Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy 40th, Glam Rock! - Electric Warrior to be re-released.

It's 2012, which means it has been forty years since Glam Rock.

This hit me last night, when I was watching Flashbacks of a Fool, of which maybe more later. The foolish flashback, which is oddly divorced from both space and time, is of a young teen invited back to a teenage girl's place to listen to Roxy Music's first album. Adding up the dates of the albums shown with the supposed age of the adults caused my brane to fale, but succeeded in reminding me that 1971 to 1972 was my own musical uh... sprouting or something. ('Awakening' sounds far too pretentious for the discovery of "my" popular music, since everybody has one, like an uvula.)

 T. Rex's Electric Warrior was just about the first album I knew about before its release, and anticipated buying. It was released in December 1971, and was number #1 in the British charts until February 19th, 1972 (minus a week when it slipped down, only to rise again). I still have two vinyl copies - the British one I originally bought, and a gatefold-sleeve American one with a tip-on inside showing Marc Bolan lounging in a chair with Mickey Finn reading a paper behind him (Headline: T-Riffic!).

 When I bought the American one a few years ago, the picture sent me right back to 1971, when She magazine printed a long article on Mr. Bolan - something that I can't prove as it seems to be one of the few articles I failed to keep.


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(This shot by Spud Murphy, in fact. But on the album sleeve it's cropped to keep poor
Bill and Steve literally out of the picture.)

Commerce being commerce, Electric Warrior is being released in April for its fortieth point five anniversary. The package looks great and of course I will buy it again, although the little plastic discs it contains can't possibly sound like the vinyl. Here's the skinny on the Boppin' Elf from Amazon's store:


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Electric Warrior topped the UK album charts twice, from December 18th 1971 to January 29th 1972 and again from February 5th to February 19th 1972. This new Limited Super Deluxe Edition is crammed with previously unreleased demos and out-takes.
It is housed in a lavish box set which is foil blocked and de-bossed and will contain the two CDs plus a DVD of rare and unreleased TV performances and promos by the group, and contains a wealth of additional items – alongside a 32-page hardback book featuring a brand new essay from Bolan biographer Mark Paytress (including new interviews with those who were close to Marc). The box also includes reproductions of rare photos and memorabilia: a poster including a timeline, three photographs, a coaster and a vintage press release.
The centrepiece is original producer Tony Visconti’s re-mastered version of Electric Warrior, which is presented with four bonus tracks – the non-album single, “Hot Love” (No. 1 in February 1971) plus the B-sides “There Was A Time / Raw Ramp”, “King Of The Mountain Cometh” and “Woodland Rock”. The second disc in the Deluxe and Super-Deluxe editions opens with Marc Bolan reciting a previously unreleased poem titled “The Electric Warrior” which was recorded for a US Radio promo that is featured in full at the end of the album.
The DVD includes the only two surviving Top of the Pops performances from the BBC archive of T Rex’s Electric Warrior-era hits – “Hot Love” and “Get It On”, the latter featuring Elton John. The DVD also includes the previously unseen Blue Screen versions of “Jeepster” and “Life’s A Gas” from Germany’s Beat Club plus the actual broadcast versions of “Jeepster” and “Life’s A Gas”. The rarely seen official promo videos for “Get It On” and “Jeepster” are also included, plus live performances of “Girl” and “Cosmic Dancer” which were recorded at the performance of T. Rex’s historic Wembley Empire Pool concerts on March 18th 1972. These were not included in the concert film Born To Boogie which used none of the matinĂ©e concert footage.
This year is the 40th Anniversary of Glam Rock, or Glamiversary as some have christened it. Electric Warrior was T. Rex’s second album, released in September 1971. It was T. Rex’s No. 1 single “Hot Love” which sparked a movement that gathered pace throughout 1971 to become a fully-fledged phenomenon in 1972. 1971 was the year Marc Bolan broke big, and thanks to a touch of glitter under his eye when performing “Hot Love” on the March 10th edition of Top Of The Pops, he was to herald a new pop era, Glam or Glitter Rock. By the end of 1971 Bolan and Rexmania was as close as anyone had come to Beatlemania since 1963.
TRACKLISTING:
DISC ONE – ORIGINAL ALBUM PLUS SINGLE A & B SIDES
01: Mambo Sun
02: Cosmic Dancer
03: Jeepster
04: Monolith
05: Lean Woman Blues
06: Get It On
07: Planet Queen
08: Girl
09: The Motivator
10: Life’s A Gas
11: Rip Off
Bonus Tracks:
12: There Was A Time / Raw Ramp – B-side
13: Hot Love – A-side
14: King Of The Mountain Cometh – B-side
15: Woodland Rock – B-side
DISC TWO – DEMOS & OUT-TAKES
01: Electric Warrior Poem – Rare US Radio promo *
02: Mambo Sun – Instrumental edit *
03: Cosmic Dancer – single-vocal version *
04: Jeepster – single-vocal version *
05: Monolith – no backing vocals version *
06: Lean Woman Blues – single-guitar track – Work in Progress *
07: Get It On – Full Length version *
08: Planet Queen – acoustic version *
09: Girl – New York demo *
10: The Motivator – Work in Progress *
11: Life’s A Gas – Studio out-take *
12: Rip Off – Instrumental *
13: Raw Ramp – London demo version
14: Electric Boogie – London demo version *
15: Honey Don’t – Studio out-take / Work in Progress *
16: Planet Queen – Acoustic solo / London demo version *
17: Girl – Acoustic solo / London demo version *
18: Jeepster – Electric home demo version *
19: Get It On – Acoustic home demo version *
20: Untitled instrumental – studio out-take *
21: Electric Warrior Poem and radio advert. US Radio promo *
Previously Unreleased *
DISC THREE – DVD
01: Hot Love from Top of the Pops, 24th March 1971. First time on DVD
02: Get It On from Top of the Pops, 20th December 1971 featuring Elton John
03: Jeepster from Beat Club, Germany. Previously Unseen Blue Screen Version
04: Life’s A Gas from Beat Club, Germany. Previously Unseen Blue Screen Version
05: Girl, Live at the Empire Pool Wembley, 18th March 1972
06: Cosmic Dancer, Live at the Empire Pool Wembley, 18th March 1972
07: Get It On, Official Promo
08: Jeepster, Official Promo
09: Jeepster from Beat Club, Germany. Broadcast version
10: Life’s A Gas from Beat Club, Germany. Broadcast version

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