Marc Bolan & T. Rex

A Paw of Fur, An Air of Doom: The Midnight Sky of a Solid Mad Scientist

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This wonderfully titled, professionally packaged bootleg compiles Marc Bolan/T. Rex outtakes and obscure recordings from 1966 through 1976. With all of the T. Rex products on the market (and most of them subpar), A Paw of Fur stands out as refreshing, eclectic, and worthwhile, though seemingly difficult to locate. Released in 1993, the compilation includes "complete" versions of songs, alternate versions, demos, orchestrated poems, and outtakes from the Unicorn, Beard of Stars, Slider, Tanx, and Zip Gun sessions. Also featured are several live radio broadcasts and a few duets: one with Marsha Hunt and one with Flo & Eddie. Bolan performs "Tutti Frutti" with Elton John and Ringo Starr, and croons a Bowie-esque version of "Dawn Storm," which is much different from the take on Futuristic Dragon. While the sound quality varies greatly from track to track, and is at times rather turbid, there are several gems here that make A Paw of Fur an attractive find, including: the obscure, raw "Jet Tambourine" and "Alligator Man"; the complete "Sailors of the Highway" and "Satisfaction Pony"; and, among many others, "Find a Little Wood," a mood-evoking outtake from the Beard of Stars sessions.

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