Monday, February 18, 2013


YEAR:  1971
LABEL:  Reprise
TRACK LISTING:  Mambo Sun,  Cosmic Dancer,  Jeepster,  Monolith,  Lean Woman Blues,  Bang a Gong (Get It On),  Planet Queen,  Girl,  The Motivator,  Life's a Gas,  Rip Off
BONUS TRACKS:  I own two different copies of this album (no, I didn't buy either of them -- free promos, baby!).  The first cd reissue from 2001 features bonus tracks of all demo versions:  Rip Off (Work In Progress),  Mambo Sun (Work In Progress),  Cosmic Dancer (Work In Progress),  Monolith (Work In Progress),  Get It On (Work In Progress),  Planet Queen (Work In Progress), The Motivator (Work In Progress) and Life's a Gas (Work In Progress).  The 2003 30th Anniversary cd features the following bonus tracks:  There Was A Time,  Raw Ramp,  Planet Queen (Acoustic Version),  Hot Love,  Woodland Rock,  King of the Mountain Cometh,  The T. Rex Electric Warrior Interview
IMPRESSIONS:  If there is an epicenter of the glam rock era, it is surely ELECTRIC WARRIOR.  There is simply no other album that sounds like this (including any other T. Rex albums).  The insolent, almost lazy groove, the combo of electric guitars and acoustic guitars, that strange-sounding clappy echo, the fact that Marc Bolan seems to be able to sing without using his vocal chords i.e. in an impish, insolent squeaking whisper.  I don't know what it is or how to explain it but this album captures 1971.  In fact, Marc Bolan himself says in the interview contained on the 30th anniversary Rhino reissue:  "I think Electric Warrior, for me, is the first album which is a statement of 1971 for us in England. I mean that's... If anyone ever wanted to know why we were big in the other part of the world, that album says it, for me."  This is another one of those albums which I grew up with in the wood-panelled living room on Linwood Avenue with our lime-green beanbag chair and the string art picture on the wall.  Dropping the needle onto side two (we only ever listened to side two owing to my Dad's perverse habit of only playing one side of a new album so that years later he could play the other side and it would be like having another new album -- I know, makes no sense to me either) meant catapulting myself into the glittery world of groovy glam with Marc Bolan as a guide.  Marc Bolan, who seemed like a spoonful of sugar laced with black pepper; exceedingly sweet but slightly dangerous.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Mambo Sun,  Cosmic Dancer,  Jeepster,  Bang a Gong (Get It On),  Planet Queen,  Girl,  The Motivator,  Life's a Gas,  Rip Off
GUEST ARTISTS:  Rick Wakeman (keyboards on "Bang a Gong (Get It On)")
FACT SHEET:  ELECTRIC WARRIOR is T. Rex's sixth album (and their second under the name T. Rex as their previous 4 albums were released under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex).  The album was produced by Tony Visconti.  The album cover was designed by South Kensington art design group Hipgnosis who designed scores of classic album covers for Led Zeppelin, 10cc, The Alan Parsons Project, Al Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney & Wings, Genesis, UFO, AC/DC, Bad Company and many more.  "Get It On" was retitled "Bang a Gong (Get It On") in the US to distinguish it from another song called "Get It On" released in late 1971 by Chase.  ELECTRIC WARRIOR went to number one in the UK for several weeks and became the biggest selling album there in 1971.  Rolling Stone ranked the album number 160 in their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.     

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