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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let this album grow on you, and you won't regret it
My first reaction upon listening to the album was, "well, I can see why this didn't make it to the pop charts..." but after listening to it several times, I have to say I am definitely falling in love with it. I have it on a loop on my laptop right now, in fact. It is beautiful! "Scenescof," "Strange Orchestas," "Dwarfish Trumpet Blues," "Knight," "Wielder of Words"...
Published on 10 Feb 2003 by Kat

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I guess you had to be there....
I've listen to this 4 times now and I'm still struggling to get into it. I was about to write it off as the kind of album that you could only really enjoy if you were on LSD. But since reading the earnest customer review here I an inclined to believe that this album did in fact sound fresh at the time of it's original release in 1968. And to give it it's credit there are...
Published on 18 Jan 2008 by i wrote this


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let this album grow on you, and you won't regret it, 10 Feb 2003
My first reaction upon listening to the album was, "well, I can see why this didn't make it to the pop charts..." but after listening to it several times, I have to say I am definitely falling in love with it. I have it on a loop on my laptop right now, in fact. It is beautiful! "Scenescof," "Strange Orchestas," "Dwarfish Trumpet Blues," "Knight," "Wielder of Words" and "Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love)" are my particular favorites, and "Mustang Ford," "Chateau in Virginia Waters," "Child Star" and "Afghan Woman" are not too far behind. Which really only leaves "Hot Rod Mama" and "Graceful Fat Sheba" of the track listing, and these are both very good songs as well. The only reason I didn't list "Fat Sheba" as one of my favorites is that I can't recall it too well, and sandwiched between "Knight" and "Wielder of Words" it pales for me, and seems to be more of segue than anything. As for "Hot Rod Mama," originally I thought it a bit too jarring as an opener for the album, and something that would have been better done with electric guitar, but listening to it just now, I find I like it more than I thought I did. It just requires a bit of getting used to.
Much like the whole record. As I said, my first impression of it was, well, confused. I was prepared for anything (knowing this album wasn't anything like the T. Rex ones I already owned), and so swallowed it easier than others might have, but the album definitely isn't an easy first listen. Until the second or third listen, or perhaps until you are better acquainted with its sound, half of it sounds like layers of chirruped noise. Marc's voice is at its most twittery and shrill, constantly wavering up and down. I can now see where the "singing chippollata" description came from. He seems to sing into his nose, not taking the time to fully pronounce the syllables, making the lyrics hard to make out, which is not helped by the cacophony of bells, gongs, bird calls, claps and barnyard noises in the background. His backing singers provide more high-pitched wails and absent-seeming warbling. In short, it sounds like an album recorded on a trip, and best listened to on one as well.
And yet from he start, it has a certain compelling ambiance about it, if only because it *is* so different. At times, you are startled by how well the assorted instruments work: out of the hoof-beats of the bongos the sudden lilting melody of (sounds like) wind chimes comes like a spray of spring water, surprisingly beautiful and refreshing. Or you suddenly realize that in between all that incomprehensible singing and jumble of chords, the melody is pure pop (and I use the word in the sense it used to have, before all the c**p manufactured bands cropped up).
Eventually though, as you adjust to it, Marc's voice comes through stronger and you can sense the structure of the song in full, and you perceive that the so-called noise fits in perfectly, and that it's absolutely gorgeous. Everything falls into place, everything "clicks," and suddenly it's magic. It really is a "magical" album, it works like a spell: it transports you, it whirls your head around and fills you with its swirling inflections, and it all seems like one mystical, marvelous, lyrical poem.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product!, 20 July 2010
This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
The first of three magnificent albums by the original Tyrannosaurus Rex line up.
This 2004 release has the entire album original mono mixes followed then by the original stereo mixes as well as some extra takes.
Beautifully packaged with loads of pics, lyrics and outer sleeve.
Wow!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unlike anything before it, 18 Dec 2005
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
Where on Earth (or anywhere in the known multiverse for that matter) did this strangely mellifluous cacophony come from? It seemed unlike anything heard before and arrived fully formed onto the Peelian airwaves in the summer of 1968, hot on the heels of the astonishing single Debora (backed by Child Star, which was included on the album). And it was everywhere. You'd go to an outdoor free concert, or to a concert headlined by Fairport Convention, or Roy Harper, or the Edgar Broughton Band, or just about anyone, and there would be these pixies in support, sitting cross-legged on a colourful rug and declaiming a world of doors in oak trees, strange orchestras, Beethoven hair, wizards and weilders of words. Marc would be throwing back his mane and uttering throaty cries and bleats into the air, whilst confidently marshalling an army of sonic colours from his guitar, as Steve Peregrine-Took battled merrily on an array of Eastern-looking percussion instruments and added deft harmonies to Marc's lyrics as appropriate.

It is almost as mysterious now as it was then, although their influence can be heard in contemporary performers such as Devendra Banhart, and there were few clues to be had from Marc Bolan's previous work. This consisted of the two Decca singles The Wizard and The Third Degree and a single for Parlophone called Hippy Gumbo, all of which were relatively conventional moddish beat group ventures; followed by a four month stint in early 1967 with proto punk extremist mod-art band John's Children, for whom he provided lyrics and regularly beat up his highly amplified Gibson guitar with a heavy metal chain onstage, in a stage act which featured mock fights with fake blood - a far cry from Kingsley Mole.

When speaking of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Marc claimed to have been inspired by Ravi Shankar, which explains a little of the eastern influence though Ravi Shankar recordings seldom had the histrionic vocalise which featured on My People Were Fair...

As booklet note writer Mark Paytress observes, rock and roll was nearer the surface, especially on side openers Hot Rod Mama and Mustang Ford, both borrowing from the American surf and hot rod crazes of the early sixties, and The Wizard of course became re-invented as a live Tyrannosaurus Rex staple before being recorded in a third incarnation for the album T Rex.

This edition presents the album in both mono and stereo full versions. Marc Bolan was said to prefer the mono version because of mixing problems which had resulted in a thinness in the stereo version, but these problems seem to have largely overcome on this remaster so I find myself preferring the stereo half, presented as bonus tracks. These seem to be mixes of the same takes, although Dwarfish Trumpet Blues has an extra section, but the notes mention that four of the bonus tracks date from demo sessions recorded for Joe Boyd at Sound Techniques in late 1967.

The other bonus tracks consist of the single Debora (mono), which unlike the album was recorded at Advision, along with an alternate mono take; and early versions of Child Star (mono) and Chateau In Virginia Waters (stereo).

Marc Bolan went on to refine and improve the style he had introduced on this album, but no future albums could have the freshness and impact of this fearsome debut
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drippy Gumbo? Hippy Dumbo?-Nope, a genuine classic!!, 20 Mar 2004
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Another good reason for 1967 being a great year! 4 years before T.Rex mutated out of this, Marc Bolan's "band"(alright, his duo with Steve Peregrine Took!)debuted with this, the first of 3 great LP's. How nice the mere 1/2 hour or so is preserved on CD in it's original running order with no bonus tracks-ever thought why those outtakes or alternate takes never made it onto wax-cos they were CRAP!
This album flows through very nicely. The "band" seems to have been playing for years as they whizz through a variety of songs bound together by Marc's Vth form poetry and Steve's bongo skills and no hit singles in sight, though they did have a couple of minor ones as Tyrannosaurus Rex, with Debora and One-Inch Rock.
What's outstanding is the fairytale world within the lyrics blending like a decent choc topping on capacino with the musical flow. Also what's strictly insubstantial and disposable in fact has been an essential part of my record/tape and now CD collection 8 or 9 times in 37 years. Why? Because it kept getting played to death or nicked by thieving ex-girlfriends!
So, provided you can steer clear of the latter(one more good reason to be married to Mrs Theblackferret!!!!), CD's will allow YOU to saviour this beauty time after time. I shan't give you a track-by-track review, just recommend you buy it now-I'd like you to ride on the waves of good feeling this still generates.
As Clifton, my Beatnik cat would say, Hey, this is wowsville man-Coolio, Daddio and of this review, it's now the endest, man!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WEIRD- AND WONDERFUL, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
Marc Bolan was the kind of guy who sees a bandwagon coming, jumps aboard, and in a short time is in the driving seat. Hard to believe he made the transition from futuristic mod to hippy so effortlessly. Marc squeals and warbles fit to bust on this, the duo's debut album but the tracks are a little monotonous- until the very end when things get unexpectedly weird(er) with John Peel's reading of the (rather lovely) hippy version of Wind in the Willows followed by the knockout track Frowning Atahuallpa. "What wonders roam in the mind of a child!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars retro for hippies, 29 Jan 2013
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
If your expecting Marc Bolan /T rex sounding like 70s glam this wouldn't be the album for you, album is excellant in it's content Marc Bolan at an early stage in his career more poetry to music than the thrashing glam rock which would be more reconisible to people, but there are tracks that lead you to the next stage of Bolan evolution . A great album by the lad that was" born to boogie"
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5.0 out of 5 stars my people for the people, 5 Oct 2012
By 
Graham Spafford (newcastle under lyme Staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
Well i have to say this is a brilliant re paked cd in the original cover not the chopped one from the past.the extended trackes are unreal i just love this album if your a bolan fan then you must get this cd,
the booklet is full of great info and some briliant pics of both mark and steve,
a must for any bolan fan
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I guess you had to be there...., 18 Jan 2008
By 
i wrote this "i did" (Bucks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
I've listen to this 4 times now and I'm still struggling to get into it. I was about to write it off as the kind of album that you could only really enjoy if you were on LSD. But since reading the earnest customer review here I an inclined to believe that this album did in fact sound fresh at the time of it's original release in 1968. And to give it it's credit there are some good tunes here. I think my main problem with it is the production. Bolan's acoustic strumming sounds shambolic and messy. The bongos sound like ice cream tubs. For fans discovering Bowlan in the digital age it's hard to hear past the production and listen to the songs themselves, especially as there is almost no variety here, with most songs sounding identical during the opening strumming and bongo-bumping.
Also some of the more whimsical moments sound self indulgent and very dated, eg last song Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love): This goes from a song, to a Krishna chant, to John Peel's spoken word piece to a totally different song. I'm sure it was stuff like that which killed off the hippy movement as a driving force in youth culture.
I expect this all sounds a bit harsh. I don't mean to be so down on the album, the point of this review was to advise people who are new to Bolan's earlier work (like myself) to start elsewhere.
In conclusion: there are a few catchy songs here but unless you have fond memories of it this album it could be hard work getting into it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars feed back, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
i was delighted to receive this CD as marc bolan was my fav artist the packaging was great i would buy from this seller again
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tuneful Bolan at his most inspired!, 17 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. R. Mclean (lost in space) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows [Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
Great melodies and simple genius from a very young Nolan with back up from John Peel - heard it as a youth and still love it
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