T. Rex's "Electric Warrior" Turns 43 Today!


In a post-Beatles musical landscape, with the hope and promise of the late sixties hippie movement lying in a tattered heap, the world was waiting for the next big musical movement to come along, completely oblivious to the fact that a moderately successful UK folk duo by the name of Tyrannosaurus Rex was methodically trading in their acoustic instrumentation for electric guitars, a full drum kit, and an explosion of glitter that would come to be known as glam rock.


While Bolan had been hinting at an electrified rock sound since 1969's Unicorn album, Electric Warrior was the first album where Bolan was finally able to put all the pieces together, delivering immediately accessible  rock songs like "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" and "Jeepster" with the assured confidence of a legend in the making.

The success of Electric Warrior in the UK was such that sales of all previous Bolan albums would go through the roof and see them all make the UK Top 10.

Tony Visconti's production is spacious and warm, giving the hip-shaking, love-making anthems a carefree majesty while also paying careful attention to the quieter moments.  For as powerful an image as Bolan cuts on the cover, tearing away at his guitar in front of a huge amplifier, the power of the album lies in Bolan's ability to create power, soul, and magnetism without ever raising the volume.

While the album would spend eight weeks at #1 in the UK and become the best-selling British album of 1971, it would peak at #32 in the US.  By the end of '71, T. Rex would be the biggest rock act in all of Europe and the subject of a documentary (Born To Boogie) directed by none other than Ringo Starr.  

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