T.REmiXes : T.Rex Remixes
Marc Bolan with his band T.Rex, was my first musical hero. It’s fair to say I was obsessed. From the age of 10 when my father bought me a Tyrannosaurus Rex double album after I had heard Ride a White Swan on the radio, and that was it, I was hooked! Still am!
Unfortunately Marc was killed in a car crash on Sept 16th 1977, almost 40 years ago, just two weeks before his 30th birthday.
Like millions of fans, I, we, never got to hear the development of Marc’s sound as he matured, and, to a degree, he has over the last 4 decades been ignored by the UK music press, mostly denying his absolute dominance of the UK charts in the early 70’s and his resurgence with a cleaned up and renewed vigour the year leading up to his untimely death.
Since 1977 there has been a plethora of releases from the owners of Marc’s catalogue, some good, some bad, some indifferent, but avid fans (like me) always clamour to own something ‘new’. Most new releases are demo type tracks and different versions of songs that are presented as they were found.
So this …..
… was always going to be an interesting concept.
I have my double CD and triple vinyl versions and (unfortunately) they will be getting stored away with the rest of my collection. The vinyl, well it’s a must have piece to join the others I own. The CD, I was hoping would be on constant repeat, alas it’s not to be.
Whilst the concept is great, let some cool remixers do what they want with what tracks they want, the reality doesn’t live up to much.
With such a large back catalogue of songs to choose from it seems a waste that there are 3 versions of Children of the revolution, 5 if you include the instrumental remixes, 2 versions of 20th century boy and an instrumental version, 2 versions of Light of Love, 3 with the instrumental and some random tracks that are basically just odd choices.
Now I am all for creativity, but some of the remixes are just downright odd. The instrumental versions of the songs are a waste of space and as such are a huge disappointment.
The remixes in full:
Children of the Revolution: (reflex revision) starts of well but Marc’s voice gets drowned out by the overdubbed sounds.
20th Century Boy: (Stoof remix) shocking, it takes the original powerhouse track and dilutes it into a nothing-less-ness blur of sounds that are too muted for their own good.
Metal Guru: (book remix) starts of great, the rhythm is cool, the sound is great and then it gets lost half way through in a cacophony of repetition that totally spoils what could have been a good track.
Cadilac: (Bill Bless remix) LOL the spelling is wrong, it should be Cadillac, and that doesn’t bode well for a remix that is ultimately just a weak version of the original.
Light of Love; (reflex revision) too dreadful to review, repetitive and ridiculous.
Precious Star: (we are dark angels remix) an odd choice, it’s been stripped down and the backing vocals have been ramped up which distorts the sound too much.
Telegram Sam: (Kent Rockafeller remix) One of the only ‘decent’ tracks, it sounds nothing like the original (in a good way) and has an edgy current beat. The vocals are as they should be, at the forefront of the song. A good track.
New York City: (Ra Ra Riot remix) Never a favourite song for me, this starts interestingly and then sinks into repetitious nonsense, the playing with Marc’s vocals is actually clever and with a different song [they] might have created something interesting.
Children of the Revolution: (Jaxon Frank remix) Another ‘good’ track, much more mellow that the original version but the clever instrumental work makes for a new vibe that works. Good song No.2.
Teenage Dream: (Infuze remix) the one I was most worried about, Marc’s overblown teen pain opera (when released) was ridiculed by the press. I loved it’s anthemic sound and on this remix it changes and becomes something extraordinary. The musical background is fabulous, the vocals aren’t tampered with too much. The best track on the entire album.
Children of the Revolution: (Joywave remix) Starts like it’s going somewhere, a slow build up of sounds and Marc’s voice but then it gets stuck on repeat and becomes a remix that tires too hard to be cool. if the repetitive bits were removed it would be a goodie, alas it is spoilt because of the constant re-re-re-revolution.
Light of Love: (Dr Smith remix) Not bad, not too much messing with the lyrics, an interesting back beat that pays homage to the original whilst beefing it up. Not bad.
Born to Boogie: (Wye Oak remix) Another okay remix, juddering background that showcases Marc’s vocals. It’s slowed down which takes the edge of the originals frantic fun pace unfortunately.
Solid Gold Easy Action: (DJ Sae One remix) Awful, sounds like it has been remixed in a massive ball of cotton wool, fuzzy, weak and a big miss as it completely loses the point about this frantic loud piece of rock ‘n’ roll.
20th Century Boy: (X.Ert remix) Tinny sound that is just bad with a capital B.
The instrumental versions simply don’t warrant being reviewed, that’s how bad they are.
In all fairness to Demon records who published this remix concept they say that the concept is potentially controversial so they maybe had an inkling as to how most Marc fans would react. For me it’s a shame, such a rich tapestry of songs to choose from that could have been treated with love and care and given a new lease of life that fitted in with our love of the original classic tracks.