Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One More Time For Marc: T.Rex: "The Groover"


 This may well be the first song where the artist announces himself, as if you didn't know immediately who was playing; and this is an anthem, a kind of self-reflecting song that a band can only do once they, in fact, no longer need to tell you who they are.  It doesn't really go anywhere as a song- "I'm a groover, honey!" and "Yeah!" is pretty much the song, but of course being Marc Bolan he's got something to say...and it's mostly about how he actually doesn't care what he's called (Arnie??  Slim?!) because he knows he's the Groover, and thus can go anywhere.

Star King?  Jeepster?  Hmmm, when you start referencing your other songs in a song that is kind of a tipping point; I can see how this only got to #2 on the Luxembourg chart - as boistrous and by-rote strutting this song is, it lacks a vital oomph; it really is like overhearing someone talk about how great they are instead of actually getting to see/hear how great they are, instead.  There is a fine line between buoyant boasting and joie de vivre and this; this, which sounds uncomfortably like T.Rex now needs a cheerleading song to keep the band going in their perpetual battle to stay in the Top Ten, to stay relevant, even.  Marc Bolan must have realized that he started the whole Glam Rock thing and now it is everywhere, and here he is celebrating himself (far more than the shoegazers would in 20 years' time) as if to remind everyone that he was first.  But it still sounds strained, as if he could also see this central role disappearing, his kingly finery being trampled by so many stack-heeled boors who couldn't be truly groovy if they tried.  This is the last time I write about T.Rex here and it's sad that the song isn't more emphatic; instead it's like seeing a ship sail off, over the horizon, never to be seen again.* (Note:  it's not like T.Rex ended; they just didn't get a Top Ten hit after this.) 

The first part of the 70s is now over; the period that I will be calling The Fog has yet to begin, though anyone who now feels itchy even thinking about certain tv shows - UK tv shows I mean - will know The Fog is already here, and pop music is doing its darnedest to fight it every step of the way...

Next up:  as one world ends, another begins.

 *Coincidentally, by this time I know we are going to be moving to Canada; we have a few weeks to clean and pack and have probably already sold the house to a friend.  I have finished kindergarten and will soon be going with my parents cross-country in our car, a trip I don't remember that well, besides it was a hot summer and we ended up in a place called Oakville.  New worlds, indeed.

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