in 1980 plus two years touring with the band. 
Next up, Slade teamed up with Gary Numan to help record the I Assassin album along with touring.  The album was driven by Slade’s and bassist Pino Palladino’s powerful rhythms, which Numan called “one of the best albums I’ve ever made.” 
Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs included Slade in The Mick Ralphs Band – that same line-up also toured as the band for Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on his About Face Tour all throughout 1984. After the close of that tour, Slade teamed up with Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers and bassist Tony Franklin to form The Firm at the end of 1984. The Firm recorded two excellent albums for Atlantic Records in 1985 and 1986 that gave them chart success with radio hits including Radioactive and Satisfaction Guaranteed.
According to bassist Tony Franklin, “The all-important drum seat was filled by Chris Slade of Manfred Mann’s Earth band and Tom Jones’ fame. But Jimmy (Page) had to wait until Chris came off the road from the Dave Gilmour tour. Jimmy didn’t mind, Chris was a monster drummer and well worth the wait.”
After The Firm disbanded, Chris joined up with Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore on a temporary basis, taking over from Cozy Powell just four days before the start of the 1989 After the War tour. It was at one of Moore’s gigs in the UK that AC/DC’s Malcolm Young saw Chris play and came away extremely impressed with Slade’s talent. After the Moore tour ended, it was Chris’s intention to put together a band with ex-Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay. 
But the call from AC/DC to join the band put an end to those plans as he was destined to tour and record with them over the course of the next five years, playing on their acclaimed Razors Edge album, and giving a killer performance on their concert DVD Live from Donington.  He also performed on two live albums the band released in 1992 and ’93.
According to Slade, after working on demos for the following album, Ballbreaker, Malcolm Young called Slade and told him they wanted to try a reunion with former drummer Phil Rudd. Slade replied, “That’s me out then, I’m gone.” Young said that he wanted to keep Slade on hand if Rudd’s return did not work out, but Slade refused. However, he made statements that he still got on well with AC/DC and “it was an honor and a privilege to play with those guys.”
After his stint with AC/DC Chris joined up with 80s prog-rock band Asia, who (even with the many personnel changes over the years) had still been managing to churn out some excellent music. Chris recorded with them on their 2000-2004 studio recordings, Aura and Silent Nation and put forth his trademark energy-filled live performances on all the subsequent tours that ensued.
After leaving Asia, Slade then worked with legendary guitarist Michael Schenker of UFO and MSG off and on between 2005 and 2010 as well as touring extensively worldwide with the band. 


In early 2015, Slade rejoined AC/DC for the band’s massive and hugely successful Rock or Bust tour which ran from April 2015 to September 2016 before he once again departed the band in September 2020 upon the return of Phil Rudd.


In 2012, Slade launched the band, The Chris Slade Timeline, to mark, at that time, 50 years as a professional rock drummer. The band performs music from all aspects of his lengthy career and has appeared at major festivals including Hellfest, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Harley Davidson Aquitaine, and Saint Tropez and is the only rock band to play the Moscow Olympic Stadium for the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament.


The current lineup of The Chris Slade Timeline features Paul “Bun” Davis on lead vocals, bassist Stevie Gee, guitarist James Cornford, Mike Clarke on keys and guitar and, of course the inimitable Mr. Slade on drums.  This core lineup recorded Timescape and continues to tour.

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