Its abysmal sound quality notwithstanding, For the Lion and the Unicorn is one of the earliest known live recordings of Tyrannosaurus Rex and, as such, stands among the most precious artifacts in the entire Marc Bolan catalog. One of the first shows to feature Bolan stepping out with an electric guitar, it sees the group already poised for the transition that would, a couple of years later, take the entire country by surprise. But still it captures precisely the same mystic magic that the duo was already renowned for, a world of elves and unicorns, Afghan women and Abyssinian seas, and Bolan's inimitable grasp of life through lyrics set to a churning sea of half-electric rumination. Certainly the live appeal of the duo is not hard to see, even if it is a little difficult to discern -- the sound quality is akin to standing outside the hall with a tin can pressed to the fire escape, and some of the subtler nuances of the music are certainly lost in the translation. But a powerful set drawing from all three Tyrannosaurus Rex LPs to date highlights the glory that was theirs for the taking, and if a better quality tape ever turns up, it would be the rival of any other live Bolan out there.
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