Top positive review
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A silver studded sabre toothed dream of an album!
on 4 January 2014
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.