Tanx

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Tanx
Tanx.jpg
Studio album by T. Rex
Released 28 January 1973
Recorded February–March 1972 at Abbey Road Studios London; October–December 1972 at Strawberry Studios, Paris; EMI Toshiba Studios, Tokyo, Japan; AIR Studios, London, England
Genre Glam rock
Length 35:03
Label EMI (UK), Reprise (US)
Producer Tony Visconti
T. Rex chronology
The Slider
(1972)
Tanx
(1973)
Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow
(1974)

Tanx is the eighth studio album by English glam rock act T. Rex, released on 28 January 1973 by record label EMI.

Recording[edit]

Earlier sessions at Abbey Road Studios in early 1972 included "Left Handed Luke", "Country Honey", "Electric Slim & the Factory Hen", also "The Groover" and "Blackjack" but these versions were not featured on any original studio album. The earlier Abbey Road sessions were either shelved or destroyed, and those songs would be re-recorded at Strawberry studios.[citation needed] The early sessions of "Blackjack" and "The Groover" are featured on The 20th Century Superstar box set.

Release[edit]

Tanx was released on 28 January 1973 by record label EMI in the UK and Reprise in the US.

Tanx was a hit in UK and Europe but it failed to match the success of The Slider in the US, reaching only No. 102 in the album charts.

Curiously, the popular single "20th Century Boy" was not included on the album, which may have affected sales, as the album (unlike its two predecessors) did not include a hit single.

The album is also widely known to be the last of T. Rex's string of successes since Electric Warrior; their next album Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow would prove to be a financial failure and put Bolan's musical career in jeopardy until 1976. It's also T. Rex's last album released under Reprise Records in the US, as Light of Love, released under Casablanca Records (like Reprise, distributed through Warner Bros. Records), would be the last of their albums released in the US.

Reissues[edit]

Tanx was remastered for CD by Edsel Records in 1994 as part of their extensive T. Rex reissue campaign. A number of bonus tracks were added (see below). A companion release, entitled Left Hand Luke (The Alternative Tanx), was released in 1995 and contained alternative versions, studio rough mixes and demos of the main album and bonus tracks. A combined album digipak was released in 2002.

In 2003, further recordings from the Tanx 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 Tanx Recordings.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork 8.3/10[2]
PopMatters 7/10[3]
Rolling Stone unfavourable[4]

At the time, Tanx was critically derided by journalists as an uneven departure from the unique melodic rock and roll that made the band famous. Paul Gambaccini of Rolling Stone wrote "This one album might have made a good EP, since there are four worthwhile tracks, but the remaining nine are flights of Bolan's fantasies that might be interesting to his numerous devotees but less so to more casual listeners", calling it "a sad indication that Bolan really hasn't progressed and I can't see many people being truly pleased with it. But I've been wrong before."[4]

Retrospective reviews have been more favourable. Whitney Strub of PopMatters wrote "One reason for Tanx's commercial failure was its lack of the immediacy for which glam was known. [...] But what doomed the album on the charts is precisely what earns it reinspection today: the songs, for the most part, flow cohesively from one fractured mini-narrative to the next".[3] Stephen M. Deusner of Pitchfork, whilst praising the record, called it "a difficult album".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Marc Bolan

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Tenement Lady"   2:55
2. "Rapids"   2:48
3. "Mister Mister"   3:29
4. "Broken Hearted Blues"   2:02
5. "Shock Rock"   1:43
6. "Country Honey"   1:47
7. "Electric Slim and the Factory Hen"   3:03
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Mad Donna"   2:16
2. "Born to Boogie"   2:04
3. "Life Is Strange"   2:30
4. "The Street and Babe Shadow"   2:18
5. "Highway Knees"   2:34
6. "Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys"   5:18

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Tanx – T. Rex | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Deusner, Stephen M. (5 February 2006). "T. Rex: Tanx / Zip Gun / Futuristic Dragon / Work in Progress | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Strub, Whitney (22 January 2006). "T. Rex: Tanx / Bolan's Zip Gun / Futuristic Dragon / Work in Progress | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Gambaccini, Paul (24 May 1973). "[Tanx review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 

External links[edit]