5/18/16

Marc Bolan - Skeletons of songs (1972-74)





















The link was dead for a reason I ignore (M doesn't seem to kill them on request). So here it is again on M.

Sorry for giving the impression to have a high level of self-esteem (actually my days and nights are full of self-deprecative thoughts, be sure), but here something I'm again quite proud of: the compilation of 26 acoustic demos Marc Bolan recorded of songs that would later feature on albums i.e., Slider, Tanx, Zinc Alloy and Futuristic Dragon. Found on the Alternate series CDs released in 1994 and 1995 by Edsel, it's a fascinating intimate travel in the heart of songs that would be most of the time (but not always) totally mutated in something else in studio. It's a document against those who said that Bolan had lost it after 1972, and even some, like John Peel, who thought that Bolan had left his old style. In fact these songs, in their nude acoustic versions, could have, for the most of them, featured in older albums, notably the Tyranosaurus Rex ones, without paling by comparison. I my opinion, Bolan even composed his best material during this 2-year lifespan (to be honest I must confess that Zinc Alloy is my fave T. Rex album, so this may explain my incongruous statement). One must only wonder whether some of these songs would have not deserved to be treated less heavily in their final released version. You might ask why Futuristic Dragon demos are in this compilation and not Zip Gun Boogie ones. And more specifically, you may wonder why I wrote 1972-74 in the title when Futuristic Dragon was released in 1976, one year after Zip Gun. The reason is that Futuristic Dragon actually consisted of ancient material and was substituted to an album that was to be called Billy Super Duper (and whose songs have finally been released post-mortem). Don't know why he decided to shelve this new project for older stuff but comparing the two, he was right, even if Futuristic Dragon could have been much better (the fault partly due to the production, Visconti was cruelly missing), the songs were much better. It seems that Bolan stopped to record demos on acoustic guitar after 1974 since there is no trace to my knowledge (but I'm no more the Bolan addict I used to be so maybe I missed something) of this kind of skeleton songs for post-75 albums. For me, the acoustic demos of Zinc Alloy songs are what make the price of this compilation (actually it's free but it's a way to talk). I would have dreamed he released, as did Emily Wells recently, this LP in 2 versions, an orchestral and an acoustic. But it will never be. I promise that to jump in these sea of 26 songs will give you a lot of weird and sometimes unexpected emotions. The cover sleeve was made with pictures taken by Danny Fields in 1973 (see here). I think it fits well with the content.


8 comments:

rough mix said...

Outstanding work on the voice, making it even more present and soulful.
a true rediscovery.

Anonymous said...

Simply great. Thank you so much for this gem.

dkelvin said...

You're part of the blog Rough, part of it for sure. dk

AussieRock said...

A big thank you for this share dkelvin. Have always loved Bolan's zip gun boogie material (although Electric Warrior is my favourite album)

Cheers from Down Under

Anonymous said...

Link seems to be broken as it's saying the file's not found... would love to listen to these if you could get that back up!

thanks!

dkelvin said...

No, the link works, but when I re-up, the link is in the new text, not the initial one. To be less confusing, I removed it.
dk

Rich said...

Could you please re-up link? Thanks!!!!

kingpossum said...

Much appreciated for this and the work that went into making it happen. I listen mostly to instrumental, experimental and extreme metal musics, which perversely has given me a greater appreciate for good song. Which is one reason I frequent the mighty Forgotten Songs: because songs is what it's about.

And stripping down to just the guitar, lyrics and melody is the true measure of a song. Really looking forward to hearing this one in all its spare glory.

Thanks for the re-up.