T.REX – Greatest Hits

We used to have a regular indoor mall where I live. They turned it into an “outdoor mall”.

This is just a theory, but I have this idea that, City councils, city planners, and architects get together every once and while, and design, plan and execute the stoopid effing dumb things they come up with.

No matter how often we vote out the wasteoids, the replacements do the same thing.

One of the greatest hits (see what i did there?)  they came up with was a massive facelift to one of our regular indoor malls

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So instead of strolling around the mall, maybe take your coffee  to one of the many tables or benches that were scattered throughout, maybe look over your purchases that day…or just hang out, you don’t.

The outdoor mall concept kills that. And replaces it with stoopid dumb effing parking.

So anyway, way…waaaaay back when it was a real mall, it used to have a store called “Tape Mart”. I gather from the name they intended to specialize in cassettes (millennials look that up….and it’s relation to the pencil),

[as an side, i liken that last comment to giving a dog a cracker with peanut butter on both sides to keep it busy while the adults talk]

I probably went into the store maybe twice, it didn’t really have a good record selection which could be why it went out of business before the mall did it’s magical stoopid transformation.

After I had picked up a copy of the The Slider i was on the desperate hunt for T.REX albums. I knew there was more because of that  Encyclopedia of Rock book, but I knew they were rare.

It was the summer and suddenly I remembered that this Tape Mart place had a T.REX album I didn’t have. I scrounged up a lot of change and ran to the bus stop just down from where I lived.

Ran into the mall and into the store, and tada, there is was. The last copy, now my copy, pictured below:

T REX GreatestHits2R

This was a double album set. And while it contained T.REX hits (current up to the release of that album) it had Tyrannosaurus Rex “hits” also.

Before Marc Bolan shorted the name, the band was an flower power acoustic duo with Tolkienesqe themes for songs. I had never heard any of those songs, and to be fair they are an acquired taste, some are catchy, but back then Marc Bolan was doing a Mungo Jerry style of vocals, that doesn’t really appeal to me.

[sigh, millenials look up Mungo Jerry in the summertime]

ok sorry, in joke dolphin laugh there.

One of the things that Marc Bolan did, was that he would not release singles (aka 45’s at the time)  of songs that could be found on the currently released album. So you literally had to buy the 45’s if you wanted those songs. You wouldn’t feel ripped off by buying songs you already had on the album. Of course later albums, like the one pictured above would gather the various singles and put them on the 33 but you had to wait for that.

One of the other things Bolan did was put 3 songs on a 45, most releases have one song on Side A, and one on Side B. T.REX singles had your main release on Side A, and 2 other songs on Side B. He probably drove record companies crazy doing that.

Marc Bolan didn’t want to rip off the fans, record companies be damned.

So that one was my third T.REX album. I was in the lead.

The Slider

After bringing over my copy of Electric Warrior to a friends place and playing it for him, he seemed indifferent.

The only thing i can think of is that i had something he didn’t, because next time i’m over he wanted to play me his copy of The Slider. So i returned the favour and really didn’t listen to it while it played. Of course later I went down to Sam The Record Man and ordered my own copy pictured below.

TheSider

The Slider (1972) is the next T.REX album after Electric Warrior (1971). it’s their third album. it is much more “produced” then Electric Warrior. The cover photo is of the singer/songwriter/guitar player of T.REX, Marc Bolan. The liner notes say that the photo was taken by Ringo Starr (millennials: he was one of The Beatles). But later information and probably not that well known, was that T.REX producer, Tony Visconti (also David Bowie’s producer for some albums) took the original photo. It was taken during (afaik) the making of the T.REX documentary Born To Boogie, directed by Ringo Starr.

i originally didn’t know any of the songs on the album and it’s another album I’ve played more than a thousand times (that’s more than one zero zero zero (1000) for you millennials).

The original releases of both those albums came in gatefold sleeves, but re-issues used a single sleeve. I have several editions of this album also.

Do i like this one better than Electric Warrior? ooh, that’s a tough one. my “desert island” pick probably wouldn’t be either one of these two (see the reason in my next entry).  I would definitely put this in my top 10 album list.

Almost all the of the T.REX albums i’m  going to talk about are on Spotify.

Electric Warrior

So my blogging cohorts (i’m looking at *YOU*   JulieOnwards decided to up the and ante increase the blogs we had to write a month to 3, AND we have to include an image in one of them.  And  Darcie  agreed.

Ok…Game on.

A long time ago a friend of mine told me I would probably like a group called “T.REX”.  At the time my three favourite groups (no hating) where KISS, Black Sabbath, and ABBA. In that order.

Each one of those choices will have it’s own blog (later ‘cause i’m inspired to crank out music related blogs for a while)

I had as much interest in listening to music outside of my comfort zone as having a complete collection of disco albums (although disco as it’s known today didn’t exist then). Oh, i will rant about disco later. don’t worry.

So I didn’t think about it again for about 2 years. And then a disco version of “Bang  A Gong” (a T.REX song) by a group called Witch Queen played on one of our local radio stations. It sounded vaguely familiar and it wasn’t long after that i heard the real version by T.REX. I remembered my friend had mentioned this group so i thought i would pick up the album it was on. second hand of course, i wasn’t about to put out full price for an album i wasn’t sure of. i didn’t take any musical chances back then. but i did want to check out the group.

I used to frequent a store called “Used Grooves’ that sold second hand vinyl albums. Every saturday i would go through every single record bin they had. Every saturday for a couple of years. A lot of the albums that i saw on a regular were Led Zeppelin’s first three albums, Babe Ruth’s first three albums, Fleetwood Mac albums,  Thor’s “Keep the Dogs Away”, and T.REX’s “Electric Warrior”.

Electric Warrior

I was pretty sure they’d have a copy of it for something like $1.95 CAN. I went down to the store, went to the “T” section…and it wasn’t there. In retrospect i can see this was foreshadowing. T.REX albums were notoriously hard to find in Canada.

They had a “remaindered” bin in the centre of the small store. albums that didn’t sell or hung around too long. as a last resort i checked in the “T” section. and there it was. i got it for $0.50. Image above is the that album (i put a plastic sleeve on it a few years after).

Back then i used to listen to every album i just bought on headphones. very rarely did i not use headphones. The reason is, my first experience with headphones was listening to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. So yeah, i was spoiled for headphones early on 🙂

The very first song on the first side of the album (vinyl, remember) is a song called “Mambo Sun”.

It. Blew. Me. Away.

right then and there, my favourite group was T.REX. sure I bought the album for “Bang A Gong” but that first song did it for me. i was hooked. and i had it bad. yes, the song i bought it for was good…but that first song. my EEG’s would have been off the chart. my spine tingled. it would influence my musical choices from then till now.

i would be very surprised if i’ve played that album less than a thousand times. i probably played it 5 or 6 times that first night. i know every note on it. last year on Record Store Day i bought a die cut cover version of it. I listen to the album probably once a month.

Having said all that, it’s not my favourite T.REX album. it has a special place because it’s my first T.REX album, but not my favourite…stay tuned.

Record Store Day

I’m back from processing my orders/finds from Record Store Day 2018. I actually got up “early” on a weekend to go 🙂

My three favourite bands are T.REX (be a longer post about them later),  Jethro Tull, and Deep Purple/Rainbow. yes, all British bands. 

I was able to get limited editions of all of them.

Other bands I collect are Hawkwind (which it seems very few people ever heard of), and Uriah Heep. yup, British bands there, too. See a theme? With the exception of Jazz and some Canadian bands (I’m from the Great White North) most north american music sucks dead bunnies. loud. I got lucky and got Record Store Day editions also.

Today. Was. A. Good. Day. 🙂

I also picked up a remastered “Dark Side of The Moon”. If that title means nothing to you don’t worry, just means you  know practically nothing when it comes to music…and probably never will.

A colleague at work introduced me to Sigur Rós and  I found the #RecordStoreDay album with “Olsen Olson” on it. They are an Icelandic band with  very unique sound. I’m also a big fan of #Pristine a Norwegian (my kin 🙂 ) Blues/rock band. Nothing from them today though.