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  Listen Up! 7/22/02 Listen Up!

Monday, July 22

T. Rex, “The Slider,” Chronicles Records. T. Rex made two perfect albums, this one and “Electric Warrior.” Not that everything else was worthless, but Marc Bolan was an inconsistent cuss most of the time. For a couple years there, he was simply incapable of making an artistic mistake, melding an ambition to rule the pop music world with a simple elegance and rock’n’roll panache. Song after song, the hooks stay straight and true, the melodies lay right in the pocket, and the grooves are undeniable.

Albert King, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” Stax Records. If there are five essential blues records that no home should be without, this easily makes the cut. Albert King was at the top of his game when he recorded for Stax, and the impeccable backing of Booker T and the MG’s gave him a focus that he rarely achieved before or after the two albums he did there. You may actually know many of these songs if you’ve ever listened to blues at all. If you don’t, you’re lucky, because you can still discover works of genius.

--Steve Pick



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