Willie Logan 'The Legend lives on' (CD 97 UK, Ultra Budget collection of guitar led instrumental Bolan compositions)
Perhaps the trouble with being a songwriter with a memorable vocal style is that other artistes shy away from covering your songs for fear of an unfavourable contrast being drawn with their own voice. Such worries did not stop Willie Logan making this collection of instrumentals of Marc Bolan songs.
Nor did it stop the record company putting a picture of Marc Bolan and his name on the front of this album more prominently than that of the artist. Although the blurb on the back cover explains what it is all about, for some people, by then, it is all over and they are through the checkout. I have seen this set listed on the Marc Bolan page of two record retailers internet site without explanation.
Shame, because while Willie Logan's does fair to good covers of Tyrannosaurus Rex material ('Child Star', 'By the Light of a Magical Moon', 'Salamanda Palaganda' and 'Debora'), the T.Rex songs are reduced to little more than shopping mall music. Mr. Logan's technique is to take the vocal line on the guitar: that would be OK but the rhythm section is left to a poorly programmed beat box that completely neuters the familiar unpredictability of Bolan tracks. The Tyrannosaurus Rex songs do not suffer so badly, being more gentle if no less vigorous than their T.Rex brethren concentrating on the tune more than the rhythm works agreeably well for them. 'Debora' especially benefits by being slowed down, leaving the guitar time to bring out the often overlooked melody.
Anyone who enjoys the melodic counterpoints set up by the Visconti strings will be sorry to find they are ignored. I'm afraid Willie Logan's own instrumental contribution adds nothing to the party. Because this is an ultra budget release I expect the bare minimum of packaging, but I don't expect spelling errors such as '20th Centure Boy'.
I am afraid one good track (and the interpretation of 'Debora' is definitely very pleasing), three reasonable’s and a load of very avoidable does not make for an album easy to recommend. However, I would come back for a collection of strictly Tyrannosaurus Rex songs if it were ever made. Meanwhile, should you find 'The Legend lives on' for a pound or a dollar or a euro in a bargain bin somewhere, buy it by all means.
I have named the interesting songs, which is more than you get with most background music; no further track listing is necessary.