The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- Insanely good sound throughout for this early UK pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
- These sides were bigger, richer and livelier, with more bass, energy and Tubey Magic than most of the other copies we played
- Even the best domestic pressings always sounded dubby to us - we gave up playing them years ago
- 5 stars: "The Slider essentially replicates all the virtues of Electric Warrior, crammed with effortless hooks and trashy fun. All of Bolan's signatures are here - mystical folk-tinged ballads, overt sexual come-ons crooned over sleazy, bopping boogies, loopy nonsense poetry, and a mastery of the three-minute pop song form."
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This is probably the last White Hot Stamper pressing you will see on the site for many years to come. Our sources for records such as this -- really, anything by the band -- have dried up. It is unlikely we will find many new ones. For the time being this is it. Fans of rare records such as this one may want to get while the gettin' is good.
For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good a 1972 All Tube Analog recording can sound, this killer copy will do the trick. (To be honest, since I do not know what equipment was being used in the many studios this album was recorded in, better to say that this is what, to our ears, sounds like all tube analog sound.)
With Tony Visconti in the studio, the sound has much in common with another Glam Rock Masterpiece from the same year, Ziggy Stardust (although that album is purely Ken Scott's production, and surely his masterpiece).
This pressing is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.
This IS the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There may well be a CD of this album, but those of us in possession of a working turntable and a good collection of vintage vinyl could care less.
One of the many highlights of the album is the wonderful background vocals performed by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman -- better known as The Turtles, or Flo & Eddie for you Zappa fans out there.
What amazing sides on The Slider have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1972
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments (and effects!) having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
What We're Listening For on The Slider
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
Ballrooms of Mars
Buoyed by two U.K. number one singles in "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru," The Slider became T. Rex's most popular record on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the fact that it produced no hits in the U.S.
The Slider essentially replicates all the virtues of Electric Warrior, crammed with effortless hooks and trashy fun. All of Bolan's signatures are here -- mystical folk-tinged ballads, overt sexual come-ons crooned over sleazy, bopping boogies, loopy nonsense poetry, and a mastery of the three-minute pop song form.
The main difference is that the trippy mix of Electric Warrior is replaced by a fuller, more immediate-sounding production. Bolan's guitar has a harder bite, the backing choruses are more up-front, and the arrangements are thicker-sounding, even introducing a string section on some cuts (both ballads and rockers).
Even with the beefier production, T. Rex still doesn't sound nearly as heavy as many of the bands it influenced (and even a few of its glam contemporaries), but that's partly intentional -- Bolan's love of a good groove takes precedence over fast tempos or high-volume crunch.
Lyrically, Bolan's flair for the sublimely ridiculous is fully intact, but he has way too much style for The Slider to sound truly stupid, especially given the playful, knowing wink in his delivery. It's nearly impossible not to get caught up in the irresistible rush of melodies and cheery good times. Even if it treads largely the same ground as Electric Warrior, The Slider is flawlessly executed, and every bit the classic that its predecessor is.
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