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Rock - Released September 24, 1971 | Universal Music Group International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The album that essentially kick-started the U.K. glam rock craze, Electric Warrior completes T. Rex's transformation from hippie folk-rockers into flamboyant avatars of trashy rock & roll. There are a few vestiges of those early days remaining in the acoustic-driven ballads, but Electric Warrior spends most of its time in a swinging, hip-shaking groove powered by Marc Bolan's warm electric guitar. The music recalls not just the catchy simplicity of early rock & roll, but also the implicit sexuality -- except that here, Bolan gleefully hauls it to the surface, singing out loud what was once only communicated through the shimmying beat. He takes obvious delight in turning teenage bubblegum rock into campy sleaze, not to mention filling it with pseudo-psychedelic hippie poetry. In fact, Bolan sounds just as obsessed with the heavens as he does with sex, whether he's singing about spiritual mysticism or begging a flying saucer to take him away. It's all done with the same theatrical flair, but Tony Visconti's spacious, echoing production makes it surprisingly convincing. Still, 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. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | A&M

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Rock - Released May 26, 2014 | Edsel

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Rock - Released May 26, 2014 | Edsel

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Rock - Released June 29, 2009 | Edsel

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Rock - Released March 30, 2020 | Edsel

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Rock - Released July 21, 1972 | Edsel

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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Demon

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | A&M

Tyrannosaurus Rex's transformation from oracles of U.K. hippie culture to boogie-friendly rock stars began with the album A Beard of Stars, released in early 1970 when the band picked up electric instruments, and by the time the year was out, Marc Bolan had pared their name down to the more user-friendly T. Rex and dropped their first album with the new moniker. Oddly enough, while the songs on T. Rex bear a much stronger melodic and lyrical resemblance to what would make the band famous on Electric Warrior in 1971, the tone of the album is a bit more pastoral than A Beard of Stars; on most of the tunes, the electric guitars are more successfully integrated into the arrangements so they lack the jarring immediacy of "Elemental Children" or "Pavilions of the Sun," and Mickey Finn still wasn't using a full drum kit, so the tunes don't quite have the kick of a full-on rock band. But Bolan himself sounds like he's ready for his close-up, as his vocals -- mannered yet quietly passionate and full of belief -- suggest the glam hero he would soon become, and numbers like "Beltrane Walk," "Is It Love," and "Diamond Meadows" (with its wink-and-nudge refrain "Hey, let's do it like we're friends") are just a few paces away from the swaggering sound that would make him the U.K.'s biggest star. If Bolan was reaching for the big time with T. Rex, he also sounds like he was letting out the rock star that had always lurked within him, and there isn't a moment here that doesn't sound like he's singing from his heart and soul. T. Rex is the quiet before the storm of Electric Warrior, and it retains a loopy energy and easy charm that makes it one of Bolan's watershed works. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 24, 2011 | Crimson

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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Demon

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Rock - Released January 21, 2013 | Demon Digital

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | A&M

Tyrannosaurus Rex's transformation from oracles of U.K. hippie culture to boogie-friendly rock stars began with the album A Beard of Stars, released in early 1970 when the band picked up electric instruments, and by the time the year was out, Marc Bolan had pared their name down to the more user-friendly T. Rex and dropped their first album with the new moniker. Oddly enough, while the songs on T. Rex bear a much stronger melodic and lyrical resemblance to what would make the band famous on Electric Warrior in 1971, the tone of the album is a bit more pastoral than A Beard of Stars; on most of the tunes, the electric guitars are more successfully integrated into the arrangements so they lack the jarring immediacy of "Elemental Children" or "Pavilions of the Sun," and Mickey Finn still wasn't using a full drum kit, so the tunes don't quite have the kick of a full-on rock band. But Bolan himself sounds like he's ready for his close-up, as his vocals -- mannered yet quietly passionate and full of belief -- suggest the glam hero he would soon become, and numbers like "Beltrane Walk," "Is It Love," and "Diamond Meadows" (with its wink-and-nudge refrain "Hey, let's do it like we're friends") are just a few paces away from the swaggering sound that would make him the U.K.'s biggest star. If Bolan was reaching for the big time with T. Rex, he also sounds like he was letting out the rock star that had always lurked within him, and there isn't a moment here that doesn't sound like he's singing from his heart and soul. T. Rex is the quiet before the storm of Electric Warrior, and it retains a loopy energy and easy charm that makes it one of Bolan's watershed works. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Demon

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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Demon

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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Demon

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Rock - Released June 29, 2009 | Edsel

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Rock - Released July 1, 2010 | Cleopatra Records

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Rock - Released September 7, 2018 | Crimson

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Pop - Released December 1, 2012 | Angel Air