“Unicorn” by Tyrannosaurus Rex - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1969Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

The third LP from the idiosyncratic duo arrived in May ’69. Performing duties on this one were assigned to: Marc Bolan (acoustic guitar, lead vocals, harmonium, lip organ, phonofiddle) and Steve Peregrin Took (bongos, backing vocals, African talking drum, bass, piano). As he did on their debut last year, John Peel features on the final song on the LP, “Romany Soup”, as he recites a short story written by Bolan. It’s another good set from the group – but it does lack the strength in depth of the preceding two sets. As Wikipedia tells, this would be the last album to feature Took:

“By 1969 there was a rift developed between the two halves of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Bolan and his girlfriend June Child were living a quiet life, Bolan working on his book of poetry entitled The Warlock Of Love and concentrating on his songs and performance skills. Took, however, had fully embraced the anti-commercial, drug-taking ethos of the UK Underground scene centred around Ladbroke Grove. Took was also attracted to anarchistic elements such as Mick Farren/Deviants and members of the Pink Fairies Rock 'n' Roll and Drinking Club. Took also began writing his own songs, and wanted the duo to perform them, but Bolan strongly disapproved of his bandmate's efforts, rejecting them for the duo's putative fourth album, in production in Spring/Summer 1969. In response to Bolan's rebuff, Took contributed two songs as well as vocals and percussion to Twink's Think Pink album. Bolan's relationship with Took ended after this, although they were contractually obliged to go through with a US tour which was doomed before it began. Poorly promoted and planned, the acoustic duo were overshadowed by the loud electric acts they were billed with. To counter this, Took drew from the shock rock style of Iggy Pop; Took explained, ‘I took my shirt off in the Sunset Strip where we were playing and whipped myself till everybody shut up. With a belt, y'know, a bit of blood and the whole of Los Angeles shuts up. 'What's going on, man, there's some nutter attacking himself on stage.' I mean, Iggy Stooge had the same basic approach.’”

As soon as he returned to the UK, Bolan replaced Took with percussionist Mickey Finn. Despite their personal differences, the Bolan / Took combo deposited three fine chapters.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:26] 7.6.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Chariots Of Silk (Marc Bolan) Cerebral Pop
A2 [01:14] 6.2.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Pon A Hill (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
A3 [01:49] 8.8.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Seal Of Seasons (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
A4 [01:59] 6.1.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Throat Of Winter (Marc Bolan) Songwriter
A5 [02:55] 6.5.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat) (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
A6 [01:37] 5.9.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Stones For Avalon (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
A7 [02:37] 7.5.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - She Was Born To Be My Unicorn (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
A8 [03:49] 7.2.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Like A White Star, Tangled And Far, Tulip That’s What You Are (Marc Bolan) Songwriter
B1 [02:11] 6.5.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Warlord Of The Royal Crocodiles (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
B2 [02:26] 6.3.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Evenings Of Damask (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
B3 [02:26] 6.9.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Sea Beasts (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
B4 [02:53] 6.6.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Iscariot (Marc Bolan) Songwriter
B5 [02:20] 6.0.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Nijinsky Hind (Marc Bolan) Songwriter
B6 [02:07] 6.0.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Pilgrim’s Tale (Marc Bolan) Songwriter
B7 [01:43] 5.8.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Misty Coast Of Albany (Marc Bolan) Alternative Folk
B8 [05:40] 5.2.png Tyrannosaurus Rex - Romany Soup (Marc Bolan) Storytelling

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