Friday, May 11, 2007

Classic Pick: -->T Rex - The Slider (1972)

"You talk about day...
I'm talking 'bout night time.
When the monsters call out
The names of men."
T Rex
Because of a Coke commercial I saw running recently, I noticed it was sampling a song made famous by T. Rex entitled “The Slider” from the album of the same name. Digging around through my household community jukebox, I found the album and gave the entire T. Rex offering a fresh listen

And because of his unique songwriting style, (a cross between Syd Barret and Dr. Seuss), along with the way he sells every word he sings, “The Slider” proves a wickedly pleasant surprise; more enjoyable with each new listen.

Released in 1972, T. Rex (aka Marc Bolan) was sharing his hippie-visions and horn-dog habits over a steady diet of churning guitar rhythms and simple acoustic arrangements providing listeners with arguably his finest album.

Starting with the opening track, “Metal Guru”, we know we are in for a fun ride. “Has it been just like a silver-studded sabre-tooth dream”, cries TR over a pounding electric guitar. He introduces us to the girl who always keeps coming back for more. “You’re talking with your boots and you’re walking with your mouth”. (“Baby Boomerang”)

TR’s lyrics can be odd at times and yet oozes with coolness. For example, “I bought a car. It was old but kind/ I gave it my mind and it disappeared”. (“Spaceball Richochet”) And “I have never kissed a car before. It’s like a door./And when I’m sad…I slide” (The Slider). It’s never knowing what T. Rex is going to say next that draws the listener in.

Every song has a distinctive rhythm that especially compliments his voice.

One of my favorites, “Ballroom of Mars” has a sweet guitar sound in spite of some biting lyrics. “You diamond browed hag/You’re a gutter-gaunt gangster/John Lennon knows your name/And I’ve seen his”. The fact that he drops names in this song makes it even sweeter.
T Rex jammin'.
The closing track, “Main Man”, has a feel good mid-tempo chant that will have the listener singing along as the words gently fade into the speakers. When the album was over, I realized I might not have understood all he had to say …But TR made me believe every word.

Sadly, in the early morning of September 16, 1977, Marc Bolan was riding with his girlfriend who lost control and ran their car into a very old oak tree seriously injuring herself and killing Bolan. He was only 29. And when I’m sad…I slide.

Casey

T Rex
:-->"Ballroom Of Mars" off The Slider (1972) (MUST OWN)

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