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Bolan: The Rise and Fall of a 20th Century Superstar Paperback – March 1, 2003

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Paytress is a literate and analytical writer and this is the best biography produced on Bolan so far. There are revealing interviews from a wide circle of acquaintances, dead and alive, revealing everything you need to know about the elfin one, his mind, his music and his mentors.' MOJO 'Paytress contextualises Bolan with more detail and more breadth than any other book. Even if you have the 1992 book, get this new one. It's a significantly longer and more detailed volume, with many new photos, an updated discography, and new input from two important players in Bolan's life - his partner Gloria Jones and his personmal assistant Mick Gray. There is also a worthwhile 'whatever happenend to' section, which reveals what became of many of the people mentioned throughout...To his credit, Paytress achieves a good balance, refusing to along with the simple-minded cynicism of former manager Simon Napier Bell and Pete Jenner...it's a fascinating read, and indispensible for anyone interested in one of the true characters of English rock music.' RECORD COLLECTOR

About the Author

Mark Paytress is the author of several books including BowieStyle, The Rolling Stones Off the Record. He has written on popular music for many publications, including MOJO, Select and Rolling Stone.com. He lives in London and Madrid. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711992932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711992931
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,121,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Bromberg on June 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a well-researched, detailed biography. Paytress captures the excitement developing in 1960s Britain as the mod scene sweeps Mark Feld -- a sometime photo model and guitar-strumming minstrel with an obsession for Dylan and Donovan -- into the role of a self-made rock'n'roll icon. It's not a smooth transition. Often ignored and put-down in his earliest efforts, Bolan eventually finds success through the support of radio maverick John Peel; his subsequent rise to stardom, fame, and the eventual excesses that lead to failure is the stuff of countless rock biographies. What sets Paytress's book apart from the usual sad story is Bolan's star-making drive -- first as a brash upstart and self-promoter, then as a performer whose real talent lay in crafting the perfect three-minute pop song. The book goes a great way to renovating Bolan's tarnished image as a 70s rock'n'roll curiosity, and while his work may not be the equal of his contemprary David Bowie, Bolan was as much a craftsman in image and music as Ziggy himself. Paytress writes the T Rex story with a blast of glam energy from start to finish.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rickster on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mark Payress's original book from 1992 has long been consider by many in the Bolan community as the "Bolan Bible" Ok their words not mine but is surly was the most detailed and well researched book at the time.

I had hoped Mark would one day find the time to update the book as Marc Bolan as an icon and respected musical figure has grown by leaps and bounds since then, along with a new treasure trove of unearthed material that had been locked away.

That in itself was enough to update the book but also on the personal side of Marc's life the past 10 years saw Marc's only son Rolan come into his own and in turn opened the doors for other family members to add to the Bolan story.

This truly is a MUST Have book for any Bolan Fan
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Toby on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This sumptuous biography of Marc's career covers countless angles with a number of classic key interviews. Pride of place must go to Paytress' evocation of the 60s and mod culture in general. Although he clearly admires and respects Bolan it is refreshingly objective in places and very well written.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen F Mulcahy on August 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
marc bolan expert mark paytress has produced a superb revised edition of this definitive account of the life of the t. rex star. bolan's childhood, his various early bands like john's children and solo outings, his hippie- era career with tyrannosaurus rex and the far more popular t. rex, and his interactions with other famous performers like david bowie, elton john, and ringo starr are explored with great detail and informative tidbits of trivia. while not every recording of bolan's was meritorious or interesting, paytress describes all facets and periods of bolan's all too brief life with clarity, depth, and fascination. this is the best chronicle of bolan's carreer to date, and is a superbly readable and engaging book on this diverse performer, a musician whose very best work( quite a bit of the tyrannosaurus rex stuff, the early 70's albums ELECTRIC WARRIOR and THE SLIDER, and singles like CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION and 20TH CENTURY BOY),are first rate recordings. important colleagues and supporters like producer tony visconti and legendary british d.j. john peel offer illuminating testimononials and insights. a fascinating reminder of a vital British artist who provided some of the best late 60's / early 70's rock, and whose catalogue remains quite underrated in the U.S.A.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Beltran on April 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many articles and other books about Marc Bolan but this version I the one I read over and over again. His story reveals some of the often unrecognized and unappreciated details about the trials a person undergoes in their career and personal life. I think you will find yourself identifying with him like you would if you had been there watching and listening. It is truly tragic, yet inspiring at the same time. I believe that his music did not get the chance it deserved. I like to listen to some of his albums while I read this book and it really brings out the message that this man gave his all to his music, each and every step of the way, please read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald G. Grafstrom on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a big Bolan fan I looked forward to this book. However, I've found, like other biographies of rock stars I've read (Meat Loaf, Dr. John), while interssting at first, the story begins to plod as it goes on. I guess there's only so much of interest beside the music.
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