Tanx

Tanx is the eighth album by T. Rex, released in 1973. Tanx was a hit in UK and Europe but it failed to emulate the success of The Slider in the U.S., reaching only #102 in the album charts. It was critically derided by journalists who said the darker, adult sound was a complete departure from the unique melodic rock and roll that made the band famous.

It predates punk in some ways, with largely darker and more aggressive songs, and shorter songs than the previous two T. Rex albums (“Electric Warrior” and “The Slider”) with 9 of the songs less than three minutes long (by comparison, “Get It On” was 4:24), akin to Bolan’s previous albums under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex and the debut album under the abbreviated “T. Rex” name (all of which had no more than 2 songs over three minutes per album). “Tanx” is also the first album notably to incorporate elements of soul music, further explored in the following album, “Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow”, and other subsequent T. Rex albums. Likewise, it’s the beginning of Bolan’s marked departure from the glam rock style which he originated and helped popularize, preceding contemporary David Bowie’s departure from glam and move towards soul music with his album, “Young Americans”, by nearly 2 years.

The song “Born to Boogie” was actually not featured in the 1972 Ringo Starr produced film, also called Born to Boogie. Curiously, the popular single “20th Century Boy” was not included on the album.

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, would be the last of their albums released in the US.

Reissues

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 Alternate Tanx), was released in 1995 which contained alternative versions, studio rough mixes and demos of the main album and bonus tracks. A combined album digipak (MEDCD716) 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.

Track listing

All songs composed by Marc Bolan.

  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
  8. “Mad Donna” – 2:16
  9. “Born to Boogie” – 2:04
  10. “Life is Strange” – 2:30
  11. “The Street and Babe Shadow” – 2:18
  12. “Highway Knees” – 2:34
  13. “Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys” – 5:18

 

1994 CD reissue (Edsel EDCD391)
  1. “Children of the Revolution” – 2:30
  2. “Jitterbug Love” – 2:59
  3. “Sunken Rags” – 2:54
  4. “Solid Gold Easy Action” – 2:20
  5. “Xmas Riff” – 0:11
  6. “20th Century Boy” – 3:41
  7. “Free Angel” – 2:12

Left Hand Luke (The Alternate Tanx) (Edesl EDCD 410)

  1. “Tenement Lady / Darling” – 2:49
  2. “Rapids” – 1:59
  3. “Mister Mister” – 2:49
  4. “Broken Hearted Blues” – 2:08
  5. “Country Honey” – 1:50
  6. “Mad Donna” – 2:19
  7. “Born to Boogie” – 2:09
  8. “Life is Strange” – 1:47
  9. “The Street and Babe Shadow” – 2:20
  10. “Highway Knees” – 2:32
  11. “Left Hand Luke” – 5:17
  12. “Children of the Revolution” – 1:04
  13. “Solid Gold Easy Action” – 2:13
  14. “Free Angel” – 2:14
  15. “Mister Mister” (Acoustic and Bass Demo) – 3:32
  16. “Broken Hearted Blues” (Acoustic and Bass Demo) – 2:08
  17. “The Street and the Babe Shadow” – 2:14
  18. “Tenement Lady” (Acoustic and Bass Demo) – 1:35
  19. “Tenement Lady” (Acoustic Demo) – 1:53
  20. “Broken Hearted Blues” (Acoustic Demo) – 1:50
  21. “Mad Donna” (Different Lyrics / Acoustic Demo) – 1:45
  22. “The Street and the Babe Shadow” (Acoustic Demo) – 2:36
  23. “Left Hand Luke” (Acoustic Demo) – 1:58

The Tanx Recordings (TPL.CD.03)

  1. “Tenement Lady” – 3:18
  2. “Darling” – 1:46
  3. “Rapids” – 4:39
  4. “Mister Mister” – 3:31
  5. “Broken Hearted Blues” – 2:16
  6. “Shock Rock” – 2:36
  7. “Country Honey” – 2:06
  8. “Electric Slim & the Factory Hen” – 3:16
  9. “Mad Donna” – 4:10
  10. “Born to Boogie” – 2:10
  11. “Life is Strange” – 2:39
  12. “The Street & Babe Shadow” – 2:17
  13. “Highway Knees” – 2:35
  14. “Left Hand Luke” – 5:26
  15. “Children of the Revolution” – 3:32
  16. “Jitterbug Love” – 3:59
  17. “Solid Gold Easy Action” – 3:31
  18. “20th Century Boy” – 3:57
  19. “Free Angel” – 2:21

 

Versions

Title Label Cat# Country Year
Tanx (LP, Album) EMI, EMI BLN 5002, 0C 062-94187 UK 1973
Tanx (8-Trk, Album) EMI, EMI 8X-BLN 5002, 0C 346 o 94187 UK 1973
Tanx (LP) Reprise Records MS 2132 US 1973
Tanx (LP) Jugoton LSEMI 70540 Yugoslavia 1973
Tanx (LP) Reprise Records MS 2132 Canada 1973
Tanx (LP, Album) EMI BLN 5002 New Zealand 1973
Tanx (LP, Album) Ariola 86 645 IT Germany 1973
Tanx (LP, Gat) CBS REX 65489 France 1973
Tanx (CD) TELDEC 8.26712 Germany 1987
Tanx (LP, Album, RP) Marc On Wax Ltd. Rap 504 UK 1987
Tanx (LP, Album, RE, Gat) Marc On Wax Ltd. MARCL 504 UK 1989
Tanx (CD, Album, RE, Dig) Repertoire Records REP 4892 Germany 1994
Tanx (CD, Album, RE, RM) Edsel Records EDCD391 Europe 1994
Tanx / Left Hand Luke The Alternate Tanx (CD, Album, RE, RM + CD, Comp) Edsel Records REXLUX 1012 Germany 1995
Tanx (CD) Teichiku Records TEXC-18821 Japan 1996
Tanx (CD, Album, RE, RM + CD, Comp, RE, RM) Rhino Records (2) R2 73286 US 2002
Tanx (CD, Album, RE, RM + CD, Comp, RE, RM) Edsel Records MEDCD 716 Europe 2002
Tanx (LP) Get Back GET634 Italy 2003
Tanx (CD, Album) Imperial Records (Japan) TECI-26565 Japan 2009
Tanx (LP, RM, RE, Gat) Fat Possum Records FP1238-1 US 2011
Tanx (LP, Album, RE) TELDEC, TELDEC 6.26712 BL, 6.26712 Germany
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