My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows

 The debut album ofSwans bird graphics Tyrannosaurus Rex (later known as T. Rex) and was released in 1968. The record features Marc on vocals and guitars, and Steve Peregrine Took on backing vocals, drums, pixiephone, and percussion. It also features disc jockey John Peel, who reads a Bolan-penned fairytale for the album’s closing track, “Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love),” which includes what must be one of the earliest “Hare Krishna” chants on a British pop record (two years before George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”).

The album’s music is much influenced by Tyrannosaurus Rex’ psychedelic contemporaries, and marks, for Bolan, a rejection of the electric guitar–led freakbeat music he’d been playing with his previous band, John’s Children.

The album was recorded at Advision StudiosSwans bird graphics in London in early 1968. Advision was the first studio in the U.K. with eight-channel recording equipment. This Advision eight-channel machine was a model 280 made by Scully Recording Instruments. It allowed for far greater recording flexibility than the standard 4-track recorders of the era.

Recordings of the songs “Mustang Ford” (single release, titled “Go Go Girl”) and “Hot Rod Mama” (live) by John’s Children exist.

This album was paired with Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages (1968) and released in 1972 as the double album Tyrannosaurus Rex: A Beginning, following the success of T-Rex’s Electric Warrior (1971) and The Slider (1972). In 1985 it was re-released on Sierra Records (Replay series)Swans bird graphics FEDB 5013.

Track listing

All tracks written by Marc Bolan

Side 1

  1. “Hot Rod Mama” – 3:09
  2. “Scenescof” – 1:41
  3. “Child Star” – 2:52
  4. “Strange Orchestras” – 1:47
  5. “Chateau in Virginia Waters” – 2:38
  6. “Dwarfish Trumpet Blues” – 2:47

Side 2

  1. “Mustang Ford” – 2:56
  2. “Afghan Woman” – 1:59
  3. “Knight” – 2:38
  4. “Graceful Fat Sheba” – 1:28
  5. “Wielder of Words” – 3:19
  6. “Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love)” – 5:55

There is also a short, unlisted title track at the end of side two.

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Versions

Title Label Cat# Country Year
My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (LP, Album) Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1003 UK 1968
My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (LP, Album, Mono) Regal Zonophone LRZ 1003 UK 1968
My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (CD, Album, RE) A&M Records 541 009-2 Europe 1998
My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (CD, Album, RE, RM, Ltd) A&M Records 982250-9 Europe 2004
My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (LP, Album, RE, Ltd) Vinyl Lovers 900204 Russia 2008