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"Oh light of love, won't you shine on me."
    Light Of Love - Marc Bolan.

T.Rex - Bolan's Zip Gun

List of Reviewers

=== Review by Gordon ===

Hi All,

Here's my Bolan's Zip Gun review, my first ever effort so please, be kind.

The first hurdle to overcome on this album is the tacky cover and the throw away title. Why does Marc look like a poor man's Ian Hunter with those glasses on and the title is off-putting. When looked at alongside such image inspiring titles as My people were fair, Electric Warrior and Dandy in the Underworld et al it doesn't fit, it's different. This difference is borne out by the music, it's very different!

The first things that hit me are the energy and tight production, it's certainly has much more energy than large parts of Zinc Alloy and the production is certainly much crisper and rockier than Futuristic Dragon in much the same way as Dandy sounds so much better than the Marc shows. Marc was trying something new and in some ways revolutionary, ie the percussion sounds like it could have inspired Adam and the Ants etc.

But for me the the Album's greatest strength is possibly, to many ,it's greatest weakness, the lyrics. I, like most of you enjoy listening to Marc's words and painting pictures of fantasy worlds etc but not so on this album, it's as if Marc was saying on this album, just get up and boogie and don't analize it to death, just enjoy. And played loud this is a great album to boogie and sing your heart out to.

To me the stand out tracks are Till Dawn and Precious Star, while the bulk of the rest of the album are good, rocking tracks to bump 'n' grind to, if somewhat unspectacular. Other than the cool 12 bar rock of Token of my Love, no bad thing, some artists have made a whole career out of this sound, whilst to me the two weakest tracks are I Really Love you Babe and Golden Belt, both have messy production and the Harmonica type sounds are grating. On this album also the backing Mmarc's career but that just goes to show the true genious of the rest of Marc's work,so all in all not a lyrical masterpiece, but a good rocking album to just get down and enjoy and that's no bad thing.

Thanks for reading.

Gordon.

A gift from the Fair Folk.

=== Review by MichWag ===

BZG is my favourite Bolan album. There isn't a weak song on it apart from Girl in the Thunderbolt Suit. Till Dawn is outstanding trumped only by the magnificent Token of my love [the live version is haunting]. Bolan's Zip Gun also contains three of the most misheard Bolan lyrics:

  • I really love you Dave.
  • And will you love me like you said in your letters.
  • Is that a toucan, a toucan of your love.

Any more classic misheards people can think of?

Michwag

=== Review by JohnC ===

Though many people like to criticize Bolan's Zip Gun, through the years I've found it becoming one of my favorites. As T.Rexpert Marc Arscott once described it, it's "white hot and rockin'." I like the mix of rock and soul elements, and the backing vocals. Someone told me once, and I agree, that the original release of the album showed recording deficiencies. But the Edsel 20-bit remaster sounds much improved. Solid Baby and the alt. versions that have surfaced through the years rock hard.

John

=== Review by MarcO ===

Probably the reason behind the late reviews for this album, is it stinks, and everyone's tryin'to be nice.

I'm sitting here trying to think of something nice to say about it but it's a waste of time.

To put it into perspective, how can someone with a budget of 500 quid at their disposal turn out something as magical as My People, and then with hundreds of thousands of pounds and up to date technology, turn out this rubbish.?

The whole album is a mish mash of 70s glam at it's worse, the lyrics are banal, repetetive and unimaginative, compared to what we were used to. Marc at his worse, lowest, whatever you wanna call it. I'm sorry if I've upset anyone here but it comes from the heart, I love Marc and his music, but we all have to stand up and be counted at sometime, us (fans) are the best critics, so to put it bluntly, it's not an album I'd reccomend to someone as an introduction to his music.

MarcO.

=== Review by Dela ===

Well, this has been a toughie.

I have started and stopped writing this review a number of times, but I have decided that this will be the last one I write for this album. Period.

I first heard this album in 1986, and when I first played it I swear I didn't think it was Marc, but someone doing a pretty good vocal impression of him. Honestly! I had to check the cover to make sure who it was. Without a doubt, this is my least favourite album, but I am determined to find some good in it. Call me an eternal optimist!

Okay, I'll start with the bad stuff. If anyone else had recorded this album around that time, it would have been an acceptable 2nd grade Glam attempt. To have it done by Marc though, was just criminal. It reinforces 'that' remark about giving the kids what they want, but even then, he fails to do so. They wanted Slider, not this.

I can't believe that this was written by the same man who, less than ten years earlier, was writing lyrics such as "Afghan woman, deemed a princess, Born a true blue thoroughbred" and "Darkly ghostish host, Haggard vizier of the moats" and was now churning out trite rubbish such as "I really love you babe" and "Who's a solid baby, Who's gonna love me tonight."

Musically, the album isn't much better. At least if you play it loud enough you can't hear some of the lyrics and just get a standard rock album. But that's the problem. I don't want a standard rock album - I want Marc's music, and we all know what he's capable of. It's just a tested pattern he's used, and then churned out copies of the same tune. Just changed the lyrics the tempo at times.

So, I had better do an in-depth analysis of each track. Okay, here goes....

'Light of Love' - too cutesy for Marc

'Solid Baby' - repetitive, with bad guitaring

'Precious Star' - Oh, please.... Key changes do not make it interesting. Was he stoned when he wrote this?

'Token Of My Love' - Isn't this the above, just a bit slower? I am sure I've heard The Bay City Rollers do something similar, but they probably had the sense not to put it on an album

'Space Boss' - Bad lyrics and tune. Saved only by the chorus, which is just sooo singalong. Worth playing loud just for that.

'Think Zinc' - Always liked this one actually, and the saving track on the album. Intro reminds me of Gary Glitter, for some obscure reason.

'Till Dawn' - Ruined by Gloria. Should have been played on acoustic guitar with bongos (bring back Steve!!)

'Girl In The Thunderbolt Suit' - See Precious Star.

'I Really Love You Babe' - Maybe so, but doesn't convince me. Was this just a song for Gloria to sing to Marc?

'Golden Belt' - A glimmer of musical individuality to start with, but goes downhill rapidly.

'Zip Gun Boogie' - How can a song with so few chords be justified on a Marc album at this stage?

Things which should have been removed from the album: Gloria - too much of her influence in this album, and far too much of her voice (which I have never liked). Is Marc trying to do a rock album or a soul album here? With Futuristic Dragon we saw a return to form, and Dandy gave us the real stuff again. Cocaine and Jack Daniels - cynical? Me? Sex - Marc had been writing about emotion all these years, not lust. Okay, perhaps a bit of lust, but not nearly as prevalent as on this album. Every song, can be taken to have sexual overtones. I don't mind if he does write about sex, just not every bloody track!!!

But I will write something positive. Give me a minute....

Ah yes, how's this.

Some of the songs really do want to make you jump about, and sing along.

Hang on. There's another somewhere....

I like the picture of Jimmy Cagney on the cover.

You may have guessed I don't like this album. I tried to write something nice, I really did, but I couldn't. So I tried to analyse the lyrics, but they were all the same - let's jump into bed together. Not stimulating at all. Slider may have not been the greatest work of philosphy ever, but it had a wonderful variation of tracks, and heart-felt emotion pours through the speakers. Not one drop of the stuff with Zip Gun. Just vodka.

I have heard this album more times in the past few weeks trying to review it than I have in the rest of my life. Perhaps by listening to it so much I thought I may have found something I had missed, but no. Nothing. I bought the Edsel version for completeness to my CD collection, but I must admit that is about it. It is the worst album Marc did by far, and I would never recommend it to people interested in his music.

I tried my hardest, but there is very little good I can say about this album. Sorry!

Dela

=== Review by Karl ===

I'm normally a quiet observer of this list but I've read, with interest, the reviews on Zip Gun. In some ways I empathise with Dela's point of view, however, even Marc would have admitted that ths album was not released at the height of his career or creative best. The album gives us an interesting insight into Marc's mood and state of mind around 1974 and is a useful 'window' to try and understand what was happening at that point in time. I would call the album disappointing rather than banal. At times it threatens to be brilliant but often Marc is not able to take the music and lyrics to the heights that we had come to expect. He excels, however, on Till Dawn which has to be one of the most emotive and powerful songs of his career. I remember buying the album in 1974 and becoming almost obsessed with this track to such a degree that it was some months before I came to realise what else was on the album.

I disagree with Dela about Solid Baby. It is simply great glam and certainly in the mould of Solid Gold Easy Action (earlier) and Laser Love (later). Its the sort of thing we had come to expect from Marc's singles in the 1972/73 period. I think this song would have made a great 'A' side. So would Think Zinc. I cannot understand what possessed Marc to release Light of Love as a single over these other two.

I get the feeling that Token of your Love was an attempt to recreate the Lean Woman Blues sound but it falls far short of this (Listen to the bonus disc on Edsels 'Live 1977' for a more exciting live version of 'Token'). I think it works much better live.

There is a feeling of something new and imaginative on Golden Belt and for me it has a strange haunting sound. Don't know why, I just like it.

I still think the rest of the album is much less significant than the tracks I have mentioned and like Dela I wouldn't give it to someone as a Marc introduction but the album takes me to a part of Marc's life which is inescapable and is part of the evolution of the whole Marc thing. I wouldn't be without it and I visit it frequently.

Keep up the list guys I enjoy reading it.

Karljoe

=== Review by Desdemona ===

I really do like this album as a whole but when I dissect it...well, it tends to fall short but I still love it....it's Marc!

Album Cover: Beautiful profile on the front. Meow!. Back...those blue glasses are awful. He reminds me of that guy Ian from Mott the Hoople for some reason.

Title: Never really understood the Zip Gun thing or what a Zip Gun was for that matter.

Light of Love: I love this song. It picks me right up! I just can't resist the light of love. A big fave.

Solid Baby: A so-so song but still has an up beat.

Precious Star: I wanna spend my life with you, yeah. A little slow and I think this song could really rock if it was stripped down and Gloria didn't sing on it.

Token of My Love: Oooh. I particularly like Marc's voice on this one...nice and sultry.

Space Boss: Don't like the beginning at all, too much bass or something. This one's okay I guess. Again, Space Boss? pertaining to what? I don't get it.

Think Zinc: A rather fake "Ahh" at the beginning. I can picture this song being popular amongst young kids...Very young kids. I have to admit that this song emits a formula smell but I still don't dislike it.

Till Dawn: Perfect song ;-) really! Great lyrics, great melody, pure sexy Bolan. Was this a hit? If not, it should have been. Great anthem for us, eh Rick? Another fave.

Girl in the Thunderbolt Suit: When I try to picture a thunderbolt suit...I just feel that it's got to hurt with all that static and all. Can't be a good look. I can't take this song seriously...feels like filler.

I Really Love You Babe: Is that a harmonica? Oh, it must be Gloria's clavinet? Whatever it is it's gotta go. Besides all that, this song takes me right back to my teen years, reminds me of Pizzells (italian cookies) that my stepsister and I would pig out on, and sitting around playing Yahtzee.

Golden Belt: I don't care for the simple tune all that much but I love his one-liners and how they're presented. Rock and Roll on the nation's floor! Oh Yeah!

Zip Gun Boogie: Nope, don't like it.

=== Review by Simes ===

Simes'Bolan's Zip Gun' review by Simes The Giddy Rarn Childe.

Wellllll.........for starters, the main thread throughout this album for me is Pouting. From the first hearing of 'Light Of Love' as a single, I visualised Marc pouting and posing and strutting around. Each track seems to have a high pout-ability percentage. Anyway, lips pursed, cheeks sucked in and here we go!

Released - yet again - just a coupla weeks before my birthday so it was another Bolan BD prezzie! I loved the artwork, the cut out sleeve with the stark lettering, just the fact that it blasted 'Bolan's' at the top and that pic of Marc peeking haughtily over to the slit where you took the inner sleeve out from. The blue spex that had nothing in the frames to the foreground of Marc with his Gibson Les Paul. Nice layout on the back...which leads me onto A Spooooky Bolan's Zip Gun Fact : In the August of that year, my Dad received a birthday card from me sister in Australia....and the front of the card was the pic of Cagney & Co. that was used on the back of 'Bolan's Zip Gun'. I wondered what he had been watching or influenced by with the gangster imagery and title, asking me Dad what a zip gun was. The immense surprise at me Dad opening his card all the way from Australia and finding the pic that was used on the back of the T. Rex album........spooooooky!

My opinion is that this is one of Marc's vastly underrated albums. I know I probably say this about all of them but I truly mean it with this one. Apart from Zip Gun Boogie I don't think there is one weak track on it.

'Light Of Love' was an already by then old and familiar track as a single which I expectantly watched the charts for its progress......which disappointingly never really materialised. I always felt (still do) a bit cheated when singles that have been released are are on albums. 'Solid Baby' - a spiky guitar, pulsing horns and the echoed out-of-sync clapping that sounds like one of those percussive stick things that kids have. 'Well don'tcha know...I aaaaammmmmm' and turning up the volume at the end of the track to make out the words "It's you, it's you, 'cos you make my legs blue!"

'Precious Star' - "I wanna spend my life with you, yeah" and "Will you love meeeeee like you said when we met child" over a nicely plinky piano with plenty of 'doo doo doo de doo de doo' backing that wasn't too much to the forefront, this track could have stood up as a 45. I honestly think that I would have preferred this as a single release instead of 'Light Of Love'

As with most albums one plays, there is always an instant, immediate favourite and on BZG, the instant fave on the first play to my 13 year old birthday ears was "Token Of My Love". I couldn't believe the aloof majesty of this song as it raunchily chugged along. Classic bluesy rock, "Every day, every single day....my heart is broken....aw yeaaaah" with the classic chord changes, I could imagine this belting out from 1950's jukebox as the kids sipped soda pop. Also it is further improved on the live version on the 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert' bootleg which has lovely further guitar twirly licks after 'And I'm broken' which he always sang as 'brokarn', well, you could just SEE Marc pouting with a vengeance to that. Fantastic. This is the track that I spent the most time in front of the mirror miming along to.

'Space Boss' - a Bolan-trucker with the soaring and ear-searing backing vocals. 'Are ya are ya are ya are ya nowwwwww'....it has a definite spacey feel to it, meaty Bolan trademarked riffs, a very sexy sleazy back alley late night feel to it. Nice rolling riff on the fade out.

'Think Zinc' - A thumping floor shaking intro and stacatto 'Think think thinka thinka thinka....' intro Think Zinc before belting into a good time T. Rex track with lots of spacially interesting layers and grunts and groans.

Flip it over and the magic still continued with

'Till Dawn' - "A one and a two and a three and a four hey!" There were certain elements to this track that reminded me of the simplicity of 'T. Rex' (brown album). Where as maybe / definitely the lyrical content of some of 'Bolan's Zip Gun' was a bit dubious with hindsight ('Think Zinc' for example), 'Till Dawn' is a masterpiece of a feeling of soaring to the skies, with the layered backing vocals providing a lift and at the same time a perfect anchor for Marc's teasing, tempting vocals. 'Golden eyes on a sunset lawn make me feel so glad to be born' A song full of light and warmth.

'Girl In The Thunderbolt Suit' - a return to the semi - USA 50's vibe that I felt with this album. Very doo-wop ish. The title was a flashback to a Glam thing, but also had the 50's angle, a bit like the title of one of those cheesy, third rate sci-fi thriller films.

Then onto two tracks that if I ever had to stand up in court and argue the toss, I wholly maintain that are the two most under-rated Bolan tracks ever:

'I Really Love You, Babe' and 'Golden Belt'. I know that the downward spiral of chords is a well used Marc-thing, but there is just something that I can't put my finger on about these tracks. Something magical about them. They soon became the ones that I mimed to more than 'Token Of My Love'. The 'Yessssss' is , I dunno, just the thing! The fuzzy guitar riff on the fade out and the backing vocals are magic for me. The harmonica sounding off centre. 'Frost bound poetry gleaming like a satellite....' The verses have that fast 'shopping list' style. The track almost lurches along but again with a very light Bolan vocal. When he sings 'I really love you babe' he sounds like he really means it.

Just when the distorted sounding riff fades, there's a quick pause for breath and then the outta-space kick in of 'Golden Belt'. Again the downward spiral of chords, slightly fuzzy sounding to a funky drumbeat....after the final verse it really shows itself off. 'Just hold my head between your kneeeeeees'. One of Marc's truly camp vocal performances. A nice sturdy bass line. Sorry, kids, but I think that these two tracks should have both been released as singles.

The one thing that I did find disappointing was 'Zip Gun Boogie'. Though the live versions we have since had on legitamate releases and bootlegs may show a harder side to it, I don't think it should have been on this album. A true singalong Bolan track, great catchy chorus, but just a little bit....er.....too formula, it always sounded a bit like he wasn't really trying on this one. A little bit too heavy handed for me. Loved the title!

So, the album was slated at the time for being a mish mash of nothingness and awarded a definite thumbs down, (was it Record Mirror that used to have a thumbs up and thumbs down symbol next to reviewed records?) but I truly think that it sounds fresher now than it did then. I think that there is a very American feel to this LP, from the cover and title to the contents and as a cardboard guitar toting 13 year old it always filled my head with American imagery. Sorry if the review is a bit of a churned up mash of gobblydegook, but ultimitely, for me it rates as a definite Desert Island Disc.

Simes

=== Review by Rick ===

Till- The "reviewers" ( most of you guys are becoming quite proffessional at this)

What BETTER way to make the "Return of the Tillers" a joy then these fantastic reviews!! Marc came back with "Return of the Electric Warrior" EP .. well we did Marcs memory proud here .

Regardless of the mixed feelings among some, it is the passion that I am reading in these reviews that I find so interesting ! It seems one comes in then an hour later another each as good as the other ...

WELL done ...... and we are only 2 weeks into the month .

Me ...it must be obvious from my intros to the lyrics of the Daye that I Love this Lp , for what it is . Of course it is not "warrior" ..and after many years of slaging it off becuse I seemed to listen to it with this -Oh my Marc what have you done- attitude , when I finally let go of that inner bias , I found one hell of a BOPPING LP ...... to me it is a something Marc could have stuck with and made his own sound.

as I said give me "till-Dawn" , token of Love" "Solid Baby. "Precious Star" "Think zinc" put those 4 tracks on and you tell me you ain't dancin' .. so IMO instead of comparisons they way I learned to fully enjoy it was to just approuch it Like "Marcs Disco Party" (I mean he did release a ep called that with "Dreamy Lady" on it -far from a disco song;-)

Lovely .... xoxox

rickster

=== Review by Tom ===

THE TROUBLE WITH ZIP GUN....

Simple beliefs from Tom......

When I listen to Zip Gun it is full of songs that seem a bit "ordinary".......the majority of the songs are OK but because they are on that LP and in that particular running order they seem to make little sense (they are just something to dance to).....but if the same songs had been dispersed over various other LP's they would not come across as being so weak!
The sum of the whole Zip Gun is "lacking".....
Maybe the Zip Gun name and cover picture probably translates to BAD "Feng Shui"

T-Mix

=== Review by timot ===

first fing glad the list got saved,felt a bit lost not having tiller mail threw me electronic mail box.....

OM afraid i missed out on this lp,i did not get it nor do i have it on vynal <bow my head in shame> butt,i did here it in the mid seveties and got exracts from it by gerrin it off a girl who was a fan at skool <school> ya see tillers fings were not to good 4 me back then....a spotty ike of 14 when i knew marc had relised it and i thought ill get the lp but i failed miserably in finding one.....to be honist it did not aphare in the local record shop up cape hill were i lived...syd knows,M & B......... the boose makers of the midlands,you could get high from the hops every day i lived oppasite the brewery....get back on track now

got the tape in 1982/83 bolans zip gun......kick me arse for not getting it after earing the track.....

light of love.......did have it single,in fact i still do but tiz scratched to bolloxed bt my misuse,i played it to death,i thought it would have got higher in the charts but never got up there,this record ment so much to me at the time do to hormones i still fink it could have been a smash way back then if he got off the booze and drugs scean,cleaned up his act and become marc again,nuff said.

solid baby.....yehhhhh great beat on this track,i blew this out a lot on me deck fantastic tune and lyrics

precious star.....another good en,love the piano,,,,,,was it gloria playing it ? anyways still ummm that tune when om at work stuck on the track

token ov my love.....out of all zip gun,this one was the king pin on the album,my tiller choice.....what a fucking single that would have made,dont care what hard balled critic would say to me this would have got to number one in my books..i just love every thing about it so nurmmmmm.

space boss...just brings tears to my ears

fink zinc.......ill agree with giddy on this track,love the alternative ...opps sorry dearist it just slipped owt......but yea the growns on it made this a ear popper and an eye opener ,i play it reguler.

till dawn.....fantastic.....great balard from marc,love all the lyrics in this and what was he thinking of at the time......broken pages on the edge of night,,,,,slop N drool ,a must, for the would be poets out there.i spoke to our man from amarsham about this and i explained as i did in my tanx review how the hell did he breathe ,the end when he sings till dawnnnnnnn and on and on and on......the man must have had an extra orifice to get all that out......but i say its a pure sexuale plesuer to here it .

funder bolt suit.....yep?

i really love you babe.....hooo ha yyeea ha,grovey class in its own right.

golden belt....ok to bop to,but yes this did seem like a throw in track <bitch>

zipgun boogie...yes tillers the dogz bollox,,,,,,more rock than roll i think.....i belive this is what i thought he wanted to be his lead on this album....i saw a video of him some years ago,wearing a pink silk top singing it in the states,high as a kite and needed a prop to keep him up,still i say it was a great attempt to keep the album a flote

so tillers,for those with the vynal disc,you can keep it,as im a cd man i feel i did the rite fing ,got no crackles and pops on it.....the album was a failed attempt on a downward slope for marc at his low period...i seriously think it would have been better if his head was clear.

Timot

=== Review by Fee ===

Bolan's Zip Gun Well this album has evoked lots of opinions! So here's my ten penno'worth.

I bought this album the day it was released as a confirmed, serious Marc fan. It was about this time my parents commented that I would have bought a record of Marc cleaning his teeth if they released one! Actually I guess it was true and I would have and I bet you'd all want tapes of it!

I have to admit that it is not my favourite album, but I cannot agree with Dela that it was Marc's worst album by far. No, I just think it was not one of his best. There are too many 'uhhggg' tracks. Not the album that I would recommend to a non-Bolanite for their introduction to T.Rex. But I would happily select the best tracks to play to someone because some of the tracks are as good as you will find on any album.

It I could change one thing on the album it would be the removal of Gloria and her influences (as said by Dela!). Some tracks are ruined by her shrill tones (will someone please put that cat outside!) and the worst songs are the ones where her influences can be felt most strongly (e.g. Golden Belt).

1 Light of Love. Not my fav. single. I thought that Marc could have done better. Marc's voice sounds too 'thin'. I guess I was not surprized when it did not do well as a single. At the time I was a little embarrassed that Marc had chosen to release this track as a single.

2. Solid Baby. Good opening riff. Nice multi-layered sound. Good on a decent stereo set up. Interesting distorted clapping. But not a favourite, only a half-favourite <G>. It's you, it's you - cos you made my legs blue - It's true Simes they are there! Never heard them before. What a Gas!

3. Precious Star. Gloria! Hmmm! But despite the intro wails I love this track. Love the doo doo doo de doo! You are spot on Simes - This would have been a better single than Light of Love And Des you're right Des - it would rock more without Gloria! But I love it despite Gloria. And it does Rock! Upbeat! Lovely! So Sorry Rob and Dela I have to disagree totally with your verdict on this track! It's one of my fav. tracks and I always want to dance to it! <G> Damn Fine Track!

4. Token of my Love. A goodish track. It nearly works, but at times it does not quite. It has moments. Good riff, Good beat, Good lyrics, but at times Gloria's wailing just tip the balance. But I was not unhappy to see it picked for the Tiller CD by Timot!

5. Space Boss. Opens with Gloria (again). A filler track.

6. Think Zinc. Great moans at the beginning! The Intro is Pure T.Rex (for me). Maybe that's why you (Dela) thought of Gary Glitter - because it is Pure Glam Rock! OK so the lyrics aren't the best. But it is a jumpy, catchy, song. You gotta think Zinc, think a think think ... Saggs a little in the Middle, before reving up again! I'm boogieing along while writing this! Nice moans at the end too! Just read Des's review! So the *fake* ahh's would appeal to very small children? LOL I love the track and love the moaning!

7. Till Dawn. Well this track certainly had an impact in Rick! And also Karl. I don't find this track exceptional really. Marc's voice comes in a little thin, but the lyrics are good. The song does get going although Marc's voice is a little waily at times, but spot on at others. Nice bit of guitar. Would have liked Gloria faded out a bit (or even totally!)

8. Girl in the Thunderbolt Suit. The first voice you hear is Gloria again. A filler track maybe, but better than Space Boss. Pleasant, but has not got that special 'something'.

9. I really Love you Babe. It's about now that Gloria really starts to piss me off. Remove that woman! Yes, Rob, not a good track really is it? Just doesn't work. The riff is spasmodic and the singing is not Marc's best. The worst track on the album - but only by a tad! Nuff said. Skip to next track!

10. Golden Belt. A totally forgettable track and the next worst track to 9. Sorry it has to be said. Not at all what I expected from Marc. Sounds too soulified or funkified, or what ever - Just not Marc. Skip to the next track.

11. Zip Gun Boogie. Yes! After 'I really love you babe' and 'Golden Belt' - OH YES! Simplistic? Yes, but great bass riff. Heavy. Nice keyboards. 'Owh, Now' bits to sing a long to. One of the tracks that make me want to boogie - Zip Gun Boogie has the T.Rex 'sound'. I agree with Timot - This is the Dog's Bollocks! What a way to exit the album! Zip Gun Boogie is coming down to getcha ....

Sorry Simes, but I don't think that this would be one of my Desert Island Disc selections. With only 8 records allowed I guess it is below number 8 in my list of fav. Marc Albums. But you're right Simes - some tracks are very 'pouty'!

But it does have it's moments which are (IMHO) 'Precious Star', 'Think Zinc' and Zip Gun Boogie'.

Fee

=== Review by Stewart ===

Well the first thing i did to do this reveiw was to get out my copy of Zip Gun , that,s when i discovered i do not have a copy on CD So it was off to the record vault downstairs to pull out my copy in LP format,I also had to pull out my turntable and do a little dusting.After listening to the first two song,s i thought this sounds terrible,i am refering to the record quality. My copy of Zip Gun was an import EMI made in Great Britain,i went back to my record collection and dug out the Light of Love album on Casablanca records almost the same album with only three songs missing from the Zip Gun version. The Light of Love[ Casablanca] album was a much better pressing . I also used Zinc Alloy cd to test some thoughts i had with the Zip gun album.

Ok to start the album cover was really not to my taste, looks like old Marc has a wig on, but hay it was the 70,s and i personally can,t criticize the fashion of the time cause my mother still has a photo of me from that time with my version of cork screw hair and platform shoes. {i,ll pay any thing to get it destroyed}

.Light of Love...la la la la la la la la ok i know where Marc got his bubble gum label from, here in north america anyway.

Solid Baby......not to bad, good rock beat,,,,guitars sound thin not to much in the words background vocals not to my liking, I think he needed to work on this recording a little more.

Precious Starr ....this really could of been a real Bolan classic but again the backup vocals let this song down, also needed more work done on it, sounds as if it were rushing thru the recording.

Token of my love....need,s more work, not really album ready.

Space Boss....nice sax...again guitars to thin and in the background, backup vocals just not good ,no word,s again , song really not finished.

Think Zinc....now here is a catchy tune,best song on side A Marc really had some thing here,only real complaint is the recording it,s self, guitar,s too thin,this song cry,s out for a remix, put some punch back in the guitar riff,s and a small ajustment in the backup vocals .....O

Till Dawn .....mmm better watch what i say about this one. actually the backup vocals are quite good [,i think i,ts cause their not screaming out of key] they go good with Marc,s singing, which is very good on this song,I would say this is the best song on side B .

Girl in the Thunderbolt Suit....I Really Love Baby...Golden Belt... all three have the same effect on me which i don,t care to express,some things are best not said.

Zip Gun Boogie....I listened to three different copies of this song and there is really some real recording problems with it . First you can hear what i call tape wrinkle[the master tape has some foreign substance on it [finger prints, beer, Coke or a physical defect of some kind] Second the volume drop,s down right after Marc,s vocal start,s and go,s up and down thru out the song. How this would go unnoticed by the record company and Marc is hard to imagine. As for the song its self the backup vocals are the best on the whole album,the rest of the song sounds like a work tape, just not finished...........................

To be really honest I,ve heard much better songs on the unchained CD,s [speaking of the unchained cd,s i hope we will do a reveiw of some of them cause some of the stuff i heard on them just blew me away ,they were that good.] Zip Gun was not an album i liked when i first heard it and now i kind of like one or two songs but i don,t think I,ll buy the CD version well unless it,s on sale a good Scotsman can,t pass up a sale you know.

I found it really hard to do this reveiw cause i just love Marc,s music better then any other, to me he was the best and always will be. The way i look at it, for all the recordings he did,and i love them all, one not so great album is not so bad is it.

take care..... Stewart

=== Review by Cliff ===

Tillers,

I'm enjoying this BZG debate. I don't think it's possible to analyse the album song by song. The context in which it was recorded and how it was made is really important here. Each song has something, but as an album, the disc fails. Let's be honest it's a bloody mess, but even messes have magic moments. And, agreeing with Stewart, some of it sounds half finished. Any half-decent producer would have sent Marc back into the vocal booth to re-do most of his vocal lines.They sound like guide vocals.

What's really missing from the album is the T.Rex beat. That unusual percussive rhythm unique to Marc's music, which was there from the earliest days. All good groups have their own individual pulse - Zeppelin, The Doors, Beatles, Kraftwerk. There are hundreds of examples. It's one of the reasons why most Bolan cover versions are relatively uninspired. People can't catch that beat. On BZG that beat is missing, to be replaced by a formularised disco one. The departure of Bill Legend was a severe blow. Lutton just couldn't really cut it and Mickey Finn was an irrelevancy by now.

The album is largely written to a formula. Warners dumped Marc. Casablanca didn't want to release Zinc Alloy. They wanted a quick pop rock album they could sell to the US market (they & Marc failed dismally). So out went the double tracked vocals, the web of guitar overdubs and wordy lyrics to be replaced by funky clavinet, scratchy rhythm guitar and Gloria trying to pump some life into vocal tracks Marc couldn't be bothered to do properly (there's a fluff in Till Dawn). The album was mainly cut quickly to get some product out for the US market. In the process Marc created a wierd hybrid of fifties rock and roll and soul which completely misjudged the mood of his audience. The album can't make up it's mind what it wants to be.

Bolan's Rush Job might have been a better title. Most of the album reeks of it. Till Dawn has some magic, but then, it's a Zinc Alloy outtake, cut at the same session as Venus Loon. Unfortunately Marc had ham-fist Lutton redo Bill Legend's original drum track. Solid Baby has energy with some neat little guitar tricks under all that driving percussion. (Don't agree with you Dela). Space Boss's wailing saxes give it some lift, but the final mix chosen is inferior to the one that appears on the alternate Zip Gun

US release September 1974. UK release February 1975. Three different tracks. Zip Gun Boogie - featuring the debut of Dino Dines (I think it's the only track he's actually on) - crap song, crap mix, crap performance, mastering faults. End of story. And I'm sorry, but contrary to Marc's later statements, you don't deliberately release a bad record. Not when I was spending my hard earned pocket money on it.

Golden Belt and I Really Love You Babe do try to break the formula. The guitar playing on Golden Belt has real spark - unlike most of the album, it sounds as if Marc sat down a bit and thought about what he was going to do and for once the rhythm section locks together into a tight groove. I Really Love You Babe also tries to do something different - descending bass line (OK so it's only a scale), harmonicas, breathy vocals and again some more thoughtful guitar playing. Unfortunately the mix is cluttered with all sorts of debris - there's no space allowing the various instruments to breathe.

In the end BZG is a simple dance record - but one not slinky enough to have sex to. For that you need The Slider. And if you can't screw to a T.Rex record ...

L V Kliff

=== Review by Syd ===

To me this is a feel good sort of album. I'm not sure why this is, but I always feel happy when I listen to it. Most UK Bolan fans had already heard most of the tracks on the album because the US Light of Love album was readily available in the UK at discount prices. So when BZG was released with only two new tracks it was a major disappointment.

It seemed like an eternity had passed between Zinc Alloy and BZG being released. AND a major transformation had occurred during that time period. The other half of the T Rex phenomenon had departed, leaving Marc to fend for himself through the maelstrom of actually having to produce and mix songs for himself for the first time in his life. I'm of course referring to the great Tony V.

Marc was an impetuous and creative musician and poet. He wasn't a technical person. Looking at his hand writing, you'd have to admit that he was dyslexic. The clarity and clean sound of the pre BZG T Rex was replaced by cloudy, fuzziness with a weedy sounding guitar and a limp wristed drum sound and to add insult to injury - wailing harmonies.

I would suggest that the ONLY missing ingredient from BZG was Tony Visconti. He could have pulled the album together the way that few other people could have and Marc was probably one of the least capable people of doing so.

My perception of the album is one of the underlying potential of what could have been, whereas I believe most people quite correctly are reviewing what's there.

In my opinion there are two songs on the album that would take pride of place on a T Rex rock n roll collection - Think Zinc and Solid Baby. Why Think Zinc was not released as a single defies logic. So cut through the fog and listen to Solid Baby, is it so much different to 20th Century Boy? Listen to the six minute purer version on the Alt BZG - WOW that's like being at a Marc gig! As for Think Zinc that's a classic a la Telegram Sam. This album reminds me of a latter day Electric Warrior, to me the similarities are striking.

I'm not going to go thru the album track by track but I would like to mention a couple of other niceties. The single Light of Love was released after what seemed an eternity. Marc was always a controversial chap - you either loved him or loathed him, few people ignored him. DJ's were no exception. I can remember one DJ in particular disliked Marc intensely - Johnny Walker on Radio 1- he slagged off L of L something chronic. However, David Hamilton, DLT and Rosko all indicated that it was a breath of fresh air to hear Marc back again compared to the disco miasma that was prevalent at the time. Andy Peebles from Piccadilly Radio also said it was the best single of the year so far.

We had a real problem with the lyrics. Because there was no lyric sheet with the album, Nikki Sudden and myself used to sit in his room trying to decipher exactly what the words were. I've still got his type written version of what we decided Think Zinc was. I'll have to dig them out and compare them to the lyrics posted by our Rickster. Its fabulous to actually read the lyrics after all these years - Thanx RickSTAR.

Syd

=== Review by Karen ===

Part i
Thanks stewart for your words of encouragement, like you zgb is my least favourite t.rex L.P my people were fair being my favourite.

After sitting down listening to it (more open minded,than i normally do) i have come to the conclusion, it was the total direction in his music, that marc was taking, that i didn't really like.To me he was heading towards a more soulful sound, with the introduction of Gloria Jones on backing vocals.I know gloria is a powerful singer in her own right,but i feel her vocals can sometimes seem to take over a song,
  • light of love is my least favourite track, this song does nothing for me, less said the better.
  • Solid Baby this is much more like the marc bolan i know and love. I would have prefered a bit more lyrics, as i think nobody writes lyrics like marc does. I agree with the point that somebody mentioned that marc writes"poetry to music"
  • Precious star another song i like quite a simple song,but does have an uplifting effect upon hearing.
  • Token love another track which i feel gloria's vocals have taken over, this song falls a bit flat for me.
  • Space boss i'm not to keen on all this keyboards and clavinets on marcs music, i prefer a much more guitar orintated sound from t.rex.
  • Think zinc my favourite track on the L.P this is a real get up and dance record, that's how music should make you feel.What more can i say.
  • Till dawn lyric wise this is a really beautiful song,marc at his best,this is another of my favourite tracks.
  • Girl in the thunderbolt suit this is a pretty average song, nothing to get excited about.
  • I really love you babe as a poem this would be beautiful, marc at his poetic best,as a song it falls somewhat short for me.
  • Golden belt it's only marcs distinctive vocals that pulls this song through another track which does nothing for me.
  • Zip gun boogie love this song,makes me want to dance,a classic bolan track.
As you will probably have realised i only like about half of this L.P, I think all really good L.P's are memorable, this one for me isn't. I realise that as grow musically,you have to change or end up sounding repetative, but this L.P was to much in the wrong direction.

Karen.

Part ii
To me Zip Gun was never a T.Rex album, it was more of a Gloria Jones album, at the time when I bought it I thought it was crap, apart from one or two halfway decent tracks, I think I bought it more out of loyalty than anything else.

I find if I have to try and seach for something good in an album, it isn't a good album! A good album hits you in the face and demands to be played over and over again, Zip gun never did this to me.

I think around this period Marc really lost his way, until Dandy that is, now that is a shit hot album.

Oh well just my humble thoughts on the subject.

Karen(Torchgirl of the marshes)

=== Review by Irving ===

-- "Light of Love" - A personal view ---

Why choose "Light of Love" to review over BZG?? Why indeed?

Two reasons really. One being that no one else has reviewed it and the second (and most important) is that this was the album I heard first.

Gee, I hear you all ask, how come a Kiwi heard "Light of Love" before BZG?

Well, as usual, my review isn't strictly a review:- more of a snapshot of Bolan vs life & times in New Zealand (as it effected me), so here goes ...

I had a good friend (fellow T.Rex follower), whose father was appointed as NZ Ambassador to the United Nations in late 1973. So naturally they all had to pack their bags and bugger off to New York.

So, to cut a long story sideways, nearly a year later I remember "Mr Ambassador", who was back for a brief visit, knocking on our front door and handing over the "Light of Love" LP with the words "Mathew asked me to drop this off to you. Hope you enjoy it".

Shiiiit!! It was well over six months since the last Bolan LP (ZA). True, I'd bought a couple of singles with new songs on them in the meantime but .... Hey! A new album, Great!!

Plus, I'd actually read some rather favourable reviews about "Light of Love" in the American "Cream" magazine (since lost, can someone send me a copy and colour photocopies of the pictures ...... PLEASE!).

Anyway, here's the rub guys, I actually enjoyed it.

It wasn't like Tanx or Zinc Alloy, but I liked it.

Nowadays I'd say (like many of the BZG reviewers) that it isn't my favourite. That said, I don't feel as negatively about it as many reviewers.

Light of Love
Quite a strong start to the album, although in hindsight I'm not too keen on the backing vocals and the ending (Bolan's rap).

Solid Baby
Great song and thankfully GJ's vocals are tucked away well in the background.

Precious Star
I always liked the rythym to this number but something wasn't right. Check out the early alternate version on Edsel's Alt. BZG and guess what, it doesn't have the backing vocals that are so prominent on the finished take.

Token Of My Love
Another okay song but it seemed to work better in a live enviroment. Perhaps the piano didn't suit the song. After all it's not an Elton John number.

Space Boss
Definite B-side material. (Actually, when compared to songs like Cadilac .... maybe for a C-side).

Think Zinc
Brilliant song, best on the album? Why wasn't this the lead off single? Nothing more to say!

Till Dawn
Another brilliant song. Should have been single no. 2.

Teenage Dream
Left over from the Zinc Alloy album (not released in the US of A). I always really loved this song (nearly wore out the 7" single). Rather bizarre lyrics, but cool. By the way, this one does work with the piano!!

Girl In The Thunderbolt Suit
It's not awlful ..... but it ain't brilliant either. Maybe if we could lose the backing vocals .....

Explosive Mouth
Another ZA song. I do like this song and GJ's backing vocals don't bother me at all. I guess the whole production (& song) has the depth to take it.

Venus Loon
Originally the lead off track on Zinc Alloy. I can still remember standing in "Chelsea Records" in 1974 listening to this song (on the first day of it's release) and talking with the store owner about how different it seemed to Tanx. Great song.

Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed (or at least appreciated) my view.

Regards

Irving
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