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"Well baby, baby I was born to
Born to Boogie - Marc Bolan.
T.Rex - Tanx
List of Reviewers
=== Review by Zoom ===Right after out of hospital from my motorcycle accident, right before flight to Boston, I wrote TRex/Marc Bolan albums review on the local magazine. (btw, my pix of the Tiller's site was taken in Boston, right after moved into college dorm, '85. I don't have any other picture relating to TRex. so...) I remember I recommended TANX the best at that time.
This is indisputably 70's album (in fact, all TRex first three are). Whereas Tyranno's innocent sounds timeless, the late TRex goes progressive. Now, here may be a bomb to drop you. This is nothing to do with the recent "Dragon"-bashing, however, I cannot wipe out the impression of either TANX sounds blue-print of DRAGON, or DRAGON sounds pumped up version of TANX. Here you go:
I'm sure that the track formation came from the vinyl format but they sounds so visavis.
=== Review by Rick ===
For me it has so much , a time in my life that every listen is invoked (a very good time) - also the REAL beginning of the separation I mentioned earlier.
I was in Vermont the first time I heard it , myself and a group of mates -about 20- borrowed my family's Chalet in Mt..Snow & as we all sat outside listening to it all my friends said "WHAT CRAP".
I was amazed.. I was sitting there thinking SHIT this is gonna make Marc in the U.S.A. it did have a more American feel to it them Slider-
All they kept saying is - No melodies , no soft acoustic's etc . I will never forget this --i went to my room & cried .literally - After only one listening I had the melody of "Left hand Luke" STUCK in my head .....
"Tenement lady" I still remember when on my first listening where the song separates ..to the "Oh my darling there are many ways to love you" I felt as if Marc was talking to me & me alone ... plus it had such a feel of "Raw ramp" to it
Well .I won't say i wasn't disappointed when i heard "Shock rock" -Such an important followup Lp was not the place to put together a choppy song , just to make a stab at critics . And it made him look silly cause he WAS the one that loved to SHOCK (& ROCK) but that feeling Quickly drifted away when "Country Honey" came on ! to this day i think it is one of Marc most over looked Chestnuts
"Life is Strange" - I can quote every lyric to this song , and i do either in my own head or in mails at least once a day . It just seems to be like a chant , albeit a rosary , for me . Those lyrics have gotten me thru many a day in my dealing with all the Knuckle-Heads of this world . Some are fast and some are slow
And just before the grande finale of "Left Hand Luke" Marc takes us on a little journey thru -"The Street" & "The Highway" - two seperate songs that in essence are attached . As the last verse says "I'm on my Knees I'm Begging Please"
And then it comes ...."Left Hand Luke" .. A gospel song if ever i heard one!! Marc is searching ..Looking for redemption in the face of his life . he bares his soul : "If you had some silver mister how much would you pay for me"
I guess Marc saw the spirit in that man in New Orleans -& in turn looked inside himself . And thank you Marc for a lyric that has also been a chant for me .. (and also the BEST lyric I've ever read ) "Call yourself Friend, and Look me in the EYE"
=== Review by MarcO ===O.K. folks, it's review time.
This never was one of my favourite Marc albums, but nevertheless, I still dig it out from time to time and give it a spin. My copy has seen a few christmases now, 23 to be exact, and it's time I went looking for a replacement. Tenement Lady has suffered the most, it jumps for about two thirds of the song.
Well, first off, it sounds as though Marc was really up for this album, and Visconti wasn't. I'm sure Mr V. would argue that though. The album opens with the aforementioned Tenement Lady, a below average Bolan composition, IMO, and I dont get the idea of the split, for me it doesn't work, he tried it on Zinc with Jive / Spanish midnight, didn't get that either.
Rapids comes next, a real gem, even better, Bolan at his best. Great lyrics, guitar work, Marc screaming out, "you drive me wild" I'd give my right arm to have heard this one live. I used to work in a bar, and occasionally I'd make some tapes up to play whilst working, when this one came on you could see the customers leave their conversation and concentrate on the song. Superb.
Mister Mister, crap, just filling out the album. What was he looking for?
Broken Hearted Blues. An above average song, nice lyrics, played well. I love the "chasing wind" line, it reminds me of me. Nothing out of the ordinary though.
Country Honey. This one rocks, Marc sings it well, I cant make out all of the instruments though. Another reference to jeep in this one, Marc and his cars!
Electric slim and the factory hen. I like this track, one my favourites. A good melody combined with excellent lyrics. This is the one that I find myself humming an awful lot. Agian, Marc sings it well, and again I cant fathom out all the instruments used. Pixiephone maybe? I wonder if Marc used a different guitar for some of these tracks? perhaps some of the more knowledgeable here can tell me.
Side two begins with Mad Donna, I guess Marc liked this track 'cos he sung it on the Cilla Black show when they did that amazing duet of Lifes A Gas and Marc sang the best I've ever heard him sing. Mad Donna though, sorry playmates, not for me.
Born to Boogie, Born to shmoogie, This was a B side, makes a great ashtray. Dire mega crap. Sorry Marc.
Life is Strange. It sure is. Marc doing his fat 'n'thin bit, good and bad, lifes an elevator, yeah Marc, we've heard it all before. Great tune though. wrong lyric.
The Street And Babe Shadow. This is where Marc and Tony need a swift kick up the arse. Next.
Highway Knees. Ahhh, thats better, see, I told ya. Brilliant, superb, great, etc. etc. If Marc spent more time pleasing himself instead of trying to please the critics this type of song would not be so few and far between. And it's so simple, no fancy stuff on this track, pure Bolan magic. Go to the top of the class.
Left Hand Luke. A lesson in the art of writing and composing music. Shit hot, how many of those so called superstars had wished they'd written this one. Anyone listening to this album and thinking " hmm marcs losing it", gets a sharp reminder from the main man that he's still a force to be reckoned with. This song sorta says, well I know it's not a great album, but I can still bang one home when I want to.
The cover stinks, why the title? Rating out of 10. 4. Lefty deserves 10 on it's own though. MarcO.
=== Review by Simes ===
So, kids of Rarn, here's humble ol' Ms. Bonio Thang's review, sorry it's late-ish but better late than never and all that cliched twoddle!
Again, it's hard to review - for me - without a kickstart to memories hidden deep in the darkest canyons of me probably 'not right in the head' mind. Things that maybe I care to gloss over or bury and other things that surface and are greeted with pleasure.
So, I got Tanx for me birthday, March 1973. I was eleven and later that year would soon to start big school (where the bullies would push your head down the toilet and flush the chain. I now visit clubs in Amsterdam and Eindhoven that specialise in these.....er.....diversities.) But, I digress again, the wibbly wobbly road of me mind takes a gentle bend and we espie the signpost pointing 'Tanx - 3 miles'.
I remember that people considered the cover 'Ooo-err!' with the tank imaging a hard-on but it was the boa, the hair, the shoes, all the pix on the back, the jazzy blue inner bag and that bloody great big poster! The T.Rex and Tanx lettering on the front was copied and copied onto whatever I could get me hands on. I thought that typeface was sooooo snazzy!
So, Tenement Lady - still a fave, I know about the link but as with just about the whole LP (bar Born 2 Boogie, but that was a b-side after all) it is swathed in this thick and almost touchable mesh of effects, the Mellotron and phasing sent me delerious, it was 'Itchycoo Park' ..."I'm often inclined to blow my mind" to my young ears. I love it to this day. When I first visited Rick's site and added my graffiti, I quoted one of me fave Marc lines ever: "Under sheets of silk I slyly peep at you". The fake faulty start had me examining the stylus for dust for the first two or three plays.
Rapids - "My baby's not free, son, but I'm loose about midnight" -Wow! Was it a bloke singing to another bloke that tho' his female partner was unavailable but he was up for it? I was so turned on. Again, nice guitar work spesh towards the end, rolling and flowing like a stream, easy waves that had me imitating them in front of the mirror with me cardboard guitar and crepe paper feather boa. (This was only last Wednesday.)
Mister Mister - nice plinky piano from that anonymous was it 14 year old French student. But again, I find that the thread that links just about all the trax bar BtoB and Mad Donna is a blanket of melancholy, sorta harping back to 'The Seal Of Seasons' and 'The Throat Of Winter' - that almost intangiable something that is quite sad.
Broken Hearted Blues was a big time fave, a song I would have loved to have written - 'Chasing wind as a boy, was a spacious, sexual toy' (or on the Edsel remasters, they quote it as "Jason Wind as a boy...") lovely eloquent sax in just the right restrained amounts. Kicking in again, a bit of a formulated Bolan Boogie Blueprint for 'Shock Rock' pretty well disposable. Nice and short, though, which is a blessing. The theme kinda continues with Country Honey, great guitar work, really funky and strutty.
But then after the rude interruption of Shock Rock and the slightly less frantic Country Honey, we get back on the mellow tip with the superlatively melancholy 'Electric Slim & The Factory Hen':'Steady on, soldier, watch what you're doin' to my girl'. I have sat here for at least ten minutes trying to put into words just what it is in this song, the production is deep, oh, I dunno, but 'At dead of night like a fiery kite you bin on my miiiiind'. How dare anyone say that Marc wrote bollocks. You KNOW when you just can't get someone outta your head, be it love, lust, unrequited love, lost love, whatever, tossing and turning and just wanting it to STOP!! but there's an itch in your head that you just can't scratch, that line sums it up so more than adequately for me. It sounded like the guitars were undulating, swelling up and down, that lovely echo-y feel to it and the way it trails off, not really ending but almost 'to be continued...'
Mad Donna, real in yer face, but with a drum start that reminds me of the intro to Deep Purple's 'Never Before' off 'Machine Head', "I'm a foxy maaaan, don'cha unnerstaaaaaaand?" sexy, hip thrusting crotch grabbing pub piano goodtime rock and roll. I would have loved to have seen Little Richard & Marc doing a duet on this, two big camp egos trying to outdo each other, Marc's corkscrews and Richard's whooshed up quiff!!
Born To Boogie, again a bit formulated now, but at the time, the Xmas message and then the intro, but still a rocker not a shocker! Back into Melancholysville with 'Life Is Strange' with the reversed drums or whatever it is in the intro, the swooosh! ssswwwoooosh! then the prriiiiing! of the acoustic and 'Stray-haynge, life is stray-uh-anynge' but then in those first four lines I always thought he sang 'Oh, life is a strain'???? Marc sounded weary and pissed off on this, not pissed off nastily but 'Oh, sod it' sorta pissed off. Resigned to the fact that the world is basically full of selfish arseholes. A real easy track with the birdsong, a very spacial sounding track.
Then the blam! whammy kiss of 'Tiger Tim, the tightrope walker, tried to steal the drag queen's daughter' - more crazy characters from Marc's mauve mashed mind, 'Frozen Joe, the ballet boxer' and 'Painted toes and purple earlobes, life's a gas but it's SUCH a scene, though, babe, I do mean, babe'. Although an uptempo sax wailing boogie-r, there still remains that thread of aforementioned intangiable sadness and almost resignation.
'Highway Knees' - do these fab titles never stop coming? That Mellotron vibe swirling in the background, deep in the mix somewhere, 'On maah knees, I'm a beggin' please, uhohuh'. The gorgeous guitar break, effortlessly pouring from the grooves. Pop it on in the morning when yer making the first cuppa of the day and trying to wake up!
Then the ultimate ending to the album, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' before 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was thought up, a grandiose, aloof but humble at the same time. "Call yourself 'friend' and look me in the aaaaaaaaaaaahhh, I'll unstrap mah knees and I'll apologise" fuckin' hell (and that's swearing!) it just builds and builds, spiralling upwards and intensifying in emotions, where was Marc coming from on this one? Where was he going? That final verse 'Ain't had no money, lord, but it's plain to seeeeee....if you had some silver mister how much would you pay for me?' (or as I originally thought, 'if you had some silver misty hammers would you play for me'!!) (she's not right, that one!) and the final, Zeppelin coming down in flames, massive expulsion of 'phhhhhhwooooahhhhhh!!!!' at the end, maybe signalling the end of T.Rextasy as we knew it?
The album many hated, but I think it was a lovely change, maybe if Marc had ditched what musta been formulated playing to the kids rockin' fillers like Shock Rock, Born To Boogie and even Mad Donna, he could have had a Pet Sounds on his hands. I still rate it exceptionally highly.
And as we all have said, a very personal album to me, which, as I've said before re: Marc's LP's, signifies a very specific period in me life. Not long after me Mam had died, really, and a move of house and a change of school, going to big school etc. etc. Getting 'Jackie' magazine cos it had a big colour of Marc in that pink glittery dinner jacket astride the tank, walking home to the new estate from school through the streets where I was born that were being boarded up and torn down, the once thriving and thronging streets deserted, it seemed like it was a fake, like a film set, I could walk round the backs and see the struts holding the canvas up, then on the horizon, two older boys coming towards me, joined along with me and began walking either side of me, back the way they had already come, very strange, an awful feeling of trepidation percolating through me head, they began asking if I knew someone who beat their little brother up at the other school and then tookg me down one of the deserted entries and beating the shit out of me, all the time I was thinking " I hope they don't take me 'Jackie' " and when they ran off laughing, I wiped the blood from my nose and felt in my Parka pocket (everybody's Parkas had red lining, but for some bizarre reason, mine had a canary yellow lining of which I felt particularly proud of) (camp queen) anyway, feeling that me 'Jackie' was still there and dusting meself down and proceeded, in tears of shock, through the barren streets. This is what I always associate with 'Tanx', that same melancholy feeling that I felt on those streets where I was raised.
So, you lot, I've rattled on once more and opened the creaking door to me mind..........I love 'Tanx'!!!
Thanks for getting this far, O Tillers!
Love on me highway knees,
=== Review by blackink ===
Fuck it! I'll do the review now:
I never heard Tanx when it first came out. (long story, short version: I was in foster care and then got shipped off to boarding school so I simply didn't have access to anything Bolanesque till many years after my initial (Slider) introduction.) At any rate...One day when I was about 14, I walked into a record store in Tel Aviv (of all places) and hanging from the ceiling was a poster of (OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!)... MARC BOLAN!!!!! sitting on top of that tank. They didn't have the album. So for years (till I went to England in 84 actually), I had to be content with the memory of that poster. Then I went on a Bolan binge and purchased everything I could get my hands on.
I really like the album...though I don't think it equals his earlier stuff. It sounded to me (the first time I heard it) like he was trying a bit too hard, whereas on Slider and EW it all just came so naturally, this one sounds a bit forced. I still like it though...and even though I had to settle for a second hand copy of the vinyl when I finally did get it, I managed to get one that still had the poster. :)))))
=== Review by Fee ===
I don't think I can add anything to the review done already by Simes.
Except, Great cover. Great Title. Short and catchy. Loved the way Mary Whitehouse* complained and tried to get the adverts for it banned. I was 13 and this was just what I wanted! Lots of fun!
I'm listening to it now. The review: Great! Poetry, Sheer Poetry! Brought tears to my eyes! Definitely an album which seemed to sum up the extreme emotions of adolescence (well for me anyway).
And Simes, yep, I'd have been more concerned about my Jackie at the time too! I used to risk detention to nip to the shop during breaktime to buy it!
*One of those campaigners to get everything censored - she even tried to get Tom and Jerry banned for being too violent, (silly Cow).
=== Review by t i m o t (part 1) ===simes,
what a moving story that was,the best bit of writting ive read so far with the exception of fee,she lives for her keyboard and boy, has she got some wit..
Well i was fostered in the early 70s, my foster sister Karen,she was about 13 at the time in 1972 ,well she was a total marc fan,glitter on her mush,12" platforms and blue silk jeans.
I was almost 12 at the time and liked marc a lot but due to my back ground did not owen 1 single record,but she had them.Then some time in 73 she got the tanx lp from her uncle,this is my favorite lp,the best track i loved and still do is the street and the babe shadow.I used to sneak into her bed room <dont think about it>drag it out from under her bed?, crawl down the stairs,it was a large house,next to cape hill breweris,tip toe into the living room <no tiny tim gags please> put the lp on low and compress my ear to the mono speaker and turn it on low,my foster parents slept very light,i'd sit there in the cold with out putting on the fire and play it over and over again.
My foster sister got most of all marc bolan records and went to see him at brum.There she got some memoribiller,booklets and cocert guff ,which in the end i kept most of all her lp's until some foster gits yes gits got hold of them and decided to play frizby in the back yard,at the time we had a large alsation<mutt>bitch,she got in on the act catching them and also landing in its own shit. SO i got home and saw the devistation,the was problem kids with a bigger problem comming to them.I salvaged what i could,mad my self a stereo out of an old gram,i added an exrta speaker,so what i know now twin mono, i belted out tanx for months giving those little brats a long lasting memory of marc.It was pure revenge and it was sweet,i got all the lp's again over the years,some not the original,but just glad to here the songs and the lyrics of my man yet again made it all so worth it.
SO simes putting heads down the bogs and flushing the toilet,yes it happened to me and like sckool ,school tradition you pass it on,i went to sandwell boys,it then became thomas telford high,i designed the school badge and won an award,yep the royal flush from the bigger boys.The school is next to the W.B.A football grounds were all thickos and idiots went to.Marc played an active roll in my life there, i left the school just 6 weeks before his death,he his still part of me and for ever more.
t i m o t
=== Review by t i m o t (part 2) ===sod all wrong with lp,tanx is my favorite,you ivor like it or you dont <tuff shit> so if you dont like it..............DELETE NOW.................
Good we ain't got no critics
Tenement lady....i got a right round of slaps at school for singing it out load and out of tune,as there were a few of us at that time t.rex fans,i stood up and tried to impersonate my idol to no good turn i was no singer. My best lyric in this is"mind that swiftly falls apart"dont forget my good tillers your messing with doom toy here.
Mister mister............fantastic sax aswell as sex,this one did it,bolan defied the law of physics in this,at the end when he's singing"dee-dee bom bom "how did the man breath,till this day when i try to sing it i end up crashing to the ground clutching my chest trying to inhale,so unbelivable i love it.
Broken hearted blues......did i get adolecence? or what,i was in lust with a female teatcher who had a pair of jugs that was like twin tipped nuclear war heads,lust,lust and lust this song went through my head every time she tought us,as the lyric went"in the wind as a boy,was a spacious sexual toy."i went unnoticed by her, but that song reminds me of her.
Shock rock...........love this beat
Country honey.........yes i own a jeep now,a suzuki 413 sj,soft top,i wished i could have a jeep in the 70's.Great sound on this track the guitar appealed to me in it,never got the chance to study one.
Electric slim......i always wanted to know what this song was about?it got a saddish tune......
Mad donna.........a lot of energy in this and will always remind me of the christmas i had with my foster parents,they played this one at a pub were there was a big dinner and a big fat turkey roasting away.It was played all night long.
Born to boogie......got the video,this record was a boppin tune at the school youth wing,we danced the nights away,i never got to see the film at the cinamers the others did and cried all about it,shame.
Life is strange........wonderful voice and accustic,did he sing it in a park,all those birds,the distant hussle n bussle of life in the back ground,say no more
THE STREET AND THE BABE SHADOW....sorry about shouting but this one out of all marcs is my favorite,rick delvano can back me up on this.Out of all marcs works the lyrics and the tune do some thing to me which i can not explaine,"pain is meat and meat is people" hit home due to what happened to me as a child,it bought out to me people are hurt and not just me as i was...the tune,the sax and every thing is all one to me.TO much to put into words,just the feelings of this song is to great to express...........................
high way knees........the flute did it,nice and calming to me,was he singing about an ex lover?
Left hand luke........its been talked about recantly,was it hendrix or not?,dont know and dont care,could never understand why this was never out on a single to the charts.Out of all on this lp this song smacks you right in the kisser,"call yourself friend and look me in the eye"what other artist's do you know can belt out a lyric at the very begging of a song at that time as good as that.
I would like to have gone on about the tanx lp,im working nights this week so please forgive me again for any errors in spelling,i got a spell checker but i dont give a shit for it,think of me like that idiot policeman off "Hello,hello" gowd mouwning 2 uwl uo tillazzzzzzzz,
MY review is short,fank god but to run this lp down is a bad thing,it marks life and the reputation of a man that gave us all amount of joy.
T I M O T
=== Review by Syd ===
Went out to buy Tanx on the day it was released. Was in my 'O' level year at school. Did I go during my lunch break or was I nicking off PE (as usual)? Anyway, when I got back to school the Jock PE instructor pounced on me - "where were you during the PE lesson Jerram?" "I've got a bit of a cold today, Sir", "You're a crap liar Jerram and what have you got there, bloody T Rex, and you've got a crap taste in music, why don't you buy something decent like Emerson Lake and Palmer, Genesis or King Crimson."
Emerson Lake and bloody Palmer - SAD BASTARD. Wow they've stood the test of time. Like when was the last time you heard Brain Salad Surgery played on the radio?
Couldn't wait to get home to play the album. Tacky, tacky cover. Looks like a rushed job. Wait a minute, even the Tank is falling apart. The diagrams of the tank have got lines pointing at them, looks like they have been copied from a book and the labels removed. Marc looks pissed off. The cover has even got some sticky tape stuck on it, hang on that's on the photo image, it's been printed with sticky tape on the image. (Only my first copy of Tanx has this sticky tape image on the cover, is this a rarity, any body else got this image that looks like a piece of folded over sticky tape on the right hand side of the front cover as you look at it?) Was all this substandard packaging and photo imagery a purposeful pre punk attempt at shocking the establishment? When did the New York Dolls hit the scene? Was this a precursor?
Finally got home and spun the disc on my faithful monaural. Shit, shit, shit the stylus jumped across Rapids. Probably got a lemon pressing but decided to keep it as it was such a pain taking back your faulty records. Since that time found out that there was a lot of faulty pressings.
General view - it is a feel good sort of album. Never before have I tried to critically assess and analyse my Bolan albums in any great detail and I still can't find it within myself to do so. I know what I like and I like Bolan's music. I don't think that I could recite a complete Bolan song word for word but I love his lyrics. His voice is like music for me and his lyrics are boogie mind poetry. Tanx has some great songs - Tenement Lady - love the drift and the two songs in one approach, Rapids - used to be my fave on the album and would have loved Marc to have played it heavy metal style live, Electric Slim - A growing on you type of song pure poetry in motion, Street and Babe Shadow - sounds like an electric Tyrannosaurus Rex song, Left Hand Luke - oh to be in Louisiana, preferably with a Bad Girl!
=== Review by Deborah ===
Wonderful, review Syd. Funny, I dont remember much about getting Tanx. I think it was because I was busy collecting as much of the old stuff as possible. Thing is my copy skipped on Rapids too, that always bugged me, seeing it was my fav song on the album. That and Shock Rock. So I went out and got an 8 track too, which I still own. <g>
SO what I ended up doing was making a copy of a tape, with Tenement Lady, Rapids, Shock Rock, Mad Donna ( I loved the childs voice on that one) and Life is Strange, and mixed it with my other favorite TRex songs. Then I put the album away, which I still pull out of its box to look at sometimes. The pic of Marc in the phone booth always makes me smile. Only because I copied and made the jacket and pants and wore them whenever an occasion presented itself. I'd give any thing to still have that and the paisley glittered black velvet platforms shoes I wore with it! <g> I know I could still fit in them, well....I probabaly couldnt button the top buttons, I kept growing <g>
Left Hand Luke - oh to be in Louisiana, preferably with a Bad Girl!
=== Review by Rob ===Tanx was the second Trex album I ever bought, the first 'studio' Trex album I owned (ie. not a compliation, like Bolan's Boogie - which, incidently, was the first Trex album I owned.) Makes sense? Good!
I loved it. It was a great departure from 'Bolan's Boogie', but still contained the hooks, harmonies and riffs which made Trex so effective. I was knocked out by the bouyancy of the tunes, combined with the (at times) powerful lyrics.
I was, at the time, in my band, 'Changling Son'. Don't ask how we came by that name! The nearest we got to fame was by bragging myself into the office of the decision maker at Warner Chappell off Park Lane in London. Anyway, I played it to the bass player of the band, Simon Morton, who had never heard Trex before (properly) and he loved it. He was blown away by the bass lines. (He also nicked my tape of it!)
Anyway, he has since become an electric bass session musician working in London with various chart-topping bands and I have become a lowly designer.
I thank Trex and Steve Currie for getting Simon to where he is today, and curse my fat fingers, fatter larynix and musical ineptitude for putting me into IBM.
Oh well, you win some you lose some!
=== Review by Irving ===The Tanx experience (an album review, of sorts)
Here in New Zealand, we had to wait nearly 3 months after the UK release date before Tanx appeared in the shops. Naturally we, the fans, knew about Tanx and were waiting keenly for it's release. And when it finally arrived we weren't disappointed.
I remember going into Wellington from the suburbs (no record stores near home) and wandering all the way up Lambton Quay to Plimmer Steps. Yes, there were closer shops but halfway up the steps was Chelsea Records, the first record discounter in town. By walking the extra 1 km, I could buy an LP for $4.50 instead of the normal $5.75. Of course in those days I was a poor college student (secondary school) and couldn't afford the extra dollar (as opposed to now when I can afford it but am too tight to pay it, Scots blood!!).
Anyway back to the story...Well I finally got there and looked over a copy, EMI had done a great job! A lovely single sleeve (laminated) with lots of nice shots on the back cover, inside was the green inner sleeve with tech-style drawings of tanks and a poster. Great!! I didn't know it then but EMI NZ Ltd had issued the LP exactly like the original UK package (often in those days we got shoddy repackaging with inners/posters missing).
A quick glance down the tracklisting revealed only one familiar title I knew "Born To Boogie" from the Xmas single (well January by the time it was released here). But I wasn't about to let the lack of familiar numbers put me off, I parted with my money picked up "my copy" of Tanx (still have it) and ran for the train.
40 minutes later, I was home and taking the record out of the bag. As I placed it on the turntable, I saw that it had the now well known dark blue T.Rex label with Marc's picture. Soon the sounds of "Tenement Lady" came roaring from the speakers. I loved it, brilliant.
Since that winter's day, Tanx has always been one of my favourite albums.
It just rocks!! Witness "Shock Rock" & "Country Honey".
And the slower songs like "Broken Hearted Blues", Life Is Strange" & "Electric Slim" have certain melancholy groove to them.
It wasn't like any of Marc's previous albums and twenty-four years later it still sounds fresh. It seems the critics weren't so keen but I've always found this to be popular amongst people I know.
So keep off those Highway Knees and beware Mad Donna
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