Tyrannosaurus Rex: Missing Top Gear Session Discovered

A previously missing 1960s BBC session by psychedelic rock/folk band Tyrannosaurus Rex has been discovered.

The session by the group – which would evolve in to legendary glam act T-Rex in the 1970s – was broadcast on March 23rd, 1968 as part of the BBC Radio 1’s influential “progressive” music programme Top Gear, but wiped soon after.

The BBC archives might not have retained a copy but a fan did, making an off-air recording from his radio featuring the whole session, with DJ John Peel’s introduction and performances of ‘Knight’, ‘Debora’, ‘Afghan Woman’ and ‘Frowning Atahuallpa’.

The sound quality of the domestic tape is said to be good on account of the fan plugging his recorder straight in to the radio, as opposed to placing a mike next to the speaker.

Responsible for discovering the recording is Nigel Lees, an expert on psychedelic music and founder of the Top Sounds record label, set up in 2004 with the purpose of conducting a ‘slow but sure archaeological dig into the UK’s lost pop archive’.

He announced his discovery on the Missing Episodes forum here.

Nigel has been responsible for tracking down other lost live performances by 60s bands such as Tomorrow, Kaleidoscope and Killing Floor, either preserved on transcription disks or from off-air recordings.

These previously unreleased gems, performed on shows including Saturday Club and The Dave Cash Programme as well as Top Gear, have been released commercially by Top Sounds (with the full blessing of the BBC) on three CD compilations: ‘Alphabeat‘; ‘Shapes and Sounds‘ and ‘Shapes and Sounds Vol 2‘.

Wiped hopes to bring you a feature on Nigel and the Top Sounds label soon.

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