Unicorn and the magical music of Marc Bolan

by BardofEly

Marc Bolan was famous for fronting the glam-rock band T Rex and for being the singer-songwriter for Tyrannosaurus Tex the act that became T Rex. Unicorn was one of his best albums.

Marc Bolan was a real musical magician
Marc Bolan was as unique as you can get as a singer-songwriter and musician, who went from the success of the psychedelic folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex to his later pop stardom as a pioneering glam rock star with T Rex. Marc's lyrics were mystical and magical with Tolkienesque characters and descriptions and an other-worldy almost Sci-fi feel at times.

Steve Peregrine Took

Marc created a sound unlike anyone else with his strange vocals, including frequent scat singing, flamboyant cosmic elf-like appearance and the use on his early records of basically just an acoustic guitar that he played, whilst being backed by Steve Peregrine Took on bongos and other percussion as well as backing vocals. Just the two of them could enchant and enthral a crowd.

It didn't matter if you could make sense of the lyrics or understand them or not because Marc's words evoked a fantasy world and his fans could see it in their minds.

John Peel

Marc Bolan was frequently championed by his friend John Peel who played Tyrannosaurus Rex songs on his cult BBC show Top Gear and also featured on the album Unicorn reading a children's story that Marc had written. That was part of Marc's real magic as a writer and musician he could have adult audience listening to fairy stories and songs with titles like Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles and Catblack (the wizard's hat), both from the album Unicorn.

It was as if he appealed to the child within and to the dreams that people have of a different world to this one. Marc's Tyranosaurus Rex songs transported you back into childhood or into some mystic realm of imagination.

Unicorn, which many people regard as the finest of all the three Tyrannosaurus Rex albums, was released in 1969, produced by Tony Visconti and featured Marc Bolan on lead vocals and guitar and Steve Peregrine Took on backing vocals, bongos, African drums, kazoo, pixiephone and Chinese gong. Nowadays regarded as a classic album it reached number 12 in the British charts at the time.

Marc Bolan on Amazon

The Warlock of Love

A reprint edition of the original for the Tyrannosaurus Rex Appreciation Society.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Appreciation Society  / Only $302.62

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Ride a White Swan

From mod folk artist to flower power pixie elfin to the king of glam rockers, Marc Bolan was the ultimate chameleon. His far reaching musical and stylistic influence is more rel...

Hodder  / $9.41  $4.13

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Tyrannosaurus Rex on Youtube

Beard of Stars

The first T Rex album

Unicorn was the last of Marc Bolan's acoustic period as Tyrannosaurus Rex and the last recording he made that featured Steve Peregine Took. On his next album Beard of Stars, Marc had incorporated electric guitars into the instrumentation and, following a falling out with his past musical partner, he now had a new drummer by name of Mickey Finn.

Beard of Stars heralded the changeover for Marc into playing electric guitar and his glam rock pop superstar days when he got his first chart-topping hits and a vast number of fans, many of whom were now teenage girls. After Beard of Stars he shortened the name of his band to a simple T Rex. His old hippy audience tended to think Marc had sold out and didn't like his new performances or recordings but his magic was still there.

Marc Bolan had achieved his dream of becoming a rock `n´roll superstar and pop icon and he had pioneered a new image - that of the glam-rocker. There has never been another musician anything like Marc Bolan. His songs, lyrics, style and image were all distinctively his own and like a true magician he cast a spell on the world of music and his millions of fans.

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

Beard of Stars on Amazon

20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection

Universal Music Group  / $13.98  $7.55

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Bolan: The Rise And Fall of a 20th Century Superstar

Omnibus Press  / $19.95  $15.88

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The Alternative Singles Collection

Easy Action  / $18.99  $15.5

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Updated: 10/07/2012, BardofEly
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