Electric Warrior [Expanded]

Electric Warrior [Expanded]

4.6 3
by T. Rex
     
 

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The secret behind the glam pop of gorgeous, oh-so-groovy T. Rex mastermind Marc Bolan was this: Always make it seem heavy. On his excellent Electric Warrior -- a title that projects heavy-osity despite its music's carefully catchy touch -- Bolan's endless aura of cool turns lyrical inanities into psychedelic poetry. Released

Overview

The secret behind the glam pop of gorgeous, oh-so-groovy T. Rex mastermind Marc Bolan was this: Always make it seem heavy. On his excellent Electric Warrior -- a title that projects heavy-osity despite its music's carefully catchy touch -- Bolan's endless aura of cool turns lyrical inanities into psychedelic poetry. Released in 1971 (six years before Bolan's death in a car accident), T. Rex's sixth album is packed with ripping guitar riffs and even better rock 'n' roll imagery -- "You're built like a car/You've got a hubcap diamond star halo," Bolan sings on the hit "Bang a Gong," an anthem of abandon that sounds cool and controlled. T. Rex's lyrics didn't always make sense, as in "Under the alligator rain/My heart's all pain" from the thumping "Mambo Sun." But judging by the positive vibes of the album's closer, "Life's a Gas" ("But it really doesn't matter at all/Life's a gas/Hope it's gonna last"), it's doubtful this hipster would have gotten hung up on a critique of his lyrics. He was right anyway. When it comes to pop, the words really don't matter at all, either -- as long as it sounds good. And Electric Warrior sounds very good indeed.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
The album that essentially kick-started the U.K. glam rock craze, Electric Warrior completes T. Rex's transformation from hippie folk-rockers into flamboyant avatars of trashy rock & roll. There are a few vestiges of those early days remaining in the acoustic-driven ballads, but Electric Warrior spends most of its time in a swinging, hip-shaking groove powered by Marc Bolan's warm electric guitar. The music recalls not just the catchy simplicity of early rock & roll, but also the implicit sexuality -- except that here, Bolan gleefully hauls it to the surface, singing out loud what was once only communicated through the shimmying beat. He takes obvious delight in turning teenage bubblegum rock into campy sleaze, not to mention filling it with pseudo-psychedelic hippie poetry. In fact, Bolan sounds just as obsessed with the heavens as he does with sex, whether he's singing about spiritual mysticism or begging a flying saucer to take him away. It's all done with the same theatrical flair, but Tony Visconti's spacious, echoing production makes it surprisingly convincing. Still, the real reason Electric Warrior stands the test of time so well -- despite its intended disposability -- is that it revels so freely in its own absurdity and willful lack of substance. Not taking himself at all seriously, Bolan is free to pursue whatever silly wordplay, cosmic fantasies, or non sequitur imagery he feels like; his abandonment of any pretense to art becomes, ironically, a statement in itself. Bolan's lack of pomposity, back-to-basics songwriting, and elaborate theatrics went on to influence everything from hard rock to punk to new wave. But in the end, it's that sense of playfulness, combined with a raft of irresistible hooks, that keeps Electric Warrior such an infectious, invigorating listen today. [The 2003 Rhino reissue of Electric Warrior truly lives up to the oft-misused term "expanded." The deluxe package includes lengthy liner notes by Sean Egan, fantastic photos of Marc Bolan and the rest of the group, a fold-out poster of Bolan, twenty minutes of audio excerpts from a promo interview disc cut with Bolan in 1971, and six bonus tracks recorded and released around the same time as the Electric Warrior album. Most of these songs have been available elsewhere (except for the previously unreleased acoustic version of "Planet Queen"), but adding them to the original album enhances the experience. The best track is the rollicking and rude "Raw Ramp," although "Hot Love" gives it a run for the top. The other three tracks ("There Was a Time," "Woodland Rock," and "King of the Mountain Cometh") aren't essential T. Rex, but are fun nonetheless. Now if only Rhino could get their hands on The Slider and give that album the deluxe treatment it deserves: the same excellent treatment they give Electric Warrior here.]
Rolling Stone - James Hunter
[Electric Warrior] remains absorbing, a piece of chintz whose stock, over the years, has gone through the roof.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/2003
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227611118
catalogNumber:
76111
Rank:
20435

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

T. Rex   Primary Artist
Mickey Finn   Percussion,Vocals
Marc Bolan   Guitar,Vocals
Burt Collins   Flugelhorn
Steve Currie   Bass
Howard Kaylan   Background Vocals
Ian McDonald   Saxophone
Mark Volman   Background Vocals
Will Legend   Drums

Technical Credits

Seamus Egan   Liner Notes
Marc Bolan   Composer
Roy Thomas Baker   Engineer
Malcolm Cecil   Engineer
Bill Inglot   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Keith Morris   Cover Photo
Rik Pekkonen   Engineer
Martin Rushent   Engineer
Tony Visconti   Producer,Audio Production
Patrick Milligan   Reissue Producer
Hipgnosis   Cover Layout
Bryan Lasley   Art Direction
George Underwood   Artwork
Dann Davis   Contributor
Tim Scanlin   Liner Note Coordination
June Child   Concept

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Electric Warrior 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It doesnt get much cooler than Marc Bolen and Marc doesn't get much cooler than Electric Warrior. This entire album is fantastic. I could go on and on but I wont...just buy this record.