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 16 September, 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 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.”
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. 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 this playlist is a glorious reminder of what he already had.
Follow uDiscover’s T. Rex Best Of playlist.