Marc Bolan

Tony Visconti shares a photo with Marc Bolan at Trident Studios, London, in 1968.

Paul Nichols headshot
  • By Paul Nichols
  • 27 Sep 2012
  • min read

"In this photo, myself and Marc are listening to a playback of music we’d just made for his second album Prophets, Seers and Sages: The Angels of the Ages.

We were at the legendary Trident Studios in Soho, London, where we later recorded most of T. Rex’s sixth album Electric Warrior. But this was 1968 and all that was yet to come.

When this picture was taken, we already had the single Deborah and first album My People Were Fair… under our belts. But sonically, we were very dissatisfied with the album as it was made in just four days, including mixing. We wanted our second opus to be more powerful and were keen to experiment in the studio, just as The Beatles had done when they pioneered their audio magic.

Our engineer Malcolm Toft overheard us saying that we were still not happy with our sound and admitted that he honestly didn't understand what we were going for.

I had worked with him on previous productions and we had a solid relationship. So Malcolm took the initiative, saying he would bow out of the album recording process but would stick around long enough to help me understand the more complicated engineering protocol at Trident.

After that Marc, Steve Took and I were on our own. We had the luxury of two whole weeks recording this one. The result was the first definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex album. We were proud of this one. The album brought Marc's amazing songs to life and we started to sharpen our skills for producing hit singles and concept albums.

The album set the tone for the way Marc and I would work together for the next five years. I started as his producer, then engineer and eventually adding the roles of session musician, backing singer and arranger to the list too.

I saw Marc through two band names and several different band line ups, but we as a team made nine studio albums together.  Of course he was my friend, too, and I loved him."


Producer Tony Visconti was born in Brooklyn, New York, but relocated to London in the late 60s to 'learn how the British do it.' Within six months he was involved in the recording careers of Marc Bolan and David Bowie. He produced several albums by Marc Bolan and T. Rex, including Electric Warrior and The Slider.

Over several decades he has produced many albums with David Bowie including The Man Who Sold the World, Heroes, Scary Monsters and Heathen. Other notable artists he has worked with include Morrissey, Thin Lizzy, Elaine Paige and Hazel O'Connor. Tony has since moved back to New York, where he has been working with Alejandro Escovedo, Kristeen Young and The Kin.