The Slider is the seventh studio album by British rock band T. Rex, released on 21 July 1972. Produced by Tony Visconti, it was the band's second record released with their new glam rock style opposed to the band's 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 critics, with an Allmusic review 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 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's best-selling releases. The Slider entered the United Kingdom charts on 5 August 1972 where it charted for 18 weeks, peaking at number four. In the United States, where the album was promoted upon release with a television commercial featuring the band miming to "Chariot Choogle," it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart.
The Slider was remastered for CD by Edsel Records in 1994 as part of their extensive T.Rex reissue campaign and a number of bonus tracks were added. A companion release, entitled Rabbit Fighter (The Alternative Slider), was released in 1995 which contained alternative versions and radio sessions of the main album and bonus tracks. A combined CD digipak of these releases was issued in 2002. Also in 2002, further recordings from the Slider sessions were released by Thunderwing Productions Limited (TPL), the owners of several original ¼", 1" and 2" Master Tape recordings of Marc Bolan & T.Rex. These tracks were released as The Slider Recordings. In 2010, The Slider was remastered and reissued by Fat Possum Records. The remastering was done by Chicago Mastering
The song "Ballrooms of Mars" was covered by Richard Barone of The Bongos on his 1997 album Between Heaven and Cello, and featured in the 2003 comedy film "School of Rock".
The album credits Ringo Starr with the front and back cover photographs. The photographs were taken the same day that Ringo Starr was filming the T Rex documentary Born to Boogie at John Lennon's estate, Ascot. Tony Visconti, however, disputes that Starr took the photograph. Instead, Visconti (a photography enthusiast in his own right) said, "...In fact Marc handed me his motorized Nikon and asked me to fire off two rolls of black and white film while we were on the set of "Born To Boogie." Ringo, the director of the film, was busy all day lining up shots. But Marc apparently saw a photo "credit" opportunity and gave Ringo the credit for the photos."