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Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex)

Prog Folk

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Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Unicorn album cover
3.44 | 31 ratings | 6 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

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)

Total time: 40:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Marc Bolan / vocals, guitars
- Steve Peregrin Took / bongos, African drums, kazoo, pixie phone, Chinese gong, guitars

Releases information

LP Regal Zonophone SRLZ-1007 (1969) UK
LP Blue Thumb BTS 7 (1969) US

CD Disky CUCD-11-TR (1994) EU
Cass Sierra CFEDB 5024 UK
LP Sierra FEDB 5024 UK

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Unicorn ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The final Tyrannosaurus Rex album to feature percussionist and general kook Steve Peregrine Took is also the most focused (relatively speaking) of all the pre-T. Rex records. Unfortunately the magic wouldn't last as Took and Marc Bolan would fall out in the supporting tour and Bolan would reappear with the almost as-troubled Mickey Finn for a final album before launching his glam career.

The two biggest changes that can be heard on this album are the occasional whispers of electric guitar from time to time, and Took's somewhat more conventional percussion (again, comparatively speaking).

The first several times I listened to this record it didn't sound a whole lot different to me than the first two. Only after repeated playing do some subtle but important nuances begin to emerge. For one thing Bolan's presence, always dominant in this partnership, is even more pronounced on these songs. While the two of them collaborate on vocals the compositions are clearly owned by Bolan, and at times ("The Throat of Winter", "She Was Born to Be My Unicorn", "The Sea Beasts") this almost sounds like a Bolan solo effort, although Took's persistent stick-and-bongo contributions never waver throughout.

The lyrics and themes are as eclectic and fanciful as ever, with references to unicorns (naturally), elves, alchemists, magicians and the like, and the sometimes scat-like singing (aka chanting) which are trademark Bolan. But there are sporadic new sounds as well, such as the drone at the end of "Iscariot" (glockenspiel?) and electric guitar on the wholly self-indulgent fifteen-minute plus reading/musical tale "Romany Soup".

Tyrannosaurus Rex albums are quite difficult to write about as they all sound fairly alike except to those who take the time to become completely immersed in the reverie known as Marc Bolan's creative force, or for those who tripped on the same stuff (whatever that was) that the band members were indulging in at the time. That said, this is probably the most approachable of the three which feature Took and Bolan, and a very good place to start for anyone interested in discovering the group and their music. Three stars (out of five) for a memorable work, but not quite so much as the debut 'My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows'. Well recommended to just about any acid folk fan though.


Review by Warthur
3 stars The final Bolan/Took collaboration is... really, an awful lot like the earlier ones. There's even another fairy story read, once again, by John Peel - a name which probably means little to progarchives users beyond the UK but who had an enormous influence on the music scene in this country spanning decades, not from any music he produced himself but from the incredibly wide and experimental range of bands he promoted on his radio show. Unicorn, to me, is a pleasant enough album on its own, but only pleasant. Taken in the context of the group's earlier recording, it is clear that here is a band which is merely treading water. In retrospect, it's probably a good thing Took left after this one - it opened the way for further experimentation, and even though the band went full glam pop after it lost the "yrannosaurus" in its name, Bolan did manage to produce some of the finest and most enduring works in that vein ever. But here, his talent just isn't showing.
Review by friso
4 stars Tyrannosaurus Rex - Unicorn (1969)

Before Marc Bolan began the glam-rock outfit 'T Rex' he made a couple of psychedelic folk records, this one being the most famous. Bolan proves to be a great songwriter, though most of our attention is sucked up by the bizarre vocal performance of Bolan. His strange-sounding, blurry and shaky vocal performance style is unique, but also a bit too omni-present. Every note is sung with vibrato, most vocal lines are dubbed and the effect is perhaps a bit too psychedelic. I do think he must have influence later psychedelic folk singers like Roger Wooton of Comus.

Behind the layer of bizarre vocals the beautiful melodies are plentiful and the songs are quite original. Sometimes I can't help to think the album also has something 'French' to it - whatever that may mean. The amount of great ideas is not a problem, but mixing them into well finished songs is a different thing - though some might argue the unpredictability adds to the psychedelic effect of the album. The sound of the album is great with the volume up high, but somehow the dreamy sound remains a bit confusing. Another psychedelic trick on the listener? The addition of a short spoken-word fairy tale on side two has no function at all. Still, the amount of great melodies keeps adding up and almost every song has some catchy part that may light up in your mind days later.

Conclusion. There aren't that many psychedelic folk records and I think this record can become a favorite if given the time to ripe. It is crazy and damn catchy. I'm giving it the warm three-and-a- halve stars because of its originality.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A nice psychedelic folk album that I believe influenced many other bands to come. "T-Rex" were just a duo in these days with Marc Bolan and Steve "Peregrine" Took (later of Pink Fairies and Shagrat).This early sound is a lot different to the glam rock sound that would come later. Bolan's vocal st ... (read more)

Report this review (#349581) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, December 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Unicorn - Tyrannosaurus Rex (1969) Best Song : Iscariot or Chariots of Silk or (what the hell) 'Pon a Hill (It's that sort of album, friends). Rating : 12/15 : Aye, most folks know ol' Marc Bolan and his big honking T.Rex beast as a formidable glam rock troupe that rawked the early 70's ... (read more)

Report this review (#289177) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Let me preface this review by quoting a sample of lyric from the album... "Catblack the wizard is back with dales of lore from Dagamoor, we of the wind must rejoice and speak and kiss all our starbrowed brothers on the cheek". These lyrics were written around 1968 and the album was release ... (read more)

Report this review (#222226) | Posted by Valdez | Sunday, June 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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