534 356-2 Tanx
Produced by Tony Visconti
Released on March 23, 1973
UK CHART POSITION #4 . . . US CHART POSITION #102
Find it at GEMM
534 356-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 9.0: TANX BUT NO TANX. The cloak of insouciant inscrutability had fallen, and what remained seemed insipid, uninspired. Where once shone omnipotence, now impotence. Bolan should have stayed on top of his mountain rather than clambering down to court the masses that had heretofore climbed to meet him. Up there, he looked so big; down here, not so very big at all. The rationale behind Tanx (if in fact there was one) revolved around retooling the T. Rex sound to stay relevant in a world that was “coming down” from glam’s ethereal splendor. The Bolan of Tanx is a creature of flesh and bone, a mere mortal who grinds and bumps his way through the sewage of spewed-out saxophone solos, rock guitar riffs and misplaced mellotron. Okay, so I’m being overly harsh, but Tanx treads over the same beaten terrain without adding a bit of inspired commentary. “Country Honey,” “Life Is Strange,” “Mister Mister,” your fathers were much-admired men to whom you cannot hold a candle. There are moments on Tanx where the fragrant past wafts through the air (the end of “Tenement Lady,” the chorus of “Shock Rock”), and “The Street And The Babe Shadow” is insidiously catchy from the get-go, but the rest of this is strictly second- or bottom-shelf Bolan. Of course, I tend to part company with T.Rex fans somewhere shy of blind devotion, so I have no trouble excusing myself so quickly from a party that only a short while ago (The Slider) was a stone blast. If you’re intent on following Bolan into the sucky mid Seventies anyway, the expanded 1997 remaster is the way to go. It sounds better, collects some of his last classic singles (“Children of the Revolution,” “Solid Gold Easy Action,” “20th Century Boy”), contains a creepy Christmas message from beyond the grave and features excellent commentary from Mark Paytress.

534 356-2 back sleeve
534 356-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. TENEMENT LADY    2:54
  2. RAPIDS    2:48
  3. MISTER MISTER    3:29
  4. BROKEN-HEARTED BLUES    2:02
  5. SHOCK ROCK    1:41
  6. COUNTRY HONEY    1:46
  7. ELECTRIC SLIM AND THE FACTORY HEN    3:02
  8. MAD DONNA    2:16
  9. BORN TO BOOGIE    2:04
  10. LIFE IS STRANGE    2:30
  11. THE STREET AND BABE SHADOW    2:17
  12. HIGHWAY KNEES    2:32
  13. LEFT HAND LUKE AND THE BEGGAR BOYS    5:15

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  14. CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION    2:27
  15. JITTERBUG LOVE    2:56
  16. SUNKEN RAGS    2:52
  17. SOLID GOLD EASY ACTION    2:20
  18. XMAS MESSAGE    0:12
  19. 20TH CENTURY BOY    3:38
  20. FREE ANGEL    2:13

    JPN CD reissue bonus tracks
  21. CADILLAC
  22. FREE ANGEL

    All songs written and composed by Marc Bolan

CREDITS

MARC BOLAN -- vocals, guitars
STEVE CURRIE -- bass
MICKEY FINN -- conga, hand percussion, vocals
BILL LEGEND -- drums
Caey Howard -- saxophones
Tony Visconti -- mellotron, string arrangements
Peter Howe -- front cover photography
Mike Putland and friends -- back cover photographs
John Kosh -- cover design and preparation
Joern Kroeger -- sleeve adaptation

return to T. REX discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 23, 1973 EMI LP BLN 5002 picture sleeve, poster
US March 23, 1973 Reprise LP MS-2132 gatefold cover, poster
JPN 1973 EMI/Odeon LP EOP-80777 picture sleeve
JPN 1973 EMI LP EMS-50106  
MEX 1973 EMI LP SLEM-456  
JPN 1983 SMS LP SP20-5060  
UK 1987 Marc On Wax LP/LPPIC RAP/RAPD504 avail. as picture disc
UK July 1994 Demon CD 9004  
US 1995 Edsel CD 391  
UK   Repertoire CDX REP4892 w. bonus tracks
US 1997 Chronicles CDX 534 356 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK 2002 Edsel 2CDX MEDCD-716 dig.rem. w. bonus tracks repackaged
w. LEFT-HAND LUKE: THE ALTERNATE TANX
UK 2005 Get Back LPPIC GET-634P picture disc
JPN 2007 Imperial CDX TECI-25433 w. JPN bonus tracks
JPN 2008 Imperial CDX TECI-26528 SHMCD w. JPN bonus tracks
JPN 2008 Imperial CDXLE TECI-26565 ltd.ed. SHMCD w. JPN bonus tracks

 

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