T. Rex (album)

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T. Rex
Studio album by T. Rex
Released 18 December 1970
Recorded July–August 1970 at Trident Studios, London, England
Genre Psychedelic pop, glam rock, psychedelic folk
Length 37:41
Label Fly, Reprise
Producer Tony Visconti
T. Rex chronology
A Beard of Stars
(1970)
T. Rex
(1970)
Electric Warrior
(1971)

T. Rex is the fifth studio album by English glam rock band T. Rex and the first released under this name since changing their name from Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was released on 18 December 1970 by record labels Fly and Reprise.

Content[edit]

Although the album is credited to T. Rex, all the recordings (as well as the cover shot) were done when they still were Tyrannosaurus Rex, with the two-man line-up of singer/songwriter/guitarist Marc Bolan and percussionist Mickey Finn, although producer Tony Visconti plays bass and recorder on a couple of tracks. "Ride a White Swan" was recorded during the same sessions but did not appear on the album. They officially changed the band name to T. Rex to release that single in October 1970.

Music[edit]

The album is very much in the vein of the duo's previous album A Beard of Stars, with an even further emphasis on an electric rock sound and the addition of strings on several tracks.[citation needed] Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, aka "Flo and Eddie", sang backup vocals for the first time on a T. Rex song, "Seagull Woman". They would go on to sing on most of the group's following string of hits.

The album contains electric reworkings of two old Tyrannosaurus Rex songs, one of which, "The Wizard", was originally recorded prior even to Bolan's pre-T.Rex band John's Children. The second is a new, electric version of the second Tyrannosaurus Rex single "One Inch Rock", with an intro of scat-singing by Marc and Mickey. The remaining short songs, however, were new material.

The album is bookended by a track called "The Children of Rarn", which was part of a longer piece known as "The Children of Rarn Suite". A Tolkienesque children's story in several movements, this was recorded only in demo form at the time, although instrumentation was added posthumously by producer Tony Visconti for its release on the compilation The Words and Music of Marc Bolan (A & M Records, 1998).

Release[edit]

T. Rex was released on 18 December 1970 by record labels Fly and Reprise. The sleeve design was unusual, requiring a sideways look to unfold the cover, or to have the artwork sideways to remove the LP.

T. Rex was the album that broke T. Rex in the UK, following on the surprise success of the recent single "Ride a White Swan" (which reached No. 2 in the charts) and its smash No. 1 follow-up "Hot Love", eventually reaching a chart peak of No. 7 and staying on the charts for 25 weeks.[1] This set them in the direction of consistent success over the next three years.

The US version of the LP includes the song "Ride a White Swan" as the last song on the album instead of "The Children of Rarn (Reprise)".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone favourable[3]

In his retrospective review, Mark Deming of AllMusic wrote, "T. Rex is the quiet before the storm of Electric Warrior, and it retains a loopy energy and easy charm that makes it one of Bolan's watershed works."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Marc Bolan, except as noted. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "The Children of Rarn"   0:53
2. "Jewel"   2:46
3. "The Visit"   1:55
4. "Childe"   1:41
5. "The Time of Love is Now"   2:42
6. "Diamond Meadows"   1:58
7. "Root of Star"   2:31
8. "Beltane Walk"   2:38
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Is It Love?"   2:34
2. "One Inch Rock"   2:28
3. "Summer Deep"   1:43
4. "Seagull Woman"   2:18
5. "Suneye"   2:06
6. "The Wizard"   8:50
7. "The Children of Rarn (Reprise)" (the US version features "Ride a White Swan" in place of this track) 0:36

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "T. Rex | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "T-Rex – T. Rex | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Everett, Todd (22 July 1971). "[T. Rex review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 

External links[edit]