Exposé Online banner

Tyrannosaurus Rex — A Beard of Stars
(A&M 982 251-2, 1970/2004, CD)

Tyrannosaurus Rex — My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
(A&M 982 250-9, 1967/2004, CD)

Tyrannosaurus Rex — Prophets, Seers and Sages, the Angels of the Ages
(A&M 982 251-0, 1968/2004, CD)

Tyrannosaurus Rex — Unicorn
(A&M 982251-1, 1969/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01

A Beard of Stars Cover artMy People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows Cover artProphets, Seers and Sages, the Angels of the Ages Cover artUnicorn Cover art

Here we have the long-awaited reissue of Marc Bolan’s earliest recordings, back when Tyrannosaurus was spelled out in full and electric guitars were unusual coloring rather than the foundation of the music. The first two albums (My People Were Fair and Prophets, Seers and Sages) were performed entirely by Bolan on vocals and acoustic guitar, with Steve Peregrin Took on percussion (mostly bongos), backing vocals, and pixiephone. For the third album, Unicorn, Tony Visconti adds piano on one track, and Took plays a drum kit; Bolan expands his playing to include keyboards. John Peel contributes spoken voice for a children’s story on each.

For the fourth album, A Beard of Stars, Took has departed, replaced by Micky Finn in the same basic role. As you might guess from the album titles and instrumentation, the music is basically psychedelic hippie folk, maybe the finest example of the genre (for what it’s worth). Bolan’s obsession with all things magical and mystical might seem a bit silly, or even annoying to many listeners, with song titles like “Knight,” “Aznageel the Mage,” “Dragon’s Ear,” and “Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles.” There are also a number of tunes showing his preoccupation with American lifestyles: “Hot Rod Mama,” “Mustang Ford.” And there’s the sheer nonsense titles, such as “Salamanda Palaganda.” Unless you’re a huge fan, I’d say any one of these reissued CDs could stand for the whole. The fourth album leans closely to the sound that T.Rex would become famous for, with some rollicking electric guitar and fuller sound. It still seems ironic to me that a band named after one of the most dangerous animals to ever live should be so gentle and lighthearted.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 23, 2004 releases, 1970 recordings, 1967 recordings, 1968 recordings, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): T.Rex (Tyrannosaurus Rex)

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richie Havens - Nobody Left to Crown – If one hasn't listened to anything new by Richie Havens since the 60s or 70s, perhaps it’s time to listen again. If anything, this latest offering from the respected singer-songwriter is as good as...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues