High Elf Esteem

From cross-legged cult to major pop star in three years. The first five albums, plus outtakes and alternate versions

Trending Now

Richard Thompson on the flowering of Fairport Convention

"There was a musical explosion – you could play almost anything and be accepted"

My Bloody Valentine: “We were like the Partridge Family on acid”

With the news that My Bloody Valentine have released their catalogue across streaming services for the first time, it...

Alan Horne on the resurrection of Postcard Records

"There’s no conceivable excuse to be whoring yourself off to any crooked corporate malarkey"

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Neil Young

Updated with a deep dive into Archives II and more

Marc Bolan was reinventing himself from the moment he pranced out of the womb. As adept at the chameleon bit as Bowie ever was, he worked his way from bedroom mirror rocker to milkbar male model to Anglo beatnik to mod face when he was barely in his teens. From 1968 to 1970, the period covered by these five albums, he was the underground’s resident pixie minstrel.

The first Tyrannosaurus Rex album was recorded quickly with minimal overdubs, and it shows. But behind the rudimentary strumming and vibrato bleats lies a rare gift, already evident in “Knight” and “Chateau In Virginia Waters” for alchemising unearthly melodies out of root chord patterns. Prophets, Seers And Sages, released just three months after the debut, is more of the same, only with better titles. Who among the long-haired questers and fey young Middle Earth dwellers could resist songs called “Trelawney Lawns”, “Juniper Suction” and “Scenes Of Dynasty”? Producer Tony Visconti swelled up 1969’s “Unicorn” with a Spectoresque ‘trellis of sound’ as rendered on gongs, bells, myriad junk-shop arcana and a

Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement