T. Rex

T. Rex  was an English rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan.  In the early to mid 1970s, the band reached huge success with fourteen top-20 UK glam rock hits, including the U.S. hit “Bang a Gong”.  During this period the band also released six UK top-30 albums, including Electric Warrior, which hit the top of the album charts.  In 1977, Bolan was killed in a car accident, and the band broke up.  (More from Wikipedia)
In about 1970Mick Farren formed the Pink Fairies with Steve Peregrin Took – formerly the other half of Tyrannosaurus Rex with Marc Bolan, who then shortened the name to T. Rex – and Twink, the drummer for a terrific R&B band in 1964-1965 called the Fairies; he was also in Tomorrow and drummed for the Pretty Things for a while.  The Pink Fairies had the same great sound as the Deviants sans the politics, though Farren dropped out almost immediately and kept his earlier band alive instead. 
(August 2011)
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In July 1967the Klubs were given a recording test at EMI’s famed Abbey Road Studios, renamed for the Beatles’ penultimate album, Abbey Road in 1970.  Staff producer Alan Paramor oversaw a marathon recording session, where the Klubs worked on covers of Cream’s “NSU”, and “Desdemona” by John’s Children (back when Marc Bolan, later of T. Rex was a bandmember), plus a new recording of their own song “Livin’ Today”.  Paramor called the band “unrecordable” and sent them on their way. 


(July 2013)

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The musicians on Mona – The Carnivorous Circus include compadres that Mick Farren worked with over the years, including Steve Peregrin Took (previously in Tyrannosaurus Rex with Marc Bolan, who found great fame after shortening the band name a few years later to T. Rex) and Twink (real name:  John Alder), who is best known as the drummer for the Pretty Things when they made one of their most renowned albums, S.F. Sorrow


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I picked up a 2001 CD by Shagrat called Pink Jackets Required, and it is a delight.  This music was evidently made by the earliest lineup of the band.  In the review of the album for AllmusicDean McFarlane gives it four stars and reports:  “This album was recorded in 1969 just before Tyrannosaurus Rex embarked on their first U.S. tour and was completed on [Steve Peregrin] Took’s return.  Although it is in effect a collection of demos, and some of the tracks will be known to fans of Think Pink – primitive takes of ‘The Coming of the Other One’ and ‘The Sparrow Is a Sign’ will be familiar – in fact, Pink Jackets Required is one of the most astonishing albums either of the pair recorded, and in popular opinion and rock-evidence surpasses the Twink Think Pink album.  The name Shagrat was bounced around for an incarnation of one of Twinks other groups with members of the Pink Fairies, but that unit was entirely different from the genius brilliance of the project with Steven Peregrin Took.  Simply, this should be tracked down and given serious attention by those who love A Beard of Stars [by Tyrannosaurus Rex], DeviantsPretty Things, and early T. Rex.” 


However, the Wikipedia article on Shagrat states the following:  “Shagrat was a British supergroup formed by Steve Peregrin Took and Mick Farren in February 1970 after they split with Twink, their partner in the prototype Pink Fairies supergroup of late 1969.”  Thus, the tracks on Pink Jackets Required might not be by Shagrat, strictly speaking.  According to the liner notes:  “The Think Pink tracks [The Coming of the Other One”, “The Sparrow Is a Sign” and “Three Little Piggies”] were recorded at Recorded Sound StudiosLondon 1969 with various members of ‘The Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club All Star Rock and Roll Band’.  The ‘Demo Versions 1 & 2’ [all other songs] were recorded at Denmark St. Studios1969 & 1970”.  Individual musicians credited are Steve Peregrin TookTwink and Paul Rudolph. 


(March 2014/1)
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Mark Deming was just as enthusiastic about this album in his Allmusic review:  “Two of Everything doesn’t sound like [Brian] Olive has turned his back on his blues-based earlier work, but he is veering in a different direction; the results sometimes suggest a Midwestern take on Northern soul as Olive and [Dan] Auerbach throw just a little pop polish on Olive’s vocals and let the pianos and saxophones give the music a subtle but distinct retro feel, even as the steady pulse of several tunes nods politely to hip-hop.  But even as Two of Everything travels down a smoother road than its precursor, it still sounds organic, committed, and heartfelt; and Olive sure knows how to write a memorable tune:  ‘Strange Attracter’ faces a chunky, T. Rex-style guitar figure against an insistent piano-and-drum pattern that fills up the dance floor; Back Sliding Soul suggests an unlikely but effective collaboration between NRBQ and Mark Ronson; ‘Left Side Rock’ bounces hard Southern funk rhythms off aggressive horn samples, and ‘Lost in Dreams’ is a beautifully languid bit of stoned soul love pleading.  With Two of EverythingBrian Olive is two for two in making smart, distinctive albums that push his blues and R&B influences in unexpected, compelling directions, matching and building on the strength of his debut.” 


(February 2015)


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Stephen Thomas Erlewine gives the band their due in his write-up for Allmusic: “The New York Dolls created punk rock before there was a term for it. Building on the Rolling Stones’ dirty rock & roll, Mick Jagger’s androgyny, girl group pop, the Stooges anarchic noise, and the glam rock of David Bowie and T. Rex, the New York Dolls created a new form of hard rock that presaged both punk rock and heavy metal. Their drug-fueled, shambolic performances influenced a generation of musicians in New York and London, who all went on to form punk bands. And although they self-destructed quickly, the band’s first two albums remain among the most popular cult records in rock & roll history.”  
(December 2016)
Last edited: April 3, 2021