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Tanx (Deluxe)

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Album Review

By 1973's Tanx, the T. Rex hit-making machine was beginning to show some wear and tear, but Marc Bolan still had more than a few winners up his sleeve. It was also admirable that Bolan was attempting to broaden the T. Rex sound — soulful backup singers and horns are heard throughout, a full two years before David Bowie used the same formula for his mega-seller Young Americans. However, Tanx did not contain any instantly recognizable hits, as their past couple of releases had, and the performances were not quite as vibrant, due to non-stop touring and drug use. Despite an era of transition looming on the horizon for the band, tracks such as "Rapids," "Highway Knees," "The Street & Babe Shadow," and "Born to Boogie" contain the expected classic T. Rex sound. The leadoff track, "Tenement Lady," is an interesting Beatle-esque epic, while "Shock Rock" criticizes the early-'70s glam scene, which T. Rex played a prominent role in creating. Other highlights include one of Bolan's most gorgeous and heartfelt ballads, "Broken Hearted Blues," as well as the brief, explosive rocker "Country Honey." Tanx marked the close of what many consider T. Rex's golden era; unfortunately, the band members would drift off one by one soon after, until Bolan was the only one remaining by the mid-'70s. Like the 1997 Polygram CD reissue of The Slider, the 1997 version of Tanx contains seven extra bonus tracks, including such non-album hits as "Children of the Revolution" and "20th Century Boy."


Formed: 1967

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The most iconic band of the U.K. glam rock scene of the '70s, T. Rex were the creation of Marc Bolan, who started out as a cheerfully addled acolyte of psychedelia and folk-rock until he turned to swaggering rock & roll with boogie rhythm and a tricked-up fashion sense. For a couple years, T. Rex were the biggest band in England and a potent cult item in the United States. If their stardom didn't last, their influence did, and T. Rex's dirty but playful attitude and Bolan's sense of style and rock...
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