Before T. Rex, there was Tyrannosaurus Rex, a 2-man folk-hippie group founded in 1967 by guitarist Marc Bolan and percussionist Steve Took. Moderately successful, they churned out four albums before Took was replaced by Mickey Finn. The name was changed to T. Rex and at the same time, the music became much more rock-orientated.
Marc Bolan’s songwriting and Tony Visconti’s production really took off at this point – creating the new sound of Glam Rock. After the success of the 1970 album T. Rex, 1971 saw the release of Electric Warrior with the famous songs Jeepster and Get It On. This record is really nothing but three chord wonders, but what massive hooks they have. Visconti’s production really makes this record something special with strings, backing vocals and pounding bongos. This was the big and fun sound of glam - a sound that has never been truly reproduced since.
Marc went on to make two more Glam albums of note – Slider and Tanx. After that, the rock star lifestyle began to catch up. Bolan’s cocaine and booze caused members of T. Rex to drop away. Music quality began to drop as Bolan struggled to crack the charts once again. By then musical tastes had changed and Glam had passed on from popularity. It wasn’t until the throes of punk rock that Marc started to make his comeback with the 1977 release of Dandy in the Underworld. But fate stepped in and Marc was killed in a car accident two weeks before his 30th birthday.