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Unicorn Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

24 customer reviews

Price: £7.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Unicorn + Prophets, Seers & Sages: Angels Of The Ages + My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair
Price For All Three: £28.83

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Aug. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: UMC / A&M
  • ASIN: B0002LU976
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,942 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Description

Pre-glam rock era T. Rex (then Tyrannosaurus Rex) re-issue their early albums including this, Unicorn. Considered a cornerstone of the 60s British Underground along with The Soft Machine, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Cream, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, this expanded edition includes original artwork, lyrics, sleevenotes by Marc Bolan biographer Mark Paytress, rare photographs by Peter Sanders, and 15 bonus tracks with stereo recordings and outtakes. First pressings come with a slipcase. Universal. 2004.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 10 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
We all know of Marc Bolan as the iconic lead singer of T. Rex; that grand, strutting peacock of rock, the eternal star-child of glam, peeling off those ferocious guitar-lines amidst nonsense verse spiked with blistering innuendo. But few casual listeners have ever bothered to delve further into the musical Mecca of records that Bolan released prior to the abbreviation of the unwieldy Tyrannosaurus Rex moniker, and indeed, before the addition of Micky Finn, Steve Currie and Bill Legend to create that archetypical T. Rex sound.

I suppose it's still easy to dismiss Bolan's early work as nothing more than trite, hippy-era, airy-fairy nonsense; with some critics still seeing the icon (at this stage in his career, at least) as a bargain bin Syd Barrett, and no doubt instead preferring to think of T. Rex as a brand name that began its life with the release of Ride a White Swan in 1970 and died, alongside our hero, on that fateful night in September, 1977. But really, there was so much more to the legacy of Bolan, pre-T. Rextacy, that it seems almost criminal to ignore it -- with a clutch of underrated albums, like the preposterously titled My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows (1968) and the later A Beard of Stars (1970) in particular standing out as exemplary pieces of work that could easily be ranked alongside the better known albums like Electric Warrior (1971) and The Slider (1972).
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 30 Nov. 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unicorn was the third of four albums by Tyrannosaurus Rex and the last with Steve Peregrine Took. Released in May 1969, it followed the failure of their third single, Pewtor Suitor, in January. This had followed in the mould of the first two singles and albums by largely replicating the acoustic sound the band created onstage over the last year or so. The same could be said of the B-side, Warlord of The Royal Crocodiles, recorded near the start of the sessions for the album in December 1968.

Given that the duo had released two albums within the last twelve months, all written by Marc Bolan, the quality of the songs on Unicorn was remarkably strong, showing his considerable development as a writer, lyrically and musically, and fully utilising the flexible creativity of his musical partner Steve Took. Not anyway given to self-doubt, Marc Bolan must have been particularly confident at the outset of the sessions, and was therefore severely challenged by the commercial failure of Pewtor Suitor.

He met the challenge during the sessions, which lasted until 2nd February 1969, by experimenting with more instruments and multi-track overdubs, with the help of regular producer Tony Visconti and engineers Malcolm Toft and Rob Cabel, to create a much more complex panoply of chromatic sounds that incorporated Spectorish reverb and percussion. If not exactly a Wall Of Sound, they brilliantly complemented the beautiful idiosyncrasy of the songs. Marc added harmonium, lip organ and fonofidels to his repertoire, while Steve additionally supplied bass guitar, piano, drumkit and pixiepipe. Tony Visconti added some piano to Catblack. The result was a worthy 16-track successor to My People and Prophets and reversed their commercial decline by making a very healthy showing in the album charts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie D TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'Unicorn' is more a product of certain aspects of its time than many other albums produced in 1969, which makes it interesting of itself. I like Marc Bolan and the various incarnations of T.Rex very much but did not find 'Unicorn' particularly easy listening. This review was written after a first playing of the album with the aim of giving a sense of initial impressions. I bought it because I have enjoyed snatches of 'pixiefied pop' on T.Rex compilations in the past but odd snatches interspersed amongst other musical styles is a bit different from a well packed, very good value expanded edition album all in 'pixiefied' style. Perhaps we're too used to expecting to instantly connect with music these days and one step removed from the album listening experience? Despite the hippie influence, coming through strong here is the enthusiasm, talent and charm Marc will rightly be remembered for. I wouldn't say every track here is a total gem but certainly some of the harmonies are glorious and very inventive. There's tremulo a plenty which, if you like Bolan too, you're unlikely to be averse to as it so much underpins his vocal style. 'Pewter Suitor' is possibly my favourite track; the vocals are reminiscent of the extended versions of 'Deborah'. I think 'Unicorn' will grow on me. If it doesn't, it won't be because I don't want it to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Feld on 16 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD
The Tyrannosaurus Rex albums alternate between colour and black and white covers and somehow this seems to be reflected in the music. Coming after the black and white cover and autumnal feel of "Prophets, Seers & Sages.....", Unicorn has a bold colour photograph for the cover and a warmer, more realised, sound suited to being originally issued in the summer of 1969. The percussive, often frenetic songs accompanied just by guitar, gong and bongos on the previous album was replaced with a more lush, unhurried sound with some of the most beautiful, cascading melodies Bolan ever wrote, fleshed out with more expansive production and greater instrumentation including piano,drum kit, lip organ & phono fiddle. The songs are among the very best Bolan ever produced at any time in his career to the extent that it is impossible to pick out the album highlights and the lyrics are more credible, well-crafted and accessible than before. Even though John Peel later expressed embarrassment at reading Bolan's kids story, I do not know why as it is fun, innocent, charming and reflects the idealistic naivety of the time perfectly. Lovingly re-issued and including the first Tyrannosaurus Rex electric track, the Top 40 single, King of The Rumbling Spires, with its odd but wonderful B side, Do You Remember?, this is Bolan at a creative peak, recording one of the greatest albums from the acid folk underground. The album charted and, from recollection, reached number 13. I cannot believe that any Bolan fan will not already own this but, if you have begun to explore Marc's early work, this is the best of the first three albums as a starting point. The follow up A Beard of Stars was the launch of a new semi-electric era and the clever transition to the huge success of Electric Warrior.
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