Monday, 29 October 2018

T. Rex - Bolan Boogie (1972)


Released April 1972

Between 1971 "Electric Warrior" and July 1972's "The Slider" came this compilation album of T. Rex's recent singles, 'b' sides and some earlier songs from their hippy, trippy Tyrannosaurs Rex albums (notably "Beard Of Stars"). At the time, despite being a compilation, it was treated as a "proper album". After all, it contained recent hit singles, so many customer were not really aware that much of the other material was "filler" from earlier in the band's career. I remember really liking the cover, all black with bright seventies-style lettering. The title "Bolan Boogie" was instrumental in pushing Marc Bolan forward as the essence of T. Rex. It was now all about him, no question. A star was born.

It is a bit of a patchy affair, but sill enjoyable, although the difference in quality between the later and earlier material is pretty apparent. Also, as opposed to T. Rex's other albums, it has not been remastered, so the CD available does not have such good sound quality as their other albums.

The highlights are obvious - the huge singalong hit "Hot Love" and two tracks introducing that iconic Marc Bolan guitar riff - "Get It On" and the underrated "Jeepster". "Beltane Walk" and "Woodland Rock" are jaunty, lively sort of rock 'n' roll folk, if that makes sense, with Bolan stamping his quirky vocal presence all over them. "The King Of The Mountain Cometh" has an acoustic, dreamy and beguiling appeal, as indeed does the entrancing "By The Light Of A Magical Moon" and "Raw Ramp" is a chunky, solid number from the "Electric Warrior" period It was the 'b' side of "Get It On".

They do an infectiously appealing cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues", full of congas and acoustic riffery and this was the 'b" side to the hit single "Ride A White Swan", which remains Bolan's most affectionately remembered early single. "Catch a bright star and place it on your forehead, say a few spells and baby there you go....". Bolan established the whole "bopping elf" persona with this one. Such a great song.


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