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Bolan: The Rise and Fall of a 20th Century Superstar [Paperback]

Mark Paytress
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Feb 2006
Marc Bolan was the very first superstar of the Seventies. As the seductive focus of "T Rex", he revelled in fame and fortune, released a string of classic records, but then lost his way, bingeing on cocaine and booze and apparently heading for obscurity. But the fatal 1977 car crash that cut short his planned comeback as a punk rocker was also to fix him forever as the classic icon of Glam Rock. Today, almost 30 years after his death, the legend of Marc Bolan lives on and not just for the image. His music and chameleonic style were to influence many future bands. Mod, Beatnik, Hippie, Glam and Punk Rocker - Bolan's numerous guises offer a fascinating glimpse into the man himself as well as British pop history. This classic biography of a pop obsessive draws from interviews with many friends and colleagues including the late John Peel, brother Harry and band members Mickey Finn and Bill Legend.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (6 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846091470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846091476
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In the best Bolan biography yet, Paytress writes thoughtfully and perceptively. Q Though Paytress is very good on Bolan's rise and fall, he is absolutely brilliant on the seismic tremors of youth culture. Tony Parsons.

About the Author

Mark Paytress is the author of several books including BowieStyle, The Rolling Stones Off the Record. He has written on popular music for many publications, including MOJO, Select and Rolling He lives in London and Madrid.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bolan feast! 4 Sep 2002
This is an outstanding biography by an acknowledged Bolan expert. It has all the ingredients of a good biography (importantly being a 'good read') with paytress' attention to Bolanic detail of particular merit.
If you bought the first edition of this book back in 92/3 and fear you would only be purchasing the same book repackaged then think again!! I have both editions and i promise you that this is a very seperate beast! This is a much expanded and re-worded version with all the photographs being new to this edition. The only similarities i can identify are the quality of the writing and the author's love of his subject.
If you have any interest in Bolan or the work of the great man at all then you need this book. It sits nicely on the shelf alongside Buckley's Bowie biography and Rogan's seminal work on Morrissey and Marr. It truly is great!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE best Bolan book ever ?? 28 Jan 2007
Very readable, very thorough. Possibly the definitive text on Marc's life & music. An absolutely brilliant effort which describes every stage of Marc's life. It is a very fair book, it may be "warts & all" but unlike some who have written about Marc, the author does not "over do" the negative side of Marc's character (or over play the period of downturn in musical fortune he suffered).

A brilliant book & a real must for every Bolan fan - top notch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate book of the Boppin' Elf 12 Oct 2011
An outstanding inside view of the man that people saw as 'just' a Glam rocker. Mr Paytress has researched the subject with the passion of a fan. There are no punches pulled in this bittersweet biography, and I learnt so much about the real Marc. I have been a huge fan of Marc's since I was 11 years old in 1972, and thought I knew most there was to know, but this brilliant book proved me wrong.
I recently went to watch the 20th Century Boy musical in Ipswich, and a lot of the narrative in the stage play was almost word for word lifted from the book. Did the author act as a guide for the script I wonder.
A must have
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bolan Brilliance: Applause for Mr Paytress 14 Jan 2010
Mr Paytress' revision of his earlier work is brilliant. This book is A MUST HAVE for all Bolan and non-Bolan fans alike. The book brings all the aspects of Marc's character alive - the good and the not so good. It takes you from the very beginning of Marcs desire to be someone, his struggles & put downs, right through to the heady successes and into the twists and turns of his career in the late seventies. Bolan simply jumps out of this book at you. The man himself, the music history, and the well researched information make this an incredibly fascinating and enyoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prettiest Star 19 Feb 2011
A revision of the original book and the best of any books I have found about Marc. The author knows his subject well it is not a whitewash or a stupid tell all but a serious book on the Main Man & his legend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very detailed examination 24 Jan 2013
By Radiojock TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm still reading this. It's excellent and apparently, thoroughly updated from its original pressing. I love music history. You get the lot here. Mark Feld and his family tree, or at least, part of it. Was very surprised to learn of his Jewish heritage. That really touched me as I recently found out I'm part Jewish, but enough of me!

You're going to read about Mark's obsession with clothes, poetry and certain people he admired from a very early age. You'll see who he teamed up with in his personal and public life; where and how his songs got written and recorded, and much more.

Can't tell you how the book ends, I'm nowhere near that bit yet, but I'm thoroughly impressed with the storyline so far and would encourage Mark Feld/Marc Bolan/T.Rex fans to get this book on the man's life. Mark is to T.Rex as the Beatles were to Abbey Road!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 7 April 2013
By obol
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really good read, well written and an eye opener even for a long time Bolan fan. Certainly one to buy and enjoy whether you're a Bolan fan or just interested in music biographies.
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