Ballrooms of Mars
Recorded in Paris on Elton John’s recommendation, with artwork shot by Ringo Starr, T. Rex’s seventh album underlined how far the band had infiltrated pop culture by its release in 1972. After the career-making Electric Warrior had engulfed Marc Bolan in superstardom, The Slider kept the riotous eccentricity and zipped it up into an irresistibly tight package. “Telegram Sam” (a cheeky ode to the band’s accountant) borrows the slinky riff of “Bang a Gong,” while “Metal Guru” oozes with Bolan’s unapologetic bravado. Its seductive combination of otherness and immediacy inspired future British pop mavericks including The Smiths and Gary Numan.