Marc Bolan formed Tyrannosaurus Rex as a six-piece in 1967, having previously been a member of John’s Children. However, the band was forced to scale down to a duo when most of their equipment was repossessed. Bolan and Steve ‘Peregrine’ Took set about forging a unique sound, blending rock ‘n’ roll influences with folk and psychedelia. Championed by legendary disc jockey John Peel, they built up a strong underground fanbase, and achieved encouraging chart success. Mickey Finn replaced Took for one album, before they resurfaced as T. Rex in 1970, complete with a new line-up. This marked their transformation into a fully electric glam rock ‘n’ roll outfit, and led to instant success. They topped the UK charts with a string of singles throughout the early 70s, and reached the upper regions of the USA and UK album charts. The band suffered internal problems during the mid-70s, and had to endure several line-up changes. This coincided with a steady decline in their popularity and critical reputation. The band was effectively finished when tragedy struck in 1977, when Bolan was killed after a car, driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones, struck a tree less than a mile from his home in East Sheen, Greater London. Although the height of their popularity was short-lived, they produced some of the era’s most memorable music, and have influenced countless subsequent artists.
Followers: Queen, The Sex Pistols, Suede, Devendra Banhart, Bauhaus, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Oasis
Influenced By: The Rolling Stones, Donovan, The Who, The Kinks, Chuck Berry, Little Richard...