Early Broadcasts 67-69 [no label 1CD]
John Peel's Perfumed Garden, Top Gear and Top of the Pops. VG - Ex broadcast stereo.

With so much Marc Bolan material now floating around, both over and underground, it's growing increasingly difficult to determine (or even remember) everything you already have in the collection. This is especially true of the BBC broadcasts, which have made so many CD appearances that the archive has surely been emptied by now... hasn't it?

In fact it hasn't, and Early Broadcasts makes a good stab at plugging some of the more egregious gaps, beginning with John's Children's four song 1967 Saturday Club appearance. Of course, that one's been floating around for some time, but this marks its debut on a Bolan-only collection. There's more John's Children courtesy of DJ John Peel airing a long-lost acetate of their take on "Hippy Gumbo," followed by the version of "Highways" aired during the final edition of Peel's Perfumed Garden radio show.

Tyrannosaurus Rex's first BBC session, on November 5 1967, is present both with and without Bolan's spoken introductions to the songs (recorded prior to the session's rebroadcast on February 4 1968) - only three of these performances appear on the A BBC History compilation; and, while the "Juniper Suction" poem will be likewise familiar, the snatch of interview that follows is new.

A full four song session from November 10 1968 follows, together with three live-on-air Bolan poems, while another interview, recorded a year later, finds presenter Radio One Club Brian Matthews chiding Bolan for not yet having scored a hit single... and "Chariots of Silk," which follows, was not about to change that sad state of affairs.

That same song (but a different performance) figures in the next Peel session, a November 1969 outing that is heralded by an all-time loveliest "Once Upon The Seas of Abyssinia," and was again overlooked by the official CD, and that just about wraps up what might well rank among the very last truly essential Bolan radio collections we're likely to hear… at least until someone unearths all the sessions that are still missing, of course... - Dave Thompson

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November 17 , 2006