94) T. Rex, The Slider: Originally a part of a duo called Tyrannosaurus Rex, Marc Bolan was discovered sitting barefoot on a club stage by legendary producer Tony Visconti. The folky duo played on instruments found in dumpsters. T. Rex's sound was imbued with a quintessentially British skew, something that always appealed to my inner anglophile. Marc Bolan's voice had the quality of being both boyishly innocent and strangely otherworldly while also remaining completely unpretentious in a kind of pretentious way. This quality also explained his pseudo-psychedelic lyrics (I could never understand the wind at all/was like a ball of luh-uh-ove). Tony Visconti's production constructed a monstrous sound––layers of compressed fuzz toned guitar, strings, Flo and Eddie's superb background vocals, with a vibe and tempo that whispered of too-many-tokes and crisps. If this was the British 70s version of bubblegum pop, then the Brits were spoiled. For me, The Slider is a miniature symphonic masterpiece.
Once, there was talk of a post-Morrison Doors with an Iggy replacement – a flippin' genius idea, but alas. Here's a sprinkling of some fake Manzarek keyboards on top to give a hint of what might've been.
And a cover version that's pretty good too:
And Dirt, another masterpiece of the defiant low self-esteem category:
Cinema Paradiso––or absurdly––like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly––and kill both with equal skill. It's his more absurd work that made him the darling of the cool avant garde. But at the bottom of it all was that sound, a stridently tuneful siren tainted with our own nightmares and always immediately recognizable of its creator. See also The Sicilian and The Man with the Harmonica.
I'm on Fire was a radio hit that should've ignited a string of 'em but unfortunately the disasterous business practices of the record company seemed to sabotage them at evey opportunity. Below, the brilliant title tune from the album below: Dig the backwards Beatlesesque guitar.
102) Phil Manzanera, Miss Shapiro: An Eno/Manzanera collaboration from 1975 that sounds like both and neither which I suppose is what a good collaboration should sound like. A great opening guitar riff by Manzanera and quintessential Eno lyrics (Dalai llama lama puss puss/Stella marls missa nobis/Miss a dinner Miss Shapiro/Shampoos pot-pot pinkies pampered/Movement hampered like at christmas/Ha-ha isn't life a circus) buffed up with some sprinklings of prog shellac and a thick miasma of a future New Wave yet to come. It's also curious to see how much more interesting a guitar player Manzanera was when he wasn't punching the clock for Bryan Ferry. A long neglected gem, this one is.