Wednesday, July 6, 2011

T. Rex- S/T (1970) MP3 & FLAC

"A shape that was golden and crimson extended a claw to my frame. I sunk in the sand like an infant. I screamed but my tongue was lame."

Marc Bolan's decision to pick up the electric guitar may not have been as momentous as Bob Dylan's similar decision five years earlier, but in its own way, it created a ripple effect that was felt well into the seventies and beyond. More specifically, Bolan's re-invention of his sound, from the baroque freak-folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex to the harder, sex-drenched re-interpretation of early rock conventions that characterized T. Rex, is often credited as the true progenitor of the British Glam movement, which makes sense given that Glam is firmly grounded in the psychedelic and Art-Rock trends of the late sixties while also representing an overt rejection of the utopian tendencies of the era's counter-culture. Bolan is also credited with lending Glam its taste for musical theatrics, its androgynous sexuality, and its penchant for satin and glitter, all of which coalesced in T. Rex's legendary performance of the single "Hot Love" on Top of the Pops in 1971:

The seeds of Bolan's transformation can be traced back to a disastrous U.S. tour to promote Tyrannosaurus Rex's third album, Unicorn, during which his relationship with the other member of the duo, percussionist Steve Peregrine Took, suffered irreparably. The story goes that Took's replacement on the next album, Mickey Finn, lacked Took's backing-vocal abilities, which forced Bolan to double-track his own vocals, and in doing so, he stumbled on another element of the band's new sound. T. Rex, like its predecessor, Beard of Stars, is a transitional album through and through; however, unlike its predecessor, T. Rex bears some unmistakable signs pointing to the artistic heights Bolan would hit on the next three T. Rex albums. "Jewel" is a perfect example of this. At first glance, it sounds very much in the vein of the early Tyrannosaurus Rex albums with Bolan inhabiting his "bopping elf" persona and Finn providing some minimalist bongo accompaniment; however, just beneath the surface, the song burns along as an intense, bluesy rocker until the midway point, when Bolan offers a glimpse of the sound that would soon make him an icon. On "Diamond Meadows," the band utilizes what sounds like a string quartet to amp up the drama and beauty of the song, and while it does echo Bolan's earlier work to some degree, it sounds bigger and more fully formed in terms of melody and impact. One of the lesser-known gems found on T. Rex is "Seagull Woman," which has the distinction of being the first time Bolan worked with ex-Turtles Flo & Eddie, whose back-up vocals would play a major role in the success of Electric Warrior a year later. The song features one of Bolan's most beautifully understated vocals and a striking melody. Some characterize this album as little more than an an inferior warm-up for the classic albums that followed it, but T. Rex, in its own subtly prescient ways, is a worthy precursor to those albums.

T. Rex (2004 Remastered and Expanded Edition)

 1. The Children of Rarn  (0:53)
 2. Jewel  (2:46)
 3. The Visit  (1:55)
 4. Childe  (1:46)
 5. The Time of Love Is Now  (2:42)
 6. Diamond Meadows  (1:58)
 7. Root of Star  (2:41)
 8. Beltane Walk  (2:26)
 9. Is It Love?  (2:34)
10. One Inch Rock  (2:26)
11. Summer Deep  (1:43)
12. Seagull Woman  (2:18)
13. Suneye  (2:06)
14. The Wizard  (8:50)
15. The Children of Rarn  (0:36)
-Bonus Tracks-
16. Ride a White Swan (Single A-Side)  (2:32)
17. Summertime Blues (Single B-Side)  (2:42)
18. Poem  (0:34)
19. The Visit (Take 4)  (1:57)
20. Diamond Meadows (Take 6)  (1:56)
21. One Inch Rock  (2:26)
22. Seagull Woman  (2:20)
23. The Wizard  (8:33)
24. The Children of Rarn  (0:43)


  1. Thank you I haven't listened to this for so many years.

  2. This is very nice (and totally unexpected!) Kurt

  3. This was my introduction to Marc Bolan/T-Rex. I had the original US vinyl with the slide out/fold out poster, and since I didn't mind being without half the lyrics, it spent most of its life attached to my bedroom wall. My person favorite was "Is It Love?" which kicked off side 2 (quite righteously I might add). I later had to replace it with an import copy along with a copy of "Bolan Boogie" for the "Ride A White Swan" single missing (It also had the elusive "Raw Ramp" with the intro).

  4. scurfie, you're welcome & enjoy :)

  5. kurt, I have a number of glam treasures lined up for the summer months. It's one of my favorite "genres"

  6. cudawaver, I had the "Bolan Boogie" comp at one point. It had "Hot Love" on it too. I should track down the remaster

  7. steve, my pleasure. I'll be posting glam-related gems all summer, so stay-tuned. :)


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