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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A silver studded sabre toothed dream of an album!, 4 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: T. Rex - The Slider 40Th Anniversary Box Set (2CDS+DVD) [Japan LTD CD] TECI-71681 (Audio CD)
This is a review of the remastered (2CD, 1 DVD) Japan release. No matter how much of a fan I am, and I consider myself to be a very big fan, I really could not justify taking out a second mortgage to purchase the large and costly box set containing all formats of this superb work.

The Slider is a very wonderful album and in my opinion it is probably Bolan's best. I don't intend to review the music here as others have achieved this successfully elsewhere on Amazon. I would however comment that I believe The Slider to contain the most gorgeous melodies, the dirtiest power chords and the greatest surrealist lyric imagery ever put to vinyl. Bolan once made claim to be the Salvador Dali of rock and roll. His fantastical lyrics do attest to this "I have never nailed a nose before, that's how the garden grows" indeed Marc! (Bolan moved on to couplets about cleaning out toes and licking uncooked meat for his next opus but that's another magical experience altogether!)

This set from Japan consists of two CD's a DVD, 3 postcards and a 48 page hard backed book. It is in essence all I wanted from the original box set so I am more than happy with the contents. The book is square and around the size of a 7 inch single. There are envelopes within its inner pages which house the 3 discs, which are themselves in individual replica sleeves, and the postcards. The cover of the book is the front and reverse of the original album (the head and shoulders, slightly out of focus, monochrome shot of Marc wearing a top hat as enduringly iconic as the lightening streaked image of Bowie is on Aladdin Sane) and the pages contain commentary by Tony Visconti and an essay by Bolan expert Mark Paytress alongside era contemporary photographs, reviews and memorabilia. Most Bolan heads will have all the extras on the discs already but there's a lovely clear acoustic version of the slider included from Visconti's own archives previously unheard and quite marvelous.

The lengthy interview conducted with Visconti is really excellent. Massively insightful into Bolan's working processes but also touching and truthful in character analysis of Marc, June Bolan, Mickey, Steve and Bill. The interview genuinely surpassed my expectations with loads of new information for seasoned Bolan followers.

It has to be said that even at under half the price of the all encompassing box set this is still a costly package. The contents are worth the money though and, for me, it is the only affordable way to obtain a copy of the superb Visconti remaster.

On the strength of this remaster I'm very much looking forward to the Tanx reissue promised for 2014. Tanx, in my opinion, being Bolan's last truly great work. Sure, there are tracks from all his subsequent releases which I consider essential for any credible Bolan playlist but, and it's a big but, increasing reliance upon Gloria's warblings and Marc's cod Hendrix multi layered guitar histrionics did little for me I'm afraid.

`Dandy in the underworld' could have been a shining return to form were it not for the Bontempi style seaside organ synths which horribly dominate and now date the majority of the songs. Interestingly, in lyric and in tune, Dandy is a close relative of the Slider and I do wonder how it might have sounded if performed by the classic 1972 T.Rex line up with Visconti at the producers helm.

Whatever format or package you decide upon make sure that you have The Slider in your collection for it is easily one of the best albums of the 70's. A decade in which Bolan alongside Bowie, Lou, Iggy and (early) Roxy Music produced the most creative, exciting and influential music these ears have ever been fortunate enough to hear.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jan 2014 10:09:53 GMT
Bob says:
Hi
That was a great review. I am thinking of buying this Japanese edition also. The big box is so expensive and I do not want the vinyl. Also this will sit better on my shelf as it is much smaller.
Can I please ask how much you paid for the package and were you bought it from? Also, is the box like a miniature version of the big box ie thick and stong?
The prices seem do differ quiet a lot.
Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2014 11:49:15 GMT
Hi. I bought my copy from Samurai media for a total of £55.99. Considering the order was over the Xmas period I was impressed that delivery only took about 2 weeks.

The set is not in a box. As I state in my review it is a hard backed book and the discs slide into envelopes within the book. I have measured the book for you and it is 8x8 inches square so it does sit nicely on a bookshelf. It is very good sturdy quality.

One thing I should mention and perhaps should have addressed in the review is the DVD. Unlike the UK version this DVD does not have the slider on TV section TOTP appearances etc. It contains only the lengthy Visconti interview (about 1 and ½ hours plus) and the extras. This wasn't a problem for me because I have all the other stuff anyway. The other thing to mention is the interview does have Japanese subtitles throughout. Again, this didn't bother me at all.

Overall it is costly but it's a lovely set and in my opinion worth the purchase. The music and remaster are superb and you can always rely on Paytress for quality narrative.

Hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2014 22:36:14 GMT
Bob says:
Hi
Many thanks for your reply. It certainly seems a very nice package. Like yourself I am a huge Bolan fan. Trouble is where to draw the line. I just have so many different versions of some of the albums bought over the years. Most of them are looked at now and again but mostly just sit on the shelf. Now we have the tanx/zinc alloy box set coming in a few weeks time. I will probably end up buying that as well, despite not really liking one of the albums (like yourself I am not fond of Gloria's shrieking over the top of the songs) for me Visconti was an essential part of t.rex. Bolan's records were never the as good once he left him.
Just one further question, is the book in Japanese and English or just English?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2014 08:05:58 GMT
Hi. The book is in English. Like you I have numerous versions/box sets of all the albums. I have pre-ordered the Tanx/Zinc box set from Demon. The major draw here being the Visconti remasters but at £59.99 for 5 discs its much better value than the slider big box package. (Unlikely to happen but how interesting would it be if Visconti channeled the backing singers on Zinc lower in the mix!)
The track listing has not been released yet but I'm pretty sure there will be nothing on there that I don't already own (unless Viconti has found some further material in his archives). If you have the edsel, easy action and thunderwing releases then I think you own the bulk of the 72/73 demos and outtakes.
I really wish that someone would locate and collate the better live recordings in a decent box set. Some of the 1st generation copies are pretty good sound wise (Japan/Australia 73) and cleaned up would be worthwhile purchases. I have loads of Velvets bootlegs given official release which are inferior in quality to the Bolan bootlegs I have but I love them and play them often.
Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2014 20:42:18 GMT
Bob says:
And now it looks like we have 2 cd deluxe editions of the early albums coming....
I would like to see a good quality complete box set of the whole Bolan catalogue. Also, I would gave preferred The Slider box set to be identical to the Electric Warrior box. Nice package, shelf friendly and affordable. It seems odd combining Tanx and Zinc into one package. Don't think I have ever seen this before.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2014 11:57:48 GMT
1 REBLEFT says:
Hi,how much extra were the import charges etc,from Japan?

Posted on 19 Apr 2015 00:51:12 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 12 May 2015 15:47:37 BDT]
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