Sorry I didn’t do the CAT last week, I intended on doing it but work and that fact that I couldn’t access any of the Lemme’s computers prevented me from doing it. Anyways, this week I thought I’d review Marc Bolan and T. Rex’s seminal 1971 breakthrough, Electric Warrior. It’s an album I continuously find myself coming back to, and it’s probably my favorite album to come out of the glam rock movement of the early seventies.
Electric Warrior showed T. Rex exploring a more electric rock sound than the earlier acoustic, folky sound Bolan and percussionist Mickey Finn had explored as a duo. This album shows T. Rex with a more band oriented format with the addition of bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend, as well as the backup vocals of Flo and Eddie of the Turtles. However, theres still a number of acoustic numbers such “Cosmic Dancer” and “Girl”, both of with feature some unique orchestral arrangements.
Of course, the album is probably best known for having T. Rex’s most famous song “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”. The song was their only hit in the U.S., despite having a long run of top 10 singles in the U.K. during the early seventies. “Bang A Gong” as well as many of the other songs on the album like “Planet Queen” and “Life’s a Gas” have a great laid back, glam rock sound that also features Marc Bolan’s spacey lyrics. There’s also a few songs with a more aggressive hard rock sound that T. Rex would persue on the fantastic follow up to this album, The Slider.
Along with the rise of the glam rock movement, Bolan and T. Rex became one of the leading figures of rock in Britain in the early Seventies. However, Bolan’s uncontrollable appetite for excessive drugs and alcohol would result in a decline in popularity and the eventual breakup of T. Rex just prior to Bolan’s sudden death in 1977.
Favorite Tracks: “Mambo Sun”, “Jeepster”, “Life’s a Gas”