Tyrannosaurus Rex

Collection [Castle]

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Beware, newcomers to T. Rex and Marc Bolan: the title of this import from England is misleading. It's not a T. Rex greatest hits package. Before Marc Bolan found fame with the rocking four-piece T. Rex, he was a folk artist who performed with just a percussionist, and went by the name Tyrannosaurus Rex. And judging by such long-winded and inadvertently hilarious song titles like "She Was Born to Be My Unicorn" and "Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles," it's obvious why Tyrannosaurus Rex never hit it big. The early folk material just isn't up to par with the stomping glitter rock that Bolan would later perfect and which would eventually become his trademark. Out of the 24 tracks that appear on The Collection, 17 are from Bolan's rambling folk period, with just seven taken from his re-discovery of rock era. One redeeming quality about the compilation is the inclusion of 3 songs from the group's still out-of-print self-titled 1970 release. One of the tracks, the melancholy ballad "Seagull Woman," is the record's highlight, and sounds ripe for the Smashing Pumpkins to cover. Also included are well-known T. Rex nuggets "Jeepster," "Ride A White Swan," and "Mambo Sun." Ultimately, The Collection will appeal to Marc Bolan fanatics listening for the best of his early folk material (which has been out of print for some time, I wonder why?). It's definitely not recommended for those interested in hearing the best of T. Rex's hits, because there are very few well-known hits included.

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