07/20/2003 8:20p PT
Matt Rowe - Reviewer
Marc Bolan, T.Rex's flamboyant and essential rock star that paved the way for the glam era, was not the only member of T. Rex although you’d never know that. With Bolan’s up front responsibilities, Mickey Finn and the rest of T. Rex were components for a bigger show. Previous British successes with “Ride a White Swan” and “Hot Love”, largely unknown in the U.S., set the table for their next hit that went on to become a worldwide success. The song, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” lit the radio charts with its bass heavy, guitar driven style that featured Bolan's stylish vocal delivery.
Today, “Bang a Gong” is still remembered as one of the top tunes that speak for an era. You can’t listen to a Classic Rock station without running across it at some point. This is deservedly so as the song typifies the beginning of the 70s and the onrush to a more polished presentation that included flashy showmanship and a worship of rock star status.
Electric Warrior was the breakthrough album that catapulted T. Rex into this stratosphere of superstardom. Couple great songs with a showy sexual display and you get all the proper ingredients of 70s rock which, of course, influenced greatly the 80s bands.
There is a mystical and very sensual rhythm that pervades this album and sets the tone for all of the songs beginning with “Mambo Sun” and extending through the final track, “Rip Off”. This was carried through subsequent output such as the excellent The Slider and Tanx eventually moving onto Casablanca’s Light of Love. Unfortunately, for Bolan and his crew, public tastes changed rather quickly which resulted in disinterested music fans heading toward the disco years.
The songs on this set are all very good including the very electric, very bluesy “Lean Woman Blues” that is delivered in Bolan's unique vocal style making it all the more endearing and fresh. But every track on this album is top grade from a top grade band.
This Remastered and Expanded Edition, as it now stands, is the definitive release with a clean and sonically appealing version. This package also gifts the fan with 6 bonus tracks and an interview with Marc Bolan. Included in this bonus set is a previously unreleased Acoustic Version of "Planet Queen", a track from the original album. Also included is the UK #1 "Hot Love" so you can hear what got England all excited about before the US became fans.
The package is encased in a tri-fold digipak and provides an excellent insert. The booklet offers liner notes with essays, lyrics, credits, and photos of the band. There is also an exact replica of the poster that was included in the original LP release that can be found in one of the inner pockets. The disc itself is insertted into an attached cardboard pocket imprinted with a likeness of Bolan and Finn.
If you're a T.Rex fan and you haven't yet picked this one up yet, I can strongly encourage you without reservation to add this to your collection. You will not be disappointed.
Copyright © 2002-2003 Matthew Rowe. All rights reserved.
Expanded and Remastered
Released: February 25, 2003
* Bonus Track