Dandy In the Underworld

Dandy In the Underworld

Dandy in the Underworld was released only months before the untimely death of Marc Bolan in a 1977 car accident. After struggling on three previous outings to re-ignite the flames of “T. Rextacy” that had burned brightly in the U.K. (and slightly less so in the U.S.), Dandy dug back into the band’s roots, moving away from the heavy soul sounds Bolan had been embracing. He brought back the swagger, adding glassy sheets of synths to the sexy, pulsating rhythms of “Hang Ups,” the neo-funk of “Groove a Little” and the “Bang a Gong” cousin, “Jason B Sad.” With a little more muscle in the production, “Crimson Moon” might have lived on as a classic T. Rex track. They experimented: The warm organs and sing-along lyrics on “The Soul of My Suit” have a faint Mott the Hoople flavor, while a pre-goth bleakness shapes “Pain and Love” (Bolan turns out a dark, gutteral vocal style on the tune). The original release (12 tracks, ending with “Teen Riot Structure”) got the band briefly back onto the charts, and saw Bolan return to his performing peak. The title track is a stellar, anthemic send-off to a great musician.

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