Bolanomics (3)

By: James Parker
September 28, 2011

Third in a series of posts — in honor of his birthday, on Friday — tracing Marc Bolan’s musical and philosophical development.


1971: adoration. T Rextasy, that vanished land of screams, appears in retrospect as one of the quainter aftershocks of Beatlemania: in 1971 and 1972, however, it was deafening. Marc ruled. Pandemonium at his shows. Strutting and preening for the kids, filling the press with effortless reams of dreamy boogaloo bollocks, and writing smash after smash, he seemed unstoppable. The UK was his ecstatic oyster. America not so much, but who cares?

Our musical selection today is something of an anomaly. Marc, now with a full band, had hit his T Rex groove: cosmic coquetry on a chassis of pure chug-a-lug. “Woman I love your chest/ Ooh baby I’m crazy about your breasts…” The bedsit Tolkienisms of his fantasy period had been converted into a stunning vision of himself as the high-voltage Glamour God at the centre of the Universe, and everybody was going along with it. Whispers and trails of the old dreamscape persisted, however, and on the b-side of “Hot Love” we find — like an undertow of dark enthralment — this amazing song. A killer beat; a gnawing, goblin-like Jew’s-Harp whine; a cod-medieval farrago of images (in limericks!); metallic sex-gasps; and then the delirium of the outro, with Marc hoisting his Fender to summon the cartoon demons while legendary backing vocalists Flo and Eddie achieve spooky falsetto frenzy. Magical.


READ similar HiLobrow series: ANGUSONICS — the solos of Angus Young | KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM — 25 Jack Kirby panels | MOULDIANA — the solos of Bob Mould | SHOCKING BLOCKING — cinematic blocking | UKULELE HEROES


Pop Music, Read-outs

What do you think?

  1. After chart sales decline, Marc had an eponymous pop show (Kids slot, after school, in England.) He kind of pulled it off though. THough as an eight year -old he just seemed like a scary teenage guy, the type that sniggered at you behind, in front of and at various other angles to your back. His suave subdued sonority was just too underplayed for us kids. We had to do the show ourselves.

  2. Always loved Marc.
    Marc was a very unique young fellow,
    and so extremely attractive, and talented.
    A true rarity.
    Still, to this day, I still do love Marc.

    Still love Marc,

Comments are closed.