534 357-2 Zinc Alloy and The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow
Produced by Tony Visconti and Marc Bolan
Released on February 1, 1974
UK CHART POSITION #12
Find it at GEMM
534 357-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I f you’re looking for one of Bolan’s better post-Slider efforts, think Zinc. Tanx frankly stalled, but Zinc Alloy and The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow does a better job of finding middle ground between the “classic” T. Rex sound and Bolan’s newfound interest in American funk. The decision to employ a wider lexicon of rock sounds pushes Bolan closer to contemporaries like David Bowie, John Lennon and Bob Dylan, albeit without the sharp intellect. Ultimately uneven, Zinc Alloy does hit some pretty high highs all the same: “Venus Loon,” “Nameless Wildness,” “Teenage Dream” and “Explosive Mouth” update the T. Rex sound to good effect. There are quite a few sleepers on here as well, instances where Bolan steps from his own shadow to explore different settings as heard on “Galaxy,” “Change” and “Interstellar Soul.” As the album progresses, however, Bolan returns to the silly psychedelia that has always been his Achilles’ heel. Titles like “The Leopards Featuring Gardenia and The Mighty Slug” and “Carsmile Smith and The Old One” are merely masks for style without substance. If Zinc Alloy is occasionally indulgent, it’s more often inspired. In 1997, Chronicles released a remastered version of Zinc Alloy with terrific sound and a handful of bonus tracks from the period. That’s the version to own, bringing a certain amount of sparkle to songs that sounded tinny on vinyl (and Mark Paytress’ illuminating liner notes are always a treat). Of the bonus material, the acoustic “Sitting Here” is my favorite, reminding me of Bowie’s “Conversation Piece.”

534 357-2 inner gatefold 534 357-2 back sleeve
534 357-2 inner gatefold 534 357-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. VENUS LOON    3:01
  2. SOUND PIT    2:50
  3. EXPLOSIVE MOUTH    2:26
  4. GALAXY    1:48
  5. CHANGE    2:47
  6. NAMELESS WILDNESS    3:06
  7. TEENAGE DREAM (UNEDITED VERSION)    5:45
  8. LIQUID GANG    3:17
  9. CARSMILE SMITH AND THE OLD ONE    3:16
  10. YOU'VE GOT TO JIVE TO STAY ALIVE - SPANISH MIDNIGHT    2:35
  11. INTERSTELLAR SOUL    3:26
  12. PAINLESS PERSUASION v. THE MEATHAWK IMMACULATE    3:26
  13. THE AVENGERS (SUPERBAD)    4:28
  14. THE LEOPARDS FEATURING GARDENIA AND THE MIGHTY SLUG    3:36

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  15. THE GROOVER    3:21
  16. MIDNIGHT    2:45
  17. *TRUCK ON (TYKE)    3:06
  18. *SITTING HERE    2:18
  19. SATISFACTION PONY    2:48

    All tracks written by Marc Bolan

CREDITS

MARC BOLAN --
B.J. COLE --
THE COSMIC CHOIR:
  SISTER PAT HALL --
  THE GLORIA JONES --
  BIG RICHARD --
STEVE CURRIE --
MICKEY FINN --
JACK GREEN --
LONNIE JORDAN --
MAESTRO DAVID KATZ & THE POP ARTS ORCHESTRA -- strings
BILL LEGEND --
DANNY THOMPSON --
Tony Visconti -- string arrangements
Richard Fitzgerald -- front cover photography
John Kosh -- original cover preparation
Neal Preston -- back cover photography
Alphi -- Polaroids

return to T. REX discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK February 1, 1974 EMI LP/8T BLNA/8XBLNA 7751 gatefold cover, inner sleeve
ITA   EMI LP C064 95172 inner sleeve
UK October 1983 Marc on Wax LP MARCL 505 gatefold cover
  1991/92 Combat/Relativity CD/CS 8250  
US 1997 Chronicles CDX 534 357 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
GER August 1, 2000 Repertoire CDX RR 4905 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN May 23, 2001 Teichiku CDX TECI 24057 w. 2 bonus tracks (*)
UK July 17, 2002 Edsel 2CDX MEDCD 717 w. bonus disc

 

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