Summer is heaven in ’77!
Celebrate Summer is the forgotten gem of the comeback that never was. In ’77 Marc Bolan was tuning up for a fresh wave of T. Rextasy. He’d lost some of his glitter in the mid-seventies, with an interesting but unpopular foray into American-style soul and couple of mediocre stabs at recapturing the classic T.Rex boogie. He finally got his mojo back with Dandy In the Underworld, the most acclaimed and successful T.Rex album in years. He’d also hosted a hit television show, titled with simplicity Marc. Celebrate Summer, which would be the last T.Rex single, is one of the brightest songs Marc Bolan has given us. It’s not a particularly deep song – Bolan wasn’t the deepest thinker in the UK; his moments of profundity came from a place of whimsy, his wordplay was charmingly childlike. Sometimes an unapologetically simple pop song can be a masterpiece. This is one of those songs that is a perfect pop catharsis precisely because it is a bit silly and has no ambition besides fun. The irony that the summer of ’77 didn’t end very well for Bolan (an understatement – he died that September, two weeks shy of 30) adds an element of poignancy to the party. The effect of Bolan’s death was to cast a gauze of melancholy over some of his work. Perhaps it is for the best. Perhaps without that glimmer of sadness to balance the joie de vivre, the music would not have aged as well? Or perhaps it is a mistake to thank hindsight and irony for the emotions Bolan’s music evokes. Methinks the native sadness was there all along, only sharpened by tragedy.
Bolan’s show was designed as a platform to showcase his new material and boost sales. So the latter day singles were all trotted out in style. Two clips were filmed for Celebrate Summer. They sound the same, but feature different sexy outfits. Bolan had experienced some most likely drug related bloat throughout the mid-decade, which marred his looks and didn’t help his popularity any. Taking his comeback seriously, by ’77 he’d cleaned up, slimmed down and was looking as mighty fine as he ever had. As the videos show, he was looking hooootttt. The video also answers the query, What would Marc Bolan wear to go jogging? What else but a leopard print jumpsuit, obviously!