T.REX (UK CD 1997. Satisfactory budget compilation of the big hits 70/76 and some album tracks)

Sooner or later someone somewhere is going to release a budget compilation of all Marc Bolan's top twenty A sides that is complete, that is with all the Fly and EMI hits on one disc. This effort gets remarkably close and should sell in large numbers to those fans now in their forties and regretting the disposal of all their old 45's.

Crimson is a budget label whose releases can be found in many UK supermarkets. The product generally looks good on the shelves, is well made and their compilations of other artists seem very good value for money for a lower budget price.

The sleeve notes tell a potted history of Marc Bolan with a couple of errors (born July 1947, died aged 30) but do a good job of presenting a portrait of Boley superstar and 70's icon. The author (Roger St.Pierre) swings from the usual attack of 'became a bloated self important teen star', through 'dead rock stars receive undue praise anyway' and dismisses the late return to form as too little too late. However, he presents a new and sincere sounding rehearsal of the 'still sounds fresh today' line in his closing comments. He is credited with co-authorship of the 'NME Encyclopaedia of Rock', perhaps that's why. The eight page booklet includes full P date and producer details of each track with its 'home' album address.

This is a largely chronological run through the hits that I imagine a great many survivors of the Glam wars will keep close to their heart. With the strange exceptions of 'Jeepster' and possibly 'Dreamy Lady' all the big ones are here and a couple of the lesser known as well. Two extra tracks from 'Slider' are welcome, as is 'Lady', a 45 only B-side, and 'Born to Boogie' the 'Tanx' track B-side of 'Solid Gold Easy Action'.

Like most budget compilations there is nothing here of essential interest to the established fan. It looks and sounds cool enough to grace the collection of anyone who wants a bit of Boley now and then, and does no serious disservice to his legacy.

Track list: Hot Love, Ride a White Swan, Get it On, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Chariot Choogle, Lady, Spaceball Ricochet, Children of the Revolution, Solid Gold Easy Action, Born to Boogie, 20th Century Boy, The Groover, Truck On (Tyke), Teenage Dream, Light of Love, Zip Gun Boogie, New York City, Laser Love, I Love to Boogie.

Copyright 2000 The Till Dawn Organization. All Rights Reserved.