Skip to content

T. Rex – Electric Warrior (1971)

August 19, 2019

[Album 660/1001]

“If given the choice between hearing a great band and seeing a cool band, I’ll take the latter every single time; this is why the Eagles suck.”
– Chuck Klosterman

I tend to agree with Chuck.

Now I might not be quite as harsh as Klosterman was (or as The Dude was) about the Eagles; even if I’m not a big fan, there’s no denying the great musicianship.

Fewer still would deny that ‘coolness’ had more than a little to do with T. Rex’s appeal.

But is it possible to be both Cool & Great?

As someone who’s never been particularly weighed down by either adjective, it’s hard to say!


effectiveness (2)


In my mind, ‘Cool’ is all about the sale & ‘Great’ is all about the product.

Which would mean a ‘Cool’ track would rely on an effective salesperson & a ‘Great’ track would speak for itself, regardless of who’s singing/selling it.

With a tune like Lean Woman Blues, the salesman matters more than the song. The “one, two, buckle my shoe” intro, the variation on the 12-bar blues. It’s a nice vehicle for Bolan, though not so inherently strong that it’s begging to be covered.T_Rex_Electric_Warrior_UK_album_cover

Conversely, with a quality acoustic tune like Cosmic Dancer, the song sells itself & I could see other artists having their own successful versions.

Unsurprisingly, the best case scenario would be when Love & Hate Cool & Great collide. On Electric Warrior, the performers & performances are at their peak with tunes like Bang a Gong (Get It On). Tracks that stay with the listener & for maximum effectiveness, really ought to be performed by T. Rex.

When you’ve got a good product, presented by a salesperson that feels integral to the experience, that tends to lead to satisfied & repeat consumers.

And based on T. Rex’s Electric Warrior & The Slider from the 1001 list, I’d call myself just that.


Verbalize the Positive

Tip of the hat to Age of Electric for introducing me to T. Rex’s Marc Bolan with their lyric, “Bolan smiling down on me” from the song, I Don’t Mind!

From → 1970s

  1. I’ve been listening to T Rex a bit this week – I like The Slider and Electric Warrior, so I’ve been checking the earlier stuff out.

  2. I didn’t get in to T Rex until maybe 10 years ago. They are definitely Cool & Great!!! No suckage there.

  3. Nice writeup Geoff along with a cool quote from Age of Electric. Cool and Great followed by Ying and Yang! Not really but isn’t that a cool cover as well?
    Simple yet effective which makes you the buyer know what you’re getting when you purchase this album!

    • Cheers Deke – I remember you saying AOE played TBay last year, I’m hoping they eventually end up in Kingston. Moist played here a few weeks ago, fun to see them again!
      And yes, I gather they used to be more of a folk group – playing in front of the amp stack definitely suggests a change in sound!

  4. Love the review more than I love T.Rex, G.Steph. For mine, the singles were fabulous but the albums patchy. And Bolan was a tosser. Sucked up to John Peel on the way up then dropped him stone dead when fame and fortune — promoted and encouraged by the same J.Peel — arrived.

    • My thanks Bruce!
      It sounds like he’s an artist where ‘the less you know, the better’ – I often feel like a tourist in this project, where I’m not spending a ton of time learning about each artist.
      In this case, that sounds like the safer way of keeping the art/artist separated.

      • That’s often a worthwhile strategy, isn’t it? Like the aphorism ‘never meet your heroes’.

  5. All the Young Dudes would agree. Great and cool.

  6. Are T. Rex the most overrated band of all time, even more so that Sigue Sigue Sputnik? OK, the latter are even worse, but not as highly rated and hence not as highly overrated as T. Rex.

    • I remember reading a Chuck Klosterman piece about overrated/underrated bands – where he listed the 10 most perfectly rated artists of all time.
      And T Rex were absent from that list, so I imagine you’re not alone in considering them to be in the ‘over’ category!

  7. I had this on vinyl, but moved it on, as it wasn’t as good as I remembered it being when I discovered it as a teenager. Not a bad album, but not one I like too much.

    • I think I prefer the slider (also on the 1001) – but when this one’s both cool & good, it’s well done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: