News - Marc Bolan

A wide-ranging cast of wizards and cosmic dancers have joined together to reimagine Marc Bolan’s work – sometimes in radical fashion – in AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex, out on September 4th on BMGs label...

Press Release

The collection features 26 songs culled from Bolan’s vast body of work released as T.Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex from 1968-77, including Jeepster, Bang A Gong (Get It On), Ride A White Swan and beyond.

Marc Bolan was many things to many people – a folk-pop troubadour, Glam Rock’s metal guru, a pop star who burned as bright as any, a brilliant guitarist, style icon, poet. He has been famously cited as a major influence by some of the biggest names in music from David Bowie to Johnny Marr. He died in 1977 aged just 29, after a car crash in London.

AngelHeaded Hipster was lovingly created by the late Hal Willner, who also recently passed away, on April 7th from COVID-19. The acclaimed music producer, who “for nearly four decades bent and shaped the dimensions of almost-popular music” (New York Times), produced albums for artists including Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and William S. Burroughs, and concept albums drawing upon the music of Thelonious Monk, Kurt Weill, vintage Disney films and others. He also produced concert events exploring the work of such subjects as Leonard Cohen, Allan Sherman, Neil Young, Edgar Allan Poe, and Tim Buckley, and served as the Saturday Night Live sketch music producer for nearly 40 years.

After his passing, many of the artists who knew Willner best posted tributes to his singular spirit, including Elvis Costello, Bono, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave, who praised Willner’s “limitless imagination” adding “Hal was our visionary, our ringleader, always working against reason itself, armed with a deep love and bottomless knowledge of music.”

Willner, who referred to AngelHeaded Hipster as his ‘White Album’, was eager for everyone to hear these beautiful songs and to start thinking about Bolan and T. Rex again. This album is a testament to Hal’s spirit.”

Willner worked on AngelHeaded Hipster for several years, with sessions spanning continents, from New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, to London, Paris, and Berlin. The album features special guests Donald Fagen, Mike Garson, Bill Frisell, Wayne Kramer, Van Dyke Parks, and Marc Ribot, with arrangements by Thomas Bartlett, Steven Bernstein, Eli Brueggemann, J.G. Thirlwell, and Steve Weisberg.

The project was conceived and executive produced by Bill Curbishley and Ethan Silverman, with Kate Hyman, who had the creative vision to ask Hal to produce it.

The many sides of Bolan are explored as each performer celebrates their favorite version of him. That includes mining his incendiary, imperial pop star albums Electric Warrior and The Slider, harking back to his days with Steve Peregrin Took in Tyrannosaurus Rex (the band that bridged his acoustic folk period and the electric awakening of T.Rex), and reflecting on his later records and comeback hit ‘I Love To Boogie’ from his final album Dandy In The Underworld.

In true Willner fashion, the album’s title was inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl: “angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,” a line heralding the coming rock ‘n’ roll revolution in the wake of Elvis Presley, an essence that Bolan embraced and reinvented.

Here's Nick Cave's version of Cosmic Dancer

AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan and T.Rex tracklist

Disc 1

Children Of The Revolution - Kesha
Cosmic Dancer - Nick Cave
Jeepster - Joan Jett
Scenescof - Devendra Banhart
Life’s A Gas - Lucinda Williams
Solid Gold, Easy Action - Peaches
Dawn Storm - BØRNS
Hippy Gumbo - Beth Orton
I Love To Boogie - King Khan
Beltane Walk - Gaby Moreno
Bang A Gong (Get It On) - U2 feat. Elton John
Diamond Meadows - John Cameron Mitchell
Ballrooms Of Mars - Emily Haines

Disc 2
Main Man - Father John Misty
Rock On - Perry Farrell
The Street and Babe Shadow - Elysian Fields
The Leopards - Gavin Friday
Metal Guru - Nena
Teenage Dream - Marc Almond
Organ Blues - Helga Davis
Planet Queen - Todd Rundgren
Great Horse - Jessie Harris
Mambo Sun - Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl
Pilgrim’s Tale - Victoria Williams with Julian Lennon
Bang A Gong (Get It On) Reprise - David Johansen
She Was Born To Be My Unicorn / Ride A White Swan - Maria McKee

Image - Amazon
Info - BMG

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