Like a lot of people, I watched some of the Summer Olympics in Beijing last summer. And, like a lot of people, I was wowed by the opening ceremony which was quite the spectacle.
This coming out party for the Chinese (as many dubbed it) caused quite a stir among the pundits and prognosticators. There were more than a few people getting the vapors over what they viewed as the first glimpse of coming attractions, a world where China is a superpower.
One morning last week, I read a piece – I think it was in The New York Times – detailing the relationship between the education level of a nation’s citizens and economic stability and growth. It was thought provoking and basically warned that the average high school kid in the US reads at about the same comprehension level as a baked potato (or something like that, it wasn’t encouraging).
Then, a few nights ago, I was writing. The television was on, essentially background noise. A familiar melody caused me to look up. It was a commercial for Cisco – an ad depicting technology coming to an idyllic looking countryside.
It closed with a screen filled with young Chinese school children looking ridiculously eager to carpe the @#$%! out of the diem and throttle anything that might get in their path (but with a gleeful enthusiasm that was disarming).
I’m thinking that our potato children are toast.
Anyhow, the song that caught my attention was a version of T. Rex’ classic Children Of The Revolution. So, if a world where China is a superpower means a T. Rex revival, I’m on board.
I can’t remember exactly when I discover the music of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. I was far too young to have been aware of their years as superstars in the ’70s (not that I would have heard much of their stuff aside from Get It On here in the US).
I think the first time I heard T. Rex was seeing the video for Bang A Gong (Get It On) on MTV. Several years later, Power Station covered the song and, not long after that, Violent Femmes covered Children Of The Revolution.
As I entered college and CDs were beginning to be issued for most titles, I stumbled across a T. Rex compilation (there’ve been a ridiculous number of them). The packaging was quite shoddy, but the music was astounding – all candy-coated primal crunch and sing-song lyrics.
I certainly own more T. Rex than I probably need (courtesy to a multi-set collection in the ’90s which I received as promos), but there are few acts whose music brightens my mood like T. Rex. So, to help everyone in the West relax a bit during breaks from learning Mandarin, here’s a handful of Marc Bolan classics…
T. Rex – Children Of The Revolution
from Great Hits 1972-1977
T. Rex – Hot Love
from The Legend Of T. Rex
T. Rex – Metal Guru
from The Slider
T. Rex – The Slider
from The Slider
T. Rex – Get It On
from Electric Warrior