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Futuristic Dragon (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

The most blatantly, and brilliantly, portentous of Marc Bolan's albums since the transitional blurring of boundaries that was Beard of Stars, almost seven years before, Futuristic Dragon opens on a wave of unrelenting feedback, guitars, and bombast, setting an apocalyptic mood for the record which persists long after that brief (two minutes) overture is over. Indeed, even the quintessential bop of the succeeding "Jupiter Liar" is irrevocably flavored by what came before, dirty guitars churning beneath a classic Bolan melody, and the lyrics a spiteful masterpiece. But if the other tunes pursue Bolan's new-found fascination for pomp over pop with barely disguised glee, he wasn't above slipping the odd joke into the brew to remind us that he knew what he was doing. "Theme for a Dragon" is an all-but Wagnerian symphonic instrumental — with the sound of screaming teenyboppers as its backdrop, with the punchline lurking further afield, among the handful of obvious hits which he also stirred in. The first of these, the big-budget ballad "Dreamy Lady," scored even before the rest of the album was complete. It was followed by the idiotically contagious "New York City," a piece of pure pop nonsense genius which effortlessly returned him to the British Top 20. And when he followed that up with the rhythm and punk swagger of "I Love to Boogie," few people would deny that Bolan was on the way back up.

Biography

Formed: 1967

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Initially a British folk-rock combo called Tyrannosaurus Rex, T. Rex was the primary force in glam rock, thanks to the creative direction of guitarist/vocalist Marc Bolan (born Marc Feld). Bolan created a deliberately trashy form of rock & roll that was proud of its own disposability. T. Rex's music borrowed the underlying sexuality of early rock & roll, adding dirty, simple grooves and fat distorted guitars, as well as an overarching folky/hippie spirituality that always came through the...
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