T. Rex

T. Rex was an English pop-rock band best known for the UK hits “Ride a White Swan,” “Hot Love,” “Telegram Sam,” “Metal Guru,” and the transatlantic evergreen “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” They released two 1970–71 albums on Fly Records, followed by six albums between 1972 and 1977 on the eponymous imprint T. REX.

T. Rex evolved from singer Marc Bolan’s earlier folk-psych combo Tyrannosaurus Rex, which made four 1968–70 albums on Regal Zonophone.

Members: Marc Bolan (vocals, guitar), Mickey Finn (congas, vocals, 1970-75), Steve Currie (bass, 1970-76), Bill Legend (drums, 1970-74), Gloria Jones (keyboards, vocals, 1973-76), Jack Green (guitar, 1973-74), David Lutton (drums, 1974-76), Dino Dines (keyboards, 1974-77), Miller Anderson (guitar, 1976-77), Herbie Flowers (bass, 1976-77), Tony Newman (drums, 1976-77)


Background

Marc Bolan was born Mark Feld on September 30, 1947, in Hackney, London, to Russian–Polish lorry driver Simeon Feld and Englishwoman Phyllis Winifred (née Atkins). At age nine, he received his first guitar and embraced the onslaught of American rock ‘n’ roll.

Feld attended Northwold Primary School, where he formed a skiffle trio, Susie and the Hula Hoops, with singer and classmate Helen Shapiro (then twelve). On lunch breaks, he played guitar before crowds of fellow pupils. School officials expelled Bolan at age fifteen for bad behavior.

In 1964, Feld cut “All at Once,” a boy ballad credited to Bellamy. (In 2008, T. Rex archivists Madman Records pressed the intended single under the billing Danielz & Caron Willans).

Feld adopted the stagename Toby Tyler and recorded 1965 covers of songs by Bob Dylan (“Blowin’ In the Wind”), Dion (“The Road I’m On (Gloria)”), and Betty Everett (“You’re No Good”), the last submitted as a possible EMI a-side. Amid wrangles with inexperienced music managers, the tracks wound up vaulted and presumed lost for three decades.

In August 1965, Feld signed with Decca under a new stagename: Marc Bolan, a presumed contraction of the name Bob Dylan (or possibly that of English actor James Bolam, star of the mid-sixties BBC sitcom The Likely Lads). Bolan cultivated the mod image and appeared as an extra in the ITV thriller series Orlando. He briefly worked as a catalog model and appeared in a mod fashion feature in Town magazine.


Marc Bolan Singles

19 Nov 1965
A: The Wizard
B: Beyond The Risin’ Sun

3 Jun 1966
A: The Third Degree
B: San Francisco Poet

25 Nov 1966
A: Hippy Gumbo
B: Misfit


John’s Children

In March 1967, Marc Bolan joined John’s Children, a year-old London freakbeat band with two Columbia–EMI singles to their name: “Smashed Blocked” (written by Bolan manager Simon Napier-Bell) and “Just What You Want – Just What You’ll Get.” The non-release of their third single, “Not the Sort of Girl (You’d Like to Take to Bed),” prompted a label-switch to Track Record, started by Who manager Kit Lambert. In John’s Children, Bolan replaced guitarist Geoff McClelland and became their principle songwriter.

24 May 1967
A: Desdemona
B: Remember Thomas À Becket

Jun 1967
A: Midsummer Night’s Scene
B: Sara, Crazy Child

14 Jul 1967
A: Come And Play With Me In The Garden
B: Sara, Crazy Child

6 Oct 1967
A: Go-Go Girl
B: Jagged Time Lapse


Tyrannosaurus Rex

19 Apr 1968
A: “Deborah”

B: “Child Star”


My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows

Tyrannosaurus Rex released their debut album, My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows, on July 5, 1968, on Regal Zonophone. It features the pre-released b-side “Child Star” and two late-period John’s Children numbers (“Hot Rod Mama,” “Mustang Ford”) along with nine new Marc Bolan originals, including “Chateau in Virginia Waters” and “Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love),” which features a Hare Krishna chant.

1. “Hot Rod Mama” (3:09)
2. “Scenescof” (1:41)
3. “Child Star” (2:52)
4. “Strange Orchestras” (1:47)
5. “Chateau in Virginia Waters” (2:38)
6. “Dwarfish Trumpet Blues” (2:47)

7. “Mustang Ford” (2:56)
8. “Afghan Woman” (1:59)
9. “Knight” (2:38)
10. “Graceful Fat Sheba” (1:28)
11. “Weilder of Words” (3:19)
12. “Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love)” (5:55) Radio1 DJ John Peel reads the Bolan-penned children’s story.

Recorded April 1968
Studio Advision, London
Producer Tony Visconti

Bolan on vocals and guitars
Steve Peregrin Took on backing vocals, drums, pixiphone and percussion


23 Aug 1968
A: “One Inch Rock”
B: “Salamanda Palaganda”


Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages

Tyrannosaurus Rex released their second album, Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages, on November 1, 1968, on Regal Zonophone. It opens with a revised version of their first a-side (“Deborah”) re-titled “Deboraarobed.”

1. “Deboraarobed” (3:33)
2. “Stacey Grove” (1:59)
3. “Wind Quartets” (2:57)
4. “Conesuala” (2:25)
5. “Trelawny Lawn” (1:46)
6. “Aznageel the Mage” (1:59)
7. “The Friends” (1:19)

8. “Salamanda Palaganda” (2:15)
9. “Our Wonderful Brownskin Man” (0:51)
10. “Oh Harley (The Saltimbanques)” (2:19)
11. “Eastern Spell” (1:41)
12. “The Travelling Tragition” (1:48)
13. “Juniper Suction” (1:13)
14. “Scenescof Dynasty” (4:07)

Recorded 5 May – 8 August 1968
Studio Trident, London
Producer Tony Visconti

Marc Bolan on vocals and guitar
Steve Peregrin Took on bongos, African drums, kazoo, pixiephone and Chinese gong


17 Jan 1969
A: “Pewter Suitor”
B: “War Lord of the Royal Crocodiles”


Unicorn

Tyrannosaurus Rex released their third album, Unicorn, on May 16, 1969, on Regal Zonophone. It features the recent b-side “Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles” and fifteen additional Marc Bolan originals.

1. “Chariots of Silk” (2:26)
2. “‘Pon a Hill” (1:14)
3. “The Seal of Seasons” (1:49)
4. “The Throat of Winter” (1:59)
5. “Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat)” (2:55)
6. “Stones for Avalon” (1:37)
7. “She Was Born to Be My Unicorn” (2:37)
8. “Like a White Star, Tangled and Far, Tulip That’s What You Are” (3:49)

9. “Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles” (2:11)
10. “Evenings of Damask” (2:26)
11. “The Sea Beasts” (2:26)
12. “Iscariot” (2:53)
13. “Nijinsky Hind” (2:20)
14. “The Pilgrim’s Tale” (2:07)
15. “The Misty Coast of Albany” (1:43)
16. “Romany Soup” (5:40)

Recorded 5 November 1968 – 2 February 1969
Studio Trident, London
Producer Tony Visconti (piano on 5)

Marc Bolan on vocals, guitar, harmonium, lip organ and phonofiddle
Steve Peregrin Took on percussion (bongos, African talking drum, drum kit, pixiephone, gong), bass, guitar and piano


25 Jul 1969
A: “King of the Rumbling Spires”
B: “Do You Remember”


A Beard of Stars

Tyrannosaurus Rex released their fourth album, A Beard of Stars, on March 13, 1970, on Regal Zonophone.

1. “Prelude” (1:04)
2. “A Day Laye” (1:56)
3. “Woodland Bop” (1:39)
4. “Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart” (2:45)
5. “Pavilions of Sun” (2:49)
6. “Organ Blues” (2:47)
7. “By the Light of a Magical Moon” (2:51)
8. “Wind Cheetah” (2:38)

9. “A Beard of Stars” (1:37)
10. “Great Horse” (1:42)
11. “Dragon’s Ear” (2:37)
12. “Lofty Skies” (2:54)
13. “Dove” (2:06)
14. “Elemental Child” (5:33)

Recorded 29 April – 13 November 1969
Studio Trident, London
Producer Tony Visconti

Marc Bolan – acoustic and electric guitars, lead vocals, chord organ, bass
Mickey Finn – Moroccan clay drums, backing vocals, tabla, finger cymbals, bass

Technical
Malcolm Toft – engineer
Tony Visconti – piano, producer

16 Jan 1970
A: By the Light of the Magical Moon
B: “Find a Little Wood”


2 Oct 1970
A1. “Ride a White Swan”
B1. “Is It Love”
B2. “Summertime Blues”


T. Rex 

T. Rex released their eponymous fifth album on December 18, 1970, on Fly Records (UK) and Reprise (US). Original copies appeared in a semi-gatefold with a horizontal shot of Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn (back cover) that folds at their necks and half-closes on the brown inner-gate.

1. “The Children of Rarn” (0:53)
2. “Jewel” (2:46)
3. “The Visit” (1:55)
4. “Childe” (1:41)
5. “The Time of Love Is Now” (2:42)
6. “Diamond Meadows” (1:58)
7. “Root of Star” (2:31)
8. “Beltane Walk” (2:38)

9. “Is It Love?” (2:34)
10. “One Inch Rock” (2:28)
11. “Summer Deep” (1:43)
12. “Seagull Woman” (2:18)
13. “Suneye” (2:06)
14. “The Wizard” (8:50)
15. “The Children of Rarn (Reprise)” (0:36)

Recorded 14 May – 31 August 1970
Studio Trident, London

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar, bass, organ
Mickey Finn – drums, bass, Pixiphone, vocals

Tony Visconti – bass, piano, recorder, string arrangements, production
Howard Kaylan – backing vocals
Mark Volman – backing vocals
Roy Thomas Baker – engineering

UK Albums Chart 7 (Official Charts website)


19 Feb 1971
A1. “Hot Love”
B1. “Woodland Rock”
B2. “The King of the Mountain Cometh”


Electric Warrior

T. Rex released their sixth album, Electric Warrior, on September 24, 1971, on Fly and Reprise.

1. “Mambo Sun” (3:40)
2. “Cosmic Dancer” (4:30)
3. “Jeepster” (4:12)
4. “Monolith” (3:49)
5. “Lean Woman Blues” (3:02)

6. “Get It On” (4:27)
7. “Planet Queen” (3:13)
8. “Girl” (2:32)
9. “The Motivator” (4:00)
10. “Life’s a Gas” (2:24)
11. “Rip Off” (3:40)

Recorded March–June 1971
Studio
Trident and Advision, London
Wally Heider, Hollywood
Mediasound, New York City

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar
Mickey Finn – congas, bongos, vocals
Steve Currie – bass
Bill Legend – drums, tambourine

Additional personnel
Howard Kaylan – backing vocals
Mark Volman – backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards on “Get It On”
Ian McDonald – saxophone
Burt Collins – flugelhorn

Technical personnel
Tony Visconti – production, string arrangements
Roy Thomas Baker – engineering
Martin Rushent – tape operator
George Underwood – artwork, photography
George Marino – mastering

“Get It On”
Released: 2 July 1971
B1. “There Was a Time”
B2. “Raw Ramp”

“Jeepster” / “Life’s a Gas”
Released: 1 November 1971

UK Albums Chart 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) 12
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) 14
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 15
US Billboard 200 32


The Slider

T. Rex released their seventh album, The Slider, on July 21, 1972, on T. REX (UK) and Reprise.

1. “Metal Guru” (2:25)
2. “Mystic Lady” (3:09)
3. “Rock On” (3:26)
4. “The Slider” (3:22)
5. “Baby Boomerang” (2:17)
6. “Spaceball Ricochet” (3:37)
7. “Buick Mackane” (3:31)

8. “Telegram Sam” (3:42)
9. “Rabbit Fighter” (3:55)
10. “Baby Strange” (3:03)
11. “Ballrooms of Mars” (4:09)
12. “Chariot Choogle” (2:45)
13. “Main Man” (4:14)

Recorded March–April 1972
Studio
Rosenberg, Copenhagen
Château d’Hérouville, Paris
Elektra, Los Angeles

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar
Steve Currie – bass guitar
Mickey Finn – percussion, vocals
Bill Legend – drums

Mark Volman (“Flo”) – background vocals
Howard Kaylan (“Eddie”) – background vocals
Tony Visconti – string arrangements, background vocals

Technical
Tony Visconti – producer
Ringo Starr – sleeve photography
Dominique Freddy Hansson – engineering
David Katz – orchestra master
Mick O’Halloran – Front of house Technician/ Lead road manager
Steve Little – Stage Manager/ PA to Marc/Roadie
Micky Marmalade-Roadie/Driver

“Telegram Sam”
Released: January 2, 1972
B. “Cadilac”

“Metal Guru”
Released: May 5, 1972
B1. “Thunderwing”
B2. “Lady”

UK Albums Chart 4
Australia (Kent Music Report) 13
United States (Billboard 200) 17


8 Sep 1972
A1. “Children of the Revolution”
B1. “Jitterbug Love”
B2. “Sunken Rags”

1 Dec 1972
A. “Solid Gold Easy Action”
B. “Born to Boogie”

2 Mar 1973
A. “20th Century Boy”
B. “Free Angel”


Tanx

T. Rex released their eighth album, Tanx, on March 16, 1973, on EMI (UK) and Reprise (US).

1. “Tenement Lady” (2:55)
2. “Rapids” (2:48)
3. “Mister Mister” (3:29)
4. “Broken Hearted Blues” (2:02)
5. “Shock Rock” (1:43)
6. “Country Honey” (1:47)
7. “Electric Slim and the Factory Hen” (3:03)

8. “Mad Donna” (2:16)
9. “Born to Boogie” (2:04)
10. “Life Is Strange” (2:30)
11. “The Street and Babe Shadow” (2:18)
12. “Highway Knees” (2:34)
13. “Left Hand Luke and the Beggar Boys” (5:18)

Recorded August, October 1972
Studio Château d’Hérouville, France

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar
Mickey Finn – conga, hand percussion, vocals
Steve Currie – bass
Bill Legend – drums

with:
Flo & Eddie – backing vocals
Tony Visconti – mellotron, string arrangements, backing vocals, recorder, producer
Howard Casey – saxophone

Technical
John Kosh – cover design
Peter Howe – front cover photography

UK Albums Chart 4
Australia (Kent Music Report) 21

8 Jun 1973
A. “The Groover”
B. “Midnight”

16 Nov 1973
A. “Truck On (Tyke)”
B. “Sitting Here”


Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow

T. Rex released their ninth album, Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow, on March 1, 1974, on T.REX (UK) and Ariola (Germany). This was their only studio release billed as Marc Bolan & T. Rex.

1. “Venus Loon” (3:01)
2. “Sound Pit” (2:50)
3. “Explosive Mouth” (2:26)
4. “Galaxy” (1:48)
5. “Change” (2:47)
6. “Nameless Wildness” (3:06)
7. “Teenage Dream” (5:45)

8. “Liquid Gang” (3:17)
9. “Carsmile Smith & the Old One” (3:16)
10. “You’ve Got to Jive to Stay Alive – Spanish Midnight” (2:35)
11. “Interstellar Soul” (3:26)
12. “Painless Persuasion v. the Meathawk Immaculate” (3:26)
13. “The Avengers (Superbad)” (4:28)
14. “The Leopards Featuring Gardenia & the Mighty Slug” (3:36)

Recorded between February and June. 1973
Studio Musicland (Munich)

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar, producer
Mickey Finn – percussion
Bill Legend – drums
Steve Currie – bass

with:
Danny Thompson – double bass
B.J. Cole – steel guitar
Jack Green – guitar
Lonnie Jordan – keyboards
The Cosmic Choir: Big Richard, Gloria Jones, Sister Pat Hall – backing vocals
Tony Visconti – production, mixing, string arrangements, mellotron

“Teenage Dream”
Released: 1974

UK Albums Chart 12


5 Jul 1974
A: Light of Love
B: Explosive Mouth


Bolan’s Zip Gun

T. Rex released their tenth album, Bolan’s Zip Gun, in February 1975 on T.REX and Ariola.

1. “Light of Love” (3:16)
2. “Solid Baby” (2:37)
3. “Precious Star” (2:53)
4. “Token of My Love” (3:40)
5. “Space Boss” (2:49)
6. “Think Zinc” (3:25)

7. “Till Dawn” (3:02)
8. “Girl in the Thunderbolt Suit” (2:20)
9. “I Really Love You Babe” (3:33)
10. “Golden Belt” (2:41)
11. “Zip Gun Boogie” (3:26)

Recorded 1974
Studio MRI, Hollywood

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar, DMS (Dartmouth Music Synthesizer) and Moog
Mickey Finn – hand percussion
Dino Dines – keyboards
Gloria Jones – backing vocals, clavinet
Steve Currie – bass guitar
Harry Nilsson – backing vocals
Davy Lutton – drums

Paul Fenton – additional drums on “Solid Baby”
Bill Legend – drums on “Till Dawn”

“Think Zinc”
Released: 1974 (Germany only)
“Light of Love”
Released: 1974
“Zip Gun Boogie”
Released: 1974


Futuristic Dragon

T. Rex released their eleventh album, Futuristic Dragon, on January 30, 1976, on EMI.

1. “Futuristic Dragon” (Introduction) (1:52)
2. “Jupiter Liar” (3:40)
3. “Chrome Sitar” (3:13)
4. “All Alone” (2:48)
5. “New York City” (3:55)
6. “My Little Baby” (3:06)
7. “Calling All Destroyers” (3:53)

8. “Theme for a Dragon” (2:00)
9. “Sensation Boulevard” (3:48)
10. “Ride My Wheels” (2:25)
11. “Dreamy Lady” (2:51)
12. “Dawn Storm” (3:42)
13. “Casual Agent” (2:53)

Recorded MRI, Hollywood; Paragon, Chicago; Scorpio Sound, London

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitars, moog
Gloria Jones – backing vocals, clavinet
Steve Currie – bass guitar
Davy Lutton – drums
Dino Dines – keyboards
Jimmie Haskell – string instruments

Technical
Producer Marc Bolan
George Underwood – cover artwork

“New York City” / “Chrome Sitar”
Released: 12 July 1975
“Dreamy Lady”
Released: 26 September 1975


20 Feb 1976
A. “London Boys”
B. “Solid Baby”

11 Jun 1976
A. “I Love To Boogie”
B. “Baby Boomerang”

17 Sep 1976
A. “Laser Love”
B. “Life’s An Elevator”


Dandy in the Underworld

T. Rex released their twelfth album, Dandy in the Underworld, on March 11, 1977, on EMI.

1. “Dandy in the Underworld” (4:33)
2. “Crimson Moon” (3:22)
3. “Universe” (2:43)
4. “I’m a Fool for You Girl” (2:16)
5. “I Love to Boogie” (2:14)
6. “Visions of Domino” (2:23)

7. “Jason B. Sad” (3:22)
8. “Groove a Little” (3:24)
9. “The Soul of My Suit” (2:37)
10. “Hang-Ups” (3:28)
11. “Pain and Love” (3:41)
12. “Teen Riot Structure” (3:33)

Recorded May 1976; August 1976
Studio MRI, Los Angeles; Decibel, AIR and Trident, London

Marc Bolan – vocals, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, maracas, tambourine

Steve Harley – backing vocals
Alfalpha – backing vocals
Nick Laird-Clowes – backing vocals
Andy Harley – backing vocals
Sam Harley – backing vocals
Gloria Jones – backing vocals
Colin Jacas – backing vocals

Dino Dines – keyboards
Tony Newman – drums
Herbie Flowers – bass guitar
Scott Edwards – bass guitar
Paul Humphrey – drums
Miller Anderson – guitar
Steve Currie – bass guitar
Davy Lutton – drums
Bernie Casey – backing vocals on “The Soul of My suit”
Chris Mercer – saxophone
Bud Beadle – saxophone, flute
J. Long – violin

Technical
Mike Stavrou – engineer AIR Studios
Jon Walls – engineer AIR Studios
Jennifer Maidman – engineer Decibel Studio
Mick O’Halloran – Tour Manager/Backline
Cliff Wright – Backline/Guitar tech
Produced by Marc Bolan

“The Soul of My Suit”
Released: March 11, 1977
B. “All Alone”

“Dandy in the Underworld” / “Groove a Little”
Released: 30 May 1977
B2. “Tame My Tiger”

“Crimson Moon / Jason B Sad”
Released: 14 April 1978


5 Aug 1977
A. “Celebrate Summer”
B. “Ride My Wheels”


Discography:

  • T. Rex (1970)
  • Electric Warrior (1971)
  • The Slider (1972)
  • Tanx (1973)
  • Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow (1974 • Marc Bolan & T. Rex)
  • Bolan’s Zip Gun (1975)
  • Futuristic Dragon (1976)
  • Dandy in the Underworld (1977)

Sources:

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