T. Rex

Baby Strange

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One couplet runs "I wanna call ya/I wanna ball ya," which gives away the fact that it's not quite 1956 in terms of this being the product of a number one English singer. But the genius of "Baby Strange," a track from T. Rex's excellent album The Slider, is that it is the sound of that decade upgraded for a newer time, right from the "And a one and a two and a boppely doppely do!" start. Admittedly, Marc Bolan's playing had often won comparisons to the birth of rock & roll -- his guitar work in particular had any number of references to that time, especially the work of Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson. But far from being a simple revivalist, Bolan spiked his punch with not merely his self-conscious star imagery but his sly, sweet whisper, seemingly at odds with the electric bite the songs so often provided. Bill Legend's drum hits come through loud and clean, further tribute to Tony Visconti's genius production work of the time, while his addition of strings throughout, descending notes matching the guitar work in the chorus, adds to the combination of upfront sass and gentle moodiness. Top it off with Bolan's own brand of pixie dust, and it's another unfailing success from his best period -- it's no wonder Big Star chose to cover this on its live reunion album from 1992.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Slider 1972 Fat Possum Records / Universal Music 3:06
Get It On [MFP] 1986 Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) / Prism Entertainment / Prism Platinum
Great Hits 1972-1977: The B-Sides 1994 Chronicles / Mercury 3:06
Rabbit Fighter: The Alternate Slider 1994 Edsel 2:57
Metal Guru [Box Set] 1997 Edsel 3:03
Singles A's & B's: 1972-1977 2002 Marcbox 3:05
20th Century Superstar 2002 Universal International 3:06
Boogie On 2003 Pilot 3:00
Born to Boogie 2005 Sanctuary 4:59
Rocks! 2005 Crimson Productions 3:05
Children of the Revolution: An Introduction to Marc Bolan 2006 Music Club International Records / Music Club Deluxe 3:05