T-Rex


Band members                          Related acts

- Marc Bolan (aka Mark Feld) (RIP 1977) -- vocals, guitar
- Burt Collins -- flugel horn (197)

- Mickey Finn -- bongos (1969-70) (replaced Steve

  Perregrine-Took)
- Steve Currie (RIP) -- bass (1970-
- Dino Dines -- keyboards 
- Herbie Flowers -- bass (replaced Steve Currie) (1977- )
- Gloria Jones -- vocals
- Bill Legend (aka Bill Fifield) -- drums (1970- 

- Ian McDonald -- sax (1971)
- Tony Newman -- drums (replaced Bill Legend) (1977- ) 

 

  line up xx (1974-75)

- Marc Bolan -- vocals, guitar

- Steve Currie -- bass

- Mickey Finn -- percussion, vocals

- Gloria Jones -- clavinet, backing vocals

- Bill Legend (aka Bill Fifield) -- drums 

- Davey Lutton -- drums

 

  supporting musicians:

- Paul Fenton -- drums

 

 

   

 

 

Marc Bolan (solo efforts)
- Jack Green (solo efforts)

- Legend (Bill Legend)
- Pink Fairies (Steve Peregine-Took)
- The Pretty Things (Jack Green)
- Tyrannosaurus Rex (Marc Bolan)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  T-Rex

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS-6440

Year: 1971

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4322

Price: $20.00

Having enjoyed a massive taste of popular success via the single "Ride a White Swan" b/w "Summertime Blues" (Blue Thumb catalog number BTS 7121), the duo returned to the studios with producer Visconti. 1970's "T. Rex" marked a major turning point for Bolan. While tracks such as "The Visit" and "Suneye" retained the same pseudo-folk/hippy/trippy orientation as his Tyrannosaurus Rex catalog, much of the album found the pair pursuing a surprisingly straightforward rock oriented attack. Sporting some wonderfully trashy electric guitar, Bolan-penned numbers such as "Jewel", "Beltane Walk", "Is It Love?" and "Seagull Woman" were far more accessible than earlier efforts. Elsewhere, "One Inch Rock" and "The Wizard" were remakes of earlier Tyrannosaurus Rex efforts, while Reprise arranged for the previously released "Ride a White Swan" to be added to the American release track listing. Benfitting from first rate production and arrangements (including prominent backing vocals from ex-Turtles Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (aka Flo and Eddie)), to our ears the collection was far better than anything they'd previously done. "Swan" also proved to the duo's first major hit, peaking at #13 in the UK and #188 in the States. Following it's release Bolan also moved to expand the band, adding bass player Steve Currie and former Legend drummer Bill Fifield (aka Bill Legend) to the line up. Bolan and company then began an extended tour, tightening up their act as they played though out England. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"T.Rex" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Children of Rarn (Marc Bolan) - 
2.) Jewel (Marc Bolan) - 
3.) The Visit (Marc Bolan) - 
4.) Childe (Marc Bolan) - 
5.) The Time of Love Is Now (Marc Bolan) - 
6.) Diamond Meadows (Marc Bolan) - 
7.) Root of Star (Marc Bolan) - 

(side 2)

1.) Beltane Walk (Marc Bolan) - 
2.) Is It Love? (Marc Bolan) - 
3.) One Inch Rock (Marc Bolan) - 
4.) Summer Deep (Marc Bolan) - 
5.) Seagull Woman (Marc Bolan) - 
6.) Suneye (Marc Bolan) - 
8.) The Wizard (Marc Bolan) - 
9.) Ride a White Swan (Marc Bolan) - 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Title:  Electric Warrior

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS-6466

Year: 1971

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; minor wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4995

Price: $10.00

 

 

1971's Tony Visconti produced "Electric Warrior" marked Marc Bolan's first album working with a full band (the new recruits including bassist bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend).  In addition to the mega hit 'Bang a Gong (Get It On) which was re-titled 'Get It On' in an effort to protect American audiences form bad influences, the album served as a near perfect showcase for Bolan's new found blend of hippie-trippy philosophy (the album sported some of the era's goofiest lyrics), electric power-pop moves and blatant Chuck Berry-rips.  On the surface it didn't sound like a particularly appealing combination, but Bolan was smart enough to add lots of makeup and even more sex to the mix.  Call it prototype glam, though with a distinctive commercial bent.  Be sure to check out the hysterical 'Jeepster'.  Easily one of the best car = sex songs ever.  The album's other winning ingredient was the sense of fun it exuded.  On tracks like 'Mambo Sun', 'Monolith' and the roaring 'Rip Off'  Bolan and company sounded like they were having a blast recording that album and didn't care what anyone thought.  The set wasn't perfect, but came damn close with the only real disappointment being the lame blues-rocker 'Lean Woman Blues'.  With T.Rex-mania in full swing in the UK the album had no trouble going to the top of the charts.   Ironically, in a couple of interviews Bolan readily admit that the album's updated sound was intended to capture an American audience.  Unfortunately it wasn't an overwhelming success, though powered by 'Get It On' it hit # 32 in the US.

 

And the singles drawn from the album were:

 

- 'Get It On' b/w 'Raw Ramp' (Reprise catalog number 1032)

- 'Jeepster' b/w 'Rip Off' (Reprise catalog number 1056)

 

"Electric Warrior" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Mambo Sun  (Marc Bolan) - 3:28

2.) Cosmic Dancer  (Marc Bolan) - 4:27

3.) Jeepster  (Marc Bolan) - 4:10

4.) Monolith  (Marc Bolan) - 3:45

5.) Lean Woman Blues  (Marc Bolan) - 3:00

(side 2)

1.) Get It On  (Marc Bolan) - 4:26

2.) Planet Queen  (Marc Bolan) - 3:11

3.) Girl  (Marc Bolan) - 2:30

4.) The Motivator  (Marc Bolan) - 3:59

5.) Life's a Gas  (Marc Bolan) - 2:22

6.) Rip Off  (Marc Bolan) - 3:39

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Slider

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS-2095

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4

Price: $8.00

Although the band only enjoyed moderate success in the States (most of it a result of the single "Bang a Gong), during the 1971-72 timeframe, they scored an impressive streak of top-10 English chart hits. That success led to comparisons with The Beatles' own successes. and a series of exhausting tours, television appearances and interviews. Unfortunately, it wasn't without costs including the breakup of Bolan's marriage and further deterioration of his already poor health. Amidst all of the activity, Bolan and company somehow found time to record a new album. With Visconti again producing, 1972's "The Slider" did little to tamper with the band's formula for success. Showcasing Bolan's limited, but appealing, voice, material such as the title track "Spaceball Richochet", "Rock On" and "Baby Boomerang" seldom strayed far from fuzz guitar propelled pop-rock. Thanks to Visconti, the sound may have been a little denser; Bolan's guitar given a little more spotlight, but the overall sound remained easygoing and enthusiastic. It was hard not to get sucked into the album's groove, even if Bolan's penchant for sophomoric poetry and dumsh*t scifi lyrics left you scratching your head ("Ballrooms of Mars"). Supported by his appearance in the film "Born To Boogie" and a pair of English top charting singles ("Metal Guru" and "Telegram Sam" - the latter a pure knock off of "Bang a Gong"), the collection proved a massive English hit. Peaking at #17 the album also became Bolan's most successful American release. (The LP was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"The Slider" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Metal Guru (Marc Bolan) - 
2.) Mystic Lady (Marc Bolan) - 
3.) Rock On (Marc Bolan) - 
4.) The Slider (Marc Bolan) - 
5.) Baby Boomerang (Marc Bolan) - 
6.) Spaceball Richochet (Marc Bolan) - 

(side 2)

1.) Buick Mackrane (Marc Bolan) - 
2.) Telegram Sam (Marc Bolan) - 
3.) Rabbit Fighter (Marc Bolan) - 
4.) Baby Strange (Marc Bolan) - 
5.) Ballrooms of Mars (Marc Bolan) - 
6.) Chariot Choogle (Marc Bolan) - 
7.) Main Man (Marc Bolan) - 


 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Light of Love

Company: Casablanca

Catalog: NBLP 7005

Year: 1974

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: in torn shrink wrap (opened); small seam split 0.5: along top edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6352

Price: $9.00

 

The fact Marc Bolan was forced to sign with a label like Neil Bogart's newly-formed dance-oriented Casablanca was a pretty good indicator that his career was in trouble.  Released in 1974, the US-only "Light of Love" was actually a compilation set, pulling together three songs from 1973's "Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow" (Teenage Dream', 'Explosive Mouth' and 'Venus Loon') and sight tracks recorded for Bolan's planned UK follow-on "Bolan's Zip Gun".  Having ended his long-standing partnership with producer Tony Visconti, the album found Bolan stepping into the role of producer.  You might have expected a monumental change like that to have a major change on Bolan's overall sound, but it didn't.  Bolan's unique glam-pop seemed largely unchanged with most of these eleven songs underscoring Bolan's simplistic song structures - I frequently find myself thinking, wow I could have written something like that.  At the same time, the album did have kind of a stitched together feel.  Without a lot of effort most folks could probably figure out which songs were from the earlier "Zinc" LP - just listen for the muddy production values.   

 

- Yeah, I know it was a comeback hit for Bolan and company, but I've got to tell you that 'Light of Love' may have been one of the worst things the man ever recorded.  A hideous melody that sounds like it was cobbled together in about thirty seconds with even dumber lyrics (here should be a lawa against having that many la-la-las in a song), and a simply abysmal performance.  Hard to tell Bolan was even awake for this one.   The only thing worse was the accompanying video which you can see on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3icbQfh_bAc  rating: ** stars

- Admittedly 'Solid Baby' had a certain slinky throw-away charm, but beyond the title repeated time after time, there wasn't a great deal to the song.   rating: ** stars

- No matter what you thought about Bolan's talents (or lack thereof), you had to admit the man could occasionally crank out a catchy pop ditty - witness 'Precious Star'.  A breezy slice of top-40 pop with one of those instantly recognizable Bolan hooks, the only complaint on this one came in the form of the needless screechy female backing vocals.   This one would have made a nice single - far better than the title track.    rating: **** stars

- Deciding to give '50s-styled R&B a shot was probably a concept that looked better on paper than in actual execution.  Bolan simply didn't have the kind of voice needed to pull the genre off and trying to camouflage those shortcomings with an army of shrill female backing singers only served to underscore his vocal limitations.   Thoroughly boring and it seems to go on and on and on ....   rating: ** stars

- A classic slice of Bolan glam-rock, 'Space Boss' had the same lyrical depth as a toothpaste commercial, but then who cared since this was intended as throwaway pop fodder.   Mindless fun and actually kind of funky, though the female backing singers remained an major source of irritation.   rating: *** stars

- One of three tracks pulled from his last UK LP, 'Think Zinc' suffered from horrible sound, but was still one of the better performances.  Nowhere near as commercial as some of the other tracks, the song's tougher sound was actually a benefit, showing Bolan was capable of handling more conventional rock material.   Yeah, the female backing singers were here as well.   rating: *** stars

- 'Till Dawn' was another track that came close to capturing some of the earlier magic.  Yeah, the song underscored what a limited voice Bolan had (he was very shaky on this one), but the song had one of the album's better melodies and there was actually a memorable guitar solo.    rating: *** stars

- A top-20 UK hit, 'Teenage Dream' is another track that's always been a mystery to my ears.  I've simply never understood this heavily orchestrated ballad's appeal.  Bad Mott the Hoople ?   Courtesy of YouTube you can check it out yourself:  Here's a solo Bolan lip synching the song on the German Disco television show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt-f8un0Nfw   rating: ** stars

- Just when you'd given up on Bolan he trots out another cute, funny, and catchy number and one of the album's best performance - 'Girl In the Thunderbolt Suit'.  rating: **** stars

- Metal funky ?   I guess that would describe 'Explosive Mouth' as well as anything I've heard.  Kicked along by plenty of fuzz guitar and Bolan's slurred vocals you had to admit there was something jarring in the lyrics "I wanna lay my lips on your explosive mouth ..."   Always wondered why the song faded out so early.   rating: *** stars

- I guess I always figured I was just losing something in the translation 'cause the 'Venus Loon' lyrics were just a complete puzzle to my American ears.  And then one day I happened to stumbled across the actual lyrics ...  "Slipshod gymslip in my neighborhood, Empty head, steel bed, Dipseys no good. All alone, no telephone, to hype up my baby, Goin' to see my baby in the afternoon, Goin' to take my baby on a Venus loon ...".  You tell me.  Musically and stylistically this was prototypical T.Rex - loud, brash, and catchy in a dumb, radio-friendly fashion.   rating: *** stars

The collection included a pair of UK singles: 

 

- 1973's 'Teenage Dream' b/w 'Satisfaction Pony' (EMI catalog number MARC 7)

- 1974's 'Light of Love' b/w 'Explosive Mouth' (EMI catalog number MARC 8)

 

Bolan and company returned to the States touring in support of the LP, but American sales were poor.  Being paired with the likes of Black Oak Arkansas and Blue Oyster Cult probably didn't help.  Adding to his problems, Bolan's next UK studio album "Bolan's Zip Gun" wasn't helped by the fact  eight of the tracks had appeared on the "Light of Love" album which had been heavily imported into the UK. 

 

"Light of Love" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Light of Love   (Marc Bolan) - 3:16

2.) Solid Baby   (Marc Bolan) - 2:37

3.) Precious Star   (Marc Bolan) - 2:51

4.) Token of My Love   (Marc Bolan) - 3;39

5.) Space Boss   (Marc Bolan) - 2:47

6.) Think Zinc   (Marc Bolan - 3:21

(side 2)

1.) Till Dawn   (Marc Bolan) - 3:01

2.) Teenage Dream   (Marc Bolan) - 4:58

3.) Girl In the Thunderbolt Suit   (Marc Bolan) - 2:19

4.) Explosive Mouth   (Marc Bolan) - 2:25

5.) Venus Loon   (Marc Bolan) - 3:02

 

 

 

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