Tyrannosaurus Rex's transformation from oracles of U.K. hippie culture to boogie-friendly rock stars began with the album A Beard of Stars, released in early 1970 when the band picked up electric instruments, and by the time the year was out, Marc Bolan had pared their name down to the more user-friendly T. Rex and dropped their first album with the new moniker…
Official Release #83. At the time of Frank Zappa's passing in late 1993, he left a number of projects in varying stages of completeness. Some of these had gotten no further than the so-called "build-reel" stage. It was at this preliminary phase that the artist had done little more than set aside various and sundry audio on the back-burner in his Utility Muffin Research Kitchen home studio. One Shot Deal (2008) is a single-CD compilation taken from a number of disparate sources – including a pair of tunes from Zappa's "build reels." As the set's co-producer Gail Zappa explains in her inimitable style in the brief liner notes essay "…the guitar was the main element for me…." With that as an unofficial mandate, the 5-plus minutes – which cover the meaty nine-year span of 1972 to 1981 – is undeniably fret-centric.
This fabulous five disc set is replete with some of those old Stokowski warhorses all recorded in absolutely mind boggling Phase 4 sound, overblown perhaps but astounding for its time. Decca's remastering is absolutely magnificent and the discs are jam packed with almost six hours of music. This is another fine memorial to a great conductor who remained astonishingly vital until the very end of his life.
Before the hits really starting coming, Slade showed why they were one of England's best live acts with this fevered concert recording from 1972. Set alight by plenty of stomping beats, lumbering bass, fat guitars, and Noddy Holder's hoarse vocal scream, Slade Alive! finds the lads from Wolverhampton goading on their rabid fans at every juncture ("Wan ya ta really let loose on iss one"). In return, the crowd's handclap choruses and drunken exhortations fire up the band, inspiring them to take pub rock to glam proportions ("In Like a Shot From My Gun"), make a fine mess out of a Steppenwolf classic ("Born to Be Wild"), and add a bit of feedback to John Sebastian's folk-pop ("Darling Be Home Soon"). Plus, hits like the MC5-esque "Know Who You Are" and retro-rocker "Get Down Get With It" are given proper live workouts.