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  Born to Boogie  
  T. Rex  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

America. Sometimes you are just sooo ungrateful! Way back in the early 70ís, your former governors, whose tea you so rudely disposed a couple of hundred years back, were prepared to forgive and forget, and share with you the singer that rock critic Paul Morley recently described as the greatest pop star that the UK has ever produced. And what do you do? Deride the glam rock hero that was Marc Bolan for being a mere pop star, and decide that youíre better off with Three Dog Night and The Doobie Brothers!!

You silly bastards! Still, it meant that Bolan came back home, albeit with a little less swagger and a lot less fans. But here, finally, is your chance to make amends. 28 years after Bolanís early death, Sanctuary has given his 1972 Born To Boogie movie a belated release on DVD. And what a fine job theyíve done. Not only do you get the movie, re-mastered and pristine, in all its glory (yes, silliness and all!), you also get enough extras on this two disc set to satisfy even the die-hard fan like me. Yes, over five hours of Bolanic magic. Talk about heavenÖ

Disc one opens with the movie, and itís great to see it again. Admittedly some of the dafter moments between Marc and the film's director Ringo Starr wonít be to everyoneís liking. However, I must admit that I get a perverse pleasure from watching a top-hatted glam hero hitting a former Beatle over the head with a giant lollipop, especially when the former Beatle in question is dressed asÖa mouse.

Still, if thatís not your cup of tea, the music should be. The main part of the film consists of highlights from one of the two performances at Wembley one Saturday way back in March 1972. This announced the arrival of T.Rextasy, with the classic Bolan / Mickey Finn / Steve Currie / Bill Legend line-up pounding their way through the likes of Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Hot Love, and an extended Get It On (Bang A Gong), either side of a short acoustic set from Marc where his near orgasmic grunting towards the end of Spaceball Ricochet still makes my hair stand on end.

But, as if this wasnít enough, there are two other must-see aspects to the film. First is a couple of numbers that see the band augmented by Ringo and Elton John for a quick jaunt through the old rockíníroll classic Tutti Fruiti and a gobsmackingly superb Children of the Revolution where Elton's piano playing really is a revelation. If only heíd stuck to this instead of sharing all those shite Bernie Taupin lyrics with us! And then thereís the Tea Party sequence (no not that one, America!) where an almost ghostly looking Marc strums his way through acoustic versions of Jeepster, Hot Love, Get It On, and The Slider backed by a bemused looking middle-aged string section, whilst bongo player Finn smears his face with jam (or jelly as you guys call it!). A must for any Bolan fan.

Disc one also includes the Wembley evening show in its entirety. OK, youíve already seen most of this in the movie already, but there are three tracks that weren't featured in the actual movie for whatever reason. The lengthy Cadilac (sic) that opens the show is just soooo funky. There is also another acoustic number (the Electric Warrior track Girl) as well as the encore, Summertime Blues, wherein Marc does to the old Eddie Cochran classic what Hendrix once did to Wild Thing.

But what about the never-ever-seen matinee show, I hear you ask? Well fret not. Itís on Disc 2, along with a short film about the making of the DVD. Disc 2 also includes an amazing Tyrannosaurus Rex performance of Sara Crazy Child (that is so crisp and clear that you almost feel like youíre there) and an interview with the only surviving member of the classic line-up, drummer Bill Legend, who has found God in such a big way that he announces that seeing his drumkit in front of the altar means more to him than playing in T.Rex ever did.

Perhaps best of all though is where Bolanís son, Rolan, interviews the man who helped make the T.Rex sound so great, producer Tony Visconti. Viscontiís later fall-out with Bolan and the latterís gargantuan ego have been well-documented over the years. Still, itís noticeable that Viscontiís feelings towards Marc have softened with time, and this interview is more than ample proof. In fact, the part where Visconti fondly reminisces about the early days and tells Rolan that thereís not a day when he doesnít think about his dad is a real tearjerker. Just one of any number of reasons to buy this DVD.


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