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4.1 out of 5 stars18
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 8 July 2004
When this album first came out it was dismissed, overlooked or plain ignored by just about everyone. It was not the normal type of T.Rex/Marc Bolan music everyone expected but something that hinted of much more.
The album has a lot of soul influences but tempered against a "white rock and roll" background. In a way it paved the way for the "white soul" of later in the decade.
Ignore the song titles, some of which are just plain silly but listen to the music and the words and you will get a selection of highly infectious songs, still as fresh today as when they were first written that stay in the memory long after the c.d. is over.
Marc Bolan was an innovator. Laughed at in his day but nearly thirty years after his death is finally receiving the recognition denied to him when he was alive.
Together with "Electric Warrior"and "The Slider" this album is an essential for anyone wanting to discover what Marc Bolan was all about.
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on 13 March 2006
'Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow' was released in 1974 (which may I say is a splendid title.) As an album people have said that it was a comercial failure. Marc was trying to get rid of the glam rock sound and adding soul and making the T.Rex sound heavier. Adding more strength in backing vocals, heavy guitars, a louder more hard hitting sound.
In my opinion I think this album is under-rated. It deserves more recognition that what It's earned I think. Also the album was a real grower on me. The more I listened to it the more I liked it.
The album starts off with the song 'Venus loon'. 'Venus loon' is a very cathchy song. Same with 'Sound Pit', 'Explosive Mouth', and 'Galaxy'. Also when I listen to all these songs there is something quite magical about it that I just can't put my finger on. 'Change' is a down tempo song which is has a nice sadness about it. Nameless Wildness is a fun song. 'Teenage Dream' the only single from the album. 'Teenage Dream' is a masterpiece! The song is soposed to be about Marc's star on a wane. 'Liquid Gang' another catchy fun song. 'Carsmile Smith and the Old One' is another sad song. Then a beautiful medley arrives - 'You've got to jive to stay alive / Spanish Midnight'. 'Interstellar Soul' - Another fun song. 'Painless Persuasion v. The Meathawauk Immaculate' is another great song. And the last 2 songs are 'The Avengers (Superbad') which is a fun song and 'The Leopards Featuring Gardenia And The Mighty Slug' which is quite weird, Marc does a song where he talks through it which is quite cool.
And the bonus tracks they have added to this collection makes it even more spectacular!
My favourite song on this album is Teenage Dream.
Overall I think this album is an underated classic. I think it should be judged after a few listens. It's not my fave T.Rex album but I Love It!
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Originally UK released August 2002 (reissued 2007 and 2014) - Edsel MEDCD 717 is a 2CD DELUXE EDITION set (use Barcode 740155171728 to get the right issue) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (60:58 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow" - originally released 1 February 1974 on vinyl in the UK on EMI BLN 7751

Tracks 14 to 18 are Extended Play - five non-album single sides:
14 and 15 are The Groover b/w Midnight - June 1973 UK 7" single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 5
16 and 17 are Truck On (Tyke) b/w Sitting Here - November 1973 UK 7" single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 6
18 is Satisfaction Pony - January 1974 UK 7" single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 7 (non-album B-side to Teenage Dream)

Tracks 19 to 24 are Bonus Acoustic Demos of Nameless Wildness, Carsmile Smith & The Old One (Solo), Painless Persuasion V The Meathawk Immaculate, The Avengers (Superbad) and The Leopards Featuring Geraldine & The Mighty Slug

Disc 2 (61:52 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are The Alternate Zinc Alloy ("Change") - studio rough mixes of every track

Tracks 14 to 18 are Extended Play - working versions of The Groover, Midnight, Truck On (Tyke), Sitting There (Sitting Here) and Satisfaction Pony

Tracks 19 to 24 are Bonus Acoustic Demos of Nameless Wildness, Carsmile Smith & The Old One (Solo), Carsmile Smith & The Old One (with organ), Painless Persuasion V. The Meathawk Immaculate, The Avengers (Superbad), The Leopards Featuring Geraldine & The Mighty Slug

The three-way fold-out digipak is pretty - alternate artwork on the inner flaps - press adverts and promo stuff beneath the two see-through CD trays - detailed 16-page liner notes by T.Rex/Marc Bolan expert MARK PAYTRESS - lyrics - and both CDs carrying the T.Rex Wax Co 7" single Logo which on this reissue is blackened to resemble the sleeve instead of the usual blue and red colouring (I remember for all those 45s we used to grab in Woolworths with the excitement of buying the next Beatles seven). The remasters are fabulous too - full of power and muscle - giving tracks like the electric strum of "Change" and the chugging rock boogie/drums of "Explosive Mouth" huge presence. But in truth I wish I could get more excited about the album in general...

I remember to this day the disappointment of "Truck On (Tyke)" - the first T.REX 7" single to sound average - like Bolan was treading water. And for me the LP "Zinc Alloy..." that followed amounted to the same. What was so exciting between 1971 and 1973 now sounded so utterly dated and forced by 1974. There are magic moments for sure like the funky boogie of "Nameless Wildness" and opening guitar chug of "Venus Loon" where the groove is still good - but it all sounds forced and massively over-produced with screaming girly voices and strings. There's a general feeling of 'uninspired' about the record. And the extras are interesting at best - but not much more.

Not one of his greatest - but if you're a fan - there's the great remastered sound - quality presentation - and a reasonable price tag for a 2CD DELUXE EDITION.
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2009
Fourteen 'poetic' gems on this (original vinyl) - from probably the greatest 'poet' of music that ever lived!

Includes just one hit single - and my favourite, the 'epic': 'Teenage Dream'. This was one of three 'Teenage' songs in the Top Twenty at the time, the other two being: ''Teenage Lament '74 (Alice Cooper) and 'Teenage Rampage' (The Sweet)

'Teenage Dream' was a beautiful orchestration that went on and on - climaxing with 'Don't do it to me babe...' yet had no real end. Full of wonderful poetic lyrics like: 'A broken God - of a rusty World' - fabulous! I purchased this album for that track alone, and wasn't disappointed! Full of art, melody and hidden meanings, this is most certainly an album to treasure from the late 'King of Glam'!

Great stuff!
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on 25 November 2015
From recollection, the music industry in the 70s was very restrictive. If, for any reason NME, Sounds or Melody Maker, did not like what you were doing, it was bad. Bolan, with his abrasive egotism, suffered through this as he had a habit of rubbing journalists up the wrong way. I also did not like the prevailing view that you had to either like Bowie who was 'great' or Bolan who had 'sold out' and was 'teeny-bop trash' as if you could like like them both. When this overblown masterpiece came out heralded by a hugely over-the-top mime to Teenage Dream on Top Of The Pops, Bolan appeared to have failed to deliver and was 'becoming desperate' so the knives were out. This album was almost universally rubbished. Teenage Dream failed to make the Top Ten and Bolan's fall from grace began. But these prevailing views were fascist and incredibly short sighted. People had urged Bolan to move on from his one-trick (again wrong) riffs and do something more mature and expansive and this fantastic mixture of white rock and roll and Betty Wright style funk and soul was his response and was genuinely new and exciting. It is interesting that many reviewers of the T Rex Vinyl Box Set a year or so ago expressed surprise at how good this album actually is: "better than expected", "ripe for re-appraisal." This is not a classic or his best album but it is still tremendous and right up with what Bowie was doing at the time. Venus Loon, Change, The Avengers, Spanish Midnight, Nameless Wildness, Painless Persuasion etc, Teenage Dream and the mighty Explosive Mouth are as good as anything Bolan ever did. Don't listen to the views of 40 years ago - this is still today's music. Buy it and make your own mind up!
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on 22 May 2009
This album showcases Marc's brave stab at rock / soul / funk fusion & an evolution of the T.Rex sound.
This album was a sea change in musical direction, as Marc integrated the influence of the sounds of black America with his own unique brand of rock & roll.
This is by no means the strongest T.Rex album & along with Bolan's Zip Gun, is probably the weakest of Marc's efforts.
However, Marc's attempts to create an "Interstellar Soul" sound, was innovative, if nothing else.
The sound evident on this album, evolved further on Zip Gun (although even Marc admitted the weaknesses in that record) & came to fruition on the hugely under rated Futuristic Dragon album (before a return to basics with the magnificent Dandy In The Underworld).
This has some hugley enjoyable tunes, along side some,at times, overblown efforts (at times some of the backing vocals take too much away from the songs)
Marc was trying something new but although I do enjoy this record, some of it doesn't quite come off & some of it sounds a bit lazy.
Still, Marc was ahead of the game with this album (which other British act at the time was trying to create this kind of sound ?)- not Bolan's best but worth having just to hear some innovative musical stylings we now often take for granted.
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on 9 June 2013
A hidden gem, almost a lost classic, under valued etc. its all been said about this album. But in truth Marc had took his eye off the wheel. The formula was there. But as TV would say he hated the atmosphere , working on this with Marc was not fun anymore, Tony Visconti a producer who I feel helped creat the TREX sound was advising Marc not to be too 'samey' . Following an abusive outburst when Tony asked Marc to tune his guitar, Tony wrote a letter and left. Marc didn't even try to get him back. So this album is produced by Marc and Tony and without New WAve - but that didn't happen. For a few years yet.Get it and play it loud. It isn't missing Tony V, but a happier Tony V and less crazy Marc could have created a 4 th classic to go with Electric Warrior , the Slider or Tanx ,as it is the album s classic and a Bosnia fan like myself loved it, but a wider view saw the public thinking it was to similar to his last album and other music, where was the new Bolan Sound?

For me a die hard fan Marc could sing to a noise that didn't sound like anything and I'd still like it.

But that's not that it is not a good album . It is good, but in production lacks what the Slider Going on.

Buy it, enjoy!!

Make. Your Marc!!

Steven
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on 15 November 2012
Reading some of the other reviews on here, its easy to see how a love of bolan can cloud peoples judgement. I happen to be a major bolan fan, but that fact cannot stop me from being honest with myself about his work, or any other artists whom i happen to admire, so i have to lay it on the line honestly here

and the plain facts are - this is an atrocious album. what makes this even more mysterious is the fact that the band were still the same line up, and even tony visconti was on board to handle production. That in itself should have rescued it but it doesnt. I know marc was into drugs quite heavily at this time. maybe visconti was too. But the production here is feeble compared to the preceding albums so something must have been clouding his judgement. The songs? aside from 'change' which is pretty good, i cant hear anything here coming close to his epic material just a year or so previously. i remember buying this at the time and wanting to cry at how bad it was. All the material sounds terribly confused, as if marc was searching for a new direction (maybe in the wake of bowies 'white soul' projects at the time)but didnt quite know where he was going. Everything sounds tinny, directionless and feeble. Marcs guitar sounds very weedy indeed, and combine the lack of song quality with viscontis lame production and it all sounds like a terrible mess indeed

worst of all is the inclusion of gloria jones on backing vocals in place of the sublime flo and eddie. visconti for some reason pushes her high in the mix and she totally dominates everything. This would be passable if she actually sounded good but her screeching voice just sounds like a cat being tortured and it makes an already hard to listen to album totally unbearable

This was a sad day for marc and the start of a decline that he never recovered from. Do NOT remember him from this album
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on 11 March 2013
"Alloyed" with the Unchained series these deluxe versions again give an idea of just how prodigious this artist was.
Brilliant album on its own but this Deluxe version is a welcome addition to my collection.
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on 19 February 2014
Bought the original from my local record hop when at school, sounds as futuristic today as it did back then.
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