Thursday, July 12, 2018

T. Rex - T.Rextasy

As with a majority of Americans, I first discovered Marc Bolan and T. Rex when "Bang a Gong" became a smash hit in the States. I'll admit that I wasn't hip enough to know about his previous British releases, but I did my best to remedy that with whatever I could find in the States, starting with the terrific Electric Warrior album. I was excited to find out that he would be appearing on TV's In Concert, but I was somewhat disappointed in the show - their sound really did not transmit to a live performance. This 2-CD live set also pales in comparison to the studio output for the same reason - the sound is a bit thin, the guitar is too loud (a rare complaint for me, but Marc just could not pull it off on his own), Mickey Finn's congas are the only other instrument that is clearly heard, and the overall recording is sorta sub-par.

Still, it is an engaging document of T.Rextasy at its prime - Marc and the band was fanatically loved in the UK, where they had multiple hits, unlike the States. The set list is aimed at this audience, naturally, with some of what I would consider his lesser known songs and some drawn out, over-indulgent jams that, again, Marc, gawd love him, really shouldn't have attempted (13 minutes' worth in "Elemental Child"!). There are technical difficulties that Marc complains about through the mic and he berates a fan for coming on stage and demands that the person be removed. Marc does perform some tunes alone ("Spaceball Ricochet", "Girl"), he goes into a long monologue and starts'n'stops "Rip Off" a couple of times before moving into a long "Deborah" instead and disc one concludes with a solo (Finn eventually joins in) "Cosmic Dancer".

"One Inch Rock" is one of my fave semi-obscurity, but the mix is basically mush here, there's a wah-wah "Instrumental Jam", an electric "Ride a White Swan", an unexciting, monotone-ish and long "Thunderwing" followed by a more fun "Baby Strange", further excess in "Jewel", a rockin' "Jeepster" (that got a rousing ovation), "Hot Love" is pretty cool and is buoyed by audience participation - clapping and singing along - which leads into an, unfortunately, pretty murky "Bang a Gong" and then a fairly raucous "Summertime Blues".

Really just for major fans - the sound quality and long jams will most likely turn off anyone else. It is an interesting souvenir of the times, though.