With the current comeback of the vinyl format, fans of T.Rex are in for a treat this Christmas withe Demon Music release on November 3rd, 2014 of “T.Rex: The Vinyl Collection”, an 8-album box set featuring ‘T.Rex’, ‘Electric Warrior’, ‘The Slider’, ‘Tanx’, ‘Zinc Alloy & The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow’, ‘Bolan’s Zip Gun’, ‘Futuristic Dragon’ and ‘Dandy In The Underworld’. Whether intended to replace scratched and worn original vinyl editions, to frame some of the most iconic, respected record sleeves for display, or simply to be reacquainted with the work of one of rock’s best-loved, most enduring legends, the T.Rex Box Set Collection is both stylish and affordable.
With 2 vinyl versions of T.Rex: The Vinyl Collection, a collector’s limited edition of 500 coloured vinyl sets which will be available through D2C, Demon’s online outlet (http://www.myplaydirect.com/t-rex) and a black vinyl set available through Amazon, this release is a must for Bolan fans. With an suggested retail price of £129.99 ($212.00) for the vinyl sets this collection of titles will also make the perfect Christmas gift choice. A ten-CD set,T. Rex: The Albums Collection will be released on the same date.
Marc Bolan was the first superstar of the Seventies. Part hippie mystic, part vintage Hollywood flash, he was a new kind of pop phenomenon, inspiring hysteria and hero-worship of a kind not seen since Beatlemania a decade earlier. At the height of his fame, between 1971 and 1973, his records sold in their millions – his book of poetry was a best-seller, too – and he was the most visible and controversial figure in pop. Amongst T. Rex’s biggest hits, which included 4 No. 1s, were Ride A White Swan, Hot Love, Get It On, Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Children Of The Revolution, Solid Gold Easy Action and 20th Century Boy.
Unusually for music that’s now 40 years old, the work of Marc Bolan and T. Rex, much of it recorded with legendary record producer Tony Visconti, kicks and sparkles just as much in the 21st century. In recent years, several of his best-known songs have been used in high-profile advertising campaigns.
While best known for his extraordinary run of singles (11 Top 10 hits between 1970 and 1977) Bolan also released some of the best-selling and today most critically rated albums of the era. The Slider, released at his peak in July 1972, was quintessential T. Rex and the prelude to Born To Boogie, the full-length feature film Bolan documentary shot by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. Its predecessor, Electric Warrior, is rated more highly still. A raw, mesmerizing blend of primal rock’n’roll, hard rock attack, blissed-out balladry, topped with some of the most memorable lyrics ever to appear on record, Warrior is now regarded as one of a small handful of truly definitive rock albums.
The eight original titles featured in the box are as follows:
- T. Rex (1971) – With Ride A White Swan the surprise hit of winter 1970, T.Rex was the transition album that saw Bolan successfully reach out beyond his old hippie audience (and ditch the group’s previous mouthful of a name, Tyrannosaurus Rex). Friend and photographer Pete Sanders took the stunning cover photo of Marc and percussionist sidekick Mickey Finn, both of whom wore make-up for the shoot to accentuate their androgynous beauty.
- Electric Warrior (1971) – Not just the flagship T. Rex album, but a chart-topping rock classic that has grown in stature ever since its release, thanks to the mix of inspired song writing and raw, seemingly effortless performances. Features iconic, John Kosh-designed artwork based on a photograph by Kieron ‘Spud’ Murphy, and includes the hits Get It On and Jeepster.
- The Slider (1972) – Released in summer ’72, when T. Rextasy/Bolanmania was evolving into the generation-defining Glam Rock movement, The Slider captures the definitive T. Rex sound at its commercial peak. Bolan insisted that Ringo Starr took the cover shot (in fact it was Tony Visconti); the songs contained within, including hits Telegram Sam and Metal Guru, have since proved no less timeless.
- Tanx (1973) – Eager not to be trapped by his fame and spectacularly successful hit formula, Bolan introduced a range of new instruments including the Mellotron into the T. Rex sound for this rich, satisfying set. Includes Born To Boogie, a theme tune of sorts, and a sleeve that features Bolan suggestively astride a toy tank.
- Zinc Alloy & The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow (1974) – An extraordinary provocation album at the time, with Bolan taking an impassioned leap into the gutsy sound of US soul, Zinc Alloy is the surprise package in the T. Rex catalog and remains ripe for reappraisal. Includes Teenage Dream, Bolan’s extraordinary, self-willed farewell to pop stardom, and a striking cover photo that reflects his conversion to what he called “space-age superfunk”.
- Bolan’s Zip-Gun (1975) – In exile both from Britain and his pop past, Bolan hung loose in Los Angeles, and freed himself up in the studio. The results weren’t greatly appreciated at the time, when soft-rock prevailed, but the years have been kind to this, the ‘The great lost Marc Bolan album’ thanks in part to Bolan’s own direct, contemporary sounding production. Includes Light Of Love and the lost classic Think Zinc.
- Futuristic Dragon (1976) – The title was reminiscent of Bolan’s days as a late 60s underground cult hero, and so did the artwork, illustrated by David Bowie’s long-time pal George Underwood, who was responsible for the fantastical painting that appeared on the first Tyrannosaurus Rex cover back in 1968. Includes two of Bolan’s best-loved hits, New York City and Dreamy Lady.
- Dandy In The Underworld (1977) – Back in London and energized by the punk rock sound then sweeping the capital, Bolan put together a new-look T. Rex for what would be his swansong release. Featuring a gutsier, R&B based sound, though with Bolan’s trademark lyricism still much in evidence, as well as the infectious revivalism of his 1976 hit, I Love To Boogie, Dandy returned Marc Bolan and T. Rex to the news columns. This re-emergence was cruelly curtailed when pop’s most distinctive, and in so many ways influential Superstar of the Seventies was killed in a car crash in Barnes, London, on September 16, 1977.