Album Attack: Electric Warrior vs Hunky Dory

Marc Bolan is something of a forgotten man of the 70’s. His untimely death in a car crash in 1977 has perhaps meant that he could not do greater things than he had already accomplished. Bolan was a superstar in the early 70’s, but was eclipsed by the fast-rising star of David Bowie, who has achieved almost mythical status in his nearly 50-year music career. So, in this album attack, I’m pitting one of Bolan’s masterpieces, Electric Warrior by T.Rex, against one of Bowie’s (many, many) masterpieces, Hunky Dory. Let’s get started!

1.’Mambo Sun‘ vs ‘Changes

‘Mambo Sun’ is an amazing opening, with a stuttering guitar riff typical of Bolan. The backing vocalists, the slap of the drums, all add up to make a great rock song. A great rock song that, unfortunately, is up against an amazing pop song. ‘Changes’ is still well-known, much more than ‘Mambo Sun’, and is absolutely fantastic. It just slips past ‘Mambo Sun’, giving Bowie the first point.

Bolan 0-1 Bowie

2. ‘Cosmic Dancer‘ vs ‘Oh, You Pretty Things

‘Cosmic Dancer’ is a wistful, soft acoustic number. Sadly, it’s one of the more boring tracks on Electric Warrior, whereas ‘Oh, You Pretty Things’ is playful and sexy, trademark Bowie. With its easy androgyny and pop sensibility, ‘Oh, You Pretty Things’ easily beats ‘Cosmic Dancer’.

Bolan 0-2 Bowie

3. ‘Jeepster‘ vs ‘Eight Line Poem

‘Jeepster’ is a classic T. Rex song, with witty wordplay over a proto-glam riff. Lines such as “You’ve got the universe reclining in your hair” are too good to go unheralded, and it’s overall a great song. ‘Eight Line Poem’ is frankly bizarre, an oddity with nothing really special to show off and is quite forgettable

Bolan 1-2 Bowie

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