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Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex) - Unicorn CD (album) cover

UNICORN

Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T. Rex)

 

Prog Folk

3.44 | 31 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
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.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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