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(Credit: ABC Television)


Revisit Marc Bolan and T. Rex' scintillating performance of 'I Love to Boogie' back in 1976


There was a point in time when Marc Bolan and T. Rex were the ultimate kings of the British scene. Their glam rock glory extended far beyond the reaches of frivolous glitter or starry-eyed smilies. Bolan, especially, was seen as the poet du jour, Britain’s answer to Jim Morrison and countless other superlatives that suggested he was the pinnacle of rock. It is through recordings like the below that we can witness just how majestic he was.

As an artist, Marc Bolan is touted, by turns, as being the inventor of glam-rock, punk and even rap music. While these labels might be akin to pinning a sticker onto a river, the point remains that a hell of a lot of artistry flowed from the bountiful reservoir of creativity that Bolan harnessed throughout his life. That life, however, was fated to be tragically short.

Having struggled for several years with addiction and creative confusion, in 1977, at only 29-years-old, the pioneer behind so much pop culture was killed in a car crash. That year had seen Bolan beginning to once again reach his potential for pop stardom. The footage below, however, comes from the year prior and shows that Bolan was starting on his journey back to the top.

The wild outfits, kaleidoscopic imagery and sonic experimentations, however, would never have seeded if some superb songwriting didn’t prop them up. One of the perfect songs in Bolan and T. Rex’s repertoire was, the simply undeniable and wondrously brilliant, ‘I Love To Boogie’.

This song from the 1976 album Dandy in the Underworld is T. Rex’s most recognisable and popular hit. However, the song was released to controversy, primarily due to its resemblance to Webb Pierce’s ‘Teenage Boogie’, prompting rockabillies to burn copies of the single at an event held in a pub on the Old Kent Road, south-east London.

Despite this, the song, along with the rest of the album, rescued T. Rex after their popularity started to wane from 1974 onwards. The track is the purest evocation of joy in the rock canon and was introduced to a whole new generation of young people when it was used in the 2000 drama, Billy Elliot. However, nothing compares to some of the original performances of the song, including this majestic one from December 1976.

Hear Marc Bolan and T Rex deliver a scintillating rendition of ‘I Love To Boogie’ below: