The album features some unusually dense production from Bolan, with hints that he had been listening to old Phil Spector records, especially "Chrome Sitar" and "Calling All Destroyers", which contained unusual musical embellishements such as sitar and other sonic sound effects.
Live recordings of the successful tour T. Rex undertook that year in the UK (the first since the birth of his son with Gloria Jones, Rolan Bolan) show him to be returning to form from the cocaine addiction, alleged Napoleon complex and weight gain which had plagued him since late 1973, when his star began to fall. In many of these bootleg recordings, often done by members of the audience, Bolan thanks the audience for coming, and admits that he did not know if they would. He was heartened by the response received on the two aforementioned hit singles, and set to work on a new album immediately.
Futuristic Dragon was remastered for CD by Edsel Records in 1994 as part of their extensive T. Rex reissue campaign. A number of bonus tracks were added (see below). A companion release, entitled Dazzling Raiment (The Alternate Futuristic Dragon), was released in 1997 and contained alternative versions, studio rough mixes and solo recordings of the main album and bonus tracks. A combined album digipak was released in 2002.
Futuristic Dragon' was reasonably well-received by critics.
In her retrospective review of the album, Whitney Strub of PopMatters wrote "By the time Futuristic Dragon arrived, Bolan was considered a has-been. But the album defies expectation, presenting a surprisingly consistent set of tunes dovetailing with the burgeoning disco scene without entirely partaking of it." Stephen M. Deusner of Pitchfork wrote "Futuristic Dragon has enough winning moments to suggest an upturn [...] [the album] blows smoke on its second half, with songs like 'Sensation Boulevard' and the schlock-disco 'Ride My Wheels' derailing the first half's chugging momentum. Nevertheless, the album wins your sympathies: It's good enough to make you wish it were better."