It seems inconceivable that Tyrannosaurus Rex’s first three albums were released more than 45 years ago. Memories of sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor with my enviably corkscrew-haired school chum, thumping cardboard boxes and warbling along to Deborah, are still extraordinarily vivid.
Here we have hugely expanded editions of My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On the Brows (5⁄10), Prophets, Seers And Sages – The Angels Of The Ages (5⁄10), both from ’68, and 1969’s Unicorn (6⁄10).
If you thought it was impossible to milk a Tyrannosaurus Rex, these deluxe editions prove otherwise. But like Peter Jackson’s ridiculously bloated Hobbit movies, the twin-CD sets add nothing to the original fairy tale.
You can almost feel Steve Peregrin Took’s bongos buckling under the strain as bonus track after bonus track keeps a-comin’. My People Were Fair…, for example, contains not one but five versions of Dwarfish Trumpet Blues – and the story of the song to boot: “He was deaf, dumb and blind, which was unfortunate, but he was a sweet cat. He had a plastic trumpet he found in the road, he’d play it but he couldn’t hear a thing.”
The warped faux-hippy charm of the original releases remains intact, and Marc Bolan’s nonsensical poetry has lost none of its appeal. But unless your name is Danielz, all these expanded versions will do is force you to buy a sniper rifle and take potshots at those little winged creatures at the end of your garden./o:p