Electric Warrior is the sixth studio album by British rock band T. Rex (being the second album under the name “T. Rex”, with the first four billed as “Tyrannosaurus Rex”). The album marks a big turning point in the band’s sound as it drifts away from the folk-oriented music of the previous albums and takes on a new music genre, glam rock. The album also drew attention to the band in the USA with the massive hit “Get It On”.
The album contains two of T. Rex’s most popular songs, “Get It On” and “Jeepster”. In the United States, “Get It On”‘s title was modified to “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” to distinguish it from Chase’s song “Get It On”, which was also released in late 1971. (The printing of the song title “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” on the back cover of original Reprise Records US copies of Electric Warrior is in a different typeface from the surrounding text, with the song’s original title retained when printing the lyrics.) “Get It On” was T. Rex’s biggest selling single, and became the band’s only top 10 US hit after appearing on the soundtrack of Jarhead in 2005.
Electric Warrior reached number thirty-two in the US Billboard 200 chart. It went to number one on the UK Albums Chart, and stayed there for several weeks, becoming the best-selling album there in 1971.
In 1987, Electric Warrior was ranked number 100 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Albums Of The Last 20 Years” list.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 160 in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.
In 2004, Pitchfork Media listed the record as 20th best album of the 1970s.
In the November 2001 issue of Vanity Fair American musician Beck chose it as one of his 50 favourite album sleeves.
American rock band The Bongos released a cover of “Mambo Sun” in 1981. “Get It On” was a hit single for rock supergroup The Power Station in 1985.
In the opening scene of the 2000 film Billy Elliot, the title character is shown putting Electric Warrior on a turntable and skipping to the song “Cosmic Dancer”. “Cosmic Dancer” was also included in the soundtrack for the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine. Morrissey has also covered “Cosmic Dancer” live in concert, both solo and with David Bowie. He included a live recording on the 1991 CD and album single for “Pregnant for the Last Time”.
Poison drummer Rikki Rockett included a cover of “Life’s a Gas” on his 2003 solo album Glitter 4 Your Soul.
Five songs from the album – “Cosmic Dancer”, “Jeepster”, “Get It On”, “Life’s a Gas” and “Ripoff” – were covered by various artists on the tribute album Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan in 1998.
Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke covered “Life’s a Gas” on his 1995 EP, “Blooze”.
Bolan, in a 1971 interview contained on the Rhino Records reissue, said of the album, “I think Electric Warrior, for me, is the first album which is a statement of 1971 for us in England. I mean that’s… If anyone ever wanted to know why we were big in the other part of the world, that album says it, for me.”
All songs written and composed by Marc Bolan.
|5.||“Lean Woman Blues”||3:02|
|6.||“Get It On”||4:27|
|10.||“Life’s a Gas”||2:24|