T.Rex / Whatever Happened To The Teenage Dream? 1968 - 1977
1968 - 1972
1. Debora (Single A Side April 1968)
2. Strange Orchestras (My People Were Fair LP June 1968)
3. One Inch Rock (Single A Side August 1968)
4. Salamanda Palaganda (Prophets, Seers & Sages LP October 1968)
5. Cat Black (Unicorn LP May 1969)
6. King Of The Rumbling Spires (Single A Side July 1969)
7. By The Light Of A Magical Moon (Single A Side January 1970)
8. Lofty Skies (A Beard Of Stars LP March 1970)
9. Ride A White Swan (Single A Side October 1970)
10. Diamond Meadows (T.Rex LP December 1970)
11. Hot Love (Single A Side February 1971)
12. Get It On (Single A Side July 1971)
13. Mambo Sun (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
14. Cosmic Dancer (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
15. Jeepster (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
16. Planet Queen (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
17. The Motivator (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
18. Life’s A Gas (Electric Warrior LP September 1971)
19. Telegram Sam (Single A Side January 1972)
20. Baby Strange (Single B Side January 1972)
21. Metal Guru (Single A Side May 1972)
22. Rock On (The Slider LP July 1972)
23. The Slider (The Slider LP July 1972)
24. Buick Mackane (The Slider LP July 1972)
25. Ballroom Of Mars (The Slider LP July 1972)
1972 - 1977
1. Children Of The Revolution (Single A Side September 1972)
2. Solid Gold Easy Action (Single A Side December 1972)
3. Born To Boogie (Single B Side December 1972)
4. 20th Century Boy (Single A Side March 1973)
5. Tenement Lady (Tanx LP March 1973)
6. Rapids (Tanx LP March 1973)
7. Broken Hearted Blues (Tanx LP March 1973)
8. Left Hand Luke (Tanx LP March 1973)
9. The Groover (Single A Side June 1973)
10. Truck On Tyke (Single A Side November 1973)
11. Teenage Dream (Single A Side February 1974)
12. Venus Loon (Zinc Alloy LP March 1974)
13 Change (Zinc Alloy LP March 1974)
14. The Leopards (Zinc Alloy LP March 1974)
15. Light Of Love (Single A Side July 1974)
16. Zip Gun Boogie (Single A Side November 1974)
17. Precious Star (Bolan’s Zip Gun LP February 1975)
18. New York City (Single A Side July 1975)
19. Dreamy Lady (Single A Side October 1975)
20. Sensation Boulevard (Futuristic Dragon LP February 1976)
21. London Boys (Single A Side February 1976)
22. I Love To Boogie (Single A Side June 1976)
23. Laser Love (Single A Side September 1976)
24. Soul Of My Suit (Single A Side March 1977)
25. Dandy In The Underworld (Dandy In The Underworld LP March 1977)
It all started with Marc Bolan and T.Rex, no-one else. Before the boy with the corkscrew hair I had no idea what pop meant. I thought it was the Carpenters LP’s my Dad played, or Bridge Over Troubled Water, or even his Dylan Greatest Hits. I wasn’t much interested anyway, what with footie up the park, jumpers for goalposts and my first life defining moment; the shocking realisation that girls were sugar and spice and most things nice.
Of course, when you’re a pre-teeny tween your world and mindset can change a million times a day for no apparent reason and just a year later, pop meant everything. Suddenly it was everywhere, mainlined into my head and out of my tapping toes, from the radio, Top Of The Pops and those 10p Music For Pleasure Hot Hits sound-a-like LP’s adorned by bikini clad girls in sporty scenarios.
Amidst all the novelty schlock and bubblegum I was losing myself in I couldn’t help but notice a song that was instantly more alluring and magical. Hearing T.Rex’s ‘Get It On’ for the first time, before I even knew what Bolan looked like, was my key to the secret mysteries of pop power and rock’n’roll glamour. Watching him on Top Of The Pop’s a week later, the glitter sparkling beneath his eyes, was even more mind blowing and my second life defining moment.
Luckily for me, Marc Bolan, Bowie and glam arrived at just the right time, instigated of course by the snappy foot tapper with an electric neo-rockabilly groove that was ‘Ride A White Swan’. Pop had been screaming out for something new to galvanise a generation sick to death of the sanctity of The Beatles and the crooked myths of the sixties. Initially Bolan was its very heart, banging out a brilliant new teen anthem every couple of months; ‘Jeepster’, ‘Telegram Sam’, ‘Metal Guru’, ‘Children Of The Revolution’, ‘Solid Gold Easy Action’ and greatest of them all, ‘20th Century Boy’, all ripe and ready for pre pubescent kids awaiting the teenage dream. Even now, it’s impossible not to love them, not to get suckered in by their sweet simplicity and Bolan’s innocent boogaloo.
More often than not T.Rex’s importance to the seventies generation has been overlooked, largely because of the continuing power of Bowie. And yet, without Bolan’s mini masterpieces it could be argued we may never have found Bowie in the first place. Or maybe it really was like Bolan claimed all along; that he did all the work and kicked in all the doors only for Bowie to saunter in and take all the credibility.
There’s no doubt that for those first few years, on all the singles and albums like Electric Warrior and The Slider Bolan was incredible but from Tanx on he began to slip. Finding it impossible to move on he became increasingly porky and coked to the gills, lost in the depths of paranoia, despairing at his own inability to transcend the genre that had so defined him. By then, like all the other glam acolytes he had lost me too as I turned away for darker, more thrilling kicks Bolan somehow too frivolous and one dimensional. Of course, in reality I had just outgrown him. Through the very nature of the phenomenon, all pop stars fade away yet Bolan struggled to understand that that simple concept also applied to him.
Bizarrely, in the last years of his life, he was almost saved by television, initially via Mike Mansfield’s infamous Supersonic, and then through his very own kiddiepop show Marc. Following the release of Dandy in the Underworld, his best album since The Slider, he stirred himself enough to seize the moment one last time. Watching him was still mesmerising. On the one hand it all seemed horribly undignified but on the other it defined what had been so great about him in the first place, his ability simply to revel in the evanescent charisma of pop stardom.
Ironically, his old friend and nemesis David Bowie was his last guest. The two had barely started singing when Bolan tripped over a wire and toppled off the stage. Could there really have been a more painfully symbolic end to the Electric Warrior's career? He died just a week later, two weeks short of his thirtieth birthday convinced he would be nothing more than a footnote in pop history. It’s kind of nice to know that he needn’t have worried because for most every seventies teen he had already written his own chapter.