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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

T. Rex - "T. Rextasy: The Best Of T. Rex, 1970-1973" (Warner Brothers) Vinyl 1985

A compilation or even a best of an album is making soup.  The ingredients have to be there, but you have to taste it to make sure that all the herbs and spices work together to give you that 'ah-ha' moment.  "T. Rextasy" for me, is the perfect meal that is T. Rex.   My two favorite T. Rex albums are "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider."  As his work goes, and he made a lot more albums before and after those - give the classic T. Rex sound and aesthetic.  What makes "T. Rextasy" so good is that it's an album of great pieces, and selected very well for a one-disc record.  There are the hits of course, but more important the obscure songs are brought out to the listener.  Which means b-sides to singles and great tunes like "Solid Gold Easy Action" and Marc Bolan's version of "Summertime Blues."

Bolan was never a consistent record maker, especially after Tony Visconti left the fold, but his genius was always right on the button.   The Visconti touch is very much part of the recordings greatness, but Bolan had that 'it' quality that I think his material would have been great no matter who recorded him.   His love of 1950s rock, and mixed in with the glam sensibility is the perfect marriage.   Also, Bolan's ridiculous lyrics are incredible literature.   Again, like a great chef, he mixed Tolkien fairy tales with cars and an Eddie Cochran attitude.  A winning recipe of superb college making and aural pleasure.