The Best of the BBC Recordings (Live)
Covering 1969 to 1971, this Best of BBC Recordings opens with Marc Bolan singing the network jingle over acoustic guitar and glockenspiel before a performance of “Beltane Walk” sets the tone with raw glitter rock, as Bolan’s Les Paul distorts and breaks up in contrast to his sultry inflections. T. Rex’s handsome rendition of “Life’s a Gas” (recorded for “Whispering” Bob Harris’ program) is another standout, with its prowling rhythms and lunging chorus. But it’s not until a rollicking version of “Jeepster” that you get the sense that T. Rex’s meat-and-potatoes, no-nonsense rhythm section was the solid foundation for Bolan to stretch out, stomp his feet, clap his hands, and unleash some of his signature snarling guitar leads. Inside the Top Gear–recorded take on “Iscariot” can be heard a triumvirate of influences in motion; Syd Barrett’s sideways approach to songwriting affects Bolan as he sings of birds, jewels, and wood with a tremolo trill in his voice that would later influence Devendra Banhart. “Telegram Sam” ends the comp by pumping ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll through a velvety-golden glam filter.