Long before Marc Bolan became a household name and the harbinger of Glam, he was a struggling singer/songwriter like everyone else at the time. Born Mark Feld, he went through a few name changes before settling on Marc Bolan.
These singles, the first he released during remarkably short stints at both Parlophone Records and Decca Records in 1966, put Bolan right before his career changing move; joining John’s Children – a very short tenure, but an important one which led to his eventual formation of Tyrannosaurus Rex and later to emerge as T. Rex. Marc Bolan’s rise to fame was a long and bumpy one, which is something most aspiring artists need to be reminded of on a daily basis. His early singles didn’t make the charts and are disgustingly rare. John’s Children, after flirting with some chart success fell apart and had their equipment repossessed by their label at the time. The very first incarnation of Tyannosaurus Rex was a disaster with Bolan booed off the stage at their debut live performance at The Electric Garden. Truths to tell, Bolan was still auditioning musicians from an ad placed in Melody Maker some two hours before the performance was slated to start. Not a lot of rehearsal, to be sure.
But through all that he persisted and took the knocks as steps – and maybe that’s a lesson to be learned.
These two sides represent Marc Bolan at his earliest commercial point. His very first single was issued by Decca in 1965, followed by San Francisco Poet. The next track, Misfit came just before his association with Simon Napier-Bell who was managing John’s Children.
Since Marc Bolan died in 1977, his preeminence in Popular music has faded to a certain degree. Certainly remembered very well by those who remember the Glam period or who became fans later on, he is variously known and unknown by audiences but still paid tribute by other musicians, and that keeps the flames alive.
If you aren’t familiar with these two tracks, by all means, hit the play button. It’s history, after all.