Electric Warrior: Deluxe Part 1
The 40th anniversary reissue of T. Rex's breakthrough Electric Warrior expands the 30th Anniversary Edition by adding two songs -- the non-LP A-side "Hot Love" and the B-side "Raw Ramp" -- both oddly absent from the 2003 reissue. A Deluxe Edition goes further by adding a full disc of outtakes, demos, and oddities on a second disc, and a Super Deluxe Edition goes further still by adding a DVD of promo clips and live performances along with a hardcover bound mini-book, replicas of promo photos and posters, and a beer coaster added as a cherry on top. All the packaging on the Super Deluxe Edition is quite appealing -- particularly all the news weekly covers and articles and ads that are found within -- and the DVD does an excellent job of visualizing Bolan mania (a particular highlight is a Christmas 1971 performance of "Get It On" with Elton John sitting in on piano), but the meat of this anniversary edition is the second CD. Granted, there are no unheard songs (the closest is a cover of Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't") and there are no real revelations -- the constant parade of Bolan demos, expanded T. Rex albums, box sets, and the Unchained series have sapped any of Bolan's working versions of their ability to surprise as these wind up familiarly embryonic. All the songs are in place and they all sound better with some production, so the best cuts here are the ones that are fleshed out the most, including a "full-length" version of "Get It On," which has lots of vocal flair from Flo & Eddie and a tidy ending. Such slight yet notable differences are certainly worth the time of dyed-in-the-wool Bolan fanatics yet they're not quite enough to recommend it to the T. Rex fans who love only Electric Warrior. But for those who love T. Rex and Electric Warrior so much they know what they're getting into with this deluxe package, they'll be pleased with this handsome set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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