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Metal Guru - EP

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Album Review

A sprawling seven-disc set rounds up Edsel's remastered reissues of all six T. Rex albums released between 1972-1977 (that is, Slider, Tanx, Zinc Alloy, Bolan's Zip Gun, Futuristic Dragon and Dandy in the Underworld), together with an opening disc cherry-picking highlights from the rest of the archive — the alternate versions of each album that accompanied each of the reissues on their first go-round, and the "works in progress" Unchained series that picked up period demos, outtakes and rarities. As such, it's this initial disc that will probably be of the most interest to the casual purchaser — that is, anyone who didn't feel compelled to buy everything else, as it appeared. The regular albums are great, of course (and Slider is even better than that), but if you're putting out the money for a seven-CD box set, you probably already have a good idea what a lot of it sounds like, a career curve that starts out at the highest point imaginable, dips one disc at a time to its mid-'70s low, and then slowly begins creeping up again. Dandy in the Underworld, the last all-new album released during Bolan's lifetime, really was a return to form. Indeed, the greatest disappointment here is that the compilers did not wrap things up with a look at the LP upon which Bolan was working at the time of his death. Nevertheless, anybody looking for a one-stop digest of T. Rex through the '70s will be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive package than this.

Biography

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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