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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Beep Beep - Business Casual – While the advent of punk rock in the mid and late 70s may have been a death blow of sorts to big arena rock, including much of what we call Progressive, that genre known as Art Rock found a natural...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues