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Dandy In The Underworld: Marc Bolan In 20 Songs

After Bolan’s death on September 16, 1977, the passing decades have brought new admiration of a unique and quintessential pop star.

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Marc Bolan GettyImages 1199239977
Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

The passing of Marc Bolan in 1977 happened at a time when the world was still in shock at the death of Elvis Presley a few weeks earlier. Two weeks after the T. Rex frontman died on September 16, he would have celebrated his 30th birthday.

But if he was not necessarily afforded the respect his extraordinary talent deserved at the time, the passing decades have brought a new admiration among subsequent generations of a truly unique and quintessential pop star. Each year, the anniversary of Bolan’s dreadfully early passing is marked by his loyal devotees with commemorative events.

Here we present a uDiscover Music playlist of Marc Bolan In 20 Songs. It embraces some of his key early work in his own name, with John’s Children and Tyrannosaurus Rex, many of the vintage hits from the height of Bolanmania, some well-loved album tracks and later T. Rex singles.

In one of his very early interviews, aged just 18 and years before he achieved the fame he always craved, Bolan told Maureen Cleave in the Evening Standard in October 1965: “Personally, the prospect of being immortal doesn’t excite me; but the prospect of being a materialistic idol for four years does appeal.”

He got his wish, even if it took longer than he planned and Bolanmania was only at its height for perhaps two years. Nevertheless, from his early days until his passing, Bolan created not only one o the most enduring pop images of all, but a body of work that has stood the test of time. One of his last interviews, with Paul Morley in the NME in March 1977, hinted at what might have followed if Bolan’s life had not been cut short. “There’s been a lot of preparation,” he said.

“I’ve even rehearsed this band, which I’ve never done before. I just played from record to record. So this new band is very solid,” he went on. “Everybody is proud to be in it. It’s what should really have happened at the beginning.” Sadly we’ll never know what he might have gone on to achieve, but Bolan’s music is a glorious reminder of what he already had.


Follow uDiscover Music’s T. Rex Best Of playlist.



  1. konstantin konstantin

    September 30, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Mark Bolan & Glam new age!

  2. Alex Wolfe

    September 30, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    The link to the playlist isn’t working.

  3. Steve Gallant

    August 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Unimaginative list.. Children of the Revolution being the most obvious oversight !

  4. Uwe

    September 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Marc Bolan,39 years hone
    But his legend lives on…R.I.P.

  5. Dave Hughes

    September 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    King of the rumbling spires, Life’s a gas, Debora.

  6. Jimmy

    September 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Great songs but sadly, yet again Marc’s later career is only given a token look in. Life’s an Elevstor, Universe, City Port, there’s a few that could have gone on the list

  7. chris

    November 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Still the original and the best!!

  8. Kalevi Heino

    November 20, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I agree with Jimmy. There could be a lot more worthy songs to be included in the list BUT it is also worthy to remember that there will always be newcomers to the music of Mark Bolan and this list is very neat introduction to Mark´s music. There will always be listeners who get the same thrill as we did from hearing the monster guitar intro of “21st Century Boy”, the irresistible groove of “New York City”, the celebration mood of “Metal Guru” or the seductive tension of “Get It On” for the first time. We have already been blessed with such experience and I´m happy if/when someone else will get the same thrill out of Mark´s music. Cheers!

  9. Susan Kirkland

    November 21, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I agree with Kalemi, and could not improve on the description.
    RIP Marc Bolan

  10. Colin Allen

    December 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Marc’s music is really underrated….I’ agree with whats been said. Original and the bes!! Rock On


    January 30, 2017 at 7:54 am

    A pure legend doesn’t get the recognition he deserves music will never die cosmic dancer

  12. Randy Metro

    February 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    To all you “big” fans & “experts”: it’s Marc with a “C” not a “K.”

    Marc was more than just Children of the Revolution. When a list is limited to 20 songs, you can’t include all of his hits and album tracks. COTR is one my least favorites, so I don’t miss it.

    • Patricia Morrison

      April 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out it was annoying me !!!!

    • barry harding

      September 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      your right stage wise but was(born Mark Feld)

  13. Tommy Davis

    April 1, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Marc Bolan was the best all his music will live on forever.

  14. Chip Cooper

    November 18, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Marc Bolan understood rock n roll. Like the lists here. Ballrooms of Mars, Rabbit Fighter & Rip Off are a few of my favorites. I would put Metal Guru at the top of the list.

  15. Glyn Stanley

    September 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    He is played in my car everyday. Sensation Boulevard should be on a list of great songs.

    • Gerhard Peham

      September 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      What About Jitterbug Love or The Motivator? Both are tremendous and better than many A-Sides.


        September 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

        Jitterbug Love, Solid Gold Easy Action

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