20th Century Boy
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Marc Bolan (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonium, organ, bass); Steve Peregrino Took (kazoo, piano, bass, drums, bongos, percussion, gong, background vocals); Ian McDonald (saxophone); Burt Collins (flugelhorn); Dino Dines (keyboards); Mickey Finn (bass, drums, tabla, percussion, background vocals); Steve Currie (bass); Davey Lutton, Willie Legend (drums); Flo & Eddie, Vicky Brown, Barry St. John (background vocals).
  • Producers: Tony Visconti, Marc Bolan.
  • Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
  • Recorded between 1968 & 1976. Includes liner notes by Dave Thompson.
  • All tracks have been digitally remastered.
  • Personnel: Marc Bolan (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, fiddle, harmonica, harmonium); Ian McDonald (saxophone); Burt Collins (flugelhorn); Dino Dines (keyboards); Will Legend, Dave Lutton (drums); Mickey Finn (clay drum, tabla, percussion, background vocals); Victoria "Vicky B" Brown, Sue & Sunny, Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Barry St. John (background vocals).
  • Liner Note Author: Dave Thompson .
  • Marc Bolan & T. Rex never troubled the pop culture radar in the US beyond one minor hit single, making them perhaps the biggest UK stars to never leave any significant stateside impression. As a result, their catalogue has rarely been properly served by US labels, with the songs that made Bolan's name remaining out of print for years at a time while UK labels large and small released every tiny scrap of rehearsal tape, often multiple times.
  • After Mitsubishi Motors used the stomping "20th Century Boy" in an ad campaign (somewhat ghoulishly, considering that Bolan was killed in an auto accident) in 2002, Universal's Hip-O reissue imprint took the opportunity to rectify the poor state of Bolan's catalogue with the solidly impressive 20TH CENTURY BOY: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION. Thoughtfully, the set starts with five tracks from Bolan's lesser-known early psychedelic period as Tyrannosaurus Rex, including the spectacularly weird "King of the Rumbling Spires," before laying out the classic string of '70s glam-rock boogie hits ("Bang a Gong [Get It On]") and a few choice B-sides. For those wanting to stick to a single T. Rex disc, this is the one to choose.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (9/19/02, p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Bolan's singing, songwriting and stinging guitar prove why his band inspired everyone from Bowie to the Ramones."
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