Electric Warrior

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Electric Warrior
T Rex Electric Warrior UK album cover.jpg
Studio album by T. Rex
Released 24 September 1971
Recorded March–June 1971 at Trident Studios and Advision Studios, London, England; Wally Heider Studios, Los Angeles; Media Sound Studios, New York City, United States
Length 39:02
Label Fly (UK), Reprise (US)
Producer Tony Visconti
T. Rex chronology
T. Rex
(1970)T. Rex1970
Electric Warrior
The Slider
(1972)The Slider1972
Singles from Electric Warrior
  1. "Get It On"
    Released: 1971
  2. "Cosmic Dancer"
    Released: 1971
  3. "Jeepster"
    Released: 1 November 1971

Electric Warrior is the second studio album by English rock act T. Rex, their sixth if including the group's earlier incarnation as Tyrannosaurus Rex. The album marked a turning point in the band's sound, dispensing with the folk-oriented music of the group's previous albums and pioneering a flamboyant, pop-friendly take on electric rock and roll known as glam rock.[1]

The album reached number 1 on the UK charts and became the best selling album of 1971. The top 10 single "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" also became the band's only US hit. Electric Warrior has since received acclaim as a pivotal release of the glam rock movement.

Cover art[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 14 May 1971.[citation needed]


Electric Warrior was released on 24 September 1971 by record label Fly in the UK and Reprise in the US. Electric Warrior reached number 32 in the US Billboard 200 chart[2] and went to number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, staying there for several weeks[3] and becoming the best-selling album in the UK in 1971.[citation needed] It was preceded by the single "Hot Love", a million-selling single in the UK,[citation needed] where it stayed at number 1 for six weeks.[3]

Two singles were released from the album: "Get It On" and "Jeepster". "Get It On" was T. Rex's biggest selling single, and became the band's only top-ten US hit.[4] 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
BBC Music favourable[5]
Robert Christgau B[6]
Pitchfork 9.5/10[7]
Q 4/5 stars[citation needed]
Rolling Stone favourable[8]
Uncut 8/10[9]

Electric Warrior has received acclaim from critics.

In his retrospective review, Steve Huey of AllMusic gave the album 5/5 stars, writing "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."[1]

The band's fans from the "Tyrannosaurus Rex" days panned the album, deeming Bolan a "sell-out". However a new wave of fans quickly rolled in, specifically teenagers, as the glam rock genre boomed in popularity.


The album is considered a pioneering record in the development of glam rock.[1]

The album is often credited as the first glam rock album, though this can be debated as David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World album cover (of Bowie in a 'Mr Fish "man's dress"') suggests early hints of glam rock.

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 by the same magazine in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, Pitchfork ranked Electric Warrior as the 20th best album of the 1970s.[10]

American rock band The Bongos released a cover of "Mambo Sun" in 1981. "Get It On" was a hit cover single for rock supergroup The Power Station in 1985. Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke covered "Life's a Gas" on his 1995 EP, Blooze. Five songs from the album – "Cosmic Dancer", "Jeepster", "Get It On", "Life's a Gas" and "Rip Off" – were covered by various artists on the tribute album Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan in 1998. Poison drummer Rikki Rockett included a cover of "Life's a Gas" on his 2003 solo album Glitter 4 Your Soul.

The song "Jeepster" is featured in a bar scene in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof (2007). In the opening scene of the film Billy Elliot (2000), 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 film Velvet Goldmine (1998). 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".

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."[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Marc Bolan.

Side A
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
Side B
No. Title Length
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
UK Albums Chart 1971 1[11]
US Billboard 200 1972 32[2]
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


Technical personnel


  1. ^ a b c d e f Huey, Steve. "Electric Warrior – T. Rex | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Electric Warrior – T. Rex | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "T. Rex | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "T. Rex – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Jones, Chris (29 September 2003). "BBC – Music – Review of T. Rex – Electric Warrior (SACD)". BBC Music. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: T. Rex". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  7. ^ James, Brian (25 February 2003). "T. Rex: Electric Warrior | Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Gerson, Ben (6 January 1972). "[Electric Warrior review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Bonner, Michael (23 April 2012). "T. Rex – Electric Warrior Deluxe Edition – uncut.co.uk". Uncut. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s | Features | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company: All the Number 1 Albums". Official Charts. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

External links[edit]