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    T. Rex

    T. Rex Biography

    Initially a British folk-rock combo called Tyrannosaurus Rex, T. Rex was the primary force in glam rock, thanks to the creative direction of guitarist/vocalist Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld). T. Rex's music borrowed the underlying sexuality of early rock & roll, adding dirty, simple grooves and fat distorted guitars, as well as an overarching folky/hippie spirituality that always came through the clearest on ballads. While most of his peers concentrated on making cohesive albums, Bolan kept the idea of a three-minute pop single alive in the early '70s. In Britain, he became a superstar, sparking a period of "T. Rextacy" among the pop audience with a series of Top Ten hits, including four number one singles. Over in America, the group only had one major hit -- the Top Ten "Bang a Gong (Get It On), disappearing from the charts in 1973. T. Rex's popularity in the U.K. didn't begin to waver until 1975, yet they retained a devoted following until Marc Bolan's death in 1977. Over the next two decades, Bolan emerged as a cult figure and the music of T. Rex has proven quite influential on hard rock, punk, new wave, and alternative rock.

    Following a career as a teenage model, Marc Bolan began performing music professionally in 1965, releasing his first single, "The Wizard," on Decca Records. Bolan joined the psychedelic proto-punk-rock combo John's Children in 1967, appearing on three unsuccessful singles before the group disbanded later that year. Following the breakup, he formed the folk duo Tyrannosaurus Rex with percussionist Steve Peregrin Took (Stephen Porter). The duo landed a record deal with a subsidiary of EMI in February 1968, recording their debut album with producer Tony Visconti. "Debora," the group's first single, peaked at number 34 in May of that year, and their debut album, "My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair...But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brow", reached number 15 shortly afterward. The duo released their second album, "Prophets, Seers & Sages, the Angels of the Ages", in November of 1968.

    By this time, Tyrannosaurus Rex was building a sizable underground following, which helped Bolan's book of poetry, The Warlock of Love, enter the British best-seller charts. In the summer of 1969, the duo released their third album, Unicorn, as well as the single "King of the Rumbling Spires," the first Tyrannosaurus Rex song to feature an electric guitar. Following an unsuccessful American tour that fall, Took left the band and was replaced by Mickey Finn (3). The new duo's first single did not chart, yet their first album, 1970's A Beard of Stars, reached number 21.

    The turning point in Bolan's career came in October of 1970, when he shortened the group's name to T. Rex and released "Ride a White Swan," a fuzz-drenched single driven by a rolling backbeat. "Ride a White Swan" became a major hit in the U.K., climbing all the way to number two. The band's next album, T. Rex, peaked at number 13 and stayed on the charts for six months. Encouraged by the results, Bolan expanded T. Rex to a full band, adding bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend (born Bill Fifield). The new lineup recorded "Hot Love," which spent six weeks at number one in early 1971. That summer, T. Rex released "Get It On" (retitled "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" in the U.S.), which became their second straight U.K. number one; the single would go on .... Click here to read the full bio on DISCOGS.

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