Friday, January 29, 2016
Throwback Thursday: Electric Warrior, by T. Rex
In 1971 glam rock giant T. Rex released its sixth album Electric Warrior; the second under the name T. Rex after it had changed from Tyrannosaurus Rex (which the first four albums had been billed under). This was the album where the band lead by singer/songwriter Marc Bolan really made an impact as they were changing their sound from a more acoustic/folksy vibe to a more plugged in glam rock oriented sound that people of that time could vibe with better.
Electric Warrior definitely has an interesting vibe to it because it is more than just fun glam rock tunes. There are acoustic ballads as well as funky grooves to jive on as well. The lyrics can be rather cryptic at times, but that just gives you something to think about while listening to the album for the Nth time. The single from the album which is also the band's signature tune that got them noticed and put on the map: Bang a Gong (Get it On) which is still played on commercial classic rock radio even to this day.
Mambo Sun in my opinion is one of T. Rex's finest works. While it is just the same couple of chords played back and forth over and over again, it's that chilled out grooving rhythm and soft cocky vocals that really do it for me. You can definitely tell this song is more about moving and dancing rather than about leaving the listener with a melody they can hum/whistle throughout the day while on the way to work or school.
Bang a Gong (Get it On) is a song that has survived on classic rock radio for a reason. It has that classic T. Rex groove, a big chorus, and an overall fun atmosphere to it that makes you want to jive and sing right along to it. While it is by no means the only good track on the album, it is one of the bigger selling points for sure. Personally I LOVE how they managed to put a backing orchestra into such a loud raucous rock n' roll tune and actually make it work instead of clash.
Electric Warrior is one of the best places to start if you're looking to investigate the work of T. Rex more fully. It is also an essential glam rock album to have if you are planning on starting a collection any time soon. Marc Bolan was a musical genius. It's definitely a shame he passed away so young, just when he was starting to make a bit of a comeback in the late 70's. Regardless, this is one of those 70's gems you really don't want to miss out on if you can help it.
Electric Warrior, by T. Rex receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.
1. Mambo Sun
2. Cosmic Dancer
5. Lean Woman Blues
6. Bang a Gong (Get it On)
7. Planet Queen
9. The Motivator
10. Life's a Gas
11. Rip Off
Buy the album on Amazon: