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T.Rex - 'Get It On - The Collection' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7c/29/4e/1231_t-rex.getitonthecollection_1305059573.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 10, 2011    
 
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If you wish to dip into Bolan's early days, this isn't a bad place to start.

T.Rex have always been my 'guilty pleasure', although I don't actually feel guilty about listening to them (with the possible exception of the 'Futuristic Dragon' album). Way back when I was just becoming musically aware, I came across a cheapo T.Rex compilation on the Music For Pleasure budget label in the Woollies sale for 15p. Despite the fact that three bob was a lot of money back then, I liked what I'd heard of the band in the singles charts and the album carried both the 'Ride A White Swan' single and its B-side, so for 15p it was a bargain. When I got it home and slapped it on the record player I was surprised – nay, mortified – that the album didn't feature any bubblegum epics like 'Get It On' or 'Hot Love' but was instead a collection of songs of Marc Bolan strumming away and singing about a salamanda palaganda – whatever that was – and a girl called Deborah who looked like a zebra, backed by someone furiously pummelling his bongos (which is not a euphemism). This wasn't cosmic poetry; this was tree-hugging hippy shit! How was the young me to know that the glam rock superstar had already been a summer of love cult hero with a handful of hit singles to his name, and that his transition from acoustic to electric, from Tyrannosaurus Rex to T.Rex, had been seen by many as a sell-out almost on the same scale as Dylan's. Almost.

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Fast-forward about forty years, and despite looming baldness, dementia and incontinence, nothing really changes. 'Get It On' is on the budget Spectrum label and features a similar mishmash of banal folkdom and glamster power-pop. Four cuts (the singles 'Get It On' and 'Jeepster', 'Life's A Gas' and 'Cosmic Dancer') come from 'Electric Warrior' – still probably the one of the greatest albums of all time – and another three are taken from the preceding self-titled album of 1970 which together with the 'Ride A White Swan' single (also included) marked the band's transition. The other twelve cuts date from the late Sixties when 'My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair' and 'The Time Of Love Is Now' and are products of their flower-power time. As such 'Get It On' the compilation is pretty much a mixed bag and perhaps borders too much on the acoustic years for my taste, although of course if you wish to dip into Bolan's early days, this isn't a bad place to start: the eight-odd minutes of 'The Wizard' is pretty interesting, and 'Warlord Of The Royal Crocodiles' gets the vote for best title, but, personally, I'll stick with the likes of 'Left Hand Luke…' and the band's later years.

John Tucker

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