Friday, 16 May 2014

"The Slider" by T.REX [feat Marc Bolan] (2002 Edsel 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' Remaster - Reissued 2014) - A Review by Mark Barry...



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"...Eagle On The Wind..."

Having had their appetites whetted in May 1972 with the compilation album on Fly Records "Bolan Boogie" (which hit Number 1) – by July 1972 the wait was over. And on the 23rd of the month T.Rex and Marc Bolan fans got what they wanted - "The Slider" album hit the record shops and burnt its way into UK consciousness. Even now in 2014 (42 years later) it still gives me a thrill just to look at it (the same applies to "Electric Warrior" from 1971). And this stunning May 2002 2CD DELUXE EDITION from Edsel (reissued in 2014) gives me the same tingles. Here are the Golden Nose Slim and Jungle Face Jakes…

Originally released May 2002 – "The Slider" by T. REX on Edsel MEDCD 715 (Barcode 740155171520) is a 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' Reissue and Remaster and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (53:54 minutes):
1. Metal Guru
2. Mystic Lady
3. Rock On
4. The Slider
5. Baby Boomerang
6. Spaceball Ricochet
7. Buick Mackane
8. Telegram Sam
9. Rabbit Fighter
10. Baby Strange
11. Ballrooms Of Mars
12. Chariot Choogle
13. Main Man
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "The Slider" – originally released on vinyl in the UK on 23 July 1972 on EMI BLN 5001

Tracks 14, 15 and 16 are Extended Play – "Cadillac" (14) is a non-album track - it was one of the B-sides to "Telegram Sam" (January 1972 on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label T-REX 101). The other B-side was album track "Baby Strange".  "Thunderwing" and "Lady" (15 and 16) were both non-album track B-sides to the UK 7” single of "Metal Guru" (May 1972 on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 1).

Disc 2 (53:00 minutes):
1. Metal Guru
2. Mystic Lady
3. Rock On
4. The Slider
5. Thunderwing
6. Spaceball Ricochet
7. Buick Mackane
8. Telegram Sam
9. Rabbit Fighter
10. Baby Strange
11. Ballrooms Of Mars
12. Cadilac
13. Main Man
Tracks 1 to 13 are "The Alternate Slider ("Rabbit Fighter")" – alternate versions of almost every track with similar sounding tracks where alternates could not be found (the initial album title was going to be "Rabbit Fighter").

Tracks 14 and 15 are Extended Play – "Lady" and "Sunken Rags" - both of which are Outtake Versions of 1972 B-sides ("Sunken Rags" was one of the two B-sides to "Children Of The Revolution').

It opens up with two winners "Metal Guru" and the acoustic strum of "Mystic Lady" then barely lets up. "Buick Mackane" is his Led Zeppelin T.Rex and rocks like a monster. "Telegram Sam" was the second number 1 single ("Metal Guru" was the other) and is followed by the song that might have titled the album – the cool "Rabbit Fighter". It’s so quintessentially T.Rex with its acoustic guitars backing lead electric guitars and his "Moondog's a prophet to the end…" lyrics. I’ve always loved "Baby Boomerang" – it was used as a B-side for the infectious "I Love To Boogie" in June 1976 – and its words oozed that Bolan confidence (lyrics from it title this review). More Rex rockers appear in the guise of "Baby Strange" and "Chariot Choogle" and it ends on the languid "Main Man" – job done.

The end of 1972 would see two more huge singles – the non-album "Children Of The Revolution" in September and "Solid Gold Easy Action" in December (themselves heavy with unique non-LP B-sides). In fact in the Summer of 1972 and by year’s end - Marc Bolan seemed to own the world – he really was flying.

The three-way fold-out digipak is pretty – alternate artwork on the inner flaps – press adverts and promo stuff beneath the two see-through CD trays - detailed liner notes by T.Rex/Marc Bolan expert MARK PAYTRESS – lyrics – track-by-track annotation (with Bolan’s own recollections) and both CDs carrying the T.Rex Wax Co 7” single Logo (I remember for all those 45s we ought in Woolworths with the excitement of buying the next Beatles seven).  The remasters are fabulous too – full of power and muscle – giving the alternate acoustic versions of "Metal Guru" and the spoken '1, 2, 3 and a 4' leads in to "Rock On" and "The Slider" an eerie feel of being close to genius.

What a blast...and what a loss. I miss him...

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