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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite T. Rex Album, 13 Jan 2008
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
This album to me represents the last great T. Rex album. This was Marc Bolan's attempt at breaking big in America after having conquered the UK charts. It ranks as my favorite T. Rex album, (actually, my favorite album of all time) with some of Marc's most melodic songs.
After the phenomenal success of "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider," Marc's record company expected big things. What Marc gave them was "Tanx;" an album very different from its predecessors. Unfortunately, the critics and many of the fans didn't like the direction Marc took and the album was deemed a disappointment.

Why is this my favorite album of all time? When I first came upon this album several years ago, after all the bad critical press it got, I was expecting the worst. My thought was, Heck, I loved Electric Warrior and The Slider, how bad could this be? I put the needle down on the turntable and was captivated for the next 40 minutes or so.

"Oh, my darling there are many ways..." The album opens with the guitar boogie and spacey lyrics of "Tenement Lady," a combination of two songs. You'll note on disc 2, it's listed as "Tenement Lady/Darling". Two songs fused together into one great one. Lots of great production work on this one.

"Your mama said, clean out your head, boy..." Next is "Rapids," with lots of guitar slide overdubs. Again, lots of spacey lyrics in a Bolan boogie mind poem.

"I'm just lookin' for a change in my luck.." "Mister Mister" is great light acoustic song with a great sing-a-long at the end. Excellent orchestration by Tony Visconti.

"This is a song that I wrote when I was young..." "Broken Hearted Blues" is, to me, one of the most beautiful songs Marc Bolan ever wrote. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful orchestration, Marc in perfect voice... poetry set to music. Possibly the best song Marc ever put on an album. The only complaint I have it that it was too short.

The rest of the album just flows beautifully. From start to finish, I never skip a song. Plus you get the added bonus of the Marc's singles from '73: "Children of the Revolution," "Jitterbug Love," "Sunken Rags," "Solid Gold Easy Action," "20th Century Boy," and the beautiful "Free Angel".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A box of delights, 9 Aug 2005
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
"Tanx" was Bolan's follow-up to smash hit "The Slider", and has always lived in that album's shadow. Whereas "The Slider" had a very definite individual style, "Tanx" is often described as a 'mixed-bag' of different 'half-baked' musical ideas. I disagree, and instead think of "Tanx"'s variety as its strength - like a chocolate box of different centres.
Firstly it opens with the magical false-start of "Tenement Lady", and ends with the magnificent glam-blues epic of "Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys". In-between are short, bite-sized bursts of musical delight: the achingly beautiful "Broken-Hearted Blues"; the simple, catchy "Street and Babe Shadow"; the lovely "Electric Slim and the Factory Hen" (love those titles). And if there are any songs you don't like they're so short that another good one will be along soon.
The extra tracks on this album include the two iconic T.Rex singles, "20th Century Boy" and "Children of the Revolution", making this a truly experimental glam album utterly indispensible.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it, 11 Oct 2002
By 
T. Clark (Sunny Southend) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
I must have read at least twenty reviews of this album before I decided to buy it. I had Electric Warrior and Slider which both enjoy a pretty unanimous reputation as classics. Tanx on the other hand tended to be seen as the album where Marc ran out of ideas and good songs, his over-indulgence in the rock and roll lifestyle getting the better of him. All I can say is don't worry about any of that, just buy it. By the time Tenement Lady and Rapids have gone by you'll be glad you did, and you're only five minutes in. Shock Rock is c**p but the rest is just fine and Broken Hearted Blues is beautiful. The alternate bonus disc isn't as good as the alternate Slider but does have another fantastic Tenement Lady without all the glam rock extras, and Broken Hearted Blues without the sax overdubs.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marc Bolan's TANX, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
This album to me represents the last great T. Rex album. This was Marc Bolan's attempt at breaking big in America after having conquered the UK charts. It ranks as my favorite T. Rex album, (actually, my favorite album of all time) with some of Marc's most melodic songs.
After the phenomenal success of "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider," Marc's record company expected big things. What Marc gave them was "Tanx;" an album very different from its predecessors. Unfortunately, the critics and many of the fans didn't like the direction Marc took and the album was deemed a disappointment.
Why is this my favorite album of all time? When I first came upon this album several years ago, after all the bad critical press it got, I was expecting the worst. My thought was, Heck, I loved Electric Warrior and The Slider, how bad could this be? I put the needle down on the turntable and was captivated for the next 40 minutes or so.
"Oh, my darling there are many ways..." The album opens with the guitar boogie and spacey lyrics of "Tenement Lady," a combination of two songs. You'll note on disc 2, it's listed as "Tenement Lady/Darling". Two songs fused together into one great one. Lots of great production work on this one.
"Your mama said, clean out your head, boy..." Next is "Rapids," with lots of guitar slide overdubs. Again, lots of spacey lyrics in a Bolan boogie mind poem.
"I'm just lookin' for a change in my luck.." "Mister Mister" is great light acoustic song with a great sing-a-long at the end. Excellent orchestration by Tony Visconti.
"This is a song that I wrote when I was young..." "Broken Hearted Blues" is, to me, one of the most beautiful songs Marc Bolan ever wrote. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful orchestration, Marc in perfect voice... poetry set to music. Possibly the best song Marc ever put on an album. The only complaint I have it that it was too short.
The rest of the album just flows beautifully. From start to finish, I never skip a song. Plus you get the added bonus of the Marc's singles from '73: "Children of the Revolution," "Jitterbug Love," "Sunken Rags," "Solid Gold Easy Action," "20th Century Boy," and the beautiful "Free Angel".
Disc 2 is made up of alternate takes. It gives you some insight into the workings of the songs a they developed from the rough mix stage to T. Rex classics. These outtakes were once sold separately as "Left Hand Luke: The Alternate Tanx". Here you get the whole package in one.
If you've fallen under the spell of Bolan's words and music, but don't have this album yet, get it now. This album to me is one of the best by the band, and as stated before, one of my favorites of all time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marc rocks on, 3 Oct 2007
By 
DavyA (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
To me this record always seems to be the one that signalled the end of one phase of T.Rex before a new (& less commercially succesful but none the less,equally creative,if under appreciated) phase was ushered in.
This album has some notable high points - "Broken Hearted Blues","Born To Boogie","Rapids" & "Life Is Strange" are my personal favourites on an album, that for me,is sprinkled with what sounds, at times, like a more sombre Bolan than had been evident on the previous two or three albums - maybe that's just me though !!
This is a superb record & a must for all Bolan fans. I have heard some people refer to this as the last of the "great" T.Rex albums. Is it ? Depends on your point of view - to me, all of Marc's work is worth listening to & can be enjoyed & admired, for differing reasons - this album is no different.A fantastic album by a British pop genius (For the love of all that's holy,surely its time Marc got a Brit Award !!!)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Album, 4 Dec 2000
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
Marc Bolan and Producer, Tony Visconti... These guys made some great music. "Tanx" is my favorite T. Rex album and ranks as one of my all time favorite albums.
After the commercial success of "The Slider", the pressure was on to create something better - something that sounded even bigger. Marc was trying to "Americanize" his sound and was looking at breaking big in the American market. He had worked his magic with three albums in the UK - this was a critical album for him.
Unfortunately, the album fell far short of his expectations and missed charting above #105 on the Billboard charts. This is too bad - The US missed out on one of the most diverse, eclectic albums T. Rex ever put out.
The album starts out strong with the driving "Tenement Lady" which Visconti beautifully melted into a second song, "Darling". A great mix. The rest of the album is pure magic - the crowning piece being "Broken Hearted Blues". A beautiful piece of poetry set to music - a wonderful acoustic guitar backed with a chamber orchestra - it sends shivers!
To me, a die hard T. Rex fan - this is Marc Bolan at his absolute best.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tanxs for the memory, 19 Nov 2005
By 
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
From the opening of Tenament Lady to the closing bars of Left hand Luke ,Marc takes us on a rock and roll journey.On Country Honey Bolan grooves as much as ever,He blows us away on Shock Rock.Marc is smooth in his groove on The Street and Babe Shadow.The extended play acts as a bonus and includes 20th Centrury boy a Bolan classic and the much slated Solid Gold Easy Action.The bonus disc sees the master at work in a series of out-takes and works in progress.This is not for the faint hearted but, 4 the Children of the Revolution.Listen if u dare.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best 'Tanx' yet., 4 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
This 2002 Edsel edition of 'Tanx' is the best I've ever heard. The sound quality is amazing, the packaging gorgeous and it's packed to the rafters with bonus material.

Following 'Electric Warrior' and 'The Slider' was never going to be easy, and when the album was originally released in March 1973, T.Rex were struggling to keep people interested. Various groups like Slade, The Sweet and Wizzard were chipping away at their fanbase, and young girls who'd once hung posters of Marc on their bedroom walls were now replacing them with David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.

Bolan always tried to give good value with his records. Many singles featured 3 songs, for example, and he decided upon the policy of keep any previous hits from 'Tanx's tracklist. A noble idea, many fans would be thrilled to get 13 brand new songs. The other side of the coin, of course, is that some potential buyers may have been put off buying an LP without any recognizable hits... Personally, I think the album would have benefitted from the inclusion of the likes of 'Children Of The Revolution', 'Solid Gold Easy Action' and '20th Century Boy'. The latter surely being his last truly great single. Luckily, all these songs are included on this 2 CD edition.

That said, 'Tanx' does stand up without the singles. There really isn't a bad track on it and although it didn't disgrace itself on the charts, I think it deserved better than it got. Still, diehard fans will adore this edition, with the provocative sleeve artwork fully intact, all the lyrics and an intelligent article on the making of the album.

If you're new to T.Rex, get 'Electric Warrior', 'The Slider' and 'Tanx' first, then scoot back a few years and try his more accoustic early stuff, before returning to get his final 'Dandy In The Underworld' album. You won't be sorry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bolan's Best, 18 Aug 2006
By 
A. Keill-Griffin (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tanx (+Bonus) (Audio CD)
This is Marc Bolan, T.Rex and Tony Visconti at their tightest. The band's and producer's zenith as a partnership before it diversified into the 'popera' of Zinc Alloy. Everything about this album - the guitars, sweeping orchestrations, Bolan's voice, production and not forgetting Bill Legend's massively underrated drums - reeks of the uniqueness of the era, the people and the music.

Ironically, it wasn't one of the most successful T.Rex albums at the time - Bolan's press-bating and cheeky 'arrogance' got in the way of this album being taken as seriously as it deserved to be. The critics clearly meant less to him than he did to them!

'Tanx' has always been my favourite T.Rex album from the minute it was bought for my 11th birthday to the present. Every listening feels as fresh, if not fresher, than the first as the clarity of the musicianship and production have come to the fore and become timeless. Why did Bolan listen to EMI when they recommended he come up with something other than 'Electric Slim and the Factory Hen' as the follow up to 'Solid Gold, Easy Action'? It was a whole new direction, away from the pounding pop that preceded it and that replaced it in the form of the classic, but I think misguided, '20th Century Boy'.

The album, amazingly (Bolan's confidence knocked by EMI? Where were the Sex Pistols when they were really needed?!) produced no singles although the sax-led 'Street and Babe Shadow' would have been a good contender as would 'Mad Donna' ('I'm gonna change Madonna...', no need chuck she does it often enough herself!). And who could fail to be moved by the minor chords and whistful lyrics of 'Highway Knees'?

This album is an absolute must. If you're going to buy a T.Rex album, get this one! Thirty-four years have done it no harm at all as many of the production values and soundscapes have become sought after by many bands since then (check Suede, Goldfrapp, The Divine Comedy, the godawful Oasis, more recent Bowie amongst others).

This is Visconti's masterpiece as producer, as well as Bolan and the band's as musicians. I don't think he reached the same perfection anywhere else either before or since (and I do keep checking him out).

This could turn into quite an essay of adoration/adulation but I think these 'Tanx' need to be turned on you... Enjoy!

Tanx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Unstrap My Knees..." – Tanx by T.REX (2CD EDSEL DELUXE EDITION and Their 1CD Budget Version), 1 Jun 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
Following the artistic and commercial highs of "Electric Warrior" in 1971 and "The Slider" in 1972 was always going to be hard – yet The Jeepster delivered again in the spring of 1973. This stunning 2002 2CD DELUXE EDITION from Edsel (reissued in 2014) offers up a huge slice of T.Rex and Bolanmania from a primo period. Here are the Electric Slims and Tenement Ladies…

Originally UK released August 2002 - Edsel MEDCD 716 is a 2CD set (use Barcode 740155171629 to get the right issue) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (51:52 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "Tanx" – originally released 23 March 1973 on vinyl in the UK on EMI BLN 5002
Tracks 14 to 20 are Extended Play - the A&B-sides of three British singles - much of which was non-album at the time:
14, 15 and 16 are Children Of The Revolution b/w Jitterbug Love and Sunken Rags – September 1972 UK 7” single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 2
17 and 18 are Solid Gold Easy Action b/w Xmas Riff – December 1972 UK 7” single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 3
19 and 20 are 20th Century Boy b/w Free Angel – March 1973 UK 7” single on EMI/T.Rex Wax Co. Label MARC 4

Disc 2 (53:04 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 11 are The Alternate Tanx ("Left Hand Luke") – studio rough mixes of almost every track
Tracks 12 to 14 are Extended Play – Children Of The Revolution [Incomplete], Solid Gold Easy Action [Alternate] and Free Angel [Alternate]
Tracks 15 to 18 are Acoustic and Bass Demos of Mister Mister, Broken Hearted Blues, The Street And The Babe Shadow and Tenement Lady
Tracks 19 to 23 are Acoustic Demos of Tenement Lady, Broken Hearted Blues, Mad Donna [with Different Lyrics], The Street And The Babe Shadow and Left Hand Luke

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 acoustic strum of "Life Is Strange" and the chugging rock boogie/vocal phasing of "Rapids" huge presence.

"Tanx" achieved the same top chart position of 4 in the UK that "The Slider" did in the previous summer – yet I’d argue it actually has better tracks. To this day the seductive strings and melody of "Electric Slim And The Factory Hen" get me – sounding so advanced for its time. Thanks to Mark Paytress and his tireless search for all things Marc - I now know that the girl who giggles the intro to the brill "Mad Donna" is the daughter of an executive at CBS France! I still don’t know if I like the sax intro to "The Street And Babe Shadow" but I like the song and his musical progression. Yet the sax works in tandem with the Mellotron on "Mister Mister". The "oh baby" groove of "Shock Rock" has great guitar boogie but awful lyrics. But then Bolan goes all soulful and gospel girly vocals on the wonderful album finisher "Left Hand Luke And The Beggar Boys" which Paytress rightly suggests bears more than a passing resemblance to tracks on The Stones 1972 opus "Exile On Main St."

As with "The Slider" 2CD reissue – the bonus tracks on Disc 1 add hugely. Who amongst his fans doesn’t hold a torch for the non-album singles Children Of the Revolution, Solid Gold Easy Action and 20th Century Boy (and their equally cool B-sides). As you can imagine the 'alternate and demo' versions on Disc 2 are a mixture of the fabulous and the throw away. The 2:13 minute frantic alternative of "Solid Gold Easy Action" is fantastic – rocking T.Rex unleashed - while the Acoustic Demo of "Mister Mister" may be hissy but it’s wonderfully intimate. The demo of "Tenement Lady" sounds like he’s using a heavy-stringed Dobro and comes complete with false start - and it's strange to hear "Left Hand Luke" dropped from its near 6 minutes on the album to a two-minute acoustic strum - tender and moving (lyrics from it title this review). Nice.

Great remastered sound – quality presentation - and a reasonable price tag for a 2CD DELUXE EDITION. You have to say that Edsel have done the business by his memory and musical legacy. There is an album-only single-disc version on Edsel’s budget label CODE 90 (Catalogue Number Code 90 NINETY 16 - Barcode 740155301620 - 34:56 minutes) – but I’d plum the few extra quid for this (so worth it).

On the spoken intro to "Xmas Riff/Born To Boogie" he says, "This is Marc Bolan here. I’d like to wish you all a super funk Christmas and a golden New Year…"

Job done my son.
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