T. Rex

Cosmic Dancer

Song Review by

T. Rex stood for electric, quick pop kicks in the public mind during its early-'70s heyday, but anyone who knew Marc Bolan's earlier work knew he could create simple but effective folk-inspired numbers as he chose. So "Cosmic Dancer" wasn't too surprising a number when it cropped up on Electric Warrior, and neither was what Bolan and producer Tony Visconti did with it -- namely, turn it into a quietly effective epic, at once more inspiring and less pretentious than any number of prog rock double-album monstrosities. Bolan's basic but perfectly atmospheric strum and sweet singing gets away with lyrics that anywhere else might have collapsed but sound just right here, detailing dancing "out of the womb" and "into the tomb" and all points in between. "What's it like to be a loon/I liken it to a balloon," indeed. Bill Legend's drumming, Steve Currie's bass, and Visconti's understated but pinpoint-effective strings carry the song along as a narcotic swirl, with the addition of snaky electric guitar runs and Flo & Eddie's echoing, wordless backing at the end the final touch. Morrissey covered it live in concert well enough with only acoustic guitar, Velvet Goldmine had it on the soundtrack -- a glam folk anthem worth every note.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Electric Warrior 1971 Rhino 4:30
Get It On [MFP] 1986 Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) / Prism Entertainment / Prism Platinum
Cosmic Dancer 2000 Edel America Records / Edeltone 4:25
Billy Elliot 2000
Original Soundtrack
Interscope 4:28
Boogie On 2003 Pilot 7:55
The Legend of T. Rex 2003 A&M / Universal 4:30
Janis & John 2003
Original Soundtrack
Born to Boogie 2005 Sanctuary 4:12
Greatest Hits 2007 UMVD 4:29
Greatest Hits [Teichiku] 2008 Teichiku Records 4:29
T-Rex Swordsman 2008 Universal Distribution 4:30
Get It On: The Collection Polydor / Spectrum Audio