Do You Remember: T. Rex’s ‘Tanx’


via Spotify

Mike Singer, Music Manager

For the May edition of the “Do You Remember” series we are looking back T. Rex’s 1973 release, “Tanx.”

Riding high on the backs of two of the bands greatest records, 1971’s “Electric Warrior,” and 1972’s “The Slider,” Marc Bolan and the rest of the band decided to jump back into the studio to record their fourth record, “Tanx.”

The entire record has 13 songs and runs for 34 minutes. Despite the record being on the shorter side, there are so many great songs that can be found on this record. I would hold this record up with the two mentioned previously and with the debut record.

I do think that the strangest thing from this record was that there were no singles released from this record. That could be because just weeks before the record was released, the band released “20th Century Boy.”

I personally think if the band waited and released “20th Century Boy” as part of “Tanx” than the record would have done better than reaching the No. 102 position on the Billboard Top 200 in the United States which failed to come near the chart position of their previous record, “The Slider,” which reached the No. 17 position.

The record starts off strong with the first track, “Tenement Lady.” The song is just under three minutes long but is a funky, laid back song which is overall just a great song to vibe to.

The entire record overall has such great vibes to it, the next track “Rapids,” also follows the same groovy vibe that “Tenement Lady” does. Bolan is backed up by female singers which enhances his voice and it’s overall, like I said, a groovy song.

The next song on the record that I really enjoyed, “Electric Slim & the Factory Hen,” is a faster paced song than some of the previous songs that I’ve mentioned. While it would fall back into that mellow, laid back feel, it’s still a great song.

A recurring theme about this record is that it’s laid back, mellow, and has great vibes to it. To the surprise of most likely no one, I have this record, an original copy might I add on vinyl and I often find myself playing this record when I’m in really good moods and want to continue on with that feeling, it is a great record to put you in good mood or enhance that good mood feeling.

The next song, track nine, “Born to Boogie,” is in competition for one of my favorite songs on the track. I mean, if a title of a song has boogie in the name, then you bet it’s going to be a great song, without a doubt.

“Born to Boogie” is a very quick, two minute song with the lyrics containing “Baby, baby, I was born to boogie,” and really, nothing else. It’s the type of song that gives me the feeling of summer and having the windows open and letting the warm air in, something like that.

The 11th song on the record, “The Street & Babe Show,” is the outlier on the record only because it has a saxophone featured on the record. I’m not the biggest fan of a horn section in rock music but this is an awesome song. The saxophone is integrated perfectly in the song and makes it such a great song.

The final song on the record, “Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys,” is without a doubt my favorite song on the entire record.

The song is accompanied by a piano and is a slower song with Bolan yet again supported by the background vocalists behind him along with a string section. This is such an underrated song by the band it in my opinion, should be recognized a lot more.

“Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys” has such a great harmony section between Bolan and the background vocalists behind him that it makes the song so much more enjoyable. The combination of the vintage western saloon sounding piano mixed in with the band sends chills down my spin. This song should be one of the first songs someone plays when they think of T. Rex.

I truly think that this record deserved more recognition than it got when it was released back in 1973 and it is such a shame that it never charted as high as the two records that came before it, it deserves so much love.

If you’re looking for an underrated, forgotten record from an awesome band, than look no further than T. Rex’s “Tanx.” The real question is though, do you remember?