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Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex)were founded by Marc Bolan in August 1967. T-Rex performed just once as a four-piece outfit, at the Electric Garden in Covent Garden, London, before immediately breaking up in disarray. Bolan retained the services of percussionist Steve Peregrin Took and the duo began producing eccentric, pastoral, folk-tinged ditties steeped in Tolkienian mythology, with spiritual homages to the music of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran thrown into the mix for good measure.

The combination of Bolan's acoustic guitar and cat-like wail with Steve Took's bongos, and assorted percussion, which often included children's instruments such as the Pixiephone, gained them a devoted following on a thriving underground scene. British Disc jockey John Peel befriended the band and ferried them to and from gigs in his Mini. Peel later appeared on record with them, reading stories written by Bolan. Another key collaborator was producer Tony Visconti, who went on to produce the band's albums well into their second, "glam rock", phase.