607. Telegram Sam

“I did hear Telegram Sam at least once way back when, and my immediate teeny bop take was, ‘this sounds exactly like that other T-Rex song‘. And I was right. But ultimately, wrong. Because what I was really referring to was T-Rex‘s groovy, funky, rockin’ one in a trillion sound. Which I didn’t really get for at least another decade, which is when Bauhaus’s rather raucous take on Telegram Sam nudged me into paying attention again. Pop for the ages, glamorous and forever cool.” (Philip Random)

T-Rex-crowd-1972

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639. the golden age of rock and roll

“I hated the golden age of rock and roll when I was a young teen. Not the song, the era.  The Buddy Hollys, Chubby Checkers, Bill Haleys, Big Boppers, Elvis – the whole big deal 1950s-early-60s retro thing that was suddenly going down everywhere in the wake of American Graffiti (the movie). Which wasn’t bad at all. I just didn’t need the f***ing revival. I had Bowie, T-Rex, Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, The Stones, Mott The Hoople, who, of course, wrote this song about it all, with the crucial line that the golden age of rock and roll wasn’t then, it was now. And it still is. It has to be. Believe otherwise and you might as well be dead.” (Philip Random)

Mott-1974

646. King of the Rumbling Spires

Apparently this is the first time Marc Bolan really rocked out on record. The band was still called Tyrannosaurus Rex at the time, and despite the name, a comparatively lightweight outfit – too much flowers and fine herbs, not enough thunder and rumbling. But that had to change. The 1970s were looming, the acid was wearing off, the hippie dream was much further away than it had previously seemed. Maybe it had never been there at all. Just another storybook fantasy.

TyrannosaurusREX-1969

678. the slider

“It seems that Motron and I are still arguing T-Rex . Electric Warrior (me) versus The Slider (him). And he’s not exactly losing with the title track, which, as with pretty much all T-Rexian gems, makes no particular sense until you decide it’s like those warnings you used to get on porn-films: completely concerned with sex. In other words, it was miles over my head when it was new and so was I (more or less), glam being a strange and necessary thing to find lurking in the pubertal suburbs of the early 70s.” (Philip Random)

T-Rex-1972-2

702. Buick MacKane

“We were arguing recently. Motron and myself. What’s the essential T-Rex album? I was on the side of 1971’s Electric Warrior. He wasn’t budging from the next one, 1972’s Slider. My argument was simple enough. NOTHING could ever top Bang A Gong, heard by these ears a million times and they’re still not tired. He countered with Buick MacKane. ‘Heavy and wild, and a girl named Buick!?!  Did her parents call her that? Or was it a nick-name? And if so, where did it come from? I don’t want to know the real answer. The song is answer enough.’ We stopped arguing, drank more Scotch.” (Philip Random)

T-Rex-1972

 

 

711. Panic in Detroit

“As I remember it, David Bowie hit the suburbs of the Americas in comparatively slow motion. First came Space Oddity (a big deal AM radio hit in early 1973, some three years after it had hit big in the UK), then Ziggy Stardust (various album tracks popping up in the fringes of FM radio), by which point you were starting to see pictures of the guy. Beyond freakish. Which were backed up by the inevitable rumours (that he actually was an alien, that he and Elton John were secretly married). But by the end of the year, all that stuff was settling, and it was the music you couldn’t ignore. So Much Great And Strange Music. Entire albums overflowing with it. So much so that a track like Panic in Detroit didn’t get near the attention it deserved. If only for the riff. You could base a whole genre on that riff. Which, it’s arguable, the Rolling Stones already had. But where the hell were they in 1973?” (Philip Random)

Bowie-1973

 

726. monolith

“In which T-Rex relax the groove a bit with an album cut that nevertheless sounds at least as big as its title. The album being Electric Warrior, and a gem it is from first note to final fade, cool and wild, and bubbling over with sensuous groove and delight.  It even tastes good, I swear.” (Philip Random)

T-Rex-1971

859. all the way from Memphis

Mott the Hoople at peak glam let it rip with one of those ain’t-life-on-the-road-a-drag raveups that makes it sound so damned fun you want to quit everything and join the first half-assed band that crosses your path, and never return, just go-go-go … at least as far as Memphis.

mott-live1973-2

944. private world

“I would’ve first heard of the New York Dolls when they were still pretty new, 1973, early Grade Nine. A friend pointed out a picture of them, probably in Creem magazine, guys in dresses, even freakier than Alice Cooper. No mention of their music. In fact, I wouldn’t hear any of that for at least another five years. A mixtape heard at a punk rock party. I’d say they fit right in, but they didn’t. Their stuff stood out to my ears, like the Rolling Stones at their sleazy early 70s best, except harder, trashier, sleazier. Who cared about what they were wearing?” (Philip Random)

newyorkdolls-1973