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"When will he come up for air,
Will anyone ever care?."
Dandy in the Underworld - Marc Bolan.
T.Rex - Dandy in the Underworld
List of Reviewers
=== Review by Kat ===
Some thoughts on the "album of the month" in Tillerworld....."Dandy in the Underworld."
This album seems to be Marc's most autobiographical in his entire career...ironic that it would be his last. It is a moment of lucidity before he was lost to us forever, and I always find this album to be rather bittersweet because of this.
In "Jason B. Sad" Marc sings "rock and roll is cruel" to the beat of a slowed down "Get it On" riff. And of course the title track seems also to be a reflection of Marc himself the "Prince of players, pawn of none....exalted companion of cocaine nights." The lyrics on this album are terrific....gone are the cluttered fantastical lyrics that bogged down some of the mid '70's albums. You get the sense on this album that Marc really had something to say, and wanted others to hear it. Some of the images are among his best..."You can mix your martinis from the blood of the sun"...."I fed him with my nightmares, and he ate my dreams as well."
The songs themselves are tight, well constructed melodies.. There is not a more perfect pop song than "Soul of My Suit" is there? My only tiny complaint is that there are a little too many keyboards on a few songs....if those were toned down a bit, it would have rocked a little more.
And there you have it! It is my favorite of the post Slider albums. :-) One thing that has colored my experience of this album, and I don't know why I feel I should mention it, is that my CD was one of the Marc on Wax reissues, and the cover has a picture of Marc smiling/laughing in a wild Rainbow jacket......it is such a great, happy picture of Marc, I prefer it to the real cover, that stark black and white, round shot of Marc's face. When I think of Dandy I think of Marc in this colorful jacket and it just makes me smile.
How does this album stand up for the rest of the Tillers? Do tell........
=== Review by Gerry ===
Nice to read your review. This is one of my favourite Bolan albums too, and last time we reviwed this on thelist, there was a thread going about did Marc produce this or not. Things got a bit hot under the collar, and someone was removed from the list. I feel a bit guilty about that after all these years.
On my first listen to it in 1977 I thought it was a load of crap, I was so disappointed, but after the 2nd play I had slotted it in. It didn't/doesn't sound like any other T.Rex album which is perhaps why many don't share my opinion. True there are keyboards galore, but they shimmer to my ears. Marc's guitar playing is red hot, very simple but done with so much feeling, ie. Hang Ups. I think he sounds young and rejuvinated, dynamic and full of life and ready to go.......... on top of things again. The darker tunes like Pain and Love sound like the other side of the learning process, same for Dandy In The Underworld too.
And then there is the production (I believe Marc was at the controls). It still sounds very contemporary to me. I love how the hi-hats are so prominent, (Jason, Hang Ups, and even on I Love To Boogie) almost like they have a track devoted especially. They slice through the mix like a razor.
Then there is the inspired genius on the bass guitar (Herbie). I've never heard such slinky bass lines before or since. I've been hypnotised by his bass playing, and have just listened to the bass several times from beginning to end. I get the impression Marc gave the band freedom so that they too could have a chance to express their ability. Again possibly why it sounds so different from previous T. Rex releases. Being a fan though, I see each album as being a progression, but with hindsight, this was the one that made the biggest boldest leap for new ground. The songs are totally Bolan, short crisp classics.
I could go on and on, I love this album, and I agree with you about Soul of My Suit being a pop classic (and the name of an 80's Bryan Ferry bootleg too!!). Seeing him perform it on TOTP was a delight. At the time the appearance came and went so quickly, but something struck me as different. Years later when it became available on video I relaised there was none of the camp (was he saving it for the Marc shows?) and high spirits, but definite communication. I am going on, so I'll stop.
I LOVE THIS ALBUM LOTS!!!!! Gerry (*)
=== Review by MarcO 2 ===
Interesting reading the reviews and opinions, I did this yonks ago but can't remember what I wrote, it's out there somewhere 'cos I saw it a few months ago, never had the guts to read what I said though.
In a five star world this is definitely a four star album, the one you can lend to someone to introduce them to Marc.I think now that Dandy is the strongest song on the album and visions of domino the weakest, although I love the line "I'd freeze the sun to kiss her ear" sounds like he really meant it. A lot of the songs had guitar solos, Dandy, Jason, Suit, Groove a little, it seems Marc had been practicing hard.It gave Marc a lot of his credibility back and pointed to Marc having turned a corner.
I think the album needs to be assessed hand in hand with the Dandy tour. It sounded great and fresh, they looked great, especially Marc, they were very together and seemed happy, had Marc lived I don't suppose any band members would have left in the near future. As for the production I think it was fine, if I had a complaint it would be that it's too precise if you can have such a thing. Listening to the studio chat from Marc on the out-takes, I'd say he sounded pretty much in charge of what was going on. If you were going to make your last ever album, you couldn't wish for better legacy to leave.
=== Review by Paul ===
Very good review of "Dandy". What I'm about to write is not a review, but a reflection on that album. In the late 70's I was still living in Fremont, just north of your San Jose, so I couldn't just walk into a record shop and buy T.Rex records, the only ones they had were "Electric Warrior", "Slider", "Tanx", and "Light Of Love" (all American releases).
To me "Dandy In The Underworld" was Marc Bolan getting back to the T.Rex sound I first fell in love with in 1971 with "Electric Warrior". After "Tanx" I was very disappointed in the musical direction Marc was going. When "Light of Love" came out in 1974, and I first put on the record, I couldn't believe what I was hearing from my idol. I never did like the American soul/funk sound, which is reason I liked the English groups, and to hear my idol Marc Bolan playing the music I despised, well I was devastated. I said to myself 'no more T.Rex for me' and became a Kiss fanatic, hey and they were American and they rocked, also around this time I got heavily into Queen. Then in 1977 I discovered Punk and T.Rex was becoming a distant memory.
Then in September 1977 I hear Marc Bolan dies, my reaction surprised me, I broke down and cried, and I thought I was over T.Rex but apparently not. Those early albums "T.Rex (brown album)" thru "Tanx" made more of an impact on me than I thought, and started to listen to them again. I also ordered "Futuristic Dragon" and "Dandy In The Underworld", also the 45 "Celebrate Summer" thru mail order. I thought I owe it to my idol to have all his records. "Futuristic Dragon" was better than "Light Of Love" but not by much. Then I put on "Dandy" and "Celebrate Summer" and was pleasantly surprised with it's New Wave sound. I really got to missing Marc Bolan at this time and felt cheated. His music was getting back to a more "Electric Warrior" sound mixed with New Wave, and I knew he would of put out some awesome records hadn't he died.
Of course today I love all of Marc's music, even the releases I didn't like between 1974-1976 with "Dandy In The Underworld" being my favorite post "Tanx" release. Wow! this is my longest post to the list in quit some time, thanx Kat for getting me going :-)
=== Review by Zac ===
Ok time to be even more unpopular than ever (Dandy and Cats , Has he no heart ?)
Before I start remember that to me Marcs Average was better Than Mosts best, I have tried to look at the album without my Marc tinted Glasses It would have been easy to say woww everything is fantastic so I haven,t (G)
Dandy in the underworld. Released 11.02.77
What to make of the last official album release If You are looking for another Slider or Electric warrior ,,Forget it If you are looking for an overlooked masterpiece ala Zinc Alloy ,, Forget it
What do we get ? Well certainly a band that is tight and almost floorless (Over ? ) production By Marc The sound is clear and precise Ok The songs
This album has several stand out tracks , maybe even classics but suffers from IMHO overproduction (By Whoever it was) The rockier element in the main has been tamed down but still pokes its nose out at you in certain songs
A very Good Album but not up there in A Creamed Class Still Signs That Marc had rediscovered His unique Wordplay and on hearing quite a few Concerts promoting Dandy The Future was Bright. Just not as exciting as The classic line up. Maybe technically better but certainly not as exciting.
Take It Easy
=== Review by Paul J ===
Thanks for "doing" Dandy. It is good to hear your opinions and feelings on this album - I must admit it is not one of my favourites but I think that it has an important place in the Bolan story. I feel that Dandy was a sign that Marc was beginning to mature and develop into a more settled phase of life.
The production on the album is the best of any T.Rex album in terms of its clarity and smoothness of sound. The album has a "luxurious" feel to it - completely at odds with the raw energy of punk which was so prevalent at the time (which was a great disappointment to me when it was released). This maturity and quality is enhanced by the simple b/w cover with the clean cut masculine Marc. I don't know why but I always equate the "look" and "feel" of Dandy to "Electric Warrior" in that they are both such classy products (but different musical styles).
As a simple "pop" album I think it is outstanding (but T.Rex and Marc Bolan were always so much more than just a pop band to me). I love some of the tracks on it - "I'm A Fool For You Girl" and "Universe" are superb and I think they could have been a taster of future Bolan offerings - I like to think that Marc was on the verge of tapping into punk's primal energy and producing some wildly fantastic 3 minute classics again (I don't need to name them, do I....?....*G) but I suspect that the reality is that he was more likely to have headed down a pop / funk / disco alley...with Thin Faced Sally....but then again...I am sure that this would have produced some great music as well.....
Did my review of the Pure Magic CD ever make it to the list (?) because I cannot remember seeing it.....anywaaay - I think there are some fantastic songs on there - where Marc is heavily influenced by the Soul sounds of the USA and FFYG and Universe would have been a musical direction where Marc would have produced some great quality country / funk / pop'n'soul. As for Soul of My Suit - I agree with you 100% regarding the verse - one of Bolan's finest rhythms / melodies / lyrics - and then we get that bloody awful chorus - ruins the song for me (well - not really ruined but Marc could have and should have done so much better - pure laziness on his part I reckon - a sign of a lot of his songwriting in his later years - seemed to settle for the easy rhymes just for the sake of it with no real attempt to create a meaningful or intelligible lyric).
I agree with you about the bittersweet sadness of this being Marc's last official album - with some of his most personal / autobiographical lyrics - which are very melancholic in places (Dandy, Jason, Pain and Love) - I wish this had been more successful for Marc when he was alive - but I sometimes wonder about his commercial / business sense - did you know that on the last T.Rex tour they were selling the album to fans at gigs - a week before the album was released in the shops - crazy in terms of undermining the chances of getting a decent chart position if your most loyal fanbase has already bought the thing from the back of a lorry - but I guess Marc made a little bit more cash that way....hmmmm ? Ta ta for nowZCPX
=== Review by Vampyre ===
I gave Dandy In The Underworld a listen last night; my first in quite a while.
For many of the American fans, we had barely received and listened to our latest imported jewel from Marc when we received the devastating news that he was gone and this would be the last album . Being the last album, I think most of us look at it as his final thoughts and reflections on life before departing this world and one cannot help but look at this album with that sentiment in mind. Too many years and too many post mortem albums have passed so here are my somewhat random thoughts and how I view the album NOW. I have managed to keep my thoughts in order with the track listings.
Something has always bothered me about this album and I finally put my finger on it last night. The tempo is too slow and the drumming seems very clumsy, ordinary and overwhelming. I know the drummer is either Herbie Flowers or Ainsley Dunbar and both played for Bowie. I never had a complaint on the Bowie tracks; so I would guess the fault lies with the producer (and I guess that is debatable though I never knew that until this week). On the other hand, Bolan's vocals are outstanding & interesting (as always).
I have a new rating system based on my having a CD recorder/burner. I have too many CDs which translates into "too much shit to wade through". I am referring to all the artists I collect not just T.Rex. I put together a lot of CDR compilations. There are 6 out of 12 tracks on Dandy that I would possibly include on a T.Rex compilation. 6 good/great songs out of 12 isn't too bad for any album. Interesting note: Shortly before Marc's death, I made a cassette compilation. There are songs on it from Dandy that I would not include now and songs that didn't make it then that would be on it today if I were putting together the same tape. Ask me how I feel about this album in another 24 years and my opinion will probably change again.
=== Review by Karen 2 ===
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Dandy with us all, I always consider this album to be my re-discovery of Marc album I have to confess I wandered away from Marc during Zip gun, Dragon period, he wasn't the Marc I grew up with, but of course discovering he was touring with the Damned in 77 I had to go and see him partly for nostalgia reasons, and of course I had discovered The Damned and punk in a big way by then.
Of course seeing Marc back slim, fit and definitely back again I discovered Marc again. I first heard these tracks live so of course the Lp was a must for me, I won't say it was one of Marcs best, but as Marco pointed out what a legacy to leave.
My fave track is of course Dandy, but I love around 75% of the Lp which is more than I can say for Zip Gun (whoops better not go down this road :-) The tragedy though I always think of Marcs death when I hear this Lp I guess it reminds me how cruelly he was snatched away just as he was on the way back to being the Marc I loved so much.
Just my thoughts
Karen(Torchgirl of the marshes) on my way to play Dandy.
=== Review by Rob ===
Well I was only FIVE when Dandy was released (he he he) so I can't even remember it's release. However, when I eventually came round to hearing it, about eleven years later I was overjoyed that Marc had gone out on a high. I had heard Futuristic Dragon before Dandy and had feared the worse with Marc's final release. However, Dandy cheered my heart greatly. I instantly felt it was filled with powerful, heart-felt, well-thought through tunes. Yes, there was plenty of bullshit in the songs but the difference was it was intellectual bullshit - Marc knew it was there and was using it to hook in his critics. Teen Riot Structure indeed!
This is the most listened Trex album of the 73-77 era, by me anyway. It's the one I always go back to and it's the one I judge him by (not remember him by but judge him by). He had come through the darkness of the mid seventies he was definately back on track to get back into the mainstream pop-light. Which makes it all the more sad to listen to. I'm always touched by it, especially 'Soul of my Suit', which is my fave from it.
=== Review by Marco ===
A Bolanic revision of Orpheus Descending
Well, where do we begin? By delivering a bold statement I suppose. This album is the closest thing to perfection that Marc ever achieved. Oo err, I already sense some of you racing to ya keyboards. Let's start with the cover, we never seem to review covers here, this ones perfect, great pic of Marc sporting long hair, thank gawd, I never did like that short hair cut, and the peep hole on the outer jacket was probably Marcs idea trying to cut down on the expenses, thus aiding the prevention of global warming and teaching the lord chancellor a thing or two about saving money without losing out on quality and presentation.
O.K. Track one, Dandy, this has got to be autobiographic, read between the lines, I think this was Marc saying that he accepts he'll never reach those giddy heights of success again and, to some part, the reason for his fall from grace. Still, this is a musical revue so all I gotta say is I love this song, Harleys backing works perfect here, audible, without treading on Marcs vocals. I love the "shuddup 'n'shoo be doos" typical Bolan verse, chorus, verse, with the shoo be doos for a little bit of variation, MacCartney is very good at this also, a good idea when a song runs for 5 mins or so don't ya think? Crimson moon is a clever little ditty worked around the colour thing.
Marc sounding especially good on vocals here and some nifty guitarwork as well I might add, a typical Bolan album track this also suitable as a B side.
Universe I suppose would have been about two years old by the time of release of the album, a comment that also applies to visions, a song previously titled Funky London Child, I'm not sure though, can anyone enlighten me? I like Universe very much even tho there's not much to it, much credit to Marc for turning a simple tune into a great one, another good album track. I Love to Boogie, well what can i say that hasn't allready been said, yes it's a rip off, but Marc deserves all the credit here for turning a mediocre song into a great one, is anyone getting the picture yet?
To Be continued...
=== Review by Syd ===
I was fortunate enough to get invited to the press reception of Dandy at the Roxy Club in London. Wow, what a coup could not believe it, recognition from the man him self. Its hard to believe even now that Marc even remembered my name albeit taking three years of saying Hi Marc I'm Syd.
Come the day of the big party Paul Morley and I traveled to London on the train making sure we arrived at the Roxy club early, didn't want to miss anything. Got inside the club, Dandy playing in the background all night. All the grog was FREE --oh no I'm going to be wrecked tomorrow, no self control. It was like a parade of stars arriving - Johnny Rotten with tar black hair, Harry Nilsson, Donovan Leitch, Linda Lewis, The Damned, all of the new T Rex and many more.
Marc and Gloria arrived late. Why I don't know, but Gloria asked me to get her and Marc a drink. Gloria asked for a G & T and Marc will have a Perrier. Amazement, I said to Gloria - doesn't he want a Bloody Mary which I could remember he used to drink. No she said quite firmly, he doesn't drink alcohol any more, definitely a Perrier. So like a lap dog I got the drinks Gloria requested and passed them to her and Marc.
Marc then proceeded to say Hi to everybody. Pause. This was a time of change and transition for me. I had lived, breathed and drank T Rex for seven years. Although it was really cool to be part of it, the extreme magic was no longer there. I was looking forward to moving to and working in the USA - Minnesota beckoned and an exciting future awaited me. I hate to say it, but I was beginning to take it all for granted.
As the night wore on and I got more blotto, it was time to confront Johnny Rotten. Paul had recently written a review of a Pistols gig for the NME. JR was stood on his lonesome for a lot of the night? Paul was very reluctant to meet him, but like a true blue trooper I said " Hi Johnny I'm Syd this is Paul Morley" , " Oh, YOU'RE Paul Morley ARE YOU'! Oh shit Paul, what did you write about this guy. Anyway they ended up talking about a load of literary crap. No Problem.
Time has dimmed the memory of the night somewhat but I can remember Dandy playing in the background constantly for hours. The last thing I can remember about the night is not many people, Marc and Gloria had left, Harry Nilsson at the Bar and Captain Sensible stood in the middle of the stage with a girl, his hand down the girls blouse, with a spot light on him.
This is where the logistical problems started. Had to get to Euston railway station, get some sleep in the waiting room, catch the early train to Birmingham. Meet up with Caron Thomas and Steve Gridley, pick up a car, and get to Newcastle that night for the first gig of the tour. Shit - Caron had brought a cassette player with her and had taped a copy of Dandy and she played it and played it and played it and played it - get the picture! We got to Newcastle, Paul (as token NME reporter wangled a seat on the T Rex Coach). Caron, Steve and I continued through the motorway network and Dandy played on and on and on and on AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHH.
Dandy had been on release for approx. 2 days and Caron had driven me to desperation with it. To this day she does not know how her tape got corrupted as we traveled between T Rex gigs. It was at a motorway cafe, I 'accidentally' pressed the red button along with the play button as we got out of the car for lunch.
For me Dandy in the Underworld Album bore no resemblance to T Rex Live in 1977, it did Marc a disservice, live he was awesome, on vinyl he had the potential to be awesome, but it didn't happen for me on Dandy, however if Tony V was at the mixing desk, who knows?
=== Review by zoom ===When I came upon Marc's music this album sounded easy to me and listened to a lot. Then, after I moved on to Zinc Alloy and Futuristic Dragon, Dandy became the least playing album of his. In '77, the time was the general public finally acknowledged Punk/New Wave and whole market was on to it. Even the trendy Stones finally wiped off their make ups in five years, backed to leather jackets but this time in black.
Our born-rebel Marc go for New Wavy? Of cause not. He pursued POP instead. Unfortunately the public saw the field had been already cultivated, at the time anything out of reggae or shocking was the sell-key. Now listened to Dandy again in years how catchy it was. Add little more reverbs and sharp gates, bring the sounds more upfront, some songs would be like.... early '80's Bowie mega hits. Master-mind Bowie foresaw it and waited it until the New Wave fades away. On the other hand, wilful Marc the time wasn't on his side when whither New Wave, or DANCING QUEEN FLY LIKE AN EAGLE ROCKY HOTEL CALIFORNIA RICH GIRL FEELS LIKE A FIRST TIME DON'T STOP I FEEL LOVE BABY, WHAT A BIG SURPRISE era....
Marc seemed somewhat little objective on this album. Was he intentionally restraining, detaching from his songs? If he was, that's REAL chic. Because we had to wait another 10 more years for stoical song writing became popular. Looking at his foot-prints he was still running way ahead than the rest./zm
=== Review by Simes ===Dear Tillers,
So I take it that 'Dandy .......' is to be the Album Of The Munf and a most assuredly astute and obvious selection.....so pin back yer lug'oles 'cos the Lilac Hand of Mental Simes (Marc, forgive me for me bastardisation on yer words) is about to sally forth into the realms of rattlin'......time to uncork that bottle of red wine and roll that fat 'un, 'cos surely afterwards, it will all make sense......?
As Soft Cell sang (well, Miss Almond sang and Dave Ball plinked along to) in me yout', "times were hard and money tight" and for some bizarre (pun-link there) reason T.Rex LP's seemed to coincide and collide with birthdays and T.Rexmas's's's's's. So in 1977 Dandy was released in February, a month or so before me 15th birthday on 30 March and it was imperative to get down town (pronounced 'daantaan' in Nottingham-ese) (take note, Mystic Rickster as there will be questions at the end of the lesson) with my birthday £££'s and watch eagerly, anxiously, oooooh, you know, revved up-edly as the dopey uninterested assistant "I like the Bay City Rollers and Flintlock" (non UK Tillers, just DON'T ask about the latter, Ruzzzzzz, I dare leave it to you to explain, if I may be so bold) pulled the matt black and uncreased or unfingerprinted, totally pristine sleeve from the rack, the glaring white of the sleeve proudly and arrogantly and indeedy defiently shouting T. REX letting everybody in the vicinity know I was a T. Rex fan, then wow!!!! I realised it was the 'Bolan's Zip Gun' sleeve excitement all over again with the cut-out shape, the hole detectable to me eager fingers through the plastic of the shop bag.
Then on the bus home I satiated me desire and need to open the bag there and then, so pulled out a 12" (calm down, some certain Tillers who will remain nameless (wildness) !) PVC album cover and delicately slid the Dandy sleeve into it, preserving it. Wow! again at the back cover, Marc looking so fit, calm, together and very knowing, as if to confidently say to those who had doubted him, 'You KNOW I'm back and twice as cool' and the titles - as always - creating a thrill....''Visions Of Domino'; 'Pain & Love' ; 'Crimson Moon' & 'Teen Riot Structure' whatta punky sounding title to a 15 year old so seduced by the spaceball richochet of Punk Rock!
It was straight home and out came the felt pens and stencils and onto the flap of me school duffle bag THAT went, a blasting 'Teen Riot Structure!!!'alongside a lime green underlay of 'Damned, Damned, Damned' and Suburban Studs, Generation X etc. but still there was always Marc present in some kind of stole...er, borrowed from the art room at school dayglo painted splash. See, maybe it is time to uncork that bottle and roll that fat un! It will make sense.
So what am I on about? Personal things once more, but that is what the joy of Marc Bolan is to me. Being able to unleash these things that when unleashed to non-Marc-sters, people say 'Sad bastard' but YOU, everybody, all the cats, you know who you are, YOU all know what Marc means. Being beaten up repeadedly at school from age 11 for being a queer, and liking / loving / whatever Marc merely accelerated their hated vibes, but constantly Marc was there, for me to take solace in.
So, getting back to 'Dandy......' this album coincided with a particularly bad time in me young life, mega - homophobia ruled (before the word was invented or discovered, maybe?) but altho' I don't wanna turn this into a rant or issue re: gay rights or hey! I'm gay! sorta thing, but since that tender age of 8, Marc was always there saying 'Do it, be yourself' and I was PROUD to be a Bolan fan........or whatever the word is. So again to get back to the point, Marc Bolan has always meant soooo much, but I don't have to preach or convince you lot! I had intended this to be the good ole track by track what I think blah blah blah, but essentially, this LP saw me returning home, fucked up, bloodied and bruised and thinking why are they doing this to me??? and listening to 'We have travelled pain and love to call ourselves high born, living in a maze so crazed, lunacy is legend.....' and going back the next day to the same quantity of shit, but knowing that at home 'Dandy' was awaiting. I do hope I'm not being toooooo boring, Fellow Tillers, but as 16.09.97 approaches it makes me take stock of everythaaaang. Spesh with the shocking news about Princess Diana. Then switch on the video and see Marc on 'Get It Together' doing 'Dandy In The Underworld' and seeing THAT grin and it all comes together.
Quoting that man again:
"Some people laugh
And some people cry;
Some people live
And some people die"
Laser Love till dawn
Your very own
Simon Giddy RarnChilde. kiss kiss kiss
=== Review by Michel ===About two years ago, just before I joined Till Dawn, Marc and T.Rex meant five Tyrannosaurus Rex albums (including the T.Rex brown album) and three good rocking T.Rex albums (EW, Slider and Tanx).
The only other LPs I had seen were Light of Love and a glimpse of Futuristic Dragon in a record store but Solid Gold Easy Action being the last single I had heard, I just went my way... having enough material to enjoy anyway.
It is actually Claude, my brother in law - a great collector of pop and blues - who recently had also bought all the 'new' T.Rex CDs (from ZINC to DANDY). So when visiting him I was attracted by the Dandy cover. I liked the simple presentation, the black and white picture and Marc's eyes. They seemed clear, conscious, finally free from the artificial looks of glam rock (of course I hadn't seen the weird MARC SHOWs).
As Claude tried to convince me that Dragon was superior, I really got into DANDY. I dig that dark confession and decadent feeling in Marc's voice. Crimson Moon was also very incisive and I like the brutal horny approach of the lyrics and the voice. Simple beat but efficient pattern. Universe and Fool are good entertaining teenage rhythms but there's a clever violin that gives Fool a higher dimension. Boogie is impressive for its simplicity as well - a back to basics - fun song and reference to one's origins - who cares if it was strongly inspired...
Lots of violins in Domino and they suit Marc's voice so nicely, crafty arrangements although the mix could have been better. Jason brings us back the old Marc, the one we all knew and followed then in his glory years - a powerful song with the use of a well-known guitar riff... I can't stop from thinking that Groove has got great verses but such a weak chorus... and unfortunately the same attitude even spoils the next song, Soul of my Suit... such a strong concept, image, and possibility but such a 'stupid' rock 'n roll chorus making it sound like a crippled song...
Hang-Ups is a good filler with a good groove interesting enough to lead us into the most powerful song of the album as PAIN & LOVE is a very mature signature. I would have liked Marc to produce a whole album with this style, playing with existential topics, a creative dylanesque-bolanesque universe, unreal, futuristicly timeless dark pessimism, as only real life can do so.
Teen Riot Structure gives a perfect ending to this album and a fast look on deep cataclysmic observations...
I won't go into the extra songs added to the CD but I would like to add that City Port brings another light to the Pain and Love style I would have liked Marc to go on with - and yes I think Gloria and Marc do reach the absolute perfect match in this song... definitely a classic.
So among the last albums (from ZINC to Dandy), DANDY is definitely the best endeavour toward a truly new direction. And eventually, he could have gotten into music making without being influenced by a vanishing fame and a desire to please young teenagers. He would have finally made music to express himself freely, because...
Orpheus had finally come back from hell...
=== Review by Karen ===Dandy to me was definately Marc's best album since Tanx, I think he had lost some of his direction in his previous three albums, I guess he was looking for something, and in Dandy he had reinvented himself, yes he was back!
This album conjures up a lost of special memories for me, I seen Marc on this tour at Manchester apollo with the Damned, it was one of my fave concerts, I was 16 just got into all the Punk thing and in one night here I had Marc and the Damned on one bill. I heard most of this album for the first time that night.
Onto to the album itself I didn't love all the songs straight away, some have grown on me over te years.Dandy I did love on first hearing(still do) I know it has been said before abot it being an autobiographical song, but to me it really is, I could feel what Marc was saying about himself, I think he had looked deep within himself and didn't like what he had seen, I think we can all relate to that at some times in our life.
Crimson Moon and Universe never grew on me to much, I also think you could addI'm a fool for you girl to this section as well, not that they were bad songs, I think it was more me, my own musical tastes were changing at this period, I was at an age where I was finding out different types of music.
The songs that stand out to me on Dandy are
Karen(Torchgirl of the marshes)
=== Review by Chris ===... my review of
Dandy in the Underworld
Let's take you back to 1977. Your hero (for it is I) returns for a weekend to the town of his schooling from the punk paced taste of London. Dismissive he is, caustic he professes and staggers into "Threshold Records" to bump into old school chum (and fellow Bolanophile) Andy behind the counter. Andy has been to see T.Rex in Bristol, "brilliant". Yeah right, says the would be Jonny Bedlam, who buys a couple of "Anarchy in the UK"s to resale for a weeks wages in the Smoke. "They didn't sell, no one's interested in punk round here", as a couple of Starsky & Hutch fans tottered past in their flappy flares. That was as close as I got to listening to "Dandy .." at the time.
Here in the clear blue 99 future, it's time to slip a new disc in the tray. Ice cream anyone?
On this evidence Bolan still had a lot to do and wasn't about to return to the giddy heights of T.Rextasy. A return to the steady business of Tyrannosaurus Rex days I'd say, with the occasional top ten. Bad decisions remain. Why release CS when TMT captured the new sound? Why still chase something as transitory (and damaging) as teenage fandom? He is not about to approach the eternal verities like Bowie, but his own "much loved" niche beckons. Sir Marc Bolan given time, betcha. Of course he'd tell us all he was now Lord Boley of Rarn, but that was all in the trick you see.
What I do detect, just slightly, is a sense of morbidity, of greatest hits rewrites, (a la Scary Monsters) it's almost like a farewell sign off. Even leaving my retrovision shades behind me this still sounds (IMO) more end of era than new start. Was he off to something completely new, or did he know?
=== Review by Dan-D ===Well you know I had to review this one being that it is the album behind my Till Dawn moniker.
Dandy In The Underworld
This was the album where I think Marc combined the sounds of his Slider period and his newer new wave soul boogie rock direction. Marc seemed to be finding his focus again on Dandy and it would have been interesting to see where this direction could have taken him if it hadn't been his last effort. The album is a little bit too polished at times for my taste with the loungey new wave keyboard of Dino Dines but musicwise it was a very tight album. Gloria's background vocals that I felt had dominated the previous work too much are drastically reduced. Lots of different musician combinations made me wonder if Marc still was trying to find the right mix. Three different bass players on one album? Four if you count Marc playing bass on Pain and Love.
=== Review by Pierre ===I bought an import copy of 'Dandy' in Paris in 1977. I clearly remember being in the train, back from Paris, looking avidly to the sleeve. Futuristic wasn't released here and I didn't know 'Dandy' would be. I turned to never buy the french one, something I regret now. The french release had not the circle cut on the front, simply the whole pic, I think that was partly the reason why I didn't buy it when I could : cheaper release as for 'Zip Gun'.
I like the black & white cover, with the Slider font. I'd read the English papers, met Marc too, during the french tour. The interviews he gave at that time were more mature than during the 73/76 period. Marc seemed wiser, as if he'd killed his bad demons. Having seen him for real made that he became a human being in my mind, while he could have been partly virtual before. I'd grown myself, being now seventeen, more mature myself.
The general atmosphere of the album is a weird homogeneity when you look at the different players involved. Marc had succeeded in taking the control. I agree though that IMO it seems too polished. Would it have rocked a little more, getting more wild, it would have been a GREAT album.
[ Doves | People | Prophets | Unicorn | Beard | T.Rex | Electric | Slider | Tanx | Zinc | Zip Gun | Dragon | Dandy ]