Get It On(CD, 1997. Japan/UK. Full price collection from the wider Bolan catalogue but with too little info on the cover)
I have yet to come across a decent compilation of the Bolan catalogue beyond the hits and album tracks, that is the material released after his death. This might be it.
There is a huge amount of product alongside the known lifetime releases. Start with the seven disc ‘Alternate’ series, eight ‘Unchained’ albums, a handful of untampered-with radio and live recordings, and a complete Tyrannosaurus Rex retrospective. There are also the Simon Napier Bell demo recordings and assorted nastiness from the fan club. Finally there are the legal but dreadful overdub sets.
Let me attempt to illuminate you about the "wider" catalogue. The ‘Unchained’ series contains recordings of unreleased songs in differing states. From first demo to fully-fledged ready for release tracks, including prolonged studio jams. The ‘Alternates’ are as the name suggests unfamiliar renditions of familiar songs and can reveal more of the songs heart. Then there’s the ‘Beginning of Doves’ LP/CD. It started life as demo's recorded for Simon Napier Bell pre-Rex and led to the formation Johns Children. As such they are an important collection. However, SNB has seen fit to hawk them ceaselessly in many guises, including an overdubbed version called ‘You Scare me to Death’.
Finally, there were the unfortunate offerings of the Marc Bolan Fan Club who thrashed around looking for a way to keep Bolan in the music public eye and offended nearly every genuine fan in the process. They have left a legacy of dubious remixes and rerecordings.
All in all, this album provides a good introduction to the above sources for the existing fan. Two versions appear in the UK shops, one is a Japanese import and costs nearly half as much again although the content but not the running order is the same. It would be much better if the source of the tracks was stated on the cover. Uunfortunately, because the cover emphasises the "exclusive" 'Get it On (97 remix)' it has the look of a tacky cash in bad overdubs collection. Don’t be fooled, if you know your regular Bolan but are uncertain about the rest of the catalogue, check this out.
The best thing to do now is provide the information not visible on the security locked jewel case in the racks. Only one track is the originally released version, marked *, the notes explain.
Track List in Japanese release (import) running order:
Spaceball Ricochet(1), Plateau Skull(2), Slider(1), Metal Guru(1), Get it On (97 remix), Eastern Spell(3), Beginning of Doves(3), Mustang Ford(3), Pictures of Purple People(3), One Inch Rock(3), Children of the Revolution(4), Laser Love(4), Depth Charge(2), Hot George(2), Mellow Love(2), Buick Macane & Babe Shadow(2), Sky Church Music(2), Born to Boogie(*), Funky London Childhood(2), Over the Flats(2)
1) From the 'Alternate' series. A ripped and stripped ‘Metal Guru’ reveals a simple melody.
2) From the 'Unchained' series. A good selection of highlights (finished productions) from that series.
3) Four good examples from the 'Beginning of Doves' LP/CD.
4) These two are easily the best of that bad bunch of 'remixes' called 'Till Dawn' produced by the fan club. The attempt to extend ‘Children of the Revolution’ is worth a listen.
'Get it On (97 remix)' – a dismal production line euro-beat techno truck carrying snatches of vocal linefrom the T.Rex recording of the same name.