‘The Groover’: One Last UK Top 10 Ride For T.Rex

‘The Groover’ made its British chart entry on June 16, 1973, on the way to becoming their final UK Top 10 single.

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T Rex The Groover

T. Rexstacy blew in like a hurricane and took the UK by storm for two years. Then, before we knew it, the glam-rock figureheads were coming to the end of their run of huge singles. There were still more hits to come, but on June 16, 1973, “The Groover” made its British chart entry on the way to becoming the final 45 to make the Top 10 for T. Rex in their home country.

What a run that was, starting the week in November 1970 when “Ride A White Swan” glided into the Top 10 for the first time. It peaked at No.2, after which four of the next six T. Rex singles hit No.1, and they amassed ten Top 10 singles in less than two and a half years. It was a period that also included three No.1 albums.

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The tempering of Bolanmania

By the spring of 1973, T. Rex were no longer in album chart-topping form, but Tanx debuted and peaked at No.4, just as The Slider had done the previous summer. “20th Century Boy,” these days so anthemic that it’s assumed by many to have been one of the biggest singles by the duo, reached No.3 in the UK around the same time.

“The Groover,” a new Marc Bolan song produced as usual by Tony Visconti, was released as a single on June 6. To the excitement of fans, it didn’t feature on Tanx or anywhere else, and neither did its B-side “Midnight.” On the June 16 UK chart, the single took a bow at No.6, in the week that Suzi Quatro climbed to the summit with “Can The Can.”

A week later, as 10cc assumed the top spot with “Rubber Bullets,” the T. Rex release climbed to its No.4 peak. “The Groover” had two more weeks in the UK Top 10, after which Bolan would never return there: the next single “Truck On (Tyke)” peaked at No.12, the first of four further Top 20 hits during his lifetime.

‘The writing on the wall’

“The press took the view that T. Rex were on the way out and that [David] Bowie was ‘poaching’ the hip T. Rex fans,” wrote Tony Visconti later in his autobiography, Bowie, Bolan & the Brooklyn Boy. “I could all too clearly see the writing on the wall.

“There were new kids on the block doing the glam thing, and some were doing it much better than we were. The teenyboppers had Slade and Gary Glitter, but the cool kids were listening to Bowie and Roxy Music.” Happily, Bolan was able to reshape his work for the post-glam age and make some significant singles and albums in the four years before his sad death in 1977.

Avowed fan Ian Mansell writes in our comments section below that he remembers “The Groover” well. “Marc was T. Rex of course,” he notes, “and is still greatly missed for his charisma & unique music, he was after all born to boogie.”

Listen to the best of T. Rex on Apple Music and Spotify.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ian

    June 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

    i remember it well as a teenager in the 70s I was an avid fan of Marc Bolan & T.Rex. The date makes me feel old, well I am as I’m 59 now as are a lot of original fans. I still bet a a buzz out TRex music. I play guitar and remember learning loads of TRex songs and much to my parents consternation played and sang loudly in the front room with Gibson SG & cheap amp. Marc was TRex of course and is still greatly missed for his charisma & unique music, he was after all born to boogie

  2. Vyk Vahael

    June 17, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Marc Bolan and T Rex…..Amazing music and talent…still play albums at least a couple times a week…Electric Warrior….I also love the ‘Zinc Alloy’ or ‘Cream cage’ album(most slandered album)……

  3. Keith

    June 18, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I loved TREX in the 70s I have 14 of there albums and I still get a kick out of them when I play them

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