Saturday, March 16, 2013

40 Year Itch: Loose Like a Golden Goose

While Electric Warrior and The Slider remain the best known of the T.Rex albums, Tanx-released March 18, 1973-- is arguably the best. At least that's what producer Tony Visconti, who worked on all three,  writes:

"I enjoyed making Tanx very much; I thought it was the first really cohesive T. Rex album . However despite Marc feeling more confident with this body of work, it proved to be something of a watershed. We were criticised for being samey and formulaic; Tanx made No 4 the same way as The Slider but failed to stick around as long in the charts.

Any critic that though Tanx relied too much on the T. Rex formula probably wasn't listening too closely. Sure there are some chunky Electric Warrior rockers ( "Mad Donna", "Shock Rock") and warbling acoustic Slider-like ballads (" Life is Strange", "Broken Hearted Blues"), but Marc Bolan is also spreading his wings, rediscovering the Mellotron on songs like "Mister Mister" ( which also features the same Liverpudlian sax player who performed on The Beatles' "Good Morning, Good Morning") and exploring new sounds on "Tenement Lady", "Highway Knees" and "Electric Slim and The Factory Hen", one of his very best tunes ever.

CD versions of Tanx comes with T.Rex hits "Children of the Revolution" (UK#2), "Solid Gold Easy Action" (UK#2) and "20th Century Boy" (UK#3).

As Visconti points out in his autobiography Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, Marc feared he was losing his audience. The smart fans were attracted to Bowie and Roxy. The rockers moved into the Slade and Gary Glitter camps. Within a year Warner Brothers dropped T. Rex from the label.

No comments:

Post a Comment