Monday, 10 March 2014

Version City #24 - Loose Fur sing Tyrannosaurus Rex

I read recently that four Marc Bolan albums are about to get another deluxe reissue treatment. They are, transitional delights 'A Beard of Stars' and 'T.Rex', the last LP of the 'classic' period, 'Tanx' and the sprawling, experimental, some might even say self-indulgent, 'Zinc Alloy & the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow'. Each album comes with the requisite plethora of bonus tracks, demos and out-takes.

The news made me stop and calculate just how many times I've been here before. 'A Beard of Stars' 5, 'T.Rex' 4, 'Tanx' 5 and 'Zinc Alloy' 4 - that's the number of times I've bought each of these albums on various formats over the years. The previous reissue programme, in the early noughties, threw up some fascinating bonus tracks and I'm sure there are many more to be discovered here. No doubt some of the rarities from the last go round aren't duplicated this time, so the completest in me would need to keep those older versions too. These LPs are important to me and will always be in my collection in some form or other, but can I really justify buying them all yet again?

Considering T.Rex were my first love, you might expect that one of their titles would be my most purchased LP - not so. That honour is shared between Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde' and 'Kind of Blue' by Miles Davis, each of which I've shelled out for a remarkable 7 times in various versions! I'm sure many reading this will have purchased a few favourite albums at least three times - the original LP, the first CD issue and a remastered upgrade. Many of the core components of my collection are into at least their third copies. Dylan, Bolan, The Clash, Triffids, Marley, Miles Davis, Costello, John Coltrane, Robyn Hitchcock - virtually entire catalogues replaced at least twice, sometimes more. If I hadn't spent so much money upgrading stuff I already had, I could've bought another couple of hundred different albums. It makes you think.

But wait, I've let my duplication dilemma run away with me. I originally mentioned the Bolan reissues as a way of introducing an inspired cover of 'Organ Blues' from 'A Beard of Stars'. Loose Fur, the band formed by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, producer/experimental musician Jim O'Rourke and drummer Glenn Kotche, released two LPs, an eponymous debut in 2003 and the brilliant 'Born Again in the USA' in 2006, but this lo-fi performance was recorded at their first ever gig, back in May 2000, after only a couple of days rehearsal.


Anonymous said...

Credit to Loose Fur for digging deep into the Bolan vaults for that one. Actually, one of my favourite Marc songs. As for reissues, I'm sick of them, though I do get tempted by them form time to time. I think I've bought a few albums up to four times in different formats but don't you think they are pushing it a bit with Marc now? How many Bolan reissues and expansions have they already done? I say that as a massive fan myself. Still, I do now have those two new ones logged in my mind and note, down on your side-bar that someone is touring a 'super-deluxe' Made in Japan by DP. Must wander over to take a looks at THAT one! Only ever bought that three times so far!

Anonymous said...

Looks like I said someone is 'touring' MIJ in deluxe form. I meant 'touting'. Having looked it up, it would seem that I already have all the material in one for or another apart from a few encores of 'Black Night' and the DVD which features merely one clip from one of the MIJ concerts. At £60 plus quid, don't thunk I'll bother.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Blonde on Blonde and Love's Forever Changes I have bought many many times and in different formats, probably my 2 favourite albums, maybe!

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