35. T. Rex – London Boys (1976)

Alongside David Bowie, the other superstar of the glam rock scene was Marc Bolan, leader of the band T. Rex.

Bolan is another one of those celebrities who, for some reason, never quite translated for American audiences. T. Rex had one minor hit stateside with “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” but nothing else made a dint in the US charts. In England, however, Bolan was legendary, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s.

Bolan died tragically in a car crash in 1977, just before he turned 30, when his girlfriend drove their purple mini into a sycamore tree in southwest London. Twenty-five years later, fans still decorate the tree.

Unfortunately, the T. Rex song best suited to this list is nowhere near one of their best songs: “London Boys” from 1976. In fact, I’d say it borders on being terrible. But it’s also not a bad picture of the cultural depths to which things sank in the 1970s before the cleansing fire of punk burned away the dross.

If you’d like to see something much better from T. Rex, however, check out this performance of “Children of the Revolution” (my favorite song of theirs) with Elton John and Ringo Starr as guest stars:

Marc Bolan

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