Home Rock Music T.Rex – 1973: No matter Occurred To The Teenage Dream?

T.Rex – 1973: No matter Occurred To The Teenage Dream?

T.Rex – 1973: No matter Occurred To The Teenage Dream?


Steve Priest of The Candy as soon as steered that glam rock started with Marc Bolan sporting a pink feather boa. From this second of camp inspiration a gloriously absurd motion was born, and High Of The Pops was reworked right into a crowd-scene of hod-carriers in Bacofoil trousers.

For Bolan, the affiliation was a combined blessing. If glam rock was – to cite David Bowie quoting John Lennon – “rock’n’roll with lipstick on”, Bolan’s place on the centre of the mania got here by way of a convoluted route. He had been a mod, abandoning the look by 1965, and including a sprinkling of psychedelia in John’s Youngsters. Tyrannosaurus Rex have been mystical hippie minstrels, earlier than abbreviating their identify and condensing their attraction. A string of giant hits for T.Rex started with “Journey A White Swan” in 1970, and the whirlwind of business inevitability which publicist BP Fallon known as T.Rextasy continued by 1971, reaching a peak of kinds when T.Rex performed two exhibits in someday on the Empire Pool, Wembley, in March 1972. The movie of their two exhibits, Born To Boogie, was directed by Ringo Starr and was hailed as a passing of the torch, from The Beatles to T.Rex. On its launch, Bolan dubbed himself “Cecil B deBolan” and talked airily about filming a sequel.

And but. And but. Being on the eye of a phenomenon isn’t a long-term plan, and Bolan’s personal life was starting to point out the pressure. Within the sleevenotes of this 5LP/4CD field, biographer Mark Paytress notes that in 1972, Bolan talked of changing into a recluse, developed a dread of aircraft crashes and entertained the likelihood that he would die younger. In October 1972, he had suffered a breakdown which was characterised as a “partial coronary heart assault”. Cognac and cocaine binges delivered “crushing downsides”.

Within the midst of those insecurities, Bolan wrote a musical memo to himself on a scrap of paper: “house age funk”. It’s an concept that will discover its place and time. Bolan’s up to date and rival, David Bowie, would get there quickly sufficient. Many years later Prince would crush Bolan’s elfin androgyny into dynamic new shapes. For Bolan, the idea would stay half-realised, an evolution too far. It will even have been a mistake, a class error which ignored Bolan’s extra apparent presents. Fortunately, in failing to ship on his promise to himself, Bolan produced a few of his most enduring music.

We should always begin with the singles. In 1973, standard acts made hit 45s, and credible artists made albums. There are two albums on this field, Tanx and Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow. Certainly one of these is excellent, and was launched with a fold-out poster of Bolan sitting astride a phallic toy tank. The opposite appears like an try to observe David Bowie down a theatrical side-street.

The singles, although, require no rationalization. They’re signed, sealed and delivered with such boastful aplomb that they mock any try to unpick their attraction. They’re pop songs about pop, sugar-coated and boastful. “Strong Gold Straightforward Motion” is glitter beat with out Gary, spliced right into a refrain which appends “simple motion” as the answer to The Rolling Stones’ criticism about their dissatisfaction. (The music additionally comprises the seed of Adam Ant’s total profession.) Likewise, “twentieth Century Boy” is 2 or three explosions mixed. There’s a thunderous riff, a yelp, an exaltation. “Babe, I wanna be your man”, Bolan sings, quoting pop music as absolutely as he inhabits it. After which there’s “The Groover”, with its fabulously conceited opening chant – T!R!E!X! – earlier than the music swells right into a warped gospel hallelujah. The affect of producer Tony Visconti, who additionally guided Bowie’s sound, is apparent, however the inclusion of Bolan’s demos exhibits how resilient the songs are. “Jitterbug Love (Demo)” is a cosmic deal with. “Electrical Slim & The Manufacturing unit Hen (aka You Obtained The Look) (Demo)” has wiry appeal. The solo rendition of “The Groover” reveals the bluesy structure of the tune.

And space-age funk? Nicely, there’s a little bit of Sly Stone in “twentieth Century Boy”. It’s a small mercy that the world ignored Bolan’s suggestion that the music marked the delivery of a brand new style, Erection Rock. His extra soulful leanings are explored within the recordings he made with singer Sister Pat Corridor, which have Bolan’s gospel kinks pushed to the forefront. They’re not with out benefit – “Ghetto Child” comprises the kernel of George Michael’s total profession. However they’re not T.Rex. Bolan’s curiosity in gospel and soul was influenced by his relationship with Gloria Jones, however there’s a mismatch between Bolan’s pop sensibility and the excitations of gospel. “Sky Church Music (alt model)” is an illustration of what occurs when a singer finds himself within the awkward place of being each misplaced and located.

So, what occurred to Marc Bolan in 1973? The ultimate observe arrives as a solemn postscript: a recording of “Teenage Dream” as carried out on High Of The Pops on February 7, 1974. Sonically, it might be higher. The tune phases out and in like a rented TV with a coat-hanger aerial. Musically, the dream is fitful, weary and jaded, with Marc Bolan sounding immediately adrift from the simple brilliance of his youthful self.



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