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Marc Bolan - The Best of T-Rex (1998) Retail CD
Technically this compilation is by Tyrannosaurus Rex not T. Rex, the name adopted by a later incarnation of the group. It therefore only contains material recorded by the short-lived Tyrannosaurus Rex during the period 1968-1970.
However, it does feature the band's 3 Top 50 chart singles (Debora; One Inch Rock; King Of The Rumbling Spires) together with some b-sides. Also included are tracks from the group's four albums: 'My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair, But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows'(1968); 'Prophets Seers And Sages, The Angels Of The Ages'(1968); 'Unicornmore…'(1969) and 'A Beard Of Stars'(1970). Most of the percussion/bongos/etc. are played by Steve Peregine Took while Mickey Finn, who teamed up with Bolan in 1969, is only present on a few tracks.
Despite the band's popular image as bongo-playing pixie-fixated hippy types (which is not particularly inaccurate), some of these tracks showcase experiments with a full band and electric guitar. Challenging, unusual, innovative and a bit weird, Tyrannosaurus Rex are often seen as epitomising the childlike innocence of hippydom more than any other group of the time.
From gentle ballads to manic acoustic workouts this album isn't bad as a taster if you're new to early Bolan. The group's style, though, is nothing like the polished radio-friendly groovers Bolan was famous for in the glory days of T. Rex and Glam Rock.
A Tyrannosaurus Rex 2-disc release would ultimately do better tribute to the band's memory, especially as this collection only features one track each from their latter two albums.
But overall, its a good place to start if you want to explore Bolan's pre-'Hot Love' legacy. Just don't forget 'T.Rex'(1970), the first album by the newly renamed T. Rex, destined to be overshadowed by its colossal follow-up 'Electric Warrior'.
|3||Cat Black (The Wizard's Hat)|
|6||Find A Little Wood|
|7||Once Upon The Seas Of Abyssinia|
|8||One Inch Rock|
|12||King Of The Rumbling Spires|
|13||Blessed Wild Apple Girl|
- Marc Bolan - The Best of T-Rex (1998) Retail CD
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- 12/05/08 by paragong
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