© 2001 Thunderwing Productions Ltd.
Early in 1999 Marc Bolan & T.Rex Master tapes were advertised for sale by auction at Bonham’s in London. Danielz, Caron Willans and Marc Arscott went to see the material at the preview and were shocked to discover that many of the tapes were in a bad condition; there was damp mould on some boxes and tape reels, some tapes were without ‘leader’, some tapes were without tape boxes. It was depressing to think of the possible fate of this part of Bolan’s legacy – would it lie in the hands of a private collector who would hide them away, an investor who would trade them on the World market, or a record company intent on some quick exploitation before auctioning them again…. The main fear was that they would be dispersed around the country, or around the world, never fully documented – this small collection of Marc’s work, broken up.
Thankfully they didn’t sell at auction, and while they were in reprieve a small group of friends rallied together in the hope they could rescue the tapes and maintain them as a collection. Within a matter of weeks Marc Arscott, Danielz, Karen Hirst, Gavin Ingels, Sally Ingels, Paul Thomas, Judi Thomas and Caron Willans had secured the tapes.
Having collected the tapes submitted to the auction, the group were also able to obtain many others – these included ¼” and 2” Masters of material recorded around the world by Marc & T.Rex, tracks from the classic EMI albums and some unknown songs, along with rehearsals, working versions, rough mixes, jams and some solo home demos. With the groups priority, to ensure the safety of the tapes, they contacted London Museum’s National Sound Archives for guidance. Recommendations for archiving, including cleaning and storage and having various kinds of safety copies made, were given.
It was in the studio during this process at the start of June 1999, that hidden instrumentation and vocal tracks were discovered on much of the material, along with false starts, introductions and with a number of songs continuing well past their known endings.
Having documented and made safety copies of all the tapes, it was agreed by the group that the material was of such high quality, that it was important that an official release be produced, and at this point Thunderwing Productions Limited was formed, with the purpose of preserving the tapes and to promote the work of Marc Bolan in a positive and progressive manner. The new company approached Techiku Records of Japan to compile an album for release early in the new decade. In November, members of TPL went into Fortress Studios in London and started work on what would become bump`n`grind, released in April 2000.
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