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The Slider is the seventh studio album by British glam rock band T. Rex, released on July 21, 1972. Produced by Tony Visconti, it was the band's second record released with their new glam rock style opposed to the bands previous folk oriented music.
Singles of "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru" were released to promote the album. The Slider peaked at number four on United Kingdom charts and number seventeen on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. The album received very high praise from modern critics, with Steve Huey of Allmusic describing the album as "flawlessly executed, and every bit the classic that its predecessor is."
On the recommendation of Elton John, The Slider was recorded outside of Paris at Château d'Hérouville to avoid British taxing laws. Production started on March of 1972 and the basic recordings were completed in Strawberry Studios in five days. One of the songs recorded at Chateau was "Metal Guru". Bolan described the song as a "festival of life song" and that he related "Metal Guru" to "all gods around...someone special, a godhead. I thought how god would be, he'd be all alone without a telephone".
Further recording was done at the end of March in Rosenberg Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. The backing vocals by Flo & Eddie were recorded in Elektra Studios in Los Angeles in April.
Two singles were released to promote The Slider. The first was "Telegram Sam" which was released January 1972 and charted in the United Kingdom for 12 weeks and peaked at number one. "Telegram Sam" also charted in the United States and peaked at 67 on the Pop Singles chart. The second single was "Metal Guru" which was released in May 1972 and charted in the United Kingdom for 14 weeks and peaked at number one. It didn't chart in the United States.
The Slider was one of T. Rex best-selling releases. The Slider entered the United Kingdom charts on August 5, 1972 where it charted for 18 weeks, peaking at number four. The the United States, it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart.
Buoyed by two U.K. number one singles in "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru," The Slider became T. Rex's most popular record on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the fact that it produced no hits in the U.S. The Slider essentially replicates all the virtues of Electric Warrior, crammed with effortless hooks and trashy fun. All of Bolan's signatures are here — mystical folk-tinged ballads, overt sexual come-ons crooned over sleazy, bopping boogies, loopy nonsense poetry, and a mastery of the three-minute pop song form. The main difference is that the trippy mix of Electric Warrior is replaced by a fuller, more immediate-sounding production. Bolan's guitar has a harder bite, the backing choruses are more up-front, and the arrangements are thicker-sounding, even introducing a string section on some cuts (both ballads and rockers).
Even with the beefier production, T. Rex still doesn't sound nearly as heavy as many of the bands it influenced (and even a few of its glam contemporaries), but that's partly intentional — Bolan's love of a good groove takes precedence over fast tempos or high-volume crunch. Lyrically, Bolan's flair for the sublimely ridiculous is fully intact, but he has way too much style for The Slider to sound truly stupid, especially given the playful, knowing wink in his delivery. It's nearly impossible not to get caught up in the irresistible rush of melodies and cheery good times. Even if it treads largely the same ground as Electric Warrior, The Slider is flawlessly executed, and every bit the classic that its predecessor is.
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