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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 23 April 2012
Better late than never, but here is the 40th anniversary deluxe box version of Electric Warrior, first released on 24 September 1971.

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. In 2003 the album was released as a hybrid SACD with a stereo SACD and 5.1 SACD mix. This must surely remain the ultimate version Electric Warrior as far as sound goes, and it is odd that this 2012 release didn't include the SACD version. Hearing Electric Warrior in 5.1. really is special. (The fate of rock SACD is a tragedy for quality audio).

My second caveat concerns CD 2, the collection of what are described as variously 'instrumental edit', 'working version', 'single vocal mix', 'alternate master', etc. As with the extra tracks and extended releases of the Tyrannosaurus Rex albums, and also some mis-labelled live T.Rex recordings, I'm not always convinced that these are as different from the final version as you might think, though they can make certain details of the arrangement or performance more audible. In connection with this aspect see The Electric Warrior Sessions CD (Pilot 1996) and the 30th anniversary EW with its 8 'work in progress' tracks (A&M, 2001) to judge how significant some of the 2012 alternate versions are.

You will need to go to the box-set The Electric Boogie 1971 (Easy Action 2007) if you want to hear a demo of what might have been Electric Warrior's title track. Bolan apparently never finished this song. It was written in a style that was a throwback to a song like 'Dragon's Ear' from Beard of Stars. It would have needed a lot of re-writing to bring it in line with the rock'n'roll songs of his break-through album. I assume this was considered too embryonic for inclusion(?).

Less lavish versions of this release are also available.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2012
Can't really add much to Richard James impressive review but I would like to up the grade to 5 stars because this package truly deserves it!

`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!!
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on 26 April 2012
Well I guess we'll have to wait for the 50th Anniversary version of this little doozy. It's a beautiful boxed set, with carefully annotated facts and info, a lovely book, and a nice poster etc. I love the design and the music sounds great. The only problem is that it's not 'complete' - two tracks which are listed on the sessions for the album are missing, 'Bolan's Blues' and a BBC radio version of 'Sailors Of The Highway'. Both are significant tracks as the first is a studio workout of a basic blues song, with T.REX sounding as if they're having a whale of a time trying out their new sound, having not long performed together. The second is a track actually considered as a follow up to Hot Love, so it really does belong in this collection.
Maybe they're saving the 'complete package' for 2022!
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on 5 March 2003
Many things have been said about T-Rex's "Electric Warrior" and I won't comment more on the recording itself thanit's one of the best albums ever.
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.
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on 4 April 2017
This album represents Marc Bolan at his very best & most creative. It also includes rehearsal version of their big hits like Get It On & Jeepster. There are hidden gems too like Mambo Sun & the Motivator and Planet Queen.
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on 18 May 2017
Thought I was ordering a box set with Book etc. from the associated reviews, but the RSD version in gold vinyl is pretty cool. It goes with the indulgent excess of the heavy riffs.
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on 27 August 2016
Great album,
Still sounds fresh and original
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on 15 June 2017
Arrived quickly not remaster version but still good
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on 12 March 2017
very good
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on 7 March 2017
returned
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