PDA

View Full Version : T. Rex: Born To Boogie DVD



Chuk H
07-29-2005, 02:29 AM
Anyone see this yet? I'm thinking of picking it up at some point.

C/P from the CREEM website:


T.Rex
Born To Boogie
Sanctuary


In this download age where we oughta be eulogizin' the demise of traditional record packaging, it's heartening to find a recent reissue chock full of everything and the kitchen sink. The long-MIA T.Rex '72 concert film Born to Boogie is just such a repackage. The fact that UK-based Sanctuary Records has deemed it also worthy of a US release—in a five hour-plus DVD and separate 2-CD audio, no less—is reason enough for a closer look.

T.Rex never meant much in the States. Marc Bolan's calculated assault on America (immortalized on the May '72 cover of CREEM) proved a monumental misfire. Despite the triumph of "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" and Electric Warrior, the US was ultimately turned off to the hype. By 1973, Bolan couldn't get arrested here.

Back in England, it was a riotously different story. T.Rex singles were regularly topping the charts in unheard of sales numbers and Marc Bolan—T.Rex' face/voice/songwriter/nominal guitar hero—had the music papers covering his every move and boast.

In this crazy milieu dubbed by the UK press as T.Rextasy, a concert film was quickly incorporated into the plan, to be filmed at a triumphant show at London's Wembley Arena. Prophetically, the concert sold-out so quickly that a matinee show was added. Bolan's pal Ringo Starr signed on to direct. 20,000 children of the post-sixties revolution guaranteed it would be the UK concert event of that year.

There was a botched US tour a month prior to these two shows but you'd never know it from the Bolan swagger exhibited throughout the Born to Boogie DVD. He is beyond any acceptable level of cockiness, strutting incessantly across the stage like a %$#@ing peacock, shoulders shrugged, puffing 'n' pouting. Bouncing up and down with a seemingly irreparable ear-to-ear grin obscured only during the more physical, hair-launching guitar idol gestures, Marc Bolan simply puts out.

While others will undoubtedly focus in on his campy, glam boy affectations (frequently) captured in this film, Bolan's connection with his guitar is the real revelation. Born to Boogie is required viewing for aspiring air guitarists.

The original film is full of live highlights. The cosmic acoustic numbers are OK, not causing too much disruption, while the rockers—the majority of the performances, not surprisingly—deliver the goods to a song. "Telegram Sam" is especially powerful with a beefed-up riff that will dig deep into your skull. "Hot Love" captures all of the excitement of T. Rextasy with mass audience hysteria in ample supply.

"Bang a Gong (Get It On)" is a throwaway, that is until it veers off into eight minutes of interstellar spacetruckin' with the focus more democratically distributed among the rest of T. Rex (otherworldly percussionist & apparently whistle enthusiast Mickey Finn, fab rhythm section of bassist Steve Currie & drummer Bill Legend).

Not one to relinquish the spotlight for more than a moment, towards the end Bolan collapses to his knees and proceeds to molest his Stratocaster with a tambourine. Depending on one's perspective, this will either sound horrible or qualify as good noise (count me firmly in the latter category). Either way, it's all part of the fun.

There are incidental, non-concert scenes which are preposterously bad. At one point, however, the boys do chug through an early, thumping version of "Children of the Revolution"; a wild lip-sync jam filmed at Apple Studios with Ringo and Elton.

The DVD includes an extra four hours of material (!). There's too much to catalog here but of note is restored footage of both shows in their entirety. With the exception of a tentative "Get It On" (which exposes the film's spontaneous jam as anything but), the previously-unseen matinee show was well worth the trouble of liberating from its rusty reel canisters. The quality of the restored print is superb, the colors as rich as expected for this definitive glam era document. Of the bonus features, the interview with unassuming, born again drummer Bill Legend is actually a refreshing respite after an hour of Bolan testimonial/hyperbole from other interviewees.

Sanctuary has simultaneously issued a Born to Boogie CD. Disc one is more or less a complete playback of the film, idiotic "dialogue" included. The concert cuts all hail from the more energized evening show. Producer Tony Visconti remixed the show from the original multi-tracks and considering the era in which they were recorded, the sound is damn exceptional. There's also a vintage interview with Bolan which closes disc one.

The second disc appears to be the complete matinee show including all the announcements and a sloppy encore cover of "Summertime Blues"; easily the most disposable cut in the whole bunch. A few of these matinee performances ("Baby Strange", "Telegram Sam") are free of the suspicious backing vocals that seep through on the soundtrack. There is also a deceptively rockin' six minute-plus version of the b-side, "Cadillac", which was left out of the film.

When I first saw the CD, it struck me as nothing more than a souvenir for T.Rex completists. As it turns out, the recording holds up better than period live albums of Ziggy, Rod & the Faces, Mott the Hoople and possibly even Sweet (whose Rainbow '73 set, it should be admitted, is another storming live sampling from the mascara era). Born to Boogie is essential rock 'n' film. Get a ticket.


—Jeff Jarema
June 2005

Chad Haden
07-29-2005, 07:50 AM
I picked this up about a month ago, it's a killer set. The footage all looks great, the extras are all really cool like footage from a John Peel tv show and a nice lengthy interview with Tony Visconti.

Ian Jane
07-29-2005, 12:28 PM
I've picked this up in the store and looked at it, meaning to get it, only to get distracted by something else.

I want this set though.

Brian Stewart
07-29-2005, 01:06 PM
Glad this DVD finally got brought up as I've been meaning to do it for awhile now. Marc Bolan & T.Rex are beyond Gods to me, so I am (more than) slightly biased, but I can without hesitation recommend this to anyone whether you're a big fan or not. I have shown it to several people who only know T.Rex through "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" and they are instantly hooked. It's hard not get caught up in Bolan's balls-out attitude and performance. This was a very special time period that will never be repeated and Born to Boogie captures it perfectly.

Get it immediately.

Chuk H
07-29-2005, 01:56 PM
............ This was a very special time period that will never be repeated and Born to Boogie captures it perfectly.

Get it immediately.


Damn, ya sold me. I love me some T. Rex.

Brian Stewart
07-29-2005, 03:10 PM
BOOGIE ON!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v458/GreyMiranda/BolanHipBIG.gif

Ian Jane
07-29-2005, 03:24 PM
I'm gonna go record and movie shopping this weekend and I will get this. I will.

Brian Stewart
08-01-2005, 04:55 PM
Soooo...Ian, Chuk, did either of you get a chance to pick this up?

Mark Nelson
08-02-2005, 01:54 AM
I watched the bulk of this set on Sunday, and it was like stripping down to your skivvies and lowering yourself into a bathtub filled with warm T.Rex Jell-o, vintage 1972.


And that's a good thing.

I especially liked the segment in the extras where you could toggle between the 5 mics on stage, isolating what each member of the band was playing during "Jeepster". After hearing everyone sing Steve Currie's praises in the documentary, it was great to be able to isolate his bass and concentrate on his playing, which is hard to do in the regular mix of the film.


As a US T.Rex fan, it was a shock to me that this got released here. I wish some enterprising company would compile all of the Bolan TV appearances and promo films that were released in the 80's on VHS in Japan and on the MARC BOLAN ON VIDEO comp. A complete set of the MARC show would be great, too....


Mark

Brian Stewart
08-02-2005, 02:15 AM
I watched the bulk of this set on Sunday, and it was like stripping down to your skivvies and lowering yourself into a bathtub filled with warm T.Rex Jell-o, vintage 1972.

I couldn't have said it better myself! Excellent (and accurate) description.


As a US T.Rex fan, it was a shock to me that this got released here. I wish some enterprising company would compile all of the Bolan TV appearances and promo films that were released in the 80's on VHS in Japan and on the MARC BOLAN ON VIDEO comp. A complete set of the MARC show would be great, too....

Ditto to all that. There is a site http://www.rexpert.de/ that has some very nice compilation discs (including the MARC shows), but they are not cheap. Perhaps one of these days I will save up to get them. Probably around the same time as they get officially released knowing my luck.

Ian Miller
08-02-2005, 02:26 AM
I love the film (you can't ask for a better era to film him/them, thanx Ringo!), so I really want this disc, there are just some movies that need to come first, but I'm working on it.

Ian Jane
08-03-2005, 12:42 PM
Soooo...Ian, Chuk, did either of you get a chance to pick this up?

I didn't, my trip to the record store got set back by a day and a half of vomiting :(

I still want this though.

Max Page
08-03-2005, 09:29 PM
It is sad that he died so early, anyone wonder what he could have acheived had he not had the car accident?

Brian Stewart
08-03-2005, 10:40 PM
It is sad that he died so early, anyone wonder what he could have acheived had he not had the car accident?

I think of him everyday and honestly, with his energy, charisma and talent (well documented on this DVD), I often forget that he has passed on. His music is still fresh and it's hard for me to grasp the fact that a lifeforce with such determination and self-confidence could be snuffed out so prematurely.

Although his later output suffered due to alcohol and drugs, he was on the right track before he died. He had sobered up and slimmed down and was more focused than ever. He was excited and inspired by the "New Wave" of music that had come on the scene. All the punks were giving him his due respect for his major influence (The Damned even opened for T.Rex on the '77 tour) and he was living up to his self-professed title of "The Godfather of Punk". I have no doubt that Bolan would've thrived in this new environment and went on to make more incredible music.

Don Guarisco
08-04-2005, 01:34 AM
I just picked this disc up and have a question for those who also have it...

I scanned through the feature presentation on my player (a region-modified Toshiba that I bought 1 year ago) and around the 24:30 mark - right on the chapter switch that leads into "Telegram Sam" - the video breaks up around Bolan for about a second. It doesn't last long at all but is VERY noticeable. Even stranger is the fact that you don't see the breakup if you start playing from the "Telegram Sam" chapter - only if it is playing from the previous chapter into the "Telegram Sam" chapter.

I tried it on a 2nd player (an older Toshiba, non-modified) and didn't notice this problem. However, I also tried it on a Philips DVD player (2 to 3 years old and rather fussy about what it will play) and experienced even worse trouble - there was brief video breakup with every chapter change and the video looked extremely pixellated.

So I returned it to the store and got a second copy. Brought it home and played it on the first DVD player - same problem pops up. So my question is this: do you notice a problem with this on your copy? I'm trying to figure out if this is just a DVD player-related quirk or if it's some kind of layer switch or weird PAL-to-NTSC conversion problem. Any help would be appreciated, thanks...

Brian Stewart
08-04-2005, 03:49 AM
Glad you picked it up, Don, but I'm sorry to hear about your trouble with it. I have watched my copy around a dozen times and I haven't noticed any problems whatsoever. I've watched it on both my old Pioneer DVD player and my computer's DVD drive. Hope this helps you narrow down the problem, so you can enjoy the discs to the fullest.

Don Guarisco
08-04-2005, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the response, Brian. I tested the disc on my computer DVD drive and it played fine so I guess it's just a quirk specific to my DVD player (*sigh*). It plays fine on my other main player so I guess I can't complain too much... in any event, it's great to have a document of true T-Rexstacy in my collection now :cool:

Mark Nelson
08-10-2005, 02:20 PM
I checked the new DVD against the old MPI VHS release last night, and was surprised to see that, at least in the opening, the DVD differs from the VHS release.

What I noticed:

On the tape, the film is very slightly letterboxed. Comparing the opening on the tape and DVD, the tape appears to reveal a bit more on the top and bottom.

The VHS opens with the old photo of Bolan as a kid at the right of the screen, and the title "BORN TO BOOGIE" appears next to it. When the photo turns into a more contemporary shot of Bolan, "Starring Marc Bolan & T.REX" (or words to that effect) appear. The DVD opens with the photos centered on black, with no titles. On the VHS, when the still photo slowly dissolves into the freeze-frame of Bolan on the soundstage, there's an outline around his frozen image that disappears just before the scene starts in motion. On the DVD, no such line is visible, and the freeze-frame may hold for a longer duration.

Initially I was just checking to see how bad the tape looked compared to the disc. I hadn't watched my tape copy in several years, but noticed wider letterboxing when I watched the DVD, as at the time the tape was released, letterboxing wasn't too common, and the ever-so-slight masking was something I remembered.

So, I guess this could be considered a "renovation" than a "restoration".

I didn't bother to look for further differences, as I'm not so in love with the film that I'm going to keep the VHS--the DVD kicks so much ass that I can live with the changes. To be honest, I think the supplements and overall presentation on the DVD are more reasons to get it than the film itself.



Mark