Do Your Thing

I’d been looking at Sister Pat Hall smiling at me in the soul section of my local record shop, I had no idea who she was, and thinking the album was some obscure one-hit wonder of the 60s that I wouldn’t be interested in.  I’m more than happy to be proven wrong!

I was looking for something different and exciting, and Do Your Thing was recommended to me by Graham, who was working that cold January Friday when I’d popped in to pick up my album reservations.  “That Sister Pat Hall album has been intriguing me for a while” he announced as I was thumbing through the soul section, and reliably informed me that it was written and produced by no other than Marc Bolan! Do Your Thing is now enjoying its first vinyl release, having been available only on CD previously.  The result of months of work during the early part of 1974.

Gloria Jones and Pat Hall had spent some time touring and playing with Marc Bolan and T-Rex and Bolan had been looking to create a new genre ‘Cosmic Rock’ that combined Rock ‘n’ Roll with Atlantic Soul.  Although not something new to our modern ears with bands such as The Bellrays, in 1974 this was something totally new.

Bolan had enlisted some great musicians to play on the album, including Ray Parker Jr on guitar, written a host of new songs, and reworked some of his own songs that worked well with the project with both Hall and Bolan enthused and excited about releasing the album upon the world, yet it was not to be. 

I really don’t know why the album was never released at the time, however, the sleeve notes do provide an intriguing clue. Towards the end of mixing Bolan invited Roy Hill, a journalist from the (now defunct) Record and Music Mirror to hear the new album.  Bolan apparently became exasperated and left Hill in the company of Pat Hill and Gloria Jones, who continued the interview.  Although it’s not clear why Bolan became exasperated there may be a clue that Hill wasn’t impressed with Bolan’s new direction?  Who knows?

Regardless of whether 1974 was a good year for Bolan or not, his career was on the wane, and his credibility as a musician was under scrutiny.  Seeking something new was something Bolan certainly excelled in, often looking back to take steps forward, and Do Your Thing was a monumental leap and an absolute barnstormer of an album!  Enjoy!


Tom Stanger
Host at Supernatural People podcast, Editor/writer at The Pilgrim Magazine, curator of the Pontyddim archives, tea drinker, hat wearer and autism advocate. PhD researcher on Gothic Literature & religion also does book reviews bad photography and other bits and bobs

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