Slade v T Rex

It was all very tribal in the early 70s. Especially at school and extra-especially at the time when Slade took on T Rex in a battle that made Blur v Oasis look like the petty playground spat that it was.
No Slade v T Rex was real “Fight, fight, fight” stuff. This was 1972 and it was Slayed? v The Slider. Slade were tough lads, ex-skinheads while T Rex were effete young men that talked about mystic ladies and strange babies. Slade wanted you to get down and get with it!
You were in one camp (sic) or the other. Or were you really? At the time a good number of us liked both bands and T Rex’s Hot Love was a huge hit at the skinhead discos. Life wasn’t so simple and although people might have wanted a Slade v T Rex war it wasn’t to be. And of course over the subsequent years both bands have touched the lives of many people. They’ve flitted in and out of mine. When I was hip and trendy (oh for 20 minutes in 1977) T Rex were okay. They invited The Damned on tour with them and Marc’s own TV show weren’t too bad either. Slade still produced records but I never bought them.
Later there was an acrimonious split within Slade and – of course – a tragic end to Marc Bolan’s life.
Now forty years on The Slider has just been re-released in a glorious vinyl box-set and I play my Slade albums more than I have ever done. I’m still not sure which band I like the best. Still not sure whose side I’m on. And of course none of it matters. It was all bullshit. They were just two magnificent pop/rock bands that produced a string of great, great songs.
As it’s that time of the year when granny’s up and rock and rollin’ with the rest while Telegram Sam is getting played on 6music just rejoice in the bloody brilliance of it all.
Slade v T Rex? A high-scoring draw I reckon.


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