The Misty Coast of Albany


Why the shoutout to Albany, New York? That place has zero claim to fame! Oh, you mean Albany as in the ancient Gaelic name for the territory now known as Scotland? Everything makes sense now. It bears the whiff of both folklore and aristocracy, two things fascinating to Marc Bolan. If you can decipher his mumbles, you’ll hear a typically quasi-Tolkienesque tale of star-crossed love. Bolan never quite lost his love of fairy tales and mythology, though he eventually learned to enunciate better. But on later T.Rex albums, the nerdiness was somewhat reigned in by rock god swagger. Like his fellow nerds Page and Plant, Bolan made himself commercial by leavening his dweeby mystical interests with hip-thrusting riffs and easily accessible double entendres. Before he perfected that formula, though, he was unabashedly up to his ears in mystical arcana, swords-and-wizards fantasy and children’s stories about talking moles. It was most resolutely not marketable, even in an era when all of those things were intensely fashionable, but it was uniquely charming and fey.

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