These days, anniversary packages have become a norm for classic album sellers from way, way back. However, not all anniversary packages are the same. Some are standard two-disc expanded sets with newer, up-to-date remastering that delivers excellent sound (for the most part), while others deliver a little more, perhaps a DVD with video or, even better, high-resolution sound to make the package more desirable. Still others go the proverbial whole nine yards by assembling behemoth sets at unheard-of pricing.
One such new set being heralded is the upcoming 40th anniversary set for The Slider, the exemplary album from T. Rex that followed on the heels of Electric Warrior (1971). You may not remember the Electric Warrior album, but I'm betting you remember the song that came from it — "Bang a Gong (Get It On)."
After the worldwide acceptance of Electric Warrior, Marc Bolan, the chief architect of T. Rex, released The Slider. The album performed well in both the US and UK markets, making it one of the classic releases from Bolan's band.
Last year, Electric Warrior was reissued in a pricey super deluxe edition with all the stops pulled out to deliver a complete package with nothing left to acquire on anyone's want list. This year, the same treatment is being given to The Slider, which will be reissued in a massive Super Deluxe Edition on November 26 by UK's Edsel Records in celebration of the album's 40th anniversary.
The box set will offer a new Tony Visconti 2012 remaster (Visconti was the album's original producer). While that will certainly be a high point for such a classic album, it won't be all. You can also expect a collectible hard-back book filled with photos, stories, memorabilia, and essays. The set will include sheet music for all of the songs in a 40-page booklet.
All of this goodness will be spread over two CDs that offer B-sides, an unreleased demo of "The Slider," and other tracks. A DVD will provide TV footage, interviews, and related clips of music.
The set is further gifted with three vinyl singles ("Metal Guru," "Telegram Sam," "Chariot Choogle") and an audiophile-grade 180g weighted LP of The Slider.
In defense of such pricey Super Deluxe Editions like this one, the reality is that they are not made for everyone. They are made for the solid fan of the album. Actually, I'm a fan of these issues in that they become the definitive version of the album. For the collector, this is great stuff. If such a set is too pricey for you, then you should shine it on. But the fan is gifted!
I'm so hoping for a Tanx Super Deluxe Edition (Edsel?)!
Remember, when you're sad, just slide!