T-Rex: Electric Warrior Deluxe Edition

April 23rd sees the release of multi format editions of Electric Warrior by T-Rex to help mark the year which is the 40th Anniversary of Glam Rock. The album comes as a single CD, a deluxe edition 2 disc edition, or a triple CD Super Deluxe version. Marc Bolan and his band was without doubt the most important artist of the genre and age, but though most acclaim him sometimes his far reaching influence to bands and musician through the following years until now gets unrecognised or forgotten. Electric Warrior was and still is a mighty album, a release that twangs the heart and stirs up the emotions through classic track after another. The new release celebrates that fact, the band, he and the anniversary of the genre, it is an album that has touched and will continue to inspire musicians and fans alike, new or old.

One has to be honest when first hearing and approaching this package there was not a complete enthusiasm for it. Listening to it first before researching the full details left one feeling enthused yet confused initially, not so much on the content but why, who it was for, and was there an element of taking advantage of fans of the band. The more one looked into it an understanding and appreciation dawned and grew for each individual version.

The single CD version of the album is a must have for anyone who has a feeling for the band. The album topped the UK album charts twice, from December 18th 1971 to January 29th 1972 and again from February 5th to February 19th 1972. It is bursting with songs we all know to heart and the disc is a refreshing reminder of the talent and wealth of quality the album gave. This Tony Visconti’s re-mastered version has the complete album plus four bonus tracks, the b-sides There Was A Time / Raw Ramp, King Of The Mountain Cometh and Woodland Rock, plus the brilliant single Hot Love. At around £6.99 this album is a definite must have.

The two disc Deluxe edition is where at first there was a reticence until realizing it is geared for existing fans with an already deep hearted love for the band, though there is much there for the passer by too. Alongside the single album the second disc offers up an array of for the most previously unreleased demos and out-takes. With tracks ranging from the Electric Warrior Poem (a rare us radio promo), through working versions of songs like Electric Boogie, Monolith, and Life’s A Gas, to home acoustic versions of Planet Queen  and Get It On. There are twenty one tracks that for enthused fans will thrill and please immensely and after giving it a mass of deliberate attention it has to be said there is enough to interest and satisfy less ardent fans too such as the excellent studio out-take cover of the rockabilly classic Honey Don’t by Carl Perkins. At a cost of around £12.99 for the deluxe version it is a good price for a different look into Bolan and this music as well as having the original album with its treats.

The Super Deluxe on top of the two CDs contains a DVD consisting rare and unreleased TV performances and promos including the only two surviving Top of the Pops performances from the BBC archive, live performances of Life’s A Gas and Cosmic Dancer, plus promos for Jeepster and Get It On plus more. It also comes with a 32-page hardback book featuring a brand new essay from Bolan biographer Mark Paytress, a poster, a coaster and more all wrapped  in a lavish box which is foil blocked and de-bossed. This will be around £30 and on reflection is still an agreeable amount for the substantial sounds and physical elements within.

There are also a special double LP vinyl version and digital exclusive editions available so something for your preference. As mentioned earlier first thoughts upon the initial introduction and listen to the release was mixed with a thought of exploitation of die-hard fans being involved but the package dispelled that after close focus, its contents and admittedly the pricing truly being a celebration of an icon and era.

To celebrate Record Shop Day on April 21st there is also an especially produced very limited edition T-Rex box set of vinyl singles, Electric Sevens, containing four 7” singles pressed on heavy weight vinyl and featuring unique sleeves.

RingMaster 18/04/2012

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