FS 1011 Love + Death
Edited, arranged & produced by Simon Napier-Bell
Released on December 1991
(no chart information)
Find it at GEMM
FS 1011 cover  

L ove of Bolan triumphs over death, or so it would seem. In a gesture initially appalling, Simon Napier-Bell dusted off his old Marc Bolan demos (from 1966) and hired studio musicians to record instrumental tracks behind Bolan’s vocals. Like John Lennon’s postmortum appearance with The Beatles, the results are better than you’d think if a little creepy, Napier-Bell evoking the vintage ‘70s sound of classic T. Rex. Of course, Bolan hadn’t adopted that classic Visconti sound in ’66, so Love + Death is graverobbery with an eye toward historical revision. If you can get over that (and it’s a big “if”), Love + Death is actually an interesting experiment. In fact, the song “You Scare Me To Death” charted in the UK back in 1981 alongside the pickled curio, “The Perfumed Garden of Gulliver Smith.” While the disc’s dubious intent is the proverbial gorilla in the room, there is some pleasure in hearing songs like “Eastern Spell,” “You’ve Got The Power,” “Jasmine ‘49” and “Cat Black” performed in the fashion of Marc’s vintage glam years. The end result may have nothing to do with Bolan’s musical legacy (that door closed for these cuts in 1966), but it says something about his public impact that songs with such a distant connection to the Bolan legacy could still warrant considerable interest in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since most of the posthumous Bolan releases are aimed at serious collectors, those with a casual knowledge of T. Rex have no business buying Love + Death. Compared to the endless demos and acoustic recordings now on the market, Love + Death provides better music than some, even if it’s historical integrity has been taken away. If the “what if” scenario is intriguing, then you might want to add this to the shrine.

TRACK LISTING

  1. YOU SCARE ME TO DEATH
  2. YOU'VE GOT THE POWER
  3. EASTERN SPELL
  4. CHARLIE
  5. I'M WEIRD
  6. HIPPY GUMBO
  7. MUSTANG FORD
  8. OBSERVATIONS
  9. JASMINE '49
  10. CAT BLACK
  11. BLACK & WHITE INCIDENT
  12. THE PERFUMED GARDEN OF GULLIVER SMITH
  13. RECORDED QUOTES FROM THE BOOK (YOU SCARE ME TO DEATH)

    All tracks written by Marc Bolan

CREDITS

MARC BOLAN -- vocals, acoustic guitar
DYAN BIRCH -- backing vocals
FRANK COLLINS -- backing vocals
BERNIE HOLLAND -- electric guitars
GRAHAM JARVIS -- drums
PADDY McHUGH -- backing vocals
BRIAN ODGERS -- bass guitar
GRAHAM TODD -- piano
Peter Hughes -- engineer
Steve Prestage -- engineer, mixing
Dave Siddle -- engineer
Empyre Design -- art direction & design

return to T. REX discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 1991 Cherry Red CD/CS CDM RED 70  
US 1992 Futurist Records CD/CS FS 1011  

 

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