‘Electric Warrior’ from T Rex marks a big turn in the band’s sound, moving away from the previous folk oriented music and shifting more into rock.
Written by: DavidShaw
ARTIST: T Rex
ALBUM: Electric Warrior
LABEL: Fly (UK), Reprise (USA)
SERIAL: Hifly 6, RS 6466
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Marc Bolan – vocals, guitars * Mickey Finn – percussion, vocals * Steve Currie – bass * Bill Legend – drums
Additional Musicians: Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman – backing vocals * Rick Wakeman – keyboards ‘Get It On’ * Ian McDonald – sax * Burt Collins – flugelhorn
TRACK LISTING: 01 Mambo Sun * 02 Cosmic Dancer * 03 Jeepster * 04 Monolith * 05 Lean Woman Blues * 06 Bang A Gong (Get It On) * 07 Planet Queen * 08 Girl * 09 The Motivator * 10 Life’s A Gas * 11 Rip Off
T Rex, along with Sweet, shaped my musical tastes for the next four decades. I remember running home from Cubs, on a Thursday night just to see T Rex perform on ‘Top Of The Pops’ on the telly, and being mesmerized by Marc Bolan. I used to buy the magazine Disco 45 weekly and they would print the lyrics of top 10 songs of that week.
My friend, brother and I would bash them out in our front room. Then one day my Dad bought me the ‘Top Of The Pops’ album with T Rex’s ‘Jeepster’ on it. I was hooked from that day onward and still am. ‘Electric Warrior’ marks a big turning in the band’s sound as it moves away from the folk oriented music of the previous albums and takes on the new music genre of hard rock, the album also gave the band a hit in the USA with ‘Get It On’.
How does one review such an iconic album that has been reviewed many times over? The albums opener ‘Mambo Sun’ slides like a snake in the desert as Bolan sings: ‘I’m Doctor Strange for you’. My sleeve notes suggest that Mickey Finn wanted to do this as a single, as it had a calypso feel to it. Next up is ‘Cosmic Dancer’ with its hint of melodrama over an exquisite string arrangement. The R and B ‘Jeepster’ which reached no 2 in the UK Charts has that unmistakable Bolan guitar riff.
‘Get It On’, covered by The Power Station and The Joe Perry Project is a brilliant pop song if ever I heard one. Following on we have ‘Planet Queen’ and ‘Girl’, written by Bolan’s friend David Bowie, a nice acoustic affair.’The Motivator’ possesses the standard rock rhythm, and closing the album is ‘Rip Off’ set at a fever pitch with energy and an intense rhythm that risks sending the listener into a manic frenzy.
This CD should be in every rock fans collection, along with ‘The Slider’ and ‘Tanx’. The lyrics are nonsense, but who cares as the songs are memorable and enjoyable. ‘Electric Warrior’ has stood the test of time and many decades on I still play it on a regular basis. It’s hard to believe that three-quarters of the band have died since.
Mickey Finn moved up the road from me when I lived in South Norwood and sadly passed away in the Hospital I worked at. Bill Legend, the only surviving member of T Rex, has a brother that teaches woodwork at Tauranga Boys High School over here in New Zealand. And talking of legend, this album is surely it.