T. Rex (album)

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T. Rex
T. Rex (Album).jpg
Studio album by
Released18 December 1970
RecordedJuly–August 1970
StudioTrident Studios, London, England
GenreRock, psychedelic folk, glam rock
Length37:41
Label
ProducerTony Visconti
T. Rex chronology
A Beard of Stars
(1970)
T. Rex
(1970)
Electric Warrior
(1971)

T. Rex is the fifth studio album by English rock band T. Rex and the first released under that name since changing their name from Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was released on 18 December 1970 by record labels Fly and Reprise. The album marked a further shift from the band's previous folk style to a minimal rock sound.[1]

Content[edit]

Although the album was 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 lineup of singer/songwriter/guitarist Marc Bolan and percussionist Mickey Finn, although producer Tony Visconti played 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 continued 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 subsequent string of hits.

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

The album was 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, it was recorded only in demo form at the time, although instrumentation was added posthumously by Visconti for its release on the 1998 compilation The Words and Music of Marc Bolan.

Release[edit]

The album was released on 18 December 1970 by 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 broke T. Rex in the UK, following the surprise success of the then-recent single "Ride a White Swan", which reached No. 2 in the charts, and its smash No. 1 follow-up "Hot Love". The album is today listed by the Official Chart Company's website as having eventually reached a chart peak of No. 7 and accumulated several runs on the charts totalling 25 weeks.[2] This peak however took place during the 1971 United Kingdom postal workers strike during which no album chart was issued and therefore the site recognises the Melody Maker chart for February-April 1971.[3] The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums which did not recognise any album chart for the missing weeks, listed the album as having peaked at number 13.[4]

The US pressing of the LP concluded with "Ride a White Swan", rather than "The Children of Rarn (Reprise)".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stonefavourable[6]

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".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Marc Bolan, except where noted.

Side A
No.TitleLength
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.TitleLength
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 U.S. version features "Ride a White Swan" in place of this track)0:36

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "T. Rex biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  2. ^ "T. Rex | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, Guinness Books, 1977-2006 editions
  5. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "T-Rex – T. Rex | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  6. ^ Everett, Todd (22 July 1971). "[T. Rex review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 February 2015.

External links[edit]