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20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 20, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

You won't find a single-disc T. Rex collection with more bite than this: 23 career-spanning tracks from one of the all-time great glam-rockers! The hits Bang a Gong (Get It On); Hot Love; Telegram Sam , and Ride a White Swan join early Tyrannosarus Rex tracks like Debora and One Inch Rock plus Raw Ramp; Jewel; The Slider; I Love to Boogie , and more!


Despite scoring only one sizable American hit ("Bang a Gong") during its lifespan, Marc Bolan's T. Rex was one of the most influential rock acts of the '70s. This 23-track, digitally remastered anthology moves from the band's original, late-'60s roots as Tyrannosaurus Rex to the acoustic neo-folk duo of Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took to its more familiar electrified early-'70s incarnation. While many of his U.K. peers were smitten with prog-rock excesses and album-length ruminations during that period, Bolan obsessed on the pop-single form, stripping his music down to the elemental rock hooks of "Ride a White Swan" and the minimalist cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues." Coupled with a glam-era sense of style, his was a pop sensibility that presaged much of the succeeding waves of punk and new wave, hard rock and glam metal. Indeed, "Metal Guru" and "Children of the Revolution" now sound like clarion calls. If, as singles like "Gong," "Telegram Sam," and "Jeepster" indicate, Bolan was working from formula, it was an undeniably infectious one. And what could be more of an ironic tribute that a quarter-century after Bolan's untimely death in a car accident, his ballsy "20th Century Boy" became the soundtrack to a car advertising campaign? --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Debora - Tyrannosaurus Rex
  2. One Inch Rock - Tyrannosaurus Rex
  3. King Of The Rumbling Spires - Tyrannosaurus Rex
  4. By The Light of A Magical Moon - Tyrannosaurus Rex
  5. Elemental Child - Tyrannosaurus Rex
  6. Ride A White Swan
  7. Summertime Blues
  8. Jewel
  9. Beltane Walk
  10. Hot Love
  11. Get It On (Bang A Gong)
  12. There Was A Time / Raw Ramp
  13. Cosmic Dancer
  14. Jeepster
  15. Telegram Sam
  16. Metal Guru
  17. Mystic Lady
  18. The Slider
  19. Children Of The Revolution
  20. Solid Gold Easy Action
  21. 20th Century Boy
  22. Born To Boogie
  23. I Love To Boogie

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 2002)
  • Rmst Dig ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Hip-O
  • ASIN: B000069V25
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Marc Bolan & T Rex Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an excellently priced set if you want to get a good sampling of the Glam Icon from the '70's. A huge act in Europe, he had only moderate success here..until a revival of sorts from the car commercial.
Having lived in England during that time, I was naturally a great fan and this collection shows many hightlights of his career, with the of course hit "Get It On", (done by Power Station later) and the TV add hit 20th Century Boy.
The early "Bolan" is here, with such gread songs as one of my favorites "Ride A White Swan". Here you can listen to "Flourescent Leech and Eddie" sing backup, (The Turtles Fame) a trademark of later songs as well.
"Hot Love" I could not believe was not a hit here. A huge song, and everybit as good as "Get It On". Its hypnotic, and shows a rarely seen side of this band.
"Children of The Revolution", (later done by BONO), is epic Bolan and is an anthem for that generation and time.
"Jeepster" received much airplay on the FM band, and did "Telegram Sam", and are, like "Bang a Gong", from his rocker period.
It was also nice to see the inclusion of "The Slider" from my favorite Bolan album of the same name.
Overall, this album is an A+, especially for those new to his music. At this price, its much better than the more expensie imports, plus its digitally remastered.
Other recommended CD's include "Great Hits 1972-77-A-Sides" for further sampling, and the classic and first collection "Bolan Boogie [IMPORT] ".
A great CD, and well worth your time, at a good price too.
Oher great cuts:
One Inch Rock - early minimalist bolan very catchy
3. King Of The Rumbling Spires - If your into Tolkien
4. By The Light of A Magical Moon as above
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Format: Audio CD
As the title indicates, this set seems to have been released to cash in on the renewed interest in T-Rex after "20th Century Boy" was "rediscovered" for that Mitsubishi ad a couple of years back.
You have to give the Hip-O label credit for including five tracks from Bolan's earlier acoustic incarnation known by the full moniker of Tyrannosaurus Rex. There is a reason most compilations of this kind leave that work out, though. For the neophytes picking this collection up expecting to hear Marc Bolan strap on the stratocaster and proceed to Bang a Gong, the acoustic stuff is going to sound downright quirky.
There are some nice early electric B-sides like "Summertime Blues" and "Raw Ramp" that don't usually show up on single-dics T-Rex compilations. But once you roll past "Telegram Sam" there's no time left on the disc for any surprises or rare gems. As a result the first half of the cd feels a little like an odds & sods collection and the latter feels like a rehash of other best-of sets. Some of that trashy rush of T-Rextasy gets lost.
For those coming to Bolan's work for the first time, I would recommend starting instead with the budget-priced (but well-programmed) Very Best of Marc Bolan and T-Rex. It's the one with "T-Rex" in hot pink letters over a b&w photo of Bolan wagging his finger. Starting with "Hot Love" and ending with "I Love to Boogie", it 's as solid a single-disc, twenty-song overview as you're going to find of Bolan's glam idol phase. Moreover, it seems to follow the arc of his (electric) career quite nicely, even including the somewhat overlooked late-career gem "Laser Love".
For most fans, a T-Rex best-of is just the starting point. His three classic albums (Electric Warrior, The Slider & Tanx) are a must-have for any serious fan of 70's era.
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Format: Audio CD
This is hands-down the best single disc T. Rex collection in print. You get a 16-page booklet with excellent liner notes, lots of terrific pictures, track-by-track info on release dates and album sources of all the songs (the only thing missing is peak chart positions), along with artwork and release dates of all of Marc Bolan's studio albums from 1968's "My People Were Fair..." through 1977's "Dandy in the Underworld."
And then there's the music...WOW! It's never sounded better. The first three tracks are from the late Sixties when Tyrannosaurus Rex consisted of Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took beginning with their first UK hits "Debora" (No. 34) and "One Inch Rock" (No. 28). Tracks 4-9 were all released in 1970 and feature Took's replacement Micky Finn. The new duo had their first Top Ten hit in the UK when "Ride a White Swan" reached No. 2. By 1971 T. Rex was a full guitar-bass-drums band and their first single was the UK No. 1 "Hot Love," (the first of many songs to feature backing vocalists Flo and Eddie). For the next two years T. Rextasy was in full swing and Bolan and company would hit the British Top Ten eight more times. [T. Rex would crack the U.S. Top 40 only once, when "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" hit No. 10 in 1972.]
While Bolan is closely linked with the glam rock movement, his bag full of Chuck Berry riffs and electric boogie made him one of the most influential artists of the Seventies. Kudos to the folks at Hip-O for including songs like "Ride a White Swan," "Hot Love" and "Raw Ramp" (which I previously only had on an out-of-print WB anthology on cassette).
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