REX - ELECTRIC WARRIOR DELUXE EDITION
this 1971 album wasn’t the point that Marc Bolan’s
band moved from being a rather fey psychedelic folk act to rock
band proper, it does mark the moment that T Rex as most people
know them were invented – when the band took the large step
to superstardom, Top of the Pops and screaming
teenyboppers. It’s also a seminal moment in the development
of British glam rock – the first of its type, and something
that would lead to both Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust
and the more blatant, opportunist efforts from already ageing
rockers like Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust, as well as the career-destroying
dalliance from Sweet. So it’s a significant recording, and
this 40th anniversary edition certainly pulls out all the stops.
Disc one is the original album – opening up with Mambo
Sun, where the hippy roots are still showing, it
really gets into its stride with track 3, the furious stomper
Jeepster that sounds as fresh as ever,
a bangingly infectious rock number that as much as any other song
sets the template for the genre.
It’s unsurprising that this is the highlight of the album,
matched in brilliance only by fellow single Get It
On (Bang a Gong), another thumping dancefloor filler.
The sound of these tracks is only matched on The Motivator
and - to a degree – on album closer Rip Off.
Elsewhere, it’s more of a mixed bag. Monolith
again leans back to the hippy days, while Lean Woman
Blues is an unconvincing blues number. Better are
the likes of Planet Queen and Life’s
Gas, acoustic-led pure pop made odd by Bolan’s
warbling, gasping vocals and his decidedly fucked-up lyrical bent.
The new stuff includes massive hit single Hot Love,
a handful of B-sides and a whole bunch of alternate, demo mixes.
These echoing, cruder renditions offer a certain intimacy and
variation to the songs on the album, but are not that
different from the final versions on the whole. The set also includes
a DVD of TV and video appearances, but that didn’t come
with the review edition, so I can’t comment on it.
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