Q (10/02, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Splendidly lithe....this album found Bolan at a crossroads [of funk]... "
The 1997 reissue of ZINC ALLOY AND THE HIDDEN RIDERS OF TOMORROW contains 5 additional tracks that did not appear on the original release; "The Groover," "Midnight," "Truck On (Tyke)," "Sitting Here" and "Satisfaction Pony."
T. Rex: Marc Bolan, Mickey Finn, Steve Currie, Bill Legend, Jack Green, Lonnie Jordan, Danny Thompson, B.J. Cole.
The Cosmic Choir: Sister Pat Hall, The Gloria Jones, Big Richard.
Additional personnel: Maestro David Katz & The Pop Orchestra.
Includes liner notes by Mark Paytress.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
By 1974, the phenomenon known as T. Rextacy was on the wane. The group had always been Bolan's vehicle, but the departure of some original members, the addition of three backup vocalists, and the name change, to Marc Bolan And T. Rex, signaled a significant new direction for the band.
The sound of ZINC ALLOY shows the influence of American soul music, and demonstrates an overall evolution. Where the group's biggest hits were basically gritty, straightforward rock, the sound on ZINC is flashier, more orchestrated, and generally slicker. The prominent string section and heavy echo of the opener, "Venus Loon," recalls Phil Spector. Additionally, Bolan shares many of the vocal duties with his girlfriend, the American singer Gloria Jones. In the record's sometimes operatic settings, the pair occasionally sound like Meatloaf and Karla De Vito. Yet Bolan could still write them like he used to, as songs like "Explosive Mouth" and the vaguely ominous gem "Change" ably demonstrate. "The Groover," a 1973 hit single, is a welcome bonus track.
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- Electric Jewels (Bolan, Marc)