Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Ride a White Swan

Song Review by

Marc Bolan had added electricity again to his repertoire and was yearning for something more beyond the adulation of the cult following his every move in Tyrannosaurus Rex. Whatever combination of coincedences brought it on, the group's name got trimmed to something handier; Bolan and producer Tony Visconti aimed for something a touch simpler and easy to get a hold on, and the result was a number two smash that inadvertantly founded glam rock mania. "Ride a White Swan," as much as any song, became inextricably intertwined with the Bolan legend, and quite the song it is. With an abbreviated, clipped, sassy rockabilly riff; a string section providing extra shade and beauty to the birth-of-rock music; soft, soothing backing vocals; and an at once out there and just right lyric about being a mystic wizard with a black cat, "Ride a White Swan" was a stroke of inspired genius. Catchy, fun, making no pretense at being deep but able to sound it, and with a winning delivery from Bolan throughout, it's no wonder it became the hit it did, enabling him to aim even higher as he went.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Bolan Boogie 1972 Castle Music Ltd. / PolyGram 2:16
Across the Airwaves 1982 Polygram 2:04
No Image 1985 Polygram
Solid Gold Rapid Action 1998 Raven 2:15
Born to Boogie: The Collection 2002 Spectrum Music 2:12
20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection 2002 Hip-O 2:13
No Image 2002 Relativity