T.Rex - Greatest Hits (LP, 80’s? Benelux? Decently made LP of RZ/Fly Bolan, though of enigmatic origin.)
This album will not win prizes for imagination. If the two Fly compilations, ‘Best Of T.Rex’ and ‘Bolan Boogie’ had been fused into one LP it might have sounded a little like this. The title is descriptive of the contents, and the contents are predictable given the title.
‘Greatest Hits’ is a collection of the RZ/Fly hit singles of 68-71 with a few B-sides and album tracks. Once again T.Rex means Tyrannosaurus Rex as well. There is a lot of material (approx. 50 minutes) squeezed onto one LP but the hi-fi remains hi from medium weight vinyl. Dutch or Belgian in origin and probably a big budget seller in its day this collection may since have been transferred to CD, but the generic title makes it difficult to be sure.
This is not the best looking or best-annotated Bolan compilation you will ever find. It is only about the tracks presented not the flimflam that usually accompanies compilations. The front cover is as unremarkable as the title, with a stylised TREX in block caps and bright colours. The ‘quickie’ look does not do justice to a good 1971 photo of Boley with his Les Paul. The rear cover lists the tracks.
The selection rests a bit too heavily on ‘Electric Warrior’ to have a properly balanced view of the period, taking five cuts including both singles. The ‘T.Rex’ Brown album is not represented at all. To top it off there are a few official rarities and it is free from any ‘modernised’ monstrosities.
The sequencing makes for an enjoyable listen, which is of paramount importance in the LP format. There are no notes, not even P dates, to guide the Bolan newbie, only track times. Otherwise it is an ideal album for discovering early to mid Bolan. Plenty of hits, a pretty picture on the front, enjoyable running order and a decent pressing make ‘T.REX Greatest Hits’ a worthwhile purchase for the newcomer, casual collector and vinyl enthusiast.
Track list: Get it On, Jeepster, Deborah [7" version], King of the Rumbling Spires, Child Star, Find a Little Wood [Magical Moon B-side], Salamanda Palaganda, Strange Orchestras, Planet Queen, [side two]; Hot Love, Ride a White Swan, One Inch Rock [7" version], Cat Black (the wizards hat), Blessed Wild Apple Girl [first released 1971 ‘Best of T.Rex’], Once Upon the Seas of Abyssinia [ditto], Lofty Skies, Lean Woman Blues, Rip Off
Because of the generic title you may like the label info.
Label: Neon, Cat.No. 8333011 (Cass NC 8333011), "Licensed from Noeland Productions Ltd".
No music publisher is given, just a SACEM stamp which I assume is the Dutch mechanical copyright agency, cover printed in Belgium, this could be a semi-legitimate ‘protection gap’ release.
The "All rights of ..." label declaration is in English.
Thanks to George Rab for his help in identifying this curious record.