Electric Warrior

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Electric Warrior
Studio album by T. Rex
Released 24 September 1971
Recorded March–June 1971 at Trident Studios, London, Advision Studios, London, Wally Heider Studios, Los Angeles, Media Sound Studios, New York City
Genre Glam rock, rock and roll, hard rock, protopunk, folk rock
Length 39:02
Label Fly (UK), Reprise (USA)
Producer Tony Visconti
T. Rex chronology
T. Rex
(1970)
Electric Warrior
(1971)
The Slider
(1972)
Singles from Electric Warrior
  1. "Get It On"
    Released: 1971
  2. "Jeepster"
    Released: 1 November 1971
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
BBC Music (favorable)[2]
Pitchfork Media (9.5/10)[3]
Q 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B[5]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[6]
SputnikMusic 5/5 stars[7]

Electric Warrior is the sixth studio album by British rock band T. Rex (being the second album under the name "T. Rex", with the first four billed as "Tyrannosaurus Rex"). The album marks a big turning point in the band's sound as it dispenses with the folk-oriented music of the previous albums and takes on a new music genre, glam rock. The album also drew attention to the band in the USA with the massive hit "Get It On". Though the album is full of rock classics, several of the songs still display something of the lyrical poetics of the previous albums, with "Cosmic Dancer", "Monolith" and "Girl" all flirting with such 'deep' ideas as re-incarnation, fate and the divine.

Release[edit]

The album contains two of T. Rex's most popular songs, "Get It On" and "Jeepster". "Get It On" was T. Rex's biggest selling single, and became the band's only top 10 US hit.[8] In the United States, "Get It On"'s title was originally changed to "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" to distinguish it from Chase's song "Get It On", which was also released in late 1971. The printing of the song title "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" on the back cover of original Reprise Records North American pressings of Electric Warrior is in a different typeface from the surrounding text, with the song's original title retained on the lyric sheet.

Electric Warrior reached number thirty-two in the US Billboard 200 chart. It went to number one on the UK Albums Chart, and stayed there for several weeks, becoming the best-selling album there in 1971. It was preceded by the single "Hot Love", a million selling single in Bolan's homeland, where it stayed at no 1 for six weeks.

Accolades[edit]

In 1987, Electric Warrior was ranked number 100 in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Albums Of The Last 20 Years" list.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 160 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

In 2004, Pitchfork Media listed the record as 20th best album of the 1970s.[9]

In the November 2001 issue of Vanity Fair American musician Beck chose it as one of his 50 favourite album sleeves.[10]

Legacy[edit]

American rock band The Bongos released a cover of "Mambo Sun" in 1981. "Get It On" was a hit single for rock supergroup The Power Station in 1985.

In the opening scene of the 2000 film Billy Elliot, the title character is shown putting Electric Warrior on a turntable and skipping to the song "Cosmic Dancer". "Cosmic Dancer" was also included in the soundtrack for the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine. Morrissey has also covered "Cosmic Dancer" live in concert, both solo and with David Bowie. He included a live recording on the 1991 CD and album single for "Pregnant for the Last Time".

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett included a cover of "Life's a Gas" on his 2003 solo album Glitter 4 Your Soul.

Five songs from the album - "Cosmic Dancer", "Jeepster", "Get It On", "Life's a Gas" and "Ripoff" - were covered by various artists on the tribute album Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan in 1998.

Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke covered "Life's a Gas" on his 1995 EP, "Blooze".

Bolan, in a 1971 interview contained on the Rhino Records reissue, said of the album, "I think Electric Warrior, for me, is the first album which is a statement of 1971 for us in England. I mean that's... If anyone ever wanted to know why we were big in the other part of the world, that album says it, for me."

Cover artwork[edit]

The cover artwork was designed by British art design group Hipgnosis, based on a photo taken by Kieron "Spud" Murphy at a T.Rex concert at the Albert Hall, Nottingham on 14th May 1971.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Marc Bolan

No. Title Length
1. "Mambo Sun"   3:40
2. "Cosmic Dancer"   4:30
3. "Jeepster"   4:12
4. "Monolith"   3:49
5. "Lean Woman Blues"   3:02
6. "Get It On"   4:27
7. "Planet Queen"   3:13
8. "Girl"   2:32
9. "The Motivator"   4:00
10. "Life's a Gas"   2:24
11. "Rip Off"   3:40

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[11] 1971 1
1972
Preceded by
Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin
The Concert for Bangladesh
by George Harrison & Friends
UK Albums Chart number-one album
18 December 1971 – 29 January 1972
5 February 1972 – 19 February 1972
Succeeded by
The Concert for Bangladesh
by George Harrison & Friends
Neil Reid by Neil Reid

Personnel[edit]

Production

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Huey. "Electric Warrior – T. Rex". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Chris Jones (29 September 2003). "Review of T. Rex – Electric Warrior (SACD)". BBC Music. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Brian James (25 February 2003). "Album Reviews: T. Rex: Electric Warrior". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Electric Warrior (Bonus Tracks)". buy.com. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  5. ^ Robert Christgau. "CG: T. Rex". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Ben Gerson (6 January 1972). "Electric Warrior by T. Rex". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "T. Rex Electric Warrior". Sputnik Music. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  8. ^ "T. Rex - Chart History". 9 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Pitchfork staff (23 June 2004). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  10. ^ sleevage.com
  11. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2011.