T. Rex

Cosmic Dancer

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AllMusic Review by

Judging solely from the track listing of 2000's Cosmic Dancer, it's understandable to assume that this 12-track collection is a T. Rex comp that focuses on the Electric Warrior era, and even a bit earlier. But in reality, this set is a hodgepodge of live and outtake versions of well-known tunes. The group was just entering a maniacal stage of fan worship around this time, and its live shows reflected this (as does the album cover) -- with the screams and hoopla almost equaling the band's volume. And with Marc Bolan still finding his footing as an electric guitarist and rock god frontman, expanded live versions of "Hot Love," "Ride a White Swan" (complete with bongo solo!), and "Jeepster" lose the charm of the straight-to-the-point original versions. Also included are alternate takes of "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" and the collection's title track, as well as a track that you can use to actually trace T. Rex's transformation from hippie-dippie folkies to rockers -- "Jewel" (although again, the shorter original version fares better than this meandering, nearly nine-minute version). Newcomers will be better off sticking with one of the countless other true T. Rex comps out there, but longtime fans looking for uncommon versions may get a thrill or two.

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