- Personnel: Marc Bolan (vocals, guitar).
- The first (but certainly not the last) of the compilations issued in the wake of T. Rex's U.K. chart breakthrough, Bolan Boogie was also many of the band's new fans' first chance to acquaint themselves with all that Marc Bolan had done in the past -- a point which the compilers certainly kept in mind. The catalog at their disposal was vast, reaching back to the acoustic birth of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Sensibly, however, Bolan Boogie concentrates on the material that lived up its title -- aside from one cut drawn from 1969's Unicorn, the entire album dated from the arrival of Mickey Finn, and the attendant headlong dive into electricity launched by the Beard of Stars album, and culminating with the epochal Electric Warrior album. Some incontrovertible classics emerge. "Beltane Walk," "The King of the Mountain Cometh," and "Fist Heart Mighty Drawn Dart" prove that Bolan's early flair for myth-weaving had effortlessly survived the move to amplification, while "Jewel" allies that assurance with some of the most gratuitously dirty guitar of the age. "Raw Ramp," a five-minute rock opera buried on the back of "Get It On," too, bristles with dynamism -- it opens gently, lavish strings and sad ballad sweet, pauses for a moment, then returns as a shuffling blues putdown ("you think you're champ, but girl, you ain't nothing but a raw ramp" -- whatever that may be), then concludes with a heads-down electric boogie. Perhaps the crowning glory, however, comes with T. Rex's take on "Summertime Blues," simultaneously the most unexpected track of them all, and the most appropriate one as well -- the ultimate anthem of youth disaffection, from the ultimate symbol of teenaged rebellion. The first new pop idol of the new decade, the first since the Beatles disbanded, Bolan hadn't simply shattered all predictions and preoccupations for the new decade. He had, single-handedly, dragged rock & roll out of a premature grave, then gift-wrapped it back to the kids who needed it most. They'd never have to work late again. ~ Dave Thompson
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