Tyrannosaurus Rex, soon to be known as just T. Rex, going from Psych-drenched folkish noodling to leading the exponent of Glam Rock in a matter of months of this concert, recorded for The Sunday Show by BBC Radio 1 at The Paris Theatre on January 4, 1970.
Formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band released four psychedelic folk albums under this name. In 1969, Bolan began to shift from the band’s early acoustic sound to an electric one. The following year, he shortened their name to T. Rex. The 1970 release of the single “Ride a White Swan” marked the culmination of this development, and the group soon became a commercial success as part of the emerging glam rock scene.
From 1970 until 1973, T. Rex encountered a popularity in the UK comparable to that of the Beatles, with a run of eleven singles in the UK top ten. One of the most prominent acts in British popular culture, they scored four UK number one hits, “Hot Love”, “Get It On”, “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru”. The band’s 1971 album Electric Warrior received critical acclaim as a pioneering glam rock album. It reached number 1 in the UK. The 1972 follow-up, The Slider, entered the top 20 in the US. Following the release of “20th Century Boy” in 1973, which reached number three in the UK, T. Rex began to experience less commercial success but continued recording one album per year.
In 1977, Bolan died in a car crash several months after releasing their final studio album Dandy in the Underworld. Since then, T. Rex have continued to exert a vast influence on a variety of subsequent artists.
But to jump back to the way the band were just prior to the transformation, here is a sample of what they were doing at the beginning of 1970, hearing elements of what would be explored more fully only months later.
History in the making, but you didn’t really know that at the time.