Lordy Lordy, T. Rex's Electric Warrior Is 40

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A few months back, we had this to say about T. Rex on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of their single "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" reaching the top of the UK charts. This Saturday, parent album, Electric Warrior, turns 40 years old. It bears repeating, not because we are too lazy to come up with something new to say about Marc Bolan's blood-pumping rock and roll, but because it may be the best way we will ever describe T. Rex:

If you were to lay a Bowie record, say Hunky Dory, on a table and a T. Rex record down, let's go with Electric Warrior, and to ask us which one we had to listen to every day for the rest of our lives, we would go with Warrior. We could screw, fight, drink, drive, and give away our first-born daughter to Warrior. Hunky is cool, but Warrior has "Jeepster" on it, and we once switched "jeepster" for "Craigster" and it sounded nice.

Dory was released three months after Warrior in UK. Can you imagine being a young and impressionable rock fan in 1971, surrounded by those two albums?

Not to mention the other records that made their debut in '71: Led Zeppelin IV, Who's Next, Sticky Fingers, Pearl, What's Going On, Imagine, Can's Tago Mago...OK, 1971 ruled hard. That's only a partial list.

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We made the same point on Twitter just now and a few people replied back that your average rock fan would want "Jethro Tull's Aqualung and Three Dog Night's Harmony" over the Bowie and T. Rex albums, which is a good point. It does take years and years for the cool things to get found out, teens weren't clamoring to hear songs about transvestites and heroin in 1971.

There's also this in regards to being an American glam fan in 1971: "...how many times would you get jumped by meathead jocks at the bus stop?" That makes sense, considering that before Columbine happened, if you owned a Marilyn Manson album that immediately made you a gay goth homo who was bent on going down on every jock in your public speaking class. True story.

If you like Electric Warrior, and why would you not, we found 10 other albums that you may also like, from some of T. Rex's contemporaries to artists who have Bolan and company in their rock DNA. We shouldn't have to tell you to listen to Little Richard, so we won't. Think of us as your bearded Pandora station, except don't.

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White Stripes, Icky Thump


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Bauhaus, In The Flat Field


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The Chameleons, Script of the Bridge


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Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure


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Brian Eno, Another Green World



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4 comments
Anse
Anse

God, T.Rex...what a great band, and what a great singer in Marc Bolan. Their music is the quintessential party music for me. It hits all the highs and lows of a great house kegger from my gloriously misspent youth: the early part of the night when you want to get people's asses moving ("Metal Guru" from The Slider, "Bang a Gong" from Electric Warrior), bluesy throwdowns for when the night is pumping and everybody's full of booze and the asshole down the street shows up looking for a fight ("Buick McKane"), and nice, breezy slow-tempo come-downs for sharing that late-night joint when only a handful of your best friends are still hanging around ("Cosmic Dancer"). It's like a play-by-play for a night well lived. Thanks for memory.

Mark
Mark

Good to see this on here. My wife introduced T-Rex and this album to me right before we started dating 22 years ago. She gave it to me as a birthday present.  Great album! Cosmic Dancer is my favorite on there. Ever notice how many songs name drop T-Rex in it?

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

Good article Craig.  By the way, Saturday also marks twenty years since A Tribe Called Quest released The Low End Theory.  That makes me feel very old.

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