Best of T.Rex Unchained.† (CD, 95. A budget compi of the ĎUnchainedí series of unissued recordings from 72-77).
These are the songs Marc didnít want you to hear.†
The fact is that in the UK at least after 1972 Bolan had control over his output.† If these songs were not released it is only Boley to blame.† There is no golden rule that says that if you write something you must like it Ö and there is no law that an artist must recognise a proto-classic.† Sometimes you are left wondering how anything as brilliant as song ĎAí could have been abandoned, other times you will be just wondering Ö why is anyone bothering with this rubbish?
These are not alternate versions* or a string of Work-in-Progress recordings of one song, just one version of a song from any stage of production.† I would like to think we get the most well developed recording on this compilation but we arenít told.† In some cases though, no we donít.† Some are finished pieces, others the first demo to tape in any form, all topped off with some (unedited) warm up studio jams.† Therefore the recording and playing quality can vary widely.
You do get a page of notes that tells you the selections are presented chronologically, but no indication of recording date to help compare it with Marcís official output from the time.† It is my belief that this sort of release benefits enormously from Ďrecording logí type info, the who where when stuff.†
The packaging design retains the look of the series, which is crude and distinctive more than attractive, the rear cover has a ghastly vari-size spray stencil font that is difficult to get the sense from.† Accompanying notes give an overview of the series without telling you anything very much about the songs.† CDs in the series proper improve on this marginally.
If you have ever wondered what the unreleased Bolan archives are about, the ĎBest of Unchainedí is a quick and easy way to find out.† It isnít the best tracks of the series by a long way, in fact the whole series could be usefully distilled into two discs, and this isnít either of them.† However, twenty-seven tracks make for good value for the curious.
Track list in running order:
Over the Flats, Children of the World, Shame on You, Would I be the One, Just Like Me, Spaceball Boot, I Wanna Go, Saturday Night, Down Home Lady, All my Love, Sure Enough, Iím Coming to RockíníRoll, Yesterday, Jet Tambourine, Lock Into Your Love, Love For Me, Sanctified, Magical Moon*, Pale Horse Riding, Brain Police, Savage Beethoven, Ainít That a Shame, Christmas Bop, Freeway, Mellow Love, 20th Century Baby, Classic Rap.
*A reggaeish full band re-recording of Ď(By the Light of a) Magical Mooní.