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Marc Bolan - At the BBC | FESTIVALPHOTO

Marc Bolan - At the BBC



A new Marc Bolan/T-Rex box set is due to be released in August - 'At the BBC'. My first reaction was one of surprise - after all, there have been so many Marc Bolan or -Rex compilations over the years, including the 2007 Box set, 'Bolan at the Beeb', so is there really much material that hasnt already been released? Well, if we compare 'At the BBC' to 'Bolan at the Beeb' then the differences are clear - 'Bolan at the beeb' featured 60 tracks over 3 discs, whereas 'At the BBC' features 118 tracks over 6 discs, so 'At the BBC' is a far more comprehensive collection of the recordings held by the BBC. In fact this box set contains every recordings of BBC session that still exists. 'At The BBC' combines all of the surviving BBC recordings with sessions taken from BBC Transcription Discs, off air recordings made on reel-to-reel tape recorders and even cassette tapes. The box set contains 16 previously unreleased Tyrannosaurus Rex tracks, and over 20 T.Rex previously unreleasedtracks.

As a result what you get here is not just a comprehensive collection of recordings, but due to the fact the recordings were made over a considerable period of time, starting with the band 'Johns children', through 'Tyrannosaurus Rex' to 'T-Rex', then you get to hear how the music evolved over time, from the psychedelic sound of Johns children to the more commercially successful sound of T-Rex. The first recordings come from 1968, and the last was recorded just a month before Marc Bolan's death in 1977
One bit that I liked listening to the album is the fact that they haven't just included the songs - instead with many of the tracks there are intros from the DJ and often Marc Bolan. These brief introductions to the songs are often very interesting and informative, and I can see hardcore Marc Bolan fans being particularly happy with their inclusion particualrly since the 'Bolan at the beeb' box set cut these out. As well as these brief bits of talking there are also some longer interviews - around a dozen in total.

The sound quality is generally excellent, which is slightly surprising - I'd expected to find more variation in the quality, particularly where the BBC no longer have their original recordings, so I'm guessing that there may have been some material that wasnt included for not being up to the required quality standards, which would be a shame. I suspect that the majority of people who buy this box set are going to be the dedicated fans and many of them would probably prefer to have a poor quality version of a track than to not have it at all.

One bit that I'm not keen about with the album is the fact that the interviews are scattered acros the various discs. This may be to keep them in chronological order, or simply to best utilise the space, but the problem as I see it is that most people tend to listen to music a lot more than to interviews, so will have to keep skipping to the next track whenever it reaches an interview. Having the interviews all on one disc would let people listen to the music without that skipping. That's just my preference though - other fans may like having the interviews spread across the discs between songs.

I think there's going to be enough material here to keep pretty much all Marc Bolan fans happy, and for most then there will be tracks they haven't heard before or don't have on CD. It's definitely a collection for the hardcore fans though - at almost £50 from Amazon then this isn't for the casual fan.

'At the BBC' will be released on 26th August 2013

Track listings:

Disc: 1
1. Jagged Time Lapse - John's Children
2. Interview With John Hewlett - John's Children
3. The Perfumed Garden Of Gulliver Smith - John's Children
4. Daddy Rolling Stone - John's Children
5. Hot Rod Mama - John's Children
6. Top Gear Jingle - Marc Bolan
7. Highways (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
8. Dwarfish Trumpet Blues (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
9. Scenescof (With Interview) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
10. Child Star (With Interview) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
11. Pictures Of Purple People (With Interview) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
12. Hot Rod Mama (With Interview) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
13. Knight (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
14. Frowning Atahuallpa (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
15. Strange Orchestras - Tyrannosaurus Rex
16. Afghan Woman (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
17. Deborah (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
18. Mustang Ford (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
19. Stacey Grove (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
20. One Inch Rock (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
21. Salamanda Palaganda (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
22. Eastern Spell (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
23. Wind Quartets (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
24. Juniper Suction (Poem) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
25. Juniper Suction (With Interview) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
26. The Friends (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
27. Consuela (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
28. The Seal Of Seasons (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
29. Evenings Of Damask (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
30. The Travelling Tragition - Tyrannosaurus Rex

Disc: 2
1. Pewter Suitor (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
2. Interview With Brian Matthew - Tyrannosaurus Rex
3. Chariots Of Silk - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
4. Once Upon The Seas of Abyssinia (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
5. Nijinsky Hind (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
6. The Misty Coast of Albany (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
7. Iscariot (With Chat) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
8. A Star of Youth - Poem With Chat - Tyrannosaurus Rex
9. A Ship Of Rhythm - Poem With Chat - Tyrannosaurus Rex
10. The Winged Man With Eyes Downcast To The Moon - Poem With Chat - Tyrannosaurus Rex
11. Interview With Brian Matthew - Tyrannosaurus Rex
12. Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
13. Pavilions Of Sun - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
14. A Day Laye - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
15. By The Light Of A Magical Moon - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
16. Wind Cheetah - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
17. Hot Rod Mama - Tyrannosaurus Rex
18. Deborah - Tyrannosaurus Rex
19. Pavilions Of Sun - Tyrannosaurus Rex
20. Dove - Tyrannosaurus Rex
21. By The Light Of The Magical Moon - Tyrannosaurus Rex
22. Elemental Child - Tyrannosaurus Rex
23. The Wizard - Tyrannosaurus Rex

Disc: 3
1. Ride A White Swan - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
2. Jewel - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
3. Elemental Child - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
4. Sun Eye - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
5. My Baby's Like A Cloudform - T. Rex
6. Funk Music - T. Rex
7. Summertime Blues - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
8. Jewel - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
9. Hot Love - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
10. Debora - T. Rex
11. Elemental Child - T. Rex
12. Woodland Bop Medley: Woodland Bop/ Consuela / The King Of The Mountain Cometh / Woodland Bop - T. Rex
13. Ride A White Swan - T. Rex
14. Jewel - T. Rex

Disc: 4
1. Woodland Rock - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
2. Beltane Walk - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
3. Seagull Woman - Marc Bolan
4. Hot Love - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
5. Interview With Keith Altham - T. Rex
6. Jeepster - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
7. Get It On - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
8. Electric Boogie - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
9. Bob Harris Jingle - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
10. Sailors Of The Highway - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
11. Girl - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
12. Cadillac - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
13. Jeepster - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
14. Life's A Gas - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
15. Christmas Jingle - Marc Bolan, T. Rex
16. Interview with Tony Norman - T. Rex
17. Telegram Sam - Marc Bolan
18. Interview With Keith Altham - T. Rex

Disc: 5
1. Metal Guru - T. Rex
2. Interview With Andrew Salkey - T. Rex
3. The Slider - T. Rex
4. Mystic Lady - T. Rex
5. Rock On - T. Rex
6. Main Man - T. Rex
7. Interview With Johnny Moran - T. Rex
8. Children Of The Revolution - T. Rex
9. Solid Gold Easy Action - T. Rex
10. 20 th Century Boy - T. Rex
11. Free Angel - T. Rex
12. Interview With Nicky Horne - T. Rex
13. Rapids - T. Rex
14. Mad Donna - T. Rex
15. The Groover - T. Rex
16. Midnight - T. Rex

Disc: 6
1. Interview With Annie Nightingale - T. Rex
2. Blackjack (Big Carrot) - T. Rex
3. Truck On (Tyke) - T. Rex
4. Sitting Here - T. Rex
5. Teenage Dream - T-Rex
6. Interview With Michael Wale - T. Rex
7. Light Of Love - T. Rex
8. Explosive Mouth - T. Rex
9. Zip Gun Boogie - T. Rex
10. Space Boss - T. Rex
11. New York City - T-Rex
12. Dreamy Lady - T. Rex
13. Do You Wanna Dance - T. Rex
14. Interview - T. Rex
15. Interview - T. Rex
16. I Love To Boogie - T. Rex
17. Celebrate Summer - T. Rex

Writer: Anthony May
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