My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows

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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
TRex 1st album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released5 July 1968
RecordedEarly 1968
StudioAdvision Studios, London, England
GenrePsychedelic folk
Length33:18
LabelRegal Zonophone
ProducerTony Visconti
Tyrannosaurus Rex chronology
''My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows''
(1968)
Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages
(1968)

My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows is the debut album by psychedelic folk band Tyrannosaurus Rex (later known as T. Rex). It was released on 5 July 1968 by record label Regal Zonophone.

Recording[edit]

My People Were Fair was recorded at Advision Studios in London, England in early 1968 and produced by Tony Visconti. Preparatory demo sessions for the album took place at Visconti's London flat as well as studio sessions with producer Joe Boyd. Advision was the first studio in the UK with eight-channel recording equipment. This Advision eight-channel machine was a model 280 made by Scully Recording Instruments, which allowed for far greater recording flexibility than the standard 4-track recorders of the era.

Two of the songs, "Mustang Ford" (retitled from "Go Go Girl") and "Hot Rod Mama" (a live BBC radio session)[1] had been recorded earlier by Marc Bolan's pre-Tyrannosaurus Rex band John's Children. Early versions of some of the tracks also appeared on The Beginning of Doves, a collection of demos and early tracks released in 1974.

Music[edit]

The record featured Bolan on vocals and guitars, and Steve Peregrin Took on backing vocals, drums, pixiphone and percussion. It also featured disc jockey John Peel, who read a children's story written by Bolan for the album's closing track, "Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love)", which also included a lengthy Hare Krishna chant.

For Bolan, the album's music represented a rejection of the electric guitar-driven music he'd been playing with his previous band, John's Children. The cover art (by George Underwood) and subject matter of many of the songs dealt with the fantasy themes that would pervade much of the subsequent Tyrannosaurus Rex catalogue.

Cover Art[edit]

The cover artwork is an illustration by George Underwood, based on Gustave Doré's illustrations of Dante's Inferno.

Release[edit]

My People Were Fair was released on 5 July 1968 by Regal Zonophone. It reached No. 15 in the UK Album Chart upon initial release.[2]

The album was paired with Tyrannosaurus Rex's follow-up album Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages (1968) and released in 1972 as a double album, following the success of T. Rex's Electric Warrior (1971) and The Slider (1972) albums. It reached No. 1 in the UK.[2] The double release remains the longest album title of any UK No. 1 album.[3]. In the US it was released by A&M Records as Tyrannosaurus Rex: A Beginning.

In 1985 it was re-released on Sierra Records. An expanded edition CD was released in 2004, which included the mono mix of the album, one single track and three alternate studio takes. A new mono mix was created for a deluxe edition, released in January 2015, which also included home demos for the album recorded by Visconti and exploratory studio sessions with Boyd.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
Sunday Expressfavourable[5]

The album reportedly received negative reviews upon its release.[6]

In his retrospective review, Dave Thompson, writing for AllMusic, called it "an irresistible affair, if absolutely a child of its psychedelically-inclined time".[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Marc Bolan.

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Hot Rod Mama"3:09
2."Scenescof"1:41
3."Child Star"2:52
4."Strange Orchestras"1:47
5."Chateau in Virginia Waters"2:38
6."Dwarfish Trumpet Blues"2:47
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Mustang Ford"2:56
2."Afghan Woman"1:59
3."Knight"2:38
4."Graceful Fat Sheba"1:28
5."Wielder of Words"3:19
6."Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love)"5:55

Note: There is a short, unlisted title track at the end of side B.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smashed Blocked (CD liner notes). John's Children. Burning Airlines. 1997.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b "T. Rex | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Albums with the longest titles to reach Number 1". www.officialcharts.com. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b Thompson, Dave. "My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows – Tyrannosaurus Rex | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  5. ^ Stewart, Paul (3 February 2015). "Album Review: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... by Tyrannosaurus Rex". Sunday Express. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  6. ^ D'Augustino, Giulio (1 January 2001). Glam Musik: British Glam Music '70 History. iUniverse. p. 80. Retrieved 8 February 2015.

External links[edit]