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"Hippy Gumbo he's no good, chop him up for firewood."
    Hippy Gumbo - Marc Bolan.

Tyrannosaurus Rex - Beginning of Doves

List of Reviewers

=== Review by Rick ===

Well, the much anticipated "Lp of the month Club" choice of "THE BEGGINNING OF DOVES" has arrived. I know I speak for most -if not all of us- when I say that this Lp holds a special place in all our hearts .

The simplicity and vitality that you hear in Marcs voice is so special . I will never understand why he tries so hard to prevent it's release in 1972 as "Hard on Love" reminds me of Marcs holding back on the "Children of Rarn" -he was so preoccupied with "Giving the kids what they want" !!

To think that Marc knocked on a door , with guitar in hand & played these magical songs just as you hear them here. And all of 19 years of age . I still think that Bell did a wonderful job with his "Scare me to Death" Lp. The added instruments IMO were well played and arranged in a manner that was very much in a Bolan vein .

I look forward to all the reviews......... "The ring was the thinh that made it ALL begin"


=== Review by Fee ===

Beginning of Dove - Where do I start?

After getting into T.Rex. I discovered the Tyrannosaurus Rex albums (which did come as a bit of a shock as I too was expecting rocking T.Rex tracks). I soon realized that Tyrannosaurus Rex was different from T.Rex but just as good.

I bought Beginning of Doves as soon as it was released. I was overjoyed with the album. It has a 'pre-Tyrannosaurus Rex' quality and feel to it and I was ecstatic to discover the little intro and chat sections included on the album. This gave the album a personal feel which is unique in the albums released during Marc's life.

This album has remained a firm favourite with me ever since.

Most of the tracks are included in the two budget priced CD's (mentioned by Rick). Some, such as Hippy Gumbo are different versions and it is nice to listen to the variation, but many appear to be the same as versions as Beginning of Doves (to my ears anyway).

The two budget CD's are: Marc Bolan Prehistoric (the one with the pic of Marc looking as though he has just got out of bed!) and Marc Bolan - You scare me to death.

A couple of years ago I had an accident with my Vinyl and it got broken (Kids!). So I have it on Tape, but this has the Intro to Jasper C Debussy cut in half (strange). The running order of my review is as the tape.

Side One
1) Jasper C Debussy - Great opening track. Funky Keyboards and punchy rhythm. Love it.

2) Lunacy's back. Laid back and mellow after the intro track. Nice contrast.

3) Beyond the rising sun. Nice whistle and bongos. More like Tyrannosaurus Rex than some of the tracks.

4) Black and White Incident. Introduced by Marc. Another song with a reference to cars. Slower and IMHO one of the best tracks on the album. How can you not believe it when Marc sings "I'm in love with you"?

5) Observations. Simple acoustic track. Lots of references to life around London. Flows effortlessly.

6) Eastern Spell. This track would re-appear on the Tyrannosaurus Rex album Prophets. 7) You got the power. Not a favourite track of mine.

8) Hippy Gumbo. I have heard quite few versions of this song and everyone I love because I love this song. Definitely one of my all time favourite Bolan songs. This is a different version that the one included on "You scare me to death". The version included on 'Doves' is far more simple with less backing and with more 'Larry the. I like both versions but this one really does sound as if Marc in is your living room sitting cross legged in the centre of the carpet. I love the simple, slow, languid, hypnotic version here! And with great lyrics too. Favourite Lyrics include: "Didn't realize at the time that his face and mine were mine". Loved it ever since I first heard it.

9) Sara Crazy Child. Love the 'Am I alone on the River here?" intro from Marc. More upbeat. Strong bongos. Great song. Great tune - Great backing - vocals - Great Lyrics. "Still she's only just a teenager, she's forgotten how to dream". I really like this one.

10) Ring of Fortune. Opening is similar to the end of track 9) Good song but not an all time favourite Interesting lyrics "Killed my lover with a silver spoon".

Side 2
1) Hot Rod Mamma. Cute intro from Marc. Tellopatholly? Appeared on the first Tyrannosaurus Rex Album My People .

2) Beginning of Doves. You can tell that Marc didn't choose this album title because it is named after an album track. Short track - too short. Slow languid song. Nice track. Simple - but its simplicity and the "shussss"'s in the background work well.

3) Mustang Ford. Another where a version was included on the My People. album

4) Pictures of Purple People. Simple acoustic track. Good, but not a real favourite.

5) One Inch Rock. Another Version. I have at least as many versions of this song as I do versions of Hippy Gumbo. And all of them remind me of Mark McL! Slow version. Very sensual. Very simple. Good backing vocals but TOO Short!

6) Jasmine '49'. Nice little track which is OK, but does not quite work (for me).

7) Charlie. Hacking guitar. Love it. Truly Love it. And we've all met people like Charlie (well I have).

8) Misty Mist. Again not a favourite Track.

9) Cat Black. Before the arrival of the wizard's hat. I remember being surprised when I listened to this at the time. I was expecting the Wizard's hat version!

10) Sally was an Angel. Great end to the LP. The heaviest track on the album. More full rocking sound. Leaves me feeling I want More!

So if you can't find Beginning of Doves then get the two budget priced CD's (Prehistoric and You scare me to death.) instead!



=== Review by Timot ===

Hi you lot,
im playing this at the moment on cd,got out the lp on the shelf <still holding up> remember the crash,ho well on the album i scrowled inside the sleeve....timothy wood,the begining of doves...i got this way back on the 1 november in 1976......great yeh ?marc with a chopper,was this micky finns bike i heard he rode one,vlm 601......the covers a bit naff ,i would have thought to have put marc in a pigin pen than next to a bike here it guz

jasper c debussy
the best track of the lot,love that piano player,great lyrica and a fine blend of a blues beat on this,was it surpose to be the title instead of the beggining of doves.?

ME lunacys back
is it a flute or a cheap recorder whistling in the back ground,a smooth loon tune and the slow twanging guitar,bongo tappin pipe blowing melody,this was exciting at the time when i bought this lp,to here the marc raw with out double dubbing his voice,again the words mean so much on this track to me,cos im a loon <j> or is it ?....?

behond the rising sun
the raw version,as most tillers know i love the raw power of marc.. but still love that reggy version of it,,,,,.imagine being a hippy at this time singing along with this...nice blend of couros towards the end a beautiful come together of words,love it still xxxxxx

black and white incident
i dont want a black and white cadalac car,i dont want a black and white jaguare; i love these lyrics to bits,again on the scare me to death lp the revamped version on cherry red is fantasticly made up,yet it was a superb song and hereing it know still makes me quiver all overrrrrr.ahhh

some hill billy in this i fink ?sounds very american....great !

eastern spell
another boster as we say here in the midlands,short and sweet and crammed with a rythem all on its own,this one i dont know why gives me an impression it was not ment for this album,,,,,,sounds different to the rest.

you got the power
if only...?teddy bears with broken faces.......did marc have a terrible night mare and write about his experiance of it.....the twisting of' headless horses with distorted bad time night mare faces'what went through this gueinus imagination of marcs,tunes well with some thing out of Steven King novel.

hippy gumbo
blues ,blues ,terrific words from marc tells a great storey.

sarah crazy child
da da da daa.....did marc bollock them for not starting on time,till a great tune and a great ehco naa naa naarrr,this is my second favorite track....accustics are great,was it song down a mine shaft......?smashing.

rings of fortune
yep....tiz a nice beat another da da da daddaaaaarr


hotrod momma
this is the dogz bollox on this track....was marc telepathic,did he tell them or what he could not say the word let alone me spell it,we have something in common,both dislexic.....any way this is a real nice melody from marc a tune you can ride through the states with 500 amp speakers attached to your arse,sorry think about it.

the beggin of doves
great,fantasticly put together by young marc

mustang ford
another car aspect here,pity he could not have song about land rovers,i had one up till last year...yea im gassin S.O.B., a sweet turbulant car,tuned to perfection at that time.....who chicking out on this track,yea another boster

pics of purple people
sad tune to hear its like a begging of a leo sayers song,still good to foot tap to with a few cans of guinness.

one inch rock
classic to hear this version,tempo slower and yet an afrodizziak to play.....gives out a sex apheal to me <sad git>

jasmine 49
i hear it and still think bolan could have stretched out to a single...or did he earlier on,dunno ?

did he know him ?... yes a string of lyrics to ryme and time with this one

misty mist
great,heres the tallent i love

cat black
smashing song,this will always be in my heart,dunno why i fink its a lot because being a spotty infested teenager at the time i played it a lot,cos we had a black cat called smut.....i love pussy's....the hairy type....wash your mind out with soap...ho god the meow purrrr purrr scratchy one....kin heck

sally was an angle
yes this track starts out fine and going great guns,then the electric version splices in,still you can hear the great difference from accustic to a near rock sound he displayed clearly.still a good track on it.

in all,the wrangles that went on about this lp,marc putting the breaks on,was he ashamed of his past material,i think not,just another mile stone on his path inwhich songs liked this shaped his life,the true goal of marcs life towards the end was get back to basics.

=== Review by Karen ===

Really glad this is L.P of the month, as it is a particular favourite of mine.I really love marcs early stuff, i feel it is very underated, to me marc was at his most creative during his tyrannosaurus rex years.

Like some of the other reviewers, i don't know why marc didn,t want this stuff being released, maybe at the height of his fame, this just wasn't commercial enough.

Love the picture of marc next to the bike, you just knew he wouldn't be ever riding it, but god does he look pretty next to it!

Jasper c debussey, the opening track, has a real honky tonk (bluesy) feel to it, really like this track. Great keyboards as well.

Lunacy's back quite like this track, even the flutey bits, i think it really adds something to it. Was marc the pied piper in a previous life?

Beyond the rising sun, another favourite of mine, it has a real hippy feel to it, so reminiscent of the late 60's a period i relate to very much.This is a song you just close your eyes to, and you are instantly transported elsewhere( well i am)

Black and white incident, not one of my fave tracks, found it a bit short, sort of unfinished.

Observations, another song which doesn't do much for me, like the lyrics though.

Eastern spell, what a beautiful song,beautiful lyrics,beautiful voice another song to transport you elsewhere. This is marc at his very best.

You got the power, nice song, only complaint though, is one or two songs are a bit short.(marc i wanted more!)

Hippy gumbo, this has to be one of my alltime favourite bolan songs. It conjurs up a really dark atmosphere, almost satanic, just love it, as he is singing you are just waiting for something to happen.

Sara crazy child, a much happier song,like the bongos on this track, also like marcs little intro's, they do make the album more personal.

Rings of fortune, another good song, there really isn't much off this L.P i don't like, maybe daa - da - da - dass, are a bit repetitive.

Hot rod mamma this sonng always reminds me of Elvis's "that's alright" don't know why i could imagine elvis singing this song. I think Elvis has influenced him on one or two tracks. Marc proving what a perfectionist he was at the end of this track.(I think he was telling the band off) Great song.

The beginning of doves, joint favourite with hippy gumbo, a very sultry song marc sounds "oh so sensual" marc at his very best again. I can't quite catch his reference to Jefferson Airplane at the end of the track,(another fave band of mine)

Mustang ford, marc certainly had a thing for writing about cars didn't he, a pretty average song, not poetic enough for me.

Pictures of purple people, I love marc's vocals on this track, he really did have a most beautiful voice,especially when accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Although i don't entirely agree that marc sold out when he went electric, i can see where they are coming from.

One inch rock a classic track, another fave of mine, nice rythm what more needs to be said?

Jasmine 49, sorry to sound repetitive, nice song marc, nice acoustics. This song always makes me want to strum along with it.

Charlie, another good track, obviously sung about someone, another one to get out your guitar and join in.

Misty mist, back to marc being sultry again(as no one else can) this song has almost a medeival feel to it, any minute someone with a loot is going to join in.

Cat black another fave track, like you timot, it reminds me of black cats i have owned over the years, loved cats always had them,don't get me rabbitting on about cats, i would like to finish this review today!

Sally was an angel, another elvis influenced track, i can take it or leave it.

Sorry to be very biased towards this L.P, but i just love it, however simple some of the tracks are. Have you finished yours yet stewart?


=== Review by MarcO ===

With everyone doing a "Doves" review, I'll try a different approach, otherwise I'll only be echoing what's allready been said.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. Mr Napier-Bell gets a phone call from a kid who says he wants to send him a tape, shortly after, a very young Marc, turns up on Mr B's doorstep with his guitar for a demo session.

Napier Bell must have thought all his Christmases had come at once, a handsome, no pretty, young man to share his bed, plays guitar "adequately, but lo and behold, he's brought along a "goldmine" of whimsical lyrics, the likes of nobody has heard before. Add that to the fact that Marc was somehow able to put these very complex rhymes together with an even more sophisticated melody.

Probably, Napier-Bell's biggest problem was Marcs Vibrato voice. There never really would have been a problem with the "voice" had Marc been singing such dittys as "No milk today" or "Needles n pins" and the like.

No indeed, Marcs problema, as they say here in Spain, was that even then, he was way way ahead of his time. Lyrically, IMO, Marc had somehow combined the "Flower power" serenity, with another form of musical hard drive, that wasn't due to emerge untill shortly before his untimely death.

So, Napier-Bell does what? He sticks Marc up front with a bunch of kids, makes sure Marcs vocals aren't too conspicuous, and tries to do a 60s version of Take That.

We all know Marc wasn't having any of that, he had to be the main man, or nothing. The rest is history. Lucky for us, Marc did his solo bit, then his hippy bit, bumped into Tony V. and a star was born. Well, not exactly born, lets just say he had a hell of a long incubation.

When Marcs time came, he took it, milked it, and enjoyed every minute of it, and why not, after all, he created it.

I just wonder though, after "Dragon" what if Marc had decided to give Mr Napier-Bell a ring, if you'll pardon the pun and go into the studio with the very person he'd sought out all those years before. Kismet?

=== Addtional thoughts from MarcO ===

I'm not gonna review this again, mainly 'cos I reviewd it before and cant remember wot I said and dont want to contradict myself.

I echo the thoughts of the Double D, but what I will say is that Mr NB deserves a bit of credit for spotting Marcs talents in the first place. So much so that he considered him worthy of fronting a band.

All of the songs are very strong except for Cat Black, and look what Marc did to that at a later date.

What I cant understand is that on the strength of these songs, no one offered Marc a writers contract.

My faves are "Purple People" and "Rising Sun"

Itis a very significant album for Bolan devotees and considering they're all "Demos" they're very well put together.

If you are un biased and listening to these songs in the 60s, youd have to say the kids onto something.

I think its a great collection, and put it in it's right little niche, it fully deserves 5 stars.


=== Review by MarkMcL ===

If finding Sunken Rags on the Glastonbury Fayre triple album was like discovering a lost Shakespeare sonnet then Beginning Of Doves was like unearthing a complete previously unknown play. Listening to this prequel felt very strange - like time-travel had been invented or I had slipped sideways into a parallel universe where history had taken a different course. It is very obviously pre-My People, like someone had extrapolated Marc's musical progression backward to before time began. The sense of weirdness was compounded by having several tracks I recognised but mostly because of Catblack with completely different words. Too many tracks for me to do an itemised review, just bits and pieces:

Observations. "bopping and shoving and making it in West One" A short geography lesson for non-UK'ers: West One is a postal district, London W1, aka "the West End" right in the centre of London. See also Dire Straits - "walking in the wild West End", Pet Shop Boys - "East End boys, West End girls". It is an area about 1.5 miles (3 km) square including Soho and Oxford Street with many smart shops, restaurants, China Town and media companies, including Marc's office. "Chelsea" is an area about a mile SW of the West End where the posh (upper class) people live which has a trendy and arty image. "Maida Vale" is a residential area about 2 miles NW of the West End with a strong Jewish connection (the rich ones, the others live in Golders Green).

Eastern Spell. A thing of true joy.

You Got The Power. The line "teddy bears with broken faces" really struck me, I used to doodle an illustration for it, which I may have to re-create for you as any notebooks from that era are long gone.

The Beginning of Doves. Gave us that wonderful line "the ring was the thing that made it all begin".

One Inch Rock. My favourite song, fascinating to hear it played slow. Wonder what made him speed it up later.

Sally Was an Angel. Do I not hear more than a little of "Heartbreak Hotel" here - "and I'm so lonely I could die".

That's all folks


=== Review by Michel ===

Definitely a true Time Machine, a journey to the very roots of Tyrannosaurus rex as well as T. Rex for the rock tradition was already rooted deeply in the musical soil.

Many of the titles could have made it on MY PEOPLE WERE FAIR with a little help of Tony.

One is charmed to hear songs with different lyrics and sometimes just trying to find out if it was just another song - Eastern Spell and Aznageel, Catblack...

We could go over each and every song but we'll keep this exercise for the 'official' albums. We'll just encourage the listener to listen carefully to each songs and to just enjoy the time travel for, what's really important is the obvious confidence and conviction of an artist that would conquer the world with his guitar and his poetry. The qualities required to do so are already recorded on this album as well as the reason why the very same and unique artist would inevitably loose his throne - he would always want to go too far, too fast. And the world wouldn't be ready to follow at such a speed, even the collaborators, leaving Bolan to guess everything by himself. He knew time was short...

BEGINNING is an album any true Bolan fan will cherish for the intimate feeling it allows the listener to witness.


=== Review by Stewart ===

Beginning of Doves reveiwed by Stewartt
One of Marc's best album covers{ VLM601 where is that bike now?That would be a real collector's item} Even nicer photo of Marc on the back cover.
I did hear the story of how Marc tried to stop Doves release but that is an other story so i won,t go into that other then i think its why we hear the recording room chatter before the start of some of the tracks a deal one would asume with Marc or the record label to show that the tracks were demo's.

Jasper C.Debussy: what a great opener....full stereo sound with some really Hot session players ,a really rocking piano and an Keith Moon? style drummer, back up organ nice touch, with a hint of Electric guitar in the back ground, at the piano solo the Bass guitar does a great run as does the guitar and Marc's cry MAMA send's the hairs at the back of my neck up, a real cajun creole feeling ,Marc's roots coming out? It could of been one of the many different path's Marc could of taken.

Lunacys Back: the first that we can hear with Steve P. Took a traditional Tyrannosuorus Rex early sound .

Beyond The Rising Sun: Marc and Steve doing some nice vocal overdubs ,for the first time we get the beginning of Marc's classic sound,Great story line,one of my favorites of all time, just takes you away to some where that feel's nice.

Black and White Incident: A real Marc blues song with feeling.

Observations: Slow Marc boogie song a taste of things to come.

Eastern Spell: Marc is starting to get into his magical world with this one.

You Got The Power: Marc's song of his nightmares, not quite finished ,think it was too much for him to go into his nightmares and finish the words to this song.

Hippy Gumbo: This is the song that stir's up a lot of debate among Marc's fans as too it's words,is he talking of him self or someone else .Very errie sound,from his dark side.

Sara Crazy Child: A remake from Marc's work with John's Children,Steve does some nice back up vocals.Prefer the John's Children version a bit better ,this song is made to rock.

Rings of Fortune: The Tyrannosaurs sound starting to come together.

Hot Rod Mama: A rough version of this Marc classic,bass guitarist needed more time with this one.

The Beginning of Doves: Some early magic here,the recording needed a little more work ,Marc's part is great but everybody else in the recording are still learning the song.

Mustang Ford: Short demo version of a later classic.

Pictures of Purple People: Still get really deep feelings when i hear this song,just really moves me. Marc's most under rated song of all time,I would rated better then anything Dylan did.Marc at his best from this time period.

One Inch Rock: My favorite version of this song of all time,The echo on the bogo at the start send's me for the rewind button every time, you can just picture the women Slinking down toward's you.very very sensual.Love how the song speed's up along the way to an climax.Marc had one thing on his mind and he was able to let the listener enjoy the ride with him.

Jasmine Forty-Nine: A very personal song of Marc's ,can,t help but think that he is singing about his own life.

Charlie: An other personal song of Marc's life ,with some great lines in it.

Misty Mist: Early version of the classic,Marc still working on the voice ,nice guitar work and back up vocal from Steve.

Cat Black: love the guitar in this one,Marc's blues tune works really well here,reminds me of one of the old blues greats Blind Blake.

Sally was an Angel: Sort of an experiment here almost two versions of the song mixed into one.not quite right needed more work i feel.

This is good example of Marc's early work well recorded by S.N.Bell could not have been easy for him with such a new kind of musical style.You get the feeling that Marc knew what he wanted to do but the people around him were having a bit of trouble following him

=== Review by Simes ===

Well, how about a Simes Review beginning with......a birthday (just for a change!). This birthday thread with Bolan LP's is a bit kooky and spooooky! Anyway, I got this album in March 1975 for me 13th BD, it was a doubly joyous Bolan Birthday as both me dad and one of me brothers gave me money 'for an album'.. So I got 'Bolan's Zip Gun' and in the racks just behind it in Bradley's Records on Clumber Street, Nottingham, was 'Beginning of Doves'. I was already aware of the album, having read in Record Mirror, Sounds, NME etc. about the court case and Marc not considering that the songs on it represented his current sound. I also remember the feeling of sheer extravagance as I paid for the two Bolan albums. On the bus home, comparing the space-y street gangsteristic feel of BZG with the trippy, airy, light and delicate appearance of BoDoves. A few of track titles were already familiar; Eastern Spell, Hippy Gumbo, One Inch Rock, Cat Black but I was in for such a surprise when hearing them, different to the familiar later versions. It was a big toss up on which album to play first and Bolan 's Zip Gun won.

It was a real joy to compare the two Bolan styles that time in March. I remember looking at the black and silver Track label and seeing Marc's name, such a thrill after being used to seeing The Who's stuff on Track (me eldest sister was a massive Who fan), all those thin tracks shining so nicely in the daylight, also me Dad bought me a Calligraphy set and I tried and tried and tried relentlessly to hand-copy the lettering on the cover.

Anyway, here we go:

Jasper C. Debussy: what a rip roarin' thumping bass driven start to the album. Good honky tonky pub piano flittering throughout it. As I said before, I always thought Marc said "Coal for King Cole, y'know" like the Old King Cole of the nursery rhyme. Later reading that there were a few intro's cut out where he was really verbally vicious. Now, each time I play this track I can catch the edited 'Fuck off or keep cool, y'know' (tanx, LVKleef!). 'He cut out her eyes and he wore them with furs'.....'Jasper he dresses in the darkest of clothes, he wear scarlet pantaloons and five foot pointed toes'......plus the namecheck of the Marquis de Sade, this to me is Marc telling the story of a very dark character.

Lunacy's Back: I imagine the middle of the night, a group of people sitting round a roaring bonfire, either on a beach or in a vast desert, Marc there with his guitar and relating this hypnotic tale. One of the gathering in the shadows beating the pace on a large drum made of skin, another with a hand made flute. All nodding in time to the relentless, soothing beat, listening to Marc's tale.

Beyond The Risin' Sun: a frenetic bongo bashing song that rushes along. 'You'll have heard about the fairyland where the people walk hand in hand, I tell you, I know where it is...' Marc assuming that we, the listener HAVE heard about this place, but then the slap of him saying "You've heard of it, but I've BEEN there!". By the time this song was belting out of the speakers, my family would say "What a row!" and bring out all of the Larry The Lamb comparisons. I love it, it sounds so .....well, unleashed!

Black & White Incident: the title initially made me think of those mid late 50's/early 60's black and white films made in and around London, usually starring Stanley Baker, films like 'The Hell Drivers' and 'The Leather Boys' (I would!!) those 'quintessentially English' films. Chugs along nicely, without effort. Love the line 'I don't want a different woman everyday' which he pronounces as 'I don' waaaaaan a diff'n womaaaa-neveh deh ' and goes into an almost pleading 'I-I-I-aaaaaaah justa want for you to turn turn me on.........'. By now I was thinking "And Marc wanted this stuff to never be released??!!!"

Observations: 'Zipping in the car and make it to the bar, meet up with the guys, make like Babara Streisand'......I always get a real mid 60's London gay buzz with this, it seems like a gang of blokes (be it gay straight bi whatever) all out for a good time, speeding, smoking, popping pills, tripping 'smoking charge and ride a barge' 'blew some smoke and hit a trail and fly' and me favourite verse in this, purely for the back and forth, up and down nursery rhyme-ness of it 'Met a chick , got a flat, got a cat with one leg.....' Kinda reminds me of the feeling I get with Donovan 's 'Sunny Goodge Street'. Hearing 'Throw away your zip gun' made me sit up, as it seemed a bit kooky, me buying Bolan's Zip Gun along with this LP, only to hear those words.

Eastern Spell: see review for track 2. 'Then you know the spell you're under is.......'

You Got The Power: jingly jangly 'You got the power to mend my mind'... Headless horses with distorted bad time nightmare faces' Excellent. Seems a bit bad trippy to me. Short and to the point, any longer and it would have become...not tiresome, but Marc was restrained in keeping this so concise.

Hippy Gumbo: well, a title and a name that went waaaaaaaay back to first hearing 'Hot Love' and therefore my devotion to the Cosmic Temple Of Marc Bolan, scouring magazines and lyric books such as 'Words' and 'Disco 45' for ANYthing on T. Rex, learning about 'Hippy Gumbo' being a flop etc. Never hearing it until purchasing this LP. So what to say? Deep, dark, sultry, I could imagine Marc sitting amongst under a sweaty night sky in swampland, Louisiana kinda thing (maybe cos of the Gumbo connection??), fireflies flitting around as he sat cross legged, plucking away and relating this tale of a bad, sinister man. I always found this very threatening and opressive. As touched on, there was the other side of this tale, I always assumed it was autobiographical with more than a sprinkling of submersed homosexuality. But that's another story.

Sara Crazy Child: one of me all time Marc faves. Lyrically excellent. I thought that he said at the start was "Am I alone on the rhythm?!" with a mildly sarcastic edge, as he starts the na-na-na-na bits solo. I love the imagery and characterisation in this....(Her brother) the juke box king, Broken dusty mama and her decline into old age. 'Her once gazelle like features blooded by the age axe'.....a nice play of Ajax and age axe methinks. 'Still she's only just thirteen and she's forgotten how to dream. ' and the wonderful 'In summer he's a young boy but in winter he's a bear.' The mid-song bleating in this was also a considerable wind up for family. A strange story of a strange family. In the favourite lyrics department, I rate up there with 'Chateau In Virginia Waters' .

Rings Of Fortune: another fine chugger. Increasing in pace and becoming more frantic as it progresses. Again, I thought it was "Some people laugh and some people cry, some people live and some people die" and the gong towards the end of that line finishes it a treat.

Hot Rod Momma: Nice strum-along let's grab a biscuit tin from the kitchen and bang along. 'With my greased up Levi's, baseball boots around my head.....if it wasn't such a tragedy I might wish I was dead.' Oh, wow. A perfect accompaniment with the backing vocals, stoned and as if floating up to the skies.

The Beginning Of Doves: nice spoken intro. Gently plucked strings, another head-nodder in the See Review For Track 2 Department. 'The ring was the thing that made it all begin' with the sssssshhhhhhhhhh behind it.

Mustang Ford: again, a spoken intro, getting 'Jefferson Airplane' as 'Aeroplane'. This track could have easily transformed into a full-on electric riff-splattered frenzy. 'It's all put together with Alligator leather'.

Pictures Of Purple People: never liked the title (like Status Quo's 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men') but what a song. Gentle, understated, the young Marc sounds weary or more so, resigned to relating the tale. 'Seeing things deformed and almost cold' and 'falling, dizzy, from their windows high.' A sombre feeling to this song. The general gist of it reminds me a bit of 'The Picture Of Dorian Grey'.

One Inch Rock: Bolan classic, be it fast, slow, backwards, inside out. The echoed bongos compliment Marc's hoarse vocal, specially on the first 'I' in 'I met a woman.....' Another fab song lyrically. Again, I prefer the 'T. Rex' brown album version, but this is nice and lazy, lay back with a fat 'un and a glass of red wine and just....well, do the one inch rock!

Jasmine 49: always brings up the scent of Jasmine, that thick but at the same time delicate fragrance. 'Don't ever let it be said that I'm crazy in the head'. The last 'Jasmine forty-nine, babe, is a buzz that just ain't mine'. So what happened there? Sitting on knees, drinking scented tea.......sounds like someone was after Marc's body and plied him with what? Jasmine tea laced with something? I think he is telling someone 'No way, mate' on this one. Also that the person who tried to get into his pants is telling other people that Marc was crazy from the laced beverage and therefore made all the moves? I think this has severe gay overtones.

Charlie: another strong character, this bloke who 'smiles and politely says "How do you do?" ' and his 'biblical beard'. Good description there!

Misty Mist: Another sit round the fire song here, but in this one I always have visions of Marc sitting in a burned out cellar, a sort of post nuclear holocaust scene. Maybe cos of the 'downstairs radiation burns my eyes' line. A nice plinky guitar accompanied by pit-patting bongos subltly in the background.

Cat Black: I always sing 'The Wizard's Hat' when I see a black cat. I prefer the later version and feel that this is just a basic work out which Marc had greater (later) plans for.

Sally Was An Angel: despite the midsong changeover to smash bash crash rock, the acoustic and bongo first part still rocks. 'Heartbreak Hotel' revisited....or pilfered! The midsong change still manages to work, that sudden surge into Blaaaaaam! 'Sally was a good child......'. The only way that this track could've fitted onto this collection is to be at the end of a side, but with the advent of CD, at the end of the set.

So! A revealing insight into the mind of a young Marc Bolan, definitely slotted into the file marked '1960's'. No Bolan collection is complete without it. After all these years, I still manage to hear more in it than the previous time I played it. The man was indeed a storyteller.


=== Review by Rob ===

Here comes my opinions on 'The Beginning of Doves', an album of unsophisticated awkward brilliance which I find myself returning to often.

This was the second album I ever owned of Marc's, the first being 'Bolan's Boogie'. It was bought during a particularly turbulent time of my life and provided me with a mirror within which the moods, attitudes and desires I was feeling at the time were clearly reflected. I was an ambitious but anchored 18 year old and the themes and waywardness of the 'Doves' tracks gave me a real focus upon the issues I was facing. My key memory of listening to the album (back then) was of the 20 mile drive between my folks house in Taunton and my, at-the-time, private physics teacher on the North Somerset coast. (I had failed physics 'A' level (got an N) and, for no reason other than pride, my parents had forced me to retake.) Well the lessons did no good, I failed it a second time (got a U! heh he he) and never needed physics ever again in my life (who does?!). But I got a real education listening to Marc sqwark out these fabulous tracks whilst driving to and fro along the dark winding roads of the North Somerset hills. They took me places wonderful to explore..........

Marc gets closer to Bob Dylan on 'Doves' than on any other album, in my opinion. His approach to the songs, the structure of them, the characters within them, the manner by which they're constructed, point clearly to Dylan, especially his 'Desire' album (and therefore Marc must have inspired Bob, as 'Doves' came eight years before 'Desire'!) 'Jasper C Debussy' is just one example of a handful of wonderful songs relating these vile but wonderfully colourful characters filling Marc's imagination and life. The poetry is second to none and the music is superb. Lovelly to hear that erratic Bolan guitar on this album and the band grooving, smoothing, soothing and rocking behind him. The energy, emotion and honesty of this album is what thrills me.

I usually dissect and discuss each and every track on the album. I'm not this time. However, I am going to give special mention to two songs. Firstly, 'Sally Was An Angel' which is worth mentioning for the terrible production and that dreadful hard rock effort at the end. Terrible. The worst bit of production on anything Marc did, in my opinion any way.

Secondly, 'Observations', one of my all time favourite tracks of Marc. When I hear this I'm away exploring hills and woods, beaches and mountain paths upon hot summer days and cool ocean breezes. It's a transcdental track. There's such a sense of 'movement' within it. The vivid lyrics perfectly recreate his world, at the time, and I just adore that lyric,

"Bought jeep, got a flat, got a cat with one leg."

and that sign-off line,

"Everybody's laughing 'cause the jeep's got money."

When ever anyone else hears this album, they seem to scream in distress (Tillers excluded of course). However, through that banshee-esque voice, I know there's a melodic elven minstrel trying to get out. And oh how he proved it to be so!


=== Review by Chris ===


Somewhere before he really got started Marc Bolan made a few recordings with Simon Napier Bell. Here are some of them. They aren't sorted or sequenced terribly well, there's no info and the sound is a little harsh. There are some recordings with a band, possibly John's Children, and more just on his own. Then there's a couple with A Nother, the legendary Stevie Darke-Stowt perhaps?

What we do know is that Marc didn't want this released in 1974 but according to SNB was looking to negotiate a release in 1977. Mmmm, who am I to contradict that?

You see for Bolan fans these recordings should be very interesting. How much you like the music is up to you as always, but by the very nature of this album the history notes accompanying it should be as complete as possible. That isn't the case here, just a few lines by SNB that tell us, well what do they tell us? First and foremost this is a signpost for things to come, and a bit of anaorakish studio log wouldn't go amiss.

Personally I don't find this a satisfying listen. It's interesting sure, with any number of fabulously catchy tunes just waiting to kidnap your brain for a day, but they are rough sketches trying to sound like the finished article. Arrogance of inexperience and no further guidance I suppose. So, if I'm getting half started songs I want a bit of infotainment to pad it out. What would make this superb is to include all the chatter between takes.

I'd be happier if it was sequenced better. This isn't a proper Marc Bolan album, it's a collection of early work not very well put together. That said, I'm glad it is in my collection even if it isn't a regular play.

Also of note is the overdubs version, You Scare Me To Death. However, in the case of the LP it's the large biographical booklet by Chris Welch that makes it worthwhile. The CD version lacks the booklet and is an altogether cheaper package. The overdubs themselves are quite good, it sounds to me as though they've slowed Marc's voice to a more mellow tone and the musicianship is fairly tasteful, even if it doesn't sound like the sort of thing Marc would have endorsed. Some of the arrangements work very well but none of them well enough to be memorable.

What does annoy about me about these recordings is the way they have been relentlessly tarted about by SNB. We have the two main releases above, then recently there was "Prehistoric" which was Doves minus a few. It has also been released as two separate CDs, one called Observations had the first ten tracks from Doves and the other Misty Mist collected the second ten, packaging was even more minimal than the original and absolutely no notes beyond a small print credit to Receiver Records. It was priced for supermarkets, which is where I found Misty Mist. Once again being sold to the wrong people and leading to Boley albums being seen as a rip off.

In it's existing form I think Beginning of Doves is for serious fans only and that it deserves a far better presentation. Add in the tracks only occurring on You Scare Me To Death and any other unused, sort, date and credit them, link tracks with studio patter, chuck in the booklet and you have a massive hit on your hands.

=== Review by Pierre ===

this one I bought in Bournemouth in 75. was so glad to find it : imossible to find in france and already rare in England.

I like the sleeve : Marc with the Bike, and the doves artwork.

The tracks are pretty unusual compared to the T.Rex stuff I was aware at that time.

  • Jasper C Debussy : a fast one with lots a piano.
  • Lunacy's back , Beyond the rising sun nice completed tracks.
  • Black and white incident : just a demo. In general I think that the 'Scare me to death' arrangments deserve the track and were nicely done.
  • Observations : idem. The arrangments add a lot to the demo performed here
  • Eastern spell : a pre Tyrannosaurus taste.
  • You got the power : a very inventive track.
  • Hippy Gumbo : probably the first time I heard this song.
  • Sarah Crazy Child : idem. Who's singing in the background ?
  • Rings of fortune : sounds very similar to the previous one.
  • Hot Rod Momma : Nice to hear this track before Tyr. Rex and already in its definitive form
  • The Beginning of Doves : sounds sad. A nice very nice song that deserves to give its title to the album.
  • Mustang Ford : as Hot Rod , this song is already ready for Tyran. Rex
  • Pictures of Purple People : The voice is probably not at his best.
  • One Inch rock : a slow but nice version.
  • Jasmine 49 : already rocking well. Once more I think that simon Napier added a lot in the orchastrated version.
  • Charlie : the same. It's weird to hear how a studio can improve a simple demo.
  • Misty Mist : the same Tyran Rex sound as previous . even the bongos are there.
  • Cat Black : fine to hear this great track in an early stage. I definetly prefer the Unicorn's version but the 'Scare me..' works well.
  • Sally was an angel : strange change when obviously ( now) John's children enters the song at the half of it. There might be a lot of jewels on the shelves somewhere...
You scare me to death and The perfumed garden are two killers that should have been on the Beginning of Doves. I was happy to hear 'Perfumed' on its original form , a bit later.

Think that's the point : orchestrations like the 'Scare me to death' lp are enjoyable if you can also hear the original track. I always suspected Napier Bell to be more interested by the money he could get from his tapes than by Marc's work but I was happy to be able to listen to the 2 versions of this album. Early Marc was already very listenable.

[ Doves | People | Prophets | Unicorn | Beard | T.Rex | Electric | Slider | Tanx | Zinc | Zip Gun | Dragon | Dandy ]