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"Automatic shoes, Automatic
shoes, Give me 3-D vision and the California blues."
Telegram Sam - Marc Bolan.
T.Rex - Slider
List of Reviewers
=== Review by Kat ===
Better late than never! Per Pierre's suggestion :) here is my attempt at a "review" or rather my thoughts of "The Slider."
This album has always held a "special" place in my heart, as it was the first Bolan album I ever bought! The opening fantastic raucous wail of "Metal Guru" really sets the tone of the whole album.....a primal glammed out vibe. Raw, yet still with room for more introspective songs like "Spaceball Ricochet", "Ballrooms of Mars," and the mellow groove of "Mystic Lady." Every track on this album works. Marc seems to have hit his stride, but on a more hard "rock and roll" note than the previous "Electric Warrior." "Buick Mackane" and "Chariot Choogle" are bursting with sexual energy. The "street poet" Marc is in full force here with lyrics like "New York Witch in the dungeon of the day". In all, I love it! It is a flawless moment in time. I wasn't there to witness it, and I still marvel at how things could be so different two years later! Such is the trickery of time.
But my favorite line is "Deep in My Heart, there's a house that can hold just about all of you." :-)
Anyway, those are my thoughts right now.....
Love, Kat xoxo
=== Review by Chadders ===
I see we've been moaning about 'Slider'. On the whole it's a not an album I can get on with. It's not that I haven't tried, it's not that I can't see the many splendid and wonderful things about it, no it just doesn't work for me in this form. I first heard it before I was a true believer and thought 'Slider' was a great track in a good album, then after 'Children of the Revolution' I converted to Bolan in a big way and borrowed 'Slider' for a week. Then I thought it was full of great tracks but was not a good album.
These days it drives me potty. An album with that many great to excellent songs on it should be doing more for me. What is it that's wrong? Too many overlong fade outs? I like my songs to come to an end and 'Metal Guru' cries out to end earlier. The running order? Shift it around how you like, it's still not right, I can never hear the next song coming to get me. The obvious similarity of 'Baby Strange'and 'Mystic Lady'? (by similarity I mean title, subject matter, main guitar riff and rhythm, obviously the approach to the subject, and quite possibly the key, is different; entire albums have been made out of smaller differences than that, take HearSay for example, in fact PLEASE take HearSay). Both are good songs but to put them both on one album was stupid. Maybe it's that too many songs are pushed through the mangel and it all comes out a bit too samey? But isn't that what they mean by 'a great sound'?
Anyway, lets look at the numbers. 'Metal Guru', crikey. Mystic Lady, oooaah midjear! Rock On, four on the floor. The Slider, haunting. Baby Boomerang, good times. Spaceball Ricochet, almost the old style poetry. Telegram Sam, wow. Rabbit Fighter, sorry. Baby Strange, don't I know you? Ballrooms Of Mars, just how perfect do you want your perfect? Chariot Choogle, bright. Main Man, good but much prefer the version on 'Spaceball'.
So, it's not that I don't like the components, I just don't care much for the whole.
Oh and I still say 'Ballrooms of Mars' is an answer song to 'Life on Mars'. There's the connection between the titles, both songs mention Lennon, think of a famous seventies rock star described by "gutter gaunt gangster", "changeless madman" doesn't refer to the 'Bewley Brothers' does it? Actually it was the "Lizard leather boots" that tipped me off.
love and chrisses
=== Review by MarcO ===This is an excellent album that could have been brilliant.
Problem no.1 is that it's the follow up album to an album that's impossible to follow up, if you get my drift. (Warrior. & Unicorn are in my opinion two of the finest pieces of work Bolan released, allbeit worlds apart).
Problem no.2 is that it was recorded and released in what was probably Marc's busiest period, by that I mean with all the new found fame comes the price of interviews, T.V. concerts, etc, so the time factor would have played a major part in this album.
In the words of Pink Floyd, "you gotta get an album out you owe it to the people" can't you just picture those record company bosses rubbing their hands together!.
Nevertheless, apart from a couple o'throwaways this album is almost the dogs balls. Incidentally, I have the Reprise gatefold album with the lyrics on the inside (which are allmost identical except to some minor changes to the credits) and the E.M.I. disc. So somewhere along the line I lost the orig. cover.
My Slider rating. 7-10. Marco
=== Review by Marc Bolan ===Melody Maker July 22/1972
Metal Guru--- "is a festival of life song. I relate metal guru to all the gods around. I believe in a God, but I have no religion. With Metal Guru it's like someone special; it must be a godhead. I thought how God would be: he'd be all alone without a telephone...I don't answer the phone any more."
Mystic Lady-- "has lines in about Bobby Dylan. In the letters in your paper they were saying he was dead. I feel close to him cause he's a nice man. I met him 2 months ago at someone's house.I didn't expect him to know who I was."
Rock On---"was written in a Cadillac going between gigs in a place called Chevy Chase, which is outside Philadelphia"
The Slider--"the album was originally gonna be called Rabbit Fighter which is one of the other tracks, but this came through, Slider sounded much more sexual, sort of raunchy young man. I wrote some of the lines when I was about eight, actually. "All schools are strange". Lyrically, I really like it. It might be a single in America."
Baby Boomerang--"was written in NY. I adore this. This to me is like writing a Dylan song. You're talking with your boots/And you're walking with your mouth. "It's one of the best things I've written this year."
Spaceball Ricochet--"is totally a poem about my life. "I bought a car/it was old but kind." In the film we used a car which is a 200 quid, beaten up, 1948 Cadillac, which is lying outside Ringo's house somewhere; I bought it off him and I haven't picked it up. It's the only car I've ever driven. I drove it down an aerodrome when we were shooting".
Buick MacKane--"is like Zep Rex. It's like yer heavy rock, it's one of those. It's dynamite. Buick Mackane is a chick. If you wanna get inside a chick, man, it's gotta be called Buick Mackane to get off with me".
Rabbit Fighter--"has got the best guitaring I've ever done on a record, I think".
Ballrooms of Mars--"is a very personal song. Dylan and Lennon get in there and Alan Freed. "I'm talking 'bout nighttime/when the monsters call out." I believe Bob Dylan of all people knows about that night-time thing. It comes through in "Johanna". There are no real monsters, I believe, but I think one can make them. I've manifested creatures when I was into Magick, but it comes from here. Baby, it's up there. The Lyceum always looked groovy, and this is that barren landscape, like a big Lyceum ballroom made of silver."
Chariot Choogle--"Pasolini Toad". Pasolini is dynamite, man. You see, I do get all the journalism bit in, but I do it in a different way. "Main Man" is a song about me. "As a child I laughed a lot...now it seems I cry a lot". I've never cried so much in my whole life as this last year. "giraffes in my hair". That's a Top of the Pops flash about having giraffes coming out of the top of my head. I thought it would be funky."
=== Review by Zoom ===Slider.... remember?, October, '77. All you guys moaning about sudden but somehow convincible way of this rockstar's death. And some of you guys might need another Prozac pill counting last days of teen age.... Whereas me was junior-high freshboy. New-wave was emerging, punk luminating last dose of kids' frustration. Picked up Japanese musiczine, front colore gravure pages were all Pistols one after another (I dont remember what was the occasion) then next monochrome page had full page of Marc portrait reporting his death. This puberty yet kid didnt know shit of world around, of cause didnt know none about him. But that was my first experience feeling transition something. The article said "Slider" was the quintessential TRex album shone on its plateaux. So, I bought it then. Rest you know.
I tend to listen ZINC through Futuristic Dragon but I always come back to Slider. My all TRex/MB swirls around the one./zm
=== Review by David Do ===What a change in just a couple of years since Beard Of Stars, the innocence is lost and the sensual is now just plain horny !! The songs are still simple melodies, still beautiful but now with a hormonally supercharged kick.. Look at the expression on Marc's face on the sleeve, a picture taken during the filming of Born to Boogie, he was on top of the world, the biggest act in the country and now he was making a movie! just look at his face and see how bloody important he felt, and rightly so.
The Slider is a really warm laid back groove, a sunny summers day of an album, every track classic T.Rex. From the super funk of Telegram Sam to the riff mania of Buick Mackane. It's still mystical with it's sliding riding sorceress, still autobiographical in Main Man and Ballrooms of Mars but the reoccurring theme is FUN !
Marc, the band and Visconti were all in perfect sync, listen to Steve Curry's bass on Main Man and Visconti's arrangement on Rabbit fighter - stunning. Marc's distorted feedback solo on Chariot Choogle blows away any "Guitar Hero" and says more to me than any 20 minute prog-rock solo. The imagery remains but the black cloak is now a feather boa and the star on his brow is now a star on hic cheek.
=== Review by David Do 2 ===I thought I'd throw in my thoughts on The Slider. I know all the songs so well I could review it without playing it, but as a distraction from a mountain of paperwork I thought I'd give it a spin this afternoon. I can't remember the last time I played Slider, it's several years...gotta be ! The CD is in front of me and I swear Marc is frowning at me from that last comment !!
Cool album, 12 out of 13 can't be bad. It still leaves us with the question, did Marc understand the wind, well did he??
=== Review by Stewart ===Well where do i start,this was my introduction to Marc and this Album will always be special to me. I have been listening to this Album for over 25 years now and still never get tired of hearing it, i still find little things in it that i never heard before. I am guilty of playing some songs more then others on it. I'll just pick out a couple that really send me.
Well i hope i didn't ramable too much and you don't find to many spelling mistakes <G>. The Slider has been and always will be, part of me, if you know what i mean<G>.
=== Review by Melinda ===Okay, Tillers & Dawnette but most of all Rick Dearest (with an e) here it is the much anticipated review. Such as it is, I can't do a song by song review, I'm not that good of a music critic.
Slider has always been such a wonderment and pleasure to me all of my life I can't imagine not ever having heard it.
As some may know my horrid older brother has been my source for T-Rex from the beginning. He bought me "Slider" when it came out (I'm sure I had to pay him the money back) I was just a wee babe, of 15. I would lay on my bed with my head at the foot of it and stick my feet out onto the window ledge. I would listen to it for hours along with "Warrior" (I already had that) and maybe a little Alice thrown in. I have know idea where those albums are today.
Years later (maybe five or seven years ago) that same horrid brother bought me a CD he ran across, The B sides, and everytime I heard " Baby Boomerang" my mind would hear "Spaceball.." start, and everytime I heard "Baby Strange" again in my mind I could hear the first chords of "Ballroom...." begin. So as I started getting more Marc together, I kept thinking I'm missing something, I was busy gathering up cd's I had not heard and searching for vinyl in good condition. And still this little voice kept say Mel you're missing something. I put the "B sides" on one evening and ooopppps, I need "Slider" all of "Slider"really really bad now.
Aaaaaaahhhhhh. So out I went Mike is looking at me like I'm possessed , I went to music store grabbed the CD and while we were waiting in line Mike says" Don't you have some of these songs on CD already?" Oh the shame, he has never said that since.
The album is awesome, in almost every song Marcs voice is so strong and confident. It has always been very important to me throughout my life, and yes when I was very young I thought that those songs were for me, (so did every other teenage girl).And like many of you I did not warm to "Buick Mackane" like the other songs. I'm sure my reason is much different than the rest of yours. That same horrid sibling of mine actually picked on me at times and he would sometimes call me Melinda MacKane. But now that I'm older (I still want to kick his butt again) I think I enjoy the song more .
And I'm sure everyone can guess my favorite line on the entire album, yup from "Telegram Sam", 'Me I funk but I don't care I ain't no square with my corkscrew hair' it got me through a lot of days when my older sister would ask my if I was going to do something with my hair.
That's all..... see is Rick ever wants me to do another review.......
Melinda Mackane Mae Fender.
=== Review by Sverre ===Till Tillers and Dawnettes, and the Dawnette who pushed and pushed!
"The Slider" - 72, 82, 99.
I was almost 13 years old when "The Slider" was released on 23 July 1972. I already knew some Tyrannosaurus Rex songs and T.Rex songs from two "Best of..." which I had bought and played to "death".
I bought "Slider" from a kid in the neighbourhood, (early) wintertime 72. He had moved on to other bands, - Mott the Hoople, Yes, E.L.P. a.o. (I also bought "Unicorn/A Beard Of Stars" from the same kid, summer 73.)
In those days, I thought that the cover-pic of Marc looked like a scene or picture from a Chaplin movie, - and I still think so!!
Not because it is black and white and grainy and very old in style and mood???, - no, Marc looks like a girl I've seen in a Chaplin movie. On THAT cover pic we see the feminine side of Marc, I think. I mean, he doesn't look like young Hemingway or Clint Eastwood on the cover, right? I'll hunt down that movie to prove my case! :-) My fave cover, by the way! That and E.W.
(Am I rambling again?)
In those days, - what a feeling, what a sensation to pick up a T.Rex LP and see the dark blue Marc On Wax label with the red head and shoulders. No label have ever promised so much! Even today I pick up T.Rex LPs or singles just to see that label and reminisce. Although I mostly play the CD's these days.
I lived in the south-west of Norway and my girlfriend came from the north to visit me in the Easter Holiday. We listened to "Slider" all the time, many times a day, every day.
We bought rings just before the jeweler closed his store, we ran home and ran into the shower. And out again. Finally, while I only wore boxer-shorts and still was a bit wet, we got engaged, while "Slider" was on the turntable. With that music, how could we go wrong? I look at it as a blessing. We've been married for 17 years now! And "Slider" is my wife's fave T.Rex album!
Is this a "Slider" review??? <G>
Let me move in time till today!
First, let me tell that "Slider" has always been a winter season LP to me. I listen to it in the summertime too, yes - but it's definitely a winter album. Probably because I got it, and learnt to know it, and love it, during a classic "northern part of Norway winter season". Besides, the music is HOT, the inner-sleeve is red and red is a hot colour. In this "arctic" part of the world we have to go for the heat where it can be found. <g>
("Tanx" is pure summer, "Brown Album" is winter, oh I could go on....)
To me, "Slider" is Marc's "Urban Jungle Record". It has always been. When I listen to it with my eyes closed, I see the big city, the cars, the neon lights, rainy nights. I see the Mystic Lady - also known as Riding sliding Sorceress.
She has left the wonderful landscapes she used to live in. Where, if the moon is low at night, - you see unicorns in silhouette on hill tops and elves play by the riverstreams, and the wizard is your friend.
"Chariots of Silk she rode - Stallions of gold she owned".
Marc slowly drifted away from the Tolkien/C.S. Lewis inspired "fantasy" images found on the four Tyr. Rex albums and the "Brown Album". On "Electric Warrior", the "fantasy" images are almost gone, but Marc's writing is wonderful as always and he's looking in a new direction. On "Slider" there are women (I know, they've always been there), cars and sex and autobiographically references ("Spaceball Ricochet", "Main Man", "Ballrooms of Mars" and the references might be in other songs too.)
Angel of the night, New York witch, Belladonna child in Max's Kansas City (riding on the highways).
Rainy lady, Queen of the Rock, the rock and roll child, Baby Strange, the gutter gaunt gangster, Mild mouthed Rita, the Mystic Lady, Tramp king of the city and Moondog, Telegram Sam and his "companions".
All these characters in an Urban Jungle setting. (They wouldn't fit in among the elves by the riverstreams would they?)
That's how I see it, and hear it, and read it, and understand it.
Next time you walk the streets at night, remember - you might meet some of these people under a magical moon.
And - there are things in night that are better not to behold.
1999 - or how I hear the songs TODAY.
Thank you for reading.
Sverre (sorry for rambling - I snipped away a couple of K's) <g>
=== Review by Simes ===The Slider reviewy giddy whirly sorta thingy by Simes.
Well, what can one say about The Slider?
The main thing that floods into my head is Christmas 1972. Im ten years old and me eldest sister and her husband bought me the album for my Christmas present. The previous year they had bought me Electric Warrior for Christmas. They always asked what I wanted but before I could reply, she would say T. Rex I suppose!
The sleeve : from another time, the whole feel of that grainy picture showing a ghostly Marc with trees in the background, it was so striking. The hat seemed very Dickensian, very fragile, the look seemed to be Look at me NOW because I wont be here forever....it wasnt the pouting or smiling or flirting Marc that Id been recently seeing in magazines like Fan but more like a stark This is me stripped bare and honest.....the fading out on Marcs right side (left as you look at it above the T.R of the logo) seemed like melting snow, like he was being re-absorbed into the misty leaves behind him. Or thats what it seemed like to an open-minded ten year old! And I never took any drugs, either!
The sheer arrogance of the catalogue number BLN 5001 was like Yeah BOLAN!!! as much as Telegram Sam was T.REX 101 (and beneath Y-T.Rex 101) and Metal Guru was MARC 1. When I taped the Monitor Mixes CD of The Slider from the 15th Anniversary Box set (and the Tanx Monitor Mixes from the accompanying 15th Anniversary Box Set on the other side of the tape for him) for a workmate at HMV in the early 90s, I told him all this about the sleeve of The Slider and he looked at me and said Ive spent a fortune on acid trying to get like what youre like naturally with real resentment!
Anyway, sorry to go off on a personal note again, as I always seem to, but as with all Marcs singles and albums, this is such a pinpoint of a specific time for me, whereas Electric Warrior always reminds me of the devastating death of my mother, The Slider sees us re-located to a new house......at this time, the area I was born, one of Nottinghams...er...rough and ready working class areas, was being re-developed in the name of (alleged) progress and being labelled with that dreadful term housing estate and in December 1971 we were shifted about half a mile as the crow flies to the new glorious new council houses with...not only a toilet inside (what a luxury, I could hardly believe it) but a bathroom! With a bath AND another toilet! No more sitting in the tin bath in front of the fire having the rapidly cooling water topped up out of a saucepan of boiling water! Wow, talk about the lap of the gods! The whole new clean slate of our turbulent lives was exemplified in the way the bulldozers callously tore down the houses where generations of families had lived, they were pulling down the old back-to-back houses and the outside toilets and proper. As another Marc sang, Marc Almond Tearing down the slums to build the new, tearing down the love I had with you (Tears Run Rings)
Going back to see the house where I was born and seeing the front door smashed down and the inside half demolished is something I shall never forget. Opening the door and seeing a zillion tiny mice scuttling away over the bare floorboards, gone in a trice. I remember my Dad going back there on his own One last time to look at it and say Goodbye to my Mam and the old life we were leaving behind and Hello to who knows what in the brand spanking new shiney council houses with front and back gardens and a SHED in the back garden, which after scrutinising it, informed my Dad and one of my brothers Ill use this for the T. Rex Fan Club.
So anyway, a year on and whereas Electric Warrior helped me through a confusing, hellishly traumatic time, The Slider continued to help with its theraputic abilities. Just knowing that I was getting the LP for Christmas (we didnt have much money for LPs and knowing that it was out for so long before Christmas tore me up.....but patience is a virtue!) and I was reminded of that fact in a poster that the local paper shop had Marc Bolan SuperShow which cost 15p....I remember it was on a Tuesday tea-time, seeing it, knowing that 15p would be hard to find and sitting on the stairs at home crying, refusing to tell my next up in the line brother what was wrong. Me Dad came home from work at 5.45 and said, with great consternation Whats the matter? I remember sobbing Sharps Newsagents have got a Marc Bolan SuperShow and theres only one left and it costs 15 pence! and he looked at me with a look I saw many times over the years when it was A Marc Situation (i.e. a new single out) and he got 15p out of his trouser pocket and said Youd better get down there quick then, they shut at six and I ran (fleetfootedly) like something posessed and got there just as they were about to shut and bought it. But The Giddy Rarn Childe Point to all this is that on the inside there was a quiz and one of the questions was What song has the lines Desolation angel on the cover of my paper? and I didnt know the answer was Rock On as I didnt have the LP. I felt I wasnt a proper Marc fan!
So to get onto the tracks would be a good idea!
So there it is, Im rattlin on in me usual Giddy Rarn Childe stylee, but once again, everybody, All The Cats (you know who they are) thanks for listenin and letting me share my remeniscences with ya. And as the Main Man said ; ROCK ON.
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