This month, we are looking at the era that spawned Glam Rock and Heavy Metal, and everything inbetween
This week we are looking at T-Rex, and their 1971 ‘Electric Warrior’ album
This album marked the rise of Glam Rock, which was later to become one of the biggest genres of the 70’s, with T-Rex, Bowie, and Lou Reed being some of the many artists who are most famous for being Glam Rock artists. ‘Electric Warrior’ was the first Glam Rock album to be released, and it showed hope for the genre in the UK, as it reached 1st in the UK Albums Chart, but the success story wasn’t the same in the US, as the album only managed to reach 32nd in the US Billboard 200. The album was later moved from top postion by George Harrison’s ‘Concert For Bangladesh’.
This album featured some of Marc Bolan’s best work, and most successful work, with songs like ‘Get It On’ and ‘Jeepster’ featuring on the album, both of which became singles, with ‘Get It On’ reaching 1st in the UK, and ‘Jeepster’ taking second place. For T-Rex, ‘Get It On’ or ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’ (as it was called in the US to avoid confusion with another song) was their only top 10 single, as Bolan and his band never managed to conquer the US before his tragic death in 1977. Other songs on this masterpiece of an album were; ‘ Mambo Sun’, ‘Cosmic Dancer’, ‘Monolith’, ‘Lean Woman Blues’, ‘Planet Queen’, ‘Girl’, ‘The Motivator’, ‘Life’s A Gas’ and ‘Rip Off’. This album features everything from Blues, Folk and what became known as Glam Rock, and they were all merged together brilliantly.
This album really shows the true talent of T-Rex as a band, and as songwriters, and the combination of some of the best musicians the 70s saw, resulted in one of the best albums that was ever made. Another key thing that this album does for T-Rex, is shows how talented Bolan was on guitar. He is normally overlooked, and normally not near the top of anyones list of favourite guitarists, but he is by far one of the most talented that has ever, and will ever exist. He may not be the most technical, but his hooks, and his catchy riffs that leave you wanting more everytime you listen, result in some of the best guitar work ever. After all, it’s not the technical skill that makes a guitarist, or any musician, talented, it’s the way they use that skill to form well structured music. From the shuffling guitar of ‘Mambo Sun’, to the folk of ‘Cosmic Dancer’, to the catchy riffs of ‘ Life’s a Gas’, and the blues of ‘Get It On’, this album leaves little out in the way of different guitar techniques.
Overall, this album should be regarded as one of the best albums of all time, let alone of the 70s, and we can only imagine what would have lay ahead had Bolan not been taken from us when he did.