19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A long overdue evaluation of a rock icon,
By A Customer
This review is from: 20th Century Superstar (Audio CD)
From the first unsure warblings of Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind" to the frenzied buzz of "Celebrate Summer", this box set assesses Marc Bolan's entire recording career, and offers great insight into not only his acoustic beginnings, but his often misunderstood final years. Disc One features fantastic early demos, alternate recordings, and classic Tyrannosaurus Rex tracks like "Cat Black" and "One Inch Rock". It really becomes apparent that this rather ambitious and uncompromisingly quirky musician would someday accomplish a great deal, and these same tendecies to follow his muse would ultimatley pull him back down to earth. Disc Two chronicles the rise of the Les Paul, and the ultimate string of hits that still ring out of my speakers 25 years later. Alternate versions and mixes abound, including "Ride a White Swan", "Hot Love", "Mambo Sun", and "Rip Off". Finally, I have "Raw Ramp" on CD, and a few unreleased tracks to boot. Discs Three and Four provide listening every bit as fascinating as the early recordings, and this box set causes one to pause and reassess not just the hit period, but the breadth of the entire recorded output. After years of playing "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider" every other day in the car, I have recently sucuumbed to the joys and absurdities of "Tanx" and especially "Futuristic Dragon". For those who complained that Bolan created nothing more than disposable bubblegum (see "Solid Gold Easy Action"), it is a shame that when he tried to shape a new formula, the audience was not there to support him. He never lost his charm, wit, catchy tunes, sometimes overwhelming production, and simple touches of old fashioned rock and roll magic. Marc Bolan was a gas, and this box set is a fantastic confirmation of his talents and legacy. One wonders if this will ever be released in the States, though we have been receiving newly remastered 2 disc sets of all the T. Rex studio albums. They're brilliant as well.