T. Rex

TrackAlbum / Single
New York CityFuturistic Dragon
Mambo SunElectric Warrior
Raw RampFly Records BUG 10 B-side
Chariot ChoogleThe Slider
The Street And The Babe ShadowTanx
Dandy In The UnderworldDandy In The Underworld
Seagull WomanT. Rex
Planet QueenElectric Warrior
MonolithElectric Warrior
Buick MacKaneThe Slider

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Contributor: Stuart Albery

For this pop pilgrim to write a piece about the awesome wonder of T. Rex is humbling indeed! We T. Rex fans are very passionate about the legacy. If my notes offend or annoy, I apologise in advance, but this is how T. Rex are in my world.

There are endless Best of T. Rex compilations containing all the T. Rex Mega-Giants, so my Toppermost consists of some of those smaller Giants.

Electric Warrior and The Slider are essential T. Rex albums (along with Tanx) and as whole albums, they sound every bit Best Of … / Greatest Hits; and try as I might to vary it, five tracks from both albums stand out in my personal T-Rexermost selection.

As a kid, I remember Marc seducing us into his world of Glam via the TV medium of Top Of The Pops… coating us with velvet and sprinkling us with glitter and feathers. And along with all those other starry-eyed kids, I was hypnotised and hooked.

Hooked, hooked, hooked.

Marc, a beautiful, hippy-dippy, charismatic glitter-creature; as if created by Tolkien, he built his star-spangled tower, played his riffs, howled, and we all came running.

Listening to T. Rex in our bedrooms, how we longed to glitter our faces too, sprout our own corkscrew hair and inhabit his mysterious, glamorous world. . He was all about “excitement” (and boogie and sex).

Somewhere I read Marc described as a wizard, chanting magic spells in an ancient forest to create his impossibly amazing songs, and yes I think that’s exactly how it all happened. The spells. In a forest.

He wrote these songs, these simple little pop songs with really daft lyrics – all of them solid gold classics – 20th Century Boy, Telegram Sam, Get It On, I Love To Boogie, Ride A White Swan, Hot Love, Jeepster, Children Of The Revolution … the list goes on and on. And each and every one of them of vital importance.

Did we ever look for “meaning” in those songs? Well we never asked “What exactly is a Chariot Choogle?” But when Marc sang the lyrics “Hiding in the road, like a Pasolini toad, gonna give up all my load” …. it all made perfect sense!

And as if the hit single Get It On wasn’t good enough, when we flipped over the 7″ we flipped too because Marc gave us Raw Ramp with those lines “Woman, I love your chests ooh, baby, I’m crazy ’bout your breasts” …well, that didn’t need clarification really, did it?

Recently, I read that Marc wrote New York City after he really did see a woman coming out of a New York park with a frog in her hand. I never believed it though.

Some lovely person has uploaded his TV shows on YouTube (see episode 1 of 6 above). Marc happy and reviving his career, looking great, singing his hits and showcasing new punk talents (The Jam, Generation X and Eddie & The Hot Rods).

Today I watched Marc on that Russell Harty interview on YouTube (see below), the one where Harty asks Marc what he’ll be doing when he’s 50 or 60. Marc spookily says that he won’t live that long. He was a prophet too.

I go and catch T. Rexstasy live from time to time. Although I’m no huge fan of tribute acts, frontman Danielz is a true fan and at times seems to channel Marc through that corkscrew hair!

So, down through all these years T. Rex have heavily featured in the soundtrack to my life, I keep his memory strong by “keeping a little Marc in my heart” and I take the beautiful beast out for a stroll nearly every week.

 

Marc Bolan – The Final Word (BBC Documentary 2007)

The Official Marc Bolan Resource Centre

Till Dawn – A Marc Bolan Tribute

Marc Bolan & T. Rex Site

T. Rextasy – official tribute band to Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Pictures of Marc Bolan riding on top of things

T. Rex biography (iTunes)

Our contributor, Stuart Foxbase Alpha, is a pop fan living in Bristol. First record purchased: Middle of the Road “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep”. You can see what Stuart’s up to on facebook.

TopperPost #416

5 Comments

  1. Rob Webb
    Mar 1, 2015

    Great selection of unobvious tracks. Especially like the inclusion of Seagull Woman from the often overlooked T.Rex album. Bolan was my first pop idol: I was hooked from Hot Love onwards. As you say, his lyrics often make no sense. But he had a great ear for poetry and the resonance of language. His hubcap diamond star halo never slipped as far as I’m concerned!

  2. Neil Waite
    Mar 1, 2015

    Thanks for this superb post Stuart. Your writing very much captures what Bolan and T Rex were about and it’s always good to hear what bands mean to the people writing these posts. I was pleased that your top ten wasn’t just another ‘hit’ list. As you explain in your post, the big hits were vitally important but there was another layer to the band, perhaps lesser known but just as exciting. I’ve always loved T Rex. They were just so different to any other band around at the time and Marc’s showmanship was mesmerising. But I do feel sad when I read of John Peel’s disappointment when Marc supposedly turned his back on their friendship after Marc hit the big time. This apparently affected Peel quite badly and he subsequently never got close to any of the bands he championed again. But Marc did, bravely and enthusiastically, promote the punk movement, not only through his brilliant TV series but also by taking The Damned on tour with them in 1977. In terms of ‘What Nos?’ – I could list a couple of my favourite hits but I’m not going to. The reason being, I’m excited by the fact that your top ten includes songs I haven’t heard – So I’m very much looking forward to hearing your selection.

  3. Steve Hallett
    Mar 1, 2015

    A great list, and what you say about how Marc affected you, still hits me today. I played ‘Pon a hill’ from Unicorn the other day and have been singing about birds with green velvet hats since. I always find it virtually impossible to do a list like you have done cause I keep changing my mind Lol.

  4. Colin Duncan
    Mar 6, 2015

    Enjoyed the writing, Stuart. Not my era, but I play the greatest hits and really enjoy them. My favourite song is ‘Ride A White Swan’, which goes back to the days of Tyranosaurus Rex . I remember being disappointed in not getting tickets for the 1970 Ten Years After supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex tour of Scotland. (I think I’m correct with the date). Friends saw it and thought Marc was great. And I think he’ll last. ‘I Love to Boogie’ is popular with my hip thirteen year old granddaughters for some reason – a dance track? Thanks.

  5. Bryan Hemming
    Sep 8, 2015

    Well, a great little site with lots of good clips and interesting writing. I was lucky enough to see Tyrannosaurus Rex playing at Loughborough University in 1967, or was that ’68. Oh, God! It’s time for my cocoa, tablets and beddy bye-bye!

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