Children of the new revolution
29 June 2020-
To celebrate the (formal) beginning of summer, the team behind the AngelHeaded Hipster project released a new single: Kesha's rather timely rendering of T. Rex's timeless classic "Children of the revolution"...
AngelHeaded Hipster is a unique project in many regards. First off, it gathers a veritable who’s who of contemporary musicians to celebrate the life and works of Glam rock pioneers T. Rex and their late frontman, Marc Bolan. That, in itself, is already a remarkable achievement: the list of artists included here features such legends as Nick Cave, Joan Jett, U2 with an Elton John featuring… And, lest we forget, the album also showcases many younger yet equally talented performers: along with the aforementioned Kesha, you will be able to hear Father John Misty, Peaches, Sean Lennon… All in all, there are 26 tracks on the album, and every single one sounds greatly appealing.
There is another obvious reason for which AngelHeaded Hipster is a welcome surprise in 2020: T. Rex and Marc Bolen have been away for too long, even though their music was truly revolutionary then, to the point of still being incredibly relevant today. With the advent of Glam rock came the sexually ambiguous musings of the late David Bowie, the groundbreaking theatricality of Queen, all setting the stage for new voices to be heard beyond the very music. The fact that we get to enjoy new (if not improved) versions of classics like “Children of the revolution”, “Cosmic dancer” (performed by none other than Nick Cave) or “Bang a gong / Get it on” (by U2 and Sir Elton John) is quite simply a gift in itself.
The last reason why this project is so notable is that it was helmed by yet another late great: Mr Hal Willner. For decades, Willner produced a variety of musical projects, cutting albums with the likes of Marianne Faithfull, Lucinda Williams or Laurie Anderson, releasing all sorts of compilations, live recordings and concept albums with the very best musicians of the era, all the while working for four decades as Saturday Night Live’s sketch music producer — the man who chose the music through 40 years of often cult sketch comedy… Yet, perhaps his most important collaboration took place with — again — the late great Lou Reed, with whom he worked repeatedly on studio albums, live albums and compilations alike over decades.
Hal Willner passed away from Covid-19 in April 2020. The release of AngelHeaded Hipster, slated for September, will serve as a fitting tribute not only to him, or to T. Rex, but to all the great musicians who formed this fantastic group of 20th century boys…