Wednesday, March 14, 2007

239. T-Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)

Track Listing

1. Mambo Sun
2. Cosmic Dancer
3. Jeepster
4. Monolith
5. Lean Woman Blues
6. Get It On
7. Planet Queen
8. Girl
9. Motivator
10. Life's A Gas
11. Rip Off


Ahhh! Now we're getting somewhere, if you know me personally you are probably aware of my love for good glam - Bowie, T-Rex, Roxy Music, Brain Eno etc. This excludes stuff like Slade and Gary Glitter I am afraid. It is actually quite hard to imagine what would have gone through people's minds when they first heard this or when they first saw Bolan or Ziggy-Bowie on TV.

Here we have the first shock of proportions similar to Elvis flaunting his crotch while, unlike him, actually making some pretty amazing music. Bolan revels in kitschiness in this album, he revels in making a bit of fun music which is also incredibly innovative, fun and beautiful. If something comes out of this album it is exactly the sense of fun, of a guy doing what he wants, flaunting his ambiguous sexuality and his little pet sounds like someone who really doesn't care.

Bolan was tapping into a new generation of people, and his music was most definitely for a generation which was already removed from the hippies, particularly in the UK, who were more cynical about life but also had a greater sense of fun and style. This album is stylish and fun, it plays with conceptions about music and really is a founding stone of glam. Of course you can say many of the lyrics here are gibberish, but they sound so cool, "you've got the universe reclining in your hair" means absolutely nothing but it sounds great. There is definitely an exchange of content for style here, nothing could be further from the Dylans of yesteryear, still it is just as good in its absolute unpretentiousness to make anything more than music to have fun to, while still being able to give you something more.

Few other albums so concerned with fun would bother to put an arrangement for fugelhorn on Girl or mix strings with guitar feedback on Rip Off, or start Monolith with what sounds like LP scratching and keep a lot of the studio sounds in. Truly unique and wonderful. Get it on Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Cosmic Dancer
2. Planet Queen
3. Girl
4. Rip Off

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

One of the best-known songs on the record is "Get It On", whose title was changed in the United States to "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" (as there was another hit song at the time called "Get It On" by the group Chase). This was T. Rex's biggest single and their only U.S. hit (#10). The track is followed by "Girl", which is separated from the rest of the album by an unusual flugelhorn arrangement. Elsewhere is "Cosmic Dancer", an acoustic-based song propelled by producer Tony Visconti's string arrangements. This track features over the opening credits of the film Billy Elliot.

Also present on the album are Flo & Eddie, whose background vocals are most prevalent on the track "Monolith", but also feature on "Mambo Sun" and "Get It On".