T. Rex - Electric Warrior - Review
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critics' view

Straight from the off on “Mambo Sun” Dr. Strange has me howling like a loon beneath the bebop moon. His new group are sounding ACE. “I Dance myself right out the womb, is it strange to dance so soon?” sings Marc on “Cosmic Dancer” which immediately follows. Yes Marc, that’s just plain weird. But that’s why we love you. To accompany his evocative lyrics, Marc was now hearing much more in his head musically: “I just needed more people than Mickey to get across the sound”.

With the duo of Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn now expanded as a full-on rock group, nay a glam rock group don’cha’know, the sound has toughened up – but Bolan’s whimsical and playful imagery is still very much present and correct. And shock-horror, some innocence has been lost along the way. On “Jeepster”, a major pop hit of the day, he gets away with some low-down debauchery: “Girl I’m just a vampire for your love… I’m going to suck you out out out”. Top of the Pops? Blimey. This newly displayed sexual confidence is to the fore again on the raunchy “Lean Woman Blues” as Marc quivers: “Black day, all you give to me are your wild ways. When you're the love of my life, and when you gorge me with a knife, and I'm blue”. Right here, I don’t know whether I’m meant to be terrified or excited – but I love the vibe and he (and the superb group) get me screaming HELL YEAH!

The album’s lead single “Get It On”, which had given the group a huge Number 1 in the UK pop chart, kicks off side 2 with a whole load of energy. With its working origins in Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie”, I’m endeared further still to Marc’s musical vision, a deal which is further cemented with his fade-out whisper “and meanwhile, I'm still thinking” which comes straight from the pen of ol' Charles himself. This is followed by “Planet Queen” – is there no end to this cleverness? Marc reckoned that “Electric Warrior” was his way of explaining to America that his group were worth listening to. He had a restless energy about him, a great body of songs to work with, and now a great new band to get the message across. As he would say: “It’s heavy boogie man, get high on this jive”.

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