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TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX)

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) biography
Before his rise to fame as a glam rock icon fronting T. Rex, Marc Bolan performed and recorded four studio albums and several singles as the lead half of the hippie folk duo known by the more formal name of TYRANNOSAURUS REX. Formed shortly after the demise of Bolan?s first band JOHN?s CHILDREN, TYRANNOSAURUS REX was known for a style distinctly less bombastic and certainly less commercial than its successor. Despite the earthy and all-acoustic nature of Rex?s music (except for their final album), the band enjoyed a loyal following and moderate chart success much in the vein of countrymen the INCREDIBLE STRING BAND.

Bolan wrote nearly all the music for the band, leveraging his talent for poetic and fanciful lyrics accented by the varied and eclectic percussion of bandmate Steve Peregrin Took (aka Stephen Porter). Porter departed after the band?s third album and would go on to something of a glam career himself (albeit less well-known), appearing with the likes of TWINK, DAVID BOWIE and eventually his own band SHAGRAT. He was replaced on the final Rex album by HAPSHASH AND THE COLOURED COAT?s Mickey Finn, who provided a percussive backdrop to Bolan?s newfound appreciation for electric instrumentation and more bombastic arrangements. The two of them would carry on with a new lineup under the name T. REX, amassing a more extensive catalog, fame and legendary reputations as bad-boy stars of the glam genre throughout the seventies; but left behind were these four excellent examples of freaky acid folk to be rediscovered and reissued numerous times in the succeeding years.

The music of TYRANNOSAURUS REX was distinctly less flamboyant and more folk-inspired than the follow-on band of similar name, and deserve recognition on their own as an folk rock icon of their time.

>>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

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TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) discography


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TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.84 | 14 ratings
My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
1968
2.97 | 15 ratings
Prophets, Seers & Sages - The Angels of the Ages
1968
3.44 | 19 ratings
Unicorn
1969
3.63 | 12 ratings
A Beard of Stars
1970

TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 3 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert
1993

TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 3 ratings
The Collection
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex
1993

TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unicorn by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.44 | 19 ratings

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Unicorn
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.84 | 14 ratings

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My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Tyrannosaurus Rex first record "My people were fair and had sky in their hair... But now they're content to wear stars on their brows" from 1968 was an interesting release but unfortunately two listenings of this gave me a feeling of disgust.

What surprises listeners, even familiar with T-rex, is Marc Bolans trembling voice which of course is very rare. He does a good job here but the songs are silly and have a feeling of unseriousity. It feels like the music was high on drugs and it didn't affect the music positively. This two man project by Marc Bolan (vocals, guitars) and Steve Peregrine Took(backing vocals, drums, pixie phone, percussion) is acoustic and seems to be inspired by blues and folk musik(but not so much) but mostly it feels like a negative side of the hippie movement. I use to like T-Rex but this felt so uninspired and annoying. Sure It was original, perhaps I'm just unused to it but it screams out low ambitions. The wonderful long album title and the great cover do not alone make this a good album. I like Bolans voice but here It was immoderate.

This 33 minutes was actually a long time because there were many short and similar songs, and the majority wasn't pleasant. If you just want a sample of this I recommend you the tracks "Knight", "Dwarfish Trumpet Blues" or "Grateful Fat Sheba" which have more feelings and sharpeness. They're less dopey too. Odd and peculiar but I won't listen again, I don't have to.

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 The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1993
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by rupert

— First review of this album —
4 stars This is an excellent sampler of Tyrannosaurus Rex, comprising the most important album tracks as well as all ( ! ) single A/B's and non-album tracks that have been released officially during Marc Bolan's lifetime As far as I know the "Sequel"-Label does not exist any more, but watch if you can get this - it serves well as both, an impressive overview and introduction to the pre-T.Rex-Era as well as a collector's gem for those who already have the 4 Original Albums of Tyrannosaurus Rex ! Honestly said: There's only one of my favourite tracks missing - "Nijinski Hind" from the "Unicorn"-Album, and - perhaps - the "Demon Queen"-out-take from the sessions to "Unicorn". No fillers. Absolutely great psychedelic folk-stuff with "Once upon the Seas of Abyssinia", "Chariots of Silk", "Iscariot", "Great Horse" & "Lofty Skies" as my personal outstanding cream-cuts ! If you get the chance don't miss it. It's a perfect compilation.

Highly recommended !

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 The Collection by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.17 | 3 ratings

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The Collection
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by 1967/ 1976

3 stars This compilation is listed as T-Rex compilation by Castle Communication in 1986 because the musical style of T-Rex (glam Rock/ Glam Metal) was one of the dominant musical styles of 80's but "The Collection" present only 6 of 24 songs by T-Rex phase of this band. For this fact "The Collection" is good as Tyrannosaurus Rex compilation.

Wanting to trivialize Tyrannosaurus Rex is a band that sounds strange Folk for hippies. This is because the use of acoustic guitar, bongos and toy instruments, combined with chaotic songs made ​​it all very spontaneous, if not wild. From this point of view the songs that they could not be original and still very beautiful, although I did not win as they should (but I admit to be wonderful and magic songs). Also because Marc Bolan is an excellent guitarist.

The use of electric guitar does not change things much. The songs are less spontaneous, chaotic, however. T-Rex is not anymore a Folk band but a Glam Rock band. It, however, remains a magical and original band.

In a general view, however, "The Collection" is just an interesting compilation, with great songs. But nothing that deserves to make it rise to levels of excellence.

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 A Beard of Stars by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 12 ratings

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A Beard of Stars
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Alitare

4 stars A Beard of Stars ? 1970

12 ? Best Song: I can't tell, in a good way

I'm certainly appreciative of his passing from generic hippie folk to psychedelic hippie folk rock. It's a change that adds immeasurable depth! What am I blabbering on about, you ask? Well, this is the man's fourth album, proper (as opposed to all those scantily clad, sexually explicit 'improper' albums he released under the subtle moniker: T.sex) and it's a culmination of all that psyche rock bubblebobble and the swarming folkiedolkie movement. But let's stop for a second to discuss the album title. How exactly does one grow a beard of stars? Is it something you make in Sunday school arts and crafts? I'd think God would have a might beard of stars. Apparently everybody's doing the 'Woodland Bop'. It's the first truly metamorphosed song. The tunes are of the same basic ideal ? intricate, but simplistic drug-folk, but now there are sharp, distorted electric guitars punctuating the album like Hendrix's hands into a groupie's pants.

This might just be the quintessential Bolan record to obtain if you get any. Not because the material's quality is so high (it's pretty damn high), but because this showcases fully both sides of his ever balancing music. It's the midst of the scale, where later in Electric Warrior he'd excommunicate it completely. At this point the high pitched goat bleat is still in full order, trimmed back only for a more polished and smoothly flowing sound. He's getting better and better and expressing himself in vocals, and the songwriting is becoming more unpredictable.

Along with the electric rocking comes the ever sincere, ever annoying, but aptly utilized congo drumming, which slickens 'Pavilions of Sun'. I don't care for the record as much as Unicorn(though they don't sound much alike), but the consistency is rather striking. It's an excellent album with one foot in the past and one in the future, much more than a transition to me.

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 Prophets, Seers & Sages - The Angels of the Ages by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.97 | 15 ratings

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Prophets, Seers & Sages - The Angels of the Ages
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Alitare

3 stars Prophets, Seers, and Sages ? 1968

10 ? Best Song: It's return of the mystical gout.

I meant to say goat. Goatboy likes hur hur hur. I'd like to call this sophomore record a transitional one, but it doesn't transition from or to anything at all. Well, it's all the same, generally ? these space folk albums are. That's a rather abrasive and narrow generalization, and I accept that. I see it as an improvement, however, and am willing to concede that there are some very pretty moments in the mixture presented. 'Wind Quartet', for all its silliness lyrically, has a very engaging vocal hook added in there.

The songwriting leans toward more overt catchiness. That's the improvement I noticed. It's still mountain forest magic mumbo jumbo, but it's classy mountain forest magic mumbo jumbo. The vile stench of this material is the lack of a distinct personality between each tune. They all bleed into one and make for a violently difficult listen (and thrice as difficult assessment). 'Stacey Grove' has a nice building vocal segment. What the hell am I supposed to write about this? It's all a simple, aimless acoustic strum with Marc singing one of a small handful of simple melodies punctuated by meaningless lyrics and his vibrato bleat. I like it, but it certainly is frustrating.

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 My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.84 | 14 ratings

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My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair.. But now they're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Alitare

3 stars My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair ? 1968

10 ? Best Song: Embrace goatboy!

I probably won't like it, indeed. So sayeth my emotive stance. Hey. This is my reviews page for Marc Bolan, Tyrannosaurus Rex, T.Rex, and Johnny Rotten. Johnny Rotten's my cohost. See, here he is: Bloody catholics!

See that? He's antiestablishment, so vote me in as best whatever the polls are or you'll never get one of those woefully funny snippets again. My People is an acoustic folk hippie album full of psychedelic atmospheres and Marc's singing is reminiscent of a bleating mystic mountain goat. I dig that singing style. It really adds to the diverse vocal overdubbing in the swift and bopping 'Child Star'. This is one of those later-era 1960's albums that valued psychic experimentation over musical themes, which is okay. I didn't expect an album named 'My People were fair and had sky in their hair but now they're content to wear stars on their brow'. Isn't that the longest album title in the history of man? 'Chateau in Virginia Waters' is a nice, flowing melodic one-keyer. By that I mean it doesn't exactly go anywhere from the starting point. Me, I prefer progress in my music. As difficult as the album is to listen to when coming from the man's 1970's output, it's equally as easy to listen to it due to how quietly and calmly inoffensive it happens to be. 'My Inca Love', while being right repetitive, is the one track with a swift and noticeable swell in it. My issue with it is how the songs all sound strikingly similar, and have the same basic progression (not really any). This is second rate spaced-out folk, but it's all a candycanes ride when you take it on a sunny afternoon. Embrace the Goatboy at your own discretion.

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 A Beard of Stars by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 12 ratings

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A Beard of Stars
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Bolan goes electric, swapping his acoustic guitar for organ and electric guitar, and gets a new percussion partner in Mickey Finn; the result is that this Tyrannosaurus Rex album shows the first significant advance in the group's sound since their debut. The songs are also more diverse and better-written than on the previous three albums, and the production job is also superior. Bolan's voice is clearer and more distinct, and his vocals are easier to make out than on My People Were Fair or Prophets, Seers and Sages, so as a consequence the album is just significantly more listenable. Plus there's no John Peel fairytale this time around.

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 Unicorn by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.44 | 19 ratings

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Unicorn
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Prophets, Seers & Sages - The Angels of the Ages by TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.97 | 15 ratings

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Prophets, Seers & Sages - The Angels of the Ages
Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Bolan and Took open this one with Deboraarobed, a song which goes into reverse in the middle so the second half is the first half played backwards. Although it begins with such a declaration of their willingness to experiment, the album by and large presents a refined and tightened up version of their sound from their debut. That said, there's definite instrumental improvement on both players' accounts - Steve Took, in particular, seems to be playing his percussion instruments purposefully as opposed to just noodling - and they manage to pack sufficient surprises and unexpected twists into sub-two minute songs such as Stacey Grove to keep things interesting. The expanded range of percussion instruments utilised by Cook is a particular help in broadening and diversifying the sound and making the best of the group's increased confidence. The weak point at this point is Bolan's vocals - it's not that he isn't a bad singer, he was great throughout his entire career, but the recording quality slurs his words and makes his hippy-dippy lyrics hard to even recognise, let alone actually understand. Like the last one, pleasant but not compelling.

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