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Children of the Revolution - An Introduction to Marc Bolan

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Album Review

With such an overabundance of T. Rex compilations out there, it's pretty darn hard for a newcomer fan to pick which set is the best as a primer/starting point. Well, with the 2006 double-disc Children of the Revolution: An Introduction to Marc Bolan, you've certainly come across one of the better ones — but not quite definitive. While this impressively assembled collection weighs in at a hefty 45 tracks, it turns out that it starts with tracks that were midway through the "T. Rex mania" of the early '70s. In other words, there's nothing from the classic Electric Warrior album (including T. Rex's two biggest U.S. hits — "Bang a Gong [Get It On]" and "Jeepster"), as well as the early hits ("Ride a White Swan," "Hot Love," "Debora"). What you do get, however, is a healthy sampling of post-1972 T. Rex, which did include quite a few gems, including the mega U.K. hits "Telegram Sam," "Metal Guru," "The Groover," "Solid Gold Easy Action," "Twentieth Century Boy," and the set's title track. But as longtime Rexheads will attest, there were oodles of album tracks and B-sides that could have easily become hits on their own, as evidenced by such selections as "Cadillac," "Baby Strange," and "Tenement Lady." And while there's no debate that the quality of latter-day T. Rex tunes didn't match up to the 1970-1972 material, there were still a few worthwhile tracks to be found — "New York City," "I Love to Boogie," and "Explosive Mouth." If you already own a true T. Rex "best-of" (such as 2002's 20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection) and want to dig a bit deeper without buying the entire T. Rex studio album catalog, Children of the Revolution should satisfy your Bolan boogie needs.


Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The most iconic band of the U.K. glam rock scene of the '70s, T. Rex were the creation of Marc Bolan, who started out as a cheerfully addled acolyte of psychedelia and folk-rock until he turned to swaggering rock & roll with boogie rhythm and a tricked-up fashion sense. For a couple years, T. Rex were the biggest band in England and a potent cult item in the United States. If their stardom didn't last, their influence did, and T. Rex's dirty but playful attitude and Bolan's sense of style and rock...
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