Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Fresh, original and a very good listen
on 17 March 2015
I have a couple of T. Rex compilation albums and an early album which was very much elf-based and will stand only an occasional listen - though in the right mood even that can be okay. In deciding to purchase Electric Warrior, what I wanted to track down was an album that reflected T.Rex at the peak of their powers with a track order that was authentic to the mores of the time as opposed to a contemporary compiler's take on how the tracks should be ordered. With a bottomless pocket I'd have gone like a shot for the 2014 Box Set Complete Studio Albums which is very reasonably priced for the ten CDs it contains but I simply couldn't run to it. Electric Warrior is an interesting album as it appears to have a foot both in the early mystical/pre-electric stuff at the same time as establishing the driving guitar sound that is so evocative of T.Rex when their star was highest in the firmament.
There are two songs from the main album - Jeepster and Get It On - which feature on many compilations plus Hot Love in the Bonus Tracks. I was perhaps a little too young to experience Bolan at his peak as anything other than a highly attractive pop idol. When I grew up a little and started immersing myself in NME, Bolan's star was in the descendent and I recall some very unpleasant stuff being written about him much of which appeared to focus on his appearance once more. His prettiness was in a sense a curse; it somehow encouraged accusations of shallowness. At around the same time Elvis was being vilified for much the same reason. There is certainly a part of Bolan who was the dandy and who loved being the prettiest star but there was much more to the man than this. It's evident from Bolan's embracing of the embryonic punk and new wave culture which burgeoned shortly before his tragic death.
What Bolan and T.Rex really deserve is that we listen without prejudice. The years have been kind to Marc's music - it sounds fresh and undated - and there is increasingly more quality product for fans to buy into. Perhaps what elevates Bolan to pop god status may be the sheer number of elements he got right - the dandyism fitting him ideally for glam rock, the roots which suggested he had come up through blues, through pre-electric, indeed through being an early favourite of John Peel's - so there is a real credibility and seriousness - along with the trashy and ephemeral elements and an ability to make a perfect three minute pop single which is frankly so much more truly poppy, less studied and more immediately loveable than Bowie in spite of my utter devotion to DB for the past three decades or so. There is too the fact that when Marc died he was only thirty years of age. I guess Bowie has had the time to coast through many different musical landscapes, to make the transition from pop idol to serious musician but in the short time allotted to Marc he made a very creditable mark on the history of popular music and there's an argument to say he was actually more original than Bowie who constantly has drawn from other musical forms and made them his own. Worth tracking down some of the interviews Marc did as his personality is very engaging. In common with most purchasers of this album I imagine, I wish Marc had stayed around; it would have been so interesting to watch where his creativity took him.