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T.Rex - 1972 The Slider



ARTIST: T Rex
ALBUM: The Slider
LABEL: EMI
SERIAL: BLN 5001, 1E 062-93596
YEAR: 1972
CD REISSUE: Numerous

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Marc Bolan - vocals, guitars * Mickey Finn - hand percussion, congas, vocals * Steve Currie - bass * Bill Legend - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Metal Guru * 02 Mystic Lady * 03 Rock On * 04 The Slider * 05 Baby Boomerang * 06 Spaceball Cadet * 07 Buick Mackane * 08 Telegram Sam * 09 Rabbitt Fighter * 10 Baby Strange * 11 Ballrooms Of Mars * 12 Chariot Choogle * 13 Main Man


Background
One of the most fascinating and tragic stories in rock history is that of the late Marc Bolan. Killed in a car crash in 1977, Bolan had been to the top of rock music's mountain as well as its bottom and was on the rebound when his Mini Cooper collided with a tree in southwest London. What might have been, although looking back at his early day in Tyrannosaurus Rex, the impish Bolan was far from the glitter in your hair pop star he later became. Tyrannosaurus Rex produced 4 albums of delightful Tolkien inspired progressive folk; before Marc decided to go rock, downsize the band name and spearhead the glam rock revolution. 'Get It On (Bang a Gong)', became a glitter anthem around the world with Bolan as its androgynous godhead. T. Rex could do wrong following the huge selling 'Electric Warrior' album with sellout concerts and massive exposure. Between 1971 and 1972 it was all Bolan, all the time in the media although it was short-lived and 'The Slider' would be his last good album before the T.Rex backlash took root.


The Songs
Please don't think of me as a snob when I say T.Rex was a cut above groups like Sweet and Slade. As much I love both bands (I really do), they lacked Bolan's charisma as well as his ability to write songs that spoke to the glam rock generation, but at the same time rose above the fray. A lot of this record dovetails into the previous 'Electric Warrior' album especially the track 'Telegram Sam' which is almost a re-write of 'Get It On (Bang a Gong)'. This minor transgression aside, 'The Slider' is a near perfect example of what made T.Rex and glam rock so special. 'Metal Guru', 'Rock On' and the slow orchestral glitter grind of the title track are some Bolan's best work. 'Baby Boomerang' pre-dates Bad Company's 'Youngblood' with nearly the same riff although I'm not surprised 'Chariot Choogle' sounds so much like The Move, since Bolan and Jeff Lynne were good friends and Bolan would appear on stage with as well as sit in on an Electric Light Orchestra session a year later. The influence and connection is obvious. Closing the album is 'Main Man', an autobiographical statement reflecting his then current popularity in the pop world realizing how fleeting fame actually was and considering what was to come, it's rather eerie.


In Summary
From this point on Marc Bolan would begin his decent into purgatory. The madness of 'Trexstasy' never reached American shores and a headline tour with The Doobie Brothers as support who at the time were riding high with the single 'Listen To The Music' was a complete disaster. It was the Doobies that audiences came to see, not T.Rex whose stage show seemed a little too 'foreign' to U.S. crowds. Adding a British press who had already begun taking down Bolan piece by piece and a follow-up album 'Tanx' which wasn't exactly what anyone expected, or wanted and T.Rex would never be the same again.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: T Rex Marc Bolan 
 
Comments
#1 | jefflynnefan on November 30 2008 17:20:42
Rock On was a great song all those years ago! Marc played lead guitar on the ELO song "Ma Ma Belle" from the On The Third Day album. Marc also did some songs with Roy Wood (recorded at Marc's place) that came out on the bootleg called " Highway Angels". John Lennon was said to have played on that version of Jeepster? Great version of Fire Brigade!
 
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