Electric Warrior: Remastered SACD
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T-REX Electric Warrior (2003 issue UK 11-track hybrid SACD [Super Audio CD - playable on all SACD and CD players] remixed by the original producer Tony Visconti in 5.1 Surround Sound picture sleeve in a stickered jewel case)
Hot on the heels of its 30th anniversary re-release, the SACD version of T.Rex's most consistent album still deserves to have its praises sung. Think of glam and you probably focus on the 1972-4 heyday with acts veering from the sublime (Bowie, Roxy etc) to the ridiculous (Mud, Gary Glitter...Jobriath anyone?). Yet this slice of pop heaven was on the shelves by autumn 1971, making it officially the first glam album in the world. What's even more amazing is how fresh it still sounds.
Bolan himself was never one to avoid a trend. In his own mind he was always a star: Stories abound of his early days as a persistent chancer in mod/psychedelic London. Yet, if John's Children and Tyrannosaurus Rex didn't hold the keys to his inevitable stardom they certainly allowed him to learn the tricks that would flower on his first hit ''Ride A White Swan''. This was the point at which he and long-term producer Tony Visconti took the hippy-dippy lyrics and Larry the lamb vocal stylings and bolted them on to good old stripped-down, four-to-the-floor rock 'n' roll. For four glorious years they never looked back...
With superb sleevenotes by Visconti himself, it must never be forgotten that this is as much his album as Bolan's (not forgetting Mickey Finn's radical bongos, ho ho). Visconti was behind so much of the glam-defining process that his name becomes synonymous with the genre. On this and Bowie's early work (Space Oddity, Man Who Sold The World) he creates a warm, spacey reverb-drenched world full of hip-thrusting libido and pouty tongue-twisting. Bolan's lyrics often approach 'back of a bus ticket' status in their throw-away couplets (''Girl'', ''Motivator'' etc.), but what shines through is the irrepressible fun the whole team seem to be having. The two monster hits (''Get It On'' and ''Jeepster'') still stand as monuments to pop concision. Nonsensical rhyme riding on swaggering guitar and drums.
Add to this at least two other utter classics (the frenzied funk of ''Rip Off'' and the touching ballad ''Life's A Gas'') and not one real filler and you've got an album that's always going to sound box fresh: 5.1 surround sound just adds a little icing on the cake. Life's still a gas... --Chris Jones
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Top Customer Reviews
`Electric Warrior' is a timeless classic no debate! If you are not moved by the pulsing rhythms, the haunting melodies and the poetically charged lyrics within then you do not deserve to have ears!
I am a sucker for box sets, the more lavish the better, and I do expect lot's of nice things when I spend my hard earned! Two discs of quality music, (much of it previously unheard and in great quality I might add), and a DVD of television, promo and live `Warrior' performances nestle in the box alongside some very gorgeous Bolan/T.Rex memorabilia which Mr. James has helpfully itemised in his review.
The jewel for me however is the book. A hardback 28 page volume of considerable quality. The sleeve notes are by Mark Paytress, a writer of some quality and an unwavering champion of Bolan and his work. Also to be found within are copious contemporary (1971) reviews of the album, associated singles and live gigs. There are colour and black and white photographs, again from the 71' era, many of which I had never viewed before which only left me wishing that the book had been larger in size.
It costs a bit of money but things of true worth and beauty often do. I did not begrudge a penny I paid for it and I desperately hope that `The Slider' is in the pipeline for similar treatment.
An unreserved 5 stars!!
Inside the chunky box is a 32-page hb book full of colour reproduced T.Rex ads and reviews from 1971 with a text by Mark Paytress. There's also a wallet with a repro press release, photos, a coaster (surely no-one would want to spoil this) and a double-sided poster, one side of which is the image used for the original poster that came with the vinyl album. The music is captured on 2 CDs, one of which is the album plus 'Get It On''s B-sides and 'Hot Love' with its B-sides, making it a Best of T.Rex for 1971.
Interestingly, Bolan left 'Hot Love' (a UK no.1. for 6 weeks) off the album because he felt it was no longer representative. I think this was a good decision. To me 'Hot Love' has come to seem more and more like the end-point of the Tyrannosaurus Rex journey from 1968. Though it is nice to have it on here. The second CD has a number of alternate versions / mixes. The third disc is a 10-track DVD of performances of the EW songs. (Can it really be that there are only two T.Rex TOTP performances unwiped from 1971?). The performances of Girl and Cosmic Dancer from Wembley March 1972 may not have been in the film Born To Boogie but they are included in the multi-DVD release.
It's undoubtedly a beautiful package, a very good example of what the deluxe box-set format can provide. Anyone who remembers purchasing the vinyl LP back in 1971 will not be disappointed. And I guess it is unlikely that any of the other Bolan albums will get the same treatment.
Two caveats. The first is that these boxsets are usually a sonic advance on previous releases, or at least this is what we assume.Read more ›
This album has been re-issued over and over, last year when A&M released a new version re-mastered by producer Tony Visconti.
This version, released by Rhino, makes the former look as a rather shoddy affair. Rhino's "Electric Warrior" has better sound and the packaging is excellent. All the original artwork is included (reproductions of the poster and the inner sleeve) as well as rare photos by Keith Morris.
There is also a well-written essay and an interview with percussionist Mickey Finn.
Last years A&M release featured previously unreleased outtakes - here there is only one unreleased track, but instead Rhino have added all the 1971 non-LP tracks, plus an interview from a promo album.
I prefer Rhino's version to A&M's "30th Anniversary Edition" in every aspect, however I think Viconti's comments on the recording of the album were far more illuminating than Finn's.
It's a shame that you have to buy the same album over and over again to get a decent version, but I believe that this is the definitive version of Electric Warrior.
Maybe they're saving the 'complete package' for 2022!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
classic album by one of rocks most influential bands, part of my heritage, bought for my sonPublished 29 days ago by Mr. Michael Parsons
brought this as it has many childhood memories and it still sounds fresh , I will probably get the vinyl version as it will sound better than the cd due to the era it was recorded... Read morePublished 2 months ago by R970
Losing my lovingly kept vinyl copy of the Rex's iconic "Electric Warrior" with the 'sticker' on the front cover (inner and poster inside too) a few years back has remained... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mark Barry