Tyrannosaurus Rex — A Beard of Stars
(A&M 982 251-2, 1970/2004, CD)
Tyrannosaurus Rex — My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
(A&M 982 250-9, 1967/2004, CD)
Tyrannosaurus Rex — Prophets, Seers and Sages, the Angels of the Ages
(A&M 982 251-0, 1968/2004, CD)
Tyrannosaurus Rex — Unicorn
(A&M 982251-1, 1969/2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01
Here we have the long-awaited reissue of Marc Bolan’s earliest recordings, back when Tyrannosaurus was spelled out in full and electric guitars were unusual coloring rather than the foundation of the music. The first two albums (My People Were Fair and Prophets, Seers and Sages) were performed entirely by Bolan on vocals and acoustic guitar, with Steve Peregrin Took on percussion (mostly bongos), backing vocals, and pixiephone. For the third album, Unicorn, Tony Visconti adds piano on one track, and Took plays a drum kit; Bolan expands his playing to include keyboards. John Peel contributes spoken voice for a children’s story on each.
For the fourth album, A Beard of Stars, Took has departed, replaced by Micky Finn in the same basic role. As you might guess from the album titles and instrumentation, the music is basically psychedelic hippie folk, maybe the finest example of the genre (for what it’s worth). Bolan’s obsession with all things magical and mystical might seem a bit silly, or even annoying to many listeners, with song titles like “Knight,” “Aznageel the Mage,” “Dragon’s Ear,” and “Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles.” There are also a number of tunes showing his preoccupation with American lifestyles: “Hot Rod Mama,” “Mustang Ford.” And there’s the sheer nonsense titles, such as “Salamanda Palaganda.” Unless you’re a huge fan, I’d say any one of these reissued CDs could stand for the whole. The fourth album leans closely to the sound that T.Rex would become famous for, with some rollicking electric guitar and fuller sound. It still seems ironic to me that a band named after one of the most dangerous animals to ever live should be so gentle and lighthearted.
Related artist(s): T.Rex (Tyrannosaurus Rex)
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more