Ever since Marc Bolan's tragic death in 1977, countless T. Rex compilations have popped up -- few of which spanned his entire career (having recorded for several different labels must've led to red tape for prospective compilers). The 15-track 2003 compilation, Universal Masters Collection, is no different, as T. Rex's post-'72 output is completely absent -- instead focusing on Bolan's early folk direction and subsequent beginning phase of his glam rock makeover. Two of T. Rex's biggest U.S. hits are included here, the perennial classic rock radio standards "Get It On" and "Jeepster," as well as further glam ditties ("Hot Love," "Ride a White Swan," and "Rip Off"), plus an earlier track that would become a U.K. hit when re-released at the peak of "Bolan-mania," "Debora." The earlier selections pale in comparison to the glam-era rockers, however, as it's evident that Bolan had yet to carve his niche. While this is by no means a complete T. Rex best of, it's an adequate representation of their early years, through Bolan's first taste of chart success.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato