Of the many delights on T. Rex's glam triumph The Slider, "Ballrooms of Mars" is one of the most atypical, miles away from the usual strutting cool of that band at its best. While Marc Bolan's songs in the early Tyrannosaurus Rex days could be weirdly weepy in their own right, it was a strange, aggressive sort of emotion, rather unlike the slow, unsettled aura here. The overdubbed combination of acoustic and electric guitars that Bolan made his unsurprisingly is the heart of the song, but Tony Visconti's production is just alien enough, with the echo cranked up heavy on both the drums and Bolan's own not-quite-there singing. With the descending chords typical of Bolan's work to the fore throughout as the song's stately pace unfolds, his cryptic lyrics about "dancing our lives away" in the title locale are what give the song its mystery. Then there are the trademark references to rock history via mentions of Bob Dylan, Alan Freed, and, in one great moment, this sly line: "John Lennon knows your name/And I've seen his."