A Beard of Stars [Expanded Edition]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
There was a big and obvious change to Tyrannosaurus Rex on their fourth album, A Beard of Stars, as Steve Took was replaced by Mickey Finn, with Marc Bolan remaining the true captain of the duo act as singer and songwriter. Of more significance was the change in the band's sound, moving into far more electric rock territory with much greater use of electric guitar, though Bolan's songs were still often grounded in the fairytale-like musings of his earlier work. It was still a ways off from his glam rock approach, but it was definitely more accessible than the relatively homespun elflike folk-rock of the earliest Tyrannosaurus Rex albums. It also made some effective ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
There was a big and obvious change to Tyrannosaurus Rex on their fourth album, A Beard of Stars, as Steve Took was replaced by Mickey Finn, with Marc Bolan remaining the true captain of the duo act as singer and songwriter. Of more significance was the change in the band's sound, moving into far more electric rock territory with much greater use of electric guitar, though Bolan's songs were still often grounded in the fairytale-like musings of his earlier work. It was still a ways off from his glam rock approach, but it was definitely more accessible than the relatively homespun elflike folk-rock of the earliest Tyrannosaurus Rex albums. It also made some effective use of organ and somewhat more pop-friendly, conventional tunes like "By the Light of the Magical Moon," "Elemental Child," and "A Daye Laye," though weirder items like "Wild Cheetah" and "Dove" bore a slight similarity to some of Syd Barrett's gentlest compositions. [The 2004 expanded edition adds no less than 16 bonus tracks, as well as historical liner notes by Bolan biographer Mark Paytress. Most of the bonus tracks on this series of expanded editions of the first five Tyrannosaurus Rex/T. Rex albums were alternate takes that were similar to the versions that made it into initial release, and this CD is no exception, containing alternates of 11 of A Beard of Stars' 14 songs though "Organ Blues" does go on about a minute longer in its alternate state, and some of the arrangements in the alternates are more minimal, "Great Horse" being one example. There are, however, five songs that didn't make it onto A Beard of Stars at all. Some of these five numbers are largely acoustic recordings that perhaps sonically belong more in the Took era than the Finn one, though "Once Upon the Seas of Abyssinia" does have subdued electric guitar, and "Blessed Wild Apple Girl" has a muted Phil Spector-ish production boom. But like the rest of the material here, they do show Bolan refining his songwriting craft, becoming less repetitious, more hummable, and less excessive in his vocal delivery, while retaining much of the wide-eyed fantasy view of his early compositions.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/4/2005
  • Label: Universal Uk
  • UPC: 602498225127
  • Catalog Number: 9822512
  • Sales rank: 42,506

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tyrannosaurus Rex Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor
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