Unicorn (Tyrannosaurus Rex album)

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Unicorn
Unicorn(Album).jpg
Studio album by
Released16 May 1969 (1969-05-16)
RecordedNovember 1968 – February 1969
StudioTrident, London
GenrePsychedelic folk
Length39:46
LabelRegal Zonophone
ProducerTony Visconti
Tyrannosaurus Rex chronology
Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages
(1968)
Unicorn
(1969)
A Beard of Stars
(1970)

Unicorn is the third studio album by English psychedelic folk (later glam rock) band Tyrannosaurus Rex (later known as T. Rex). It was released on 16 May 1969 by record labels Regal Zonophone and Blue Thumb, and was the last Tyrannosaurus Rex album to feature Steve Peregrin Took.

Content and music[edit]

Unicorn featured Marc Bolan on vocals, guitar, organ and phonofiddle and Took on percussion, bass and piano. The back cover depicted Bolan and Took surrounded by books that were relevant to the subject matter of the songs. These books included the work of William Blake as well as photographs of the Cottingley Fairies, a famous case of two children's photographs of alleged fairies taken near their Yorkshire home.

In between the final two songs on the album, "The Misty Coast of Albany" and "Romany Soup", John Peel (an early supporter of the band) recited a short story written by Bolan.

Bolan experimented with an electric guitar for the first time on record and Took played less congas and used a full drum kit.[1]

Release[edit]

Unicorn was released on 16 May 1969 by Regal Zonophone in the UK and Blue Thumb in the US; it was their first album to be released in the US. It reached No. 12 in the UK Albums Chart.[2]

Unicorn was the last of Tyrannosaurus Rex's albums to feature Took; Bolan fired him after refusing to include Took's songs on the next album.[3]

In 2004, the album was remastered and reissued by A&M Records.

Critical reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic praised most of the songs saying, "Cat Black", "comes on like a lost Spector classic, with apoplectic percussion and a positively soaring, wordless chorus". The reviewer wrote that some songs predated the transition from acoustic full mode to electric music, with this remark "you can hear the future".[1]

Songwriter and music Luke Haines of the Auteurs dubbed it a "genius" album and praised Took for his contributions on the record.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Marc Bolan.

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Chariots of Silk"2:26
2."'Pon a Hill"1:14
3."The Seal of Seasons"1:49
4."The Throat of Winter"1:59
5."Cat Black (The Wizard's Hat)"2:55
6."Stones for Avalon"1:37
7."She Was Born to Be My Unicorn"2:37
8."Like a White Star, Tangled and Far, Tulip That's What You Are"3:49
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles"2:11
2."Evenings of Damask"2:26
3."The Sea Beasts"2:26
4."Iscariot"2:53
5."Nijinsky Hind"2:20
6."The Pilgrim's Tale"2:07
7."The Misty Coast of Albany"1:43
8."Romany Soup"5:40
2004 reissue bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
17."Pewter Suitor" (single A-side)3:10
18."King of the Rumbling Spires" (single A-side)2:08
19."Do You Remember" (single B-side)2:15
20."'Pon a Hill" (Take 1)1:14
21."The Seal of Seasons" (Take 1)1:40
22."The Throat of Winter" (Take 1)1:46
23."She Was Born to Be My Unicorn" (Take 1)2:38
24."Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles" (Take 1)2:11
25."Evenings of Damask" (Take 5)2:16
26."Iscariot" (Take 3)1:58
27."The Misty Coast of Albany" (Take 1)1:40
28."Romany Soup" (Take 2)1:40
29."Pewter Suitor" (Take 1)3:16
30."King of the Rumbling Spires" (Take 7)2:45
31."Do You Remember" (Take 3)2:17

Personnel[edit]

Tyrannosaurus Rex
Additional Personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Dave. "Unicorn – Tyrannosaurus Rex". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  2. ^ "T. Rex Uk Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ Marc Bolan - The Final Word documentary, BBC, 2007 - comments by Tony Visconti at 27:42 point of video
  4. ^ Haines, Luke "Auteur to Author". Recordcollectormag.com. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017

External links[edit]