Dandy in the Underworld

Marc Bolan & T Rex


'Dandy in the Underworld' lyrics

These are the original handwritten lyrics for the title track of the Dandy in the Underworld album. From this two sided sheet it is obvious that Marc had this song ear-marked as a future single release with the reference 'For single - substitute word for cocaine'. Marc was obviously aware that to release a single with a reference to 'cocaine' would have almost certainly have resulted in the single being banned. When the song was released as a single in June 1977 the word 'cocaine' was substituted with 'T Rex'.

On the back of the sheet Marc has made himself a note to 'get Manhattan Transfer first and second albums'. Manhattan Transfer were an American vocal group with a strong jazz element to their sound and they had a huge UK hit with 'Chanson D'Amour' in 1977.

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Dandy lyrics front for website.jpg
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Studio notes

The Air Recording Studio notes are from the 14th October 1976. On the same day, Marc also recorded I'm A Fool For You Girl and Universe. As Laser Love was released on the 17th September and T Rex's only Top of the Pops performance of the song was broadcast on the 7th September it seems likely that the TV version of the song relates to a performance on The Arrows TV programme which was broadcast on the 2nd November.

The torn studio notes, in Marc's distinctive handwriting, possibly relate to multiple sessions. Interesting to note that Marc refers to Pain and Love as Love and Pain and that the only song which was not released in Marc's lifetime was I Believe.

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Studio tape boxes

The following studio tape boxes show a selection of songs related to the Dandy in the Underworld recording sessions. Unfortunately, these are the best images available of the boxes.

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Dandy studio box A.jpg

'Funky London Childhood' lyrics

The song Funky London Childhood originates from around 1975 and was a precursor to the Dandy in the Underworld track Visions of Domino.

During November 1975, Marc had a regular slot on the Thames TV 'Today' programme where he interviewed the likes of Stan Lee (Marvel comics) and Roy Wood. T Rex recorded backing tracks for Funky London Childhood and London Boys which Marc then performed on the shows with a live vocal.

Although Funky London Childhood was performed live on the Futuristic Dragon tour in February 1976 it did not feature on the then new album (it was probably held back for inclusion on the London Opera album which never materialised).

With the London Opera concept album abandoned, the song then morphed into Visions of Domino.

It's interesting to note that the released version of Visions of Domino on the Dandy in the Underworld album features not only the 'old' T Rex band of Steve Currie, Davey Lutton and Dino Dines but also drummer Paul Fenton.

Marc Funky London Childhood handwritten