© A&M/Straight Ahead
"A Beard Of Stars"
March 19 - 25, 2023
Year of Release: 2004
A Day Laye
Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart
Pavillons Of Sun
By The Light Of
The Magical Moon
A Beard Of Stars
Ill Starred Man (Take 1)
Demon Queen (Take 1)
Once Upon The
Seas Of Abyssinia
Blessed Wild Apple Girl (Take 2)
Find A Little Wood (Take 1)
A Daye Laye (Take 1)
Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart
Organ Blues (Take 2)
Wind Cheetah (Take 4)
A Beard Of Stars (Take 1)
Great Horse (Take 1)
Dragon's Ear (Takes 1 & 2)
Dove (Take 5)
Elemental Child Pts 1 & 2
By The Light Of
The Magical Moon (Take 3)
Prelude (Take 1)
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Tyrannosaurus Rex -- aka Marc Bolan -- aka T.Rex
Before Marc Bolan's T. Rex became popular with their hits "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" and "Jeepster" (and another song that I enjoyed --
"Hot Love" -- having the 45 when I was younger; it was a non-album track, found on a future CD compilation, The Early Years), The band was
known as "Tyrannosaurus Rex," and before the name was changed to T. Rex, Marc Bolan's band had released four albums under the original Tyrannosaurus Rex name.
A Beard Of Stars was the band's fourth album, released in 1970, and this album would be the last, using the Tyrannosaurus Rex name. In 2004, this album
was reissued on CD from A&M/Straight Ahead Records. It would include the album's original 14 songs, 16 BOnus Tracks, making the reissue an "Expanded Edition."
A Beard Of Stars -- the original 14 tracks
"Prelude" begins the album, as it is a short instrumental, yet it's haunting in sound. "A Daye Laye" is acoustic, pleasant, having a somewhat folk
sound. "Woodland Bop" is next, and it's a buildup to what would become. Bolan's voice and style from the previous song and this one, you can hear a
comparison (but not truly equal to) the early Pink Floyd, with Syd Barrett. The opening of "Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart" is probably a prequel to
"Jeepster," and again, it's continuing the buildup to T. Rex's future. It also has a somewhat psychedlic style. "Pavillions Of SUn" definitely has
the Syd Barrett comparison, and it's more uplifting than Syd would have done. And the psychedlic electric guitar is heard, an instrument that was introduced on a
Tyrannosaurus Rex album.
"Organ Blues" continues the psychedelia, having a electronic "pulse" throughout. The future of electronic music in the making? Quite possible.
"By The Light Of The Magical Moon" was the album's only single. And again, it's a buildup of future things to come, as Bolan would be working on his
signature sound, that would sutface on future "T. Rex" albums. "Wind Cheetah" continues the Syd Barrett comparison. Strange. Yet, the next track is the
title track of the album, an instrumental, and is quite impressive. An upbeat Rock gem. "Great Horse" is also impressive, as Bolan's unique vocals
and instrumentation works. And again, impressive is for "Dragon's Ear," mixing Rock and Tropical. "Lofty Skies" compares to Syd again, and to
say who was the better singer of the two, it would have to be Marc Bolan. More of the electronic guitar is heard here, as in the wah-wah sound. "Dove"
rounds up to one word: Unique. Bolan's voice and the music's sound sums it all up. "Elemental Child" is (again), a look to the future, of what would
become "T. Rex." And towards the end of this song, psychedlic guitars are the highlights.
A Beard Of Stars -- Bonus Tracks
With bonus tracks, there are the working takes of songs that would become part of the original tracks for the album. Those would be: "A Daye Laye (Take 1),"
"Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart (Take 2)," "Organ Blues (Take 2)," "Wind Cheetah (Take 4)," "A Beard Of Stars (Take 1)," "Great Horse (Take 1)," "Dragon's Ear (Takes
1 & 2)," "Dove (Take 5)," "Elemental Child (Take 1)" (which would be Parts 1 and 2)," "By The Light Of The Magical Moon (Take 3)" and "Prelude
(Take 1)." And on the ending of "Elemental Child" (Parts 1 & 2) (Take 1), picture the future of another star -- George Thorogood and his cover of
"Who Do You Love." It's that good.
And there are the songs that were put back on the shelf: "Ill Starred Man" (Take 1) (another good acoustic impressive track). "Demon Queen"
(Take 1) is another acoustic song, and again, impressive. "Once Upon The Seas Of Abyssinia" (Take 3) is quite unique, and way better than if Syd Barrett
and Pink Floyd, if they had recorded this particular song. "Blessed Wild Apple Girl" (Take 2) is a gem, and could easily had made as one of the album's
original tracks. "Find A Little Word" (Take 1) sounds as a "work in progress." It also sounds like a song that The Kinks could have recorded. This song
also proves once again, the future of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. A gem.
The future of Marc Bolan and what would become T. Rex was in the making here on A Beard Of Stars. Bolan's style was unique, and would lead to another
chapter in Bolan's musical career. It would be popular, with his hit "Bang A Gong (Get It On)". But unfortunately, his future would be cut short as he was
killed in a car accident on September 16, 1977. He was a passenger in the car, as he never learned how to drive. The driver of the car, Gloria Jones. She survived
with a broken arm and jaw. Bolan's music was part of the 1970s' "Glam Rock"/"Glitter Rock." We could only imagine what the future ahead would of held for him.
A Beard Of Stars as mentioned by Mark Deming of AllMusic -- "was the turning point where Marc Bolan began evolving from an unrepentant rock star he would
become from an unrepentant hippie into the full-on swaggering rock star he would be within a couple of years, though for those not familiar with his previous work,
it still sounds like the work of a man with his mind plugged into the age of lysergic enchantment." And those couple of years ahead would be "T. Rex" and "Bang
A Gong (Get It On)". The future was bright, and a promising future it was, for those couple of years ahead from the release of A Beard Of Stars.
The comparisons of the early Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett is heard throughout A Beard Of Stars. Bolan's vocals were better than Syd's. And, like Syd,
his music, and Bolan's were unique. And like Bolan, the future looked promising for Barrett, but his drug addiction was his downfall, and he was let go by the other
Pink Floyd members, and was replaced by David Gilmour. The rest they say, is history, for the band Pink Floyd.
But the future for Marc Bolan was in the works. He would become popular with the band's name changed to T. Rex, and the band's future album from 1971 Electric
Warrior would put the band T. Rex on the map. But again, the future was even more promising, only to be cut short by Bolan's untimely death. But listen to his
future unfolding, to Tyrannosaurus Rex's A Beard Of Stars. The Stars were gleaming. A future star, Marc Bolan, and a future band, T. Rex, in the works in
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