The Slider (T.Rex/Reprise)
Chloe F. Orwell and Brad Elvis: After a, um, lively, hours-long discussion (can you tell we’re married?) we finally agreed on T.Rex: The Slider. And, we just realized this album is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Time has not tarnished its appeal.
God, this is one sexy album. The parents back in the day must have completely lost their shit when they discovered their teenagers listening to Marc Bolan. This androgynous, gorgeous, seemingly delicate flower of a man who could sound vulnerable and powerful all in the same breath. Ah, the golden age of glam.
After Chuck Berry, Marc Bolan may have perfected the rock & roll riff. You know a T.Rex riff when you hear one. Theproduction on this album is full without being mushy. Producer Toni Visconti took the wall of sound concept and made it so much easier to digest. Kept it lush without it being exhausting. There are a couple of times when you think there’s abaritone or tenor sax in the mix, but it’s the way the Les Paul (probably) and all the vocals are blending together. It’s an overtone creating an imaginary sax section, like on “Rock On.” We love when shit like that happens.
Flo and Eddie’s (google them, kids) backing vocals almost have an affirmational, gospel-like quality about them. And thestream-of-consciousness lead preacher, Bolan himself, can put you in a seductive trance with the title track or “Ballroom of Mars” and then compel you to clap your hands and sway and shimmy with every other track. Amen, baby!
A few other things worth noting: Some of best roll-off-the-tongue song titles in all of rock & roll appear on this album. “Baby Boomerang,” “Telegram Sam,” “Spaceball Ricochet” to name a few. And, Ringo Starr shot the cover photo, but you probably already knew that.
T.Rex Slides into Handcuffs: The Handcuffs’ Burn the Rails album is out now.