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The Crack Magazine


Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Director: Ethan Silverman

The Marc Bolan tribute album of the same name was released way back in 2020, so this rockumentary (if you will) which mixes making-of-the-record footage and interviews with some of the artists involved, with archive footage of the singer, feels like an attempt to replicate the success of recent Bowie documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’.

The finished album was a mixed affair with some genuinely inspired takes on the canon such as ‘Devandra Banhart’s lovely ethereal version of deep cut ‘Scenescof’ and Beth Orton’s bluesy ‘Hippy Gumbo’, undercut by U2’s pointless, breathy version of ‘Get It On’ and Nick Cave’s typically portentous and flat ‘Cosmic Dancer’. The featured artists’ pronouncements on Bolan are affectionate, but pretty rote and free of insight.

Thankfully, the performance footage drawn from ITV’s ‘Marc’ show (which incidentally saw the singer embrace the punk generation), and the Ringo Starr-directed Bolan pic ‘Born to Boogie’, is fantastic (try and catch this on a big screen with the biggest sound system possible) thrillingly showcasing Bolan’s instinctive rock star moves. The picture also sports talking head interviews with David Bowie, a close on-off friend and rival, whose testimony is invaluable, and Bolan’s partner of four years, singer Gloria ‘Tainted Love’ Jones who survived the tragic accident that killed the singer in 1977. It’s a little fuzzy on the actual details of Bolan’s love life though: at one point his hitherto unmentioned wife June Ellen Child just turns up in the background.

The TV interviews scattered throughout are charming, highlighting Bolan’s puckish sense of humour as he mischievously disowns the latest grandiose claim he has supposedly made about himself.

Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex’ is out 22nd September

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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