Search - Marc Bolan, T-Rex :: My People Were Fair...

My People Were Fair...
Marc Bolan, T-Rex
My People Were Fair...
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1

Pre-glam rock era T. Rex (then Tyrannosaurus Rex) re-issue of the fully titled 'My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair...But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows'. Considered a cornerstone of the 60s Bri...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Marc Bolan, T-Rex
Title: My People Were Fair...
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Universal UK
Release Date: 10/25/2004
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Vocal Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR), Glam
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 602498225097


Album Description
Pre-glam rock era T. Rex (then Tyrannosaurus Rex) re-issue of the fully titled 'My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair...But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows'. Considered a cornerstone of the 60s British Underground along with The Soft Machine, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Cream, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, this remastered expanded edition includes original artwork, lyrics, sleevenotes by Marc Bolan biographer Mark Paytress, rare photographs by Peter Sanders, and 14 bonus tracks with stereo recordings and outtakes. First pressings come with a slipcase. Universal. 2004.

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CD Reviews

Excellent Debut
Justin L. Baumgartner | Cedar Falls, IA | 01/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The early T Rex albums are an interesting lot. While the full-blown electric sound that was to develop on later albums such as Electric Warrior had yet to appear on these records, T Rex's first five albums are all remarkably consistent and well worth picking up. The sound on this record (and its follow-ups) is stripped down and simple, but still very effective. Not much more than Marc Bolan's acoustic guitar, some percussion and a few added "psychedelic" effects here and there. But that's really all you need. Marc Bolan always had a way with writing catchy songs with ridiculous, wonderful lyrics, and My People Were Fair... doesn't stray away from that model. It blows my mind to think that this album was recorded over 35 years ago because it's aged remarkably well.

Contrary to what a previous reviewer has stated, Bolan's vocals are not terrible on this record. His voice is less developed here than it would be on the later T Rex recordings (I noticed more of a quaver in his voice), but he sounds far from being a "retarded kid making a pathetic attempt to sing". In fact, I think he sings quite fine here if you ask me. His voice is admittedly a bit of an acquired taste, but then again so is T Rex in the first place.

At times My People Were Fair... sounds remarkably similar to some of the "freak-folk" artists (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom) who are currently all the indie rage. While this may not be the best entry point into T Rex's early work (A Beard of Stars is hands down the best from this period), it's still an excellent record.
Unlike anything before it
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 12/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Where on Earth (or anywhere in the known multiverse for that matter) did this strangely mellifluous cacophony come from? It seemed unlike anything heard before and arrived fully formed onto the Peelian airwaves in the summer of 1968, hot on the heels of the astonishing single Debora (backed by Child Star, which was included on the album). And it was everywhere. You'd go to an outdoor free concert, or to a concert headlined by Fairport Convention, or Roy Harper, or the Edgar Broughton Band, or just about anyone, and there would be these pixies in support, sitting cross-legged on a colourful rug and declaiming a world of doors in oak trees, strange orchestras, Beethoven hair, wizards and weilders of words. Marc would be throwing back his mane and uttering throaty cries and bleats into the air, whilst confidently marshalling an army of sonic colours from his guitar, as Steve Peregrine-Took battled merrily on an array of Eastern-looking percussion instruments and added deft harmonies to Marc's lyrics as appropriate.
It is almost as mysterious now as it was then, although their influence can be heard in contemporary performers such as Devendra Banhart, and there were few clues to be had from Marc Bolan's previous work. This consisted of the two Decca singles The Wizard and The Third Degree and a single for Parlophone called Hippy Gumbo, all of which were relatively conventional moddish beat group ventures; followed by a four month stint in early 1967 with proto punk extremist mod-art band John's Children, for whom he provided lyrics and regularly beat up his highly amplified Gibson guitar with a heavy metal chain onstage, in a stage act which featured mock fights with fake blood - a far cry from Kingsley Mole.
When speaking of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Marc claimed to have been inspired by Ravi Shankar, which explains a little of the eastern influence though Ravi Shankar recordings seldom had the histrionic vocalise which featured on My People Were Fair...
As booklet note writer Mark Paytress observes, rock and roll was nearer the surface, especially on side openers Hot Rod Mama and Mustang Ford, both borrowing from the American surf and hot rod crazes of the early sixties, and The Wizard of course became re-invented as a live Tyrannosaurus Rex staple before being recorded in a third incarnation for the album T Rex.
This edition presents the album in both mono and stereo full versions. Marc Bolan was said to prefer the mono version because of mixing problems which had resulted in a thinness in the stereo version, but these problems seem to have largely overcome on this remaster so I find myself preferring the stereo half, presented as bonus tracks. These seem to be mixes of the same takes, although Dwarfish Trumpet Blues has an extra section, but the notes mention that four of the bonus tracks date from demo sessions recorded for Joe Boyd at Sound Techniques in late 1967.
The other bonus tracks consist of the single Debora (mono), which unlike the album was recorded at Advision, along with an alternate mono take; and early versions of Child Star (mono) and Chateau In Virginia Waters (stereo).
Marc Bolan went on to refine and improve the style he had introduced on this album, but no future albums could have the freshness and impact of this fearsome debut"
A pleasant accoustic suprise
Brad Hoevel | Saginaw | 06/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before they changed their name to T.Rex and dropped the classic albums Electric Warrior and The Slider, T.Rex went by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Prior to the name change, the band was a two-piece folksy acoustic psychedelic pop duo. Bolan, of course, played guitar and sang, while Steve Took jammed on the bongos.

The music here sounds like T.Rex; yet it is also fundamentally different than the band's later work. For this album, picture a minimalistic, guitar-driven poppy folk that is essentially very traditional and accessible in terms of its chord progressions, song structures, length of songs, etc. The lyrical content, however, is far less conventional,falling safely into the realm of psychedelia--just take a look at the names of some of the songs. The lyrics, when they are intelligible, seem to be a juxtaposition of Near-eastern mythologies and contemporary Americana. Like elsewhere in the T.Rex catalog, the lyrics are usually nonsensical. They are great fun, nevertheless. Sometimes real words seem to have been replaced by imaginary ones; also present are the "do-do-da-do-da's" that can easily be identified as trademark Bolan.

The acid-baked sounds of Bolan and Took persisted through the first three albums. Amplifiers and Drum kits were brought in for the fourth album. Within a year or two the transformation into full-blown glam-rockers was complete.

If you are interested in my opinion: it is as follows. Slider is my favorite T. Rex album, Electric Warrior a close second. 'My People Were Fair...', as mentioned above, is quite different from those albums. T.Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex are indeed two different bands, albeit they both feature the vocals and are under the creative direction of Marc Bolan. I would rate 'My People Were Fair...' as the best Tyrannosaurus Rex album. As a T.Rex album I would rank it #3; to be fair, such a rating is likely to be somewhat controversial.

Regardless rank, it is my estimation that fans of T.Rex will find "My People Were Fair..." to be a friendly and enjoyable listening experience; unless, of course, the listener is deadest on the album being another Electric Warrior or Slider. Plain and simple, "My People Were Fair..." is an LP containing damn good music and minimal filler."