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1976 – Part 4.3: T-Rex – Futuristic Dragon

I didn’t know who T-Rex or Marc Bolan was until Nikki Sixx kept mentioning him as an influence between 1987 and 1990. And I had heard “Get It On” and “Children Of The Revolution” on radio before but the radio announcer never announced who the artist was and with so much hard rock coming my way, T-Rex just kept slipping from my mind.

“Futuristic Dragon” is studio album number 11 released in January 1976 everywhere else in the world except the U.S. The U.S release didn’t happen until 1987.

It’s listed as a T-Rex album, however when Mickey Finn left the band the previous year, Bolan said that “T-Rex no longer exists”. But the labels are always wise and they wouldn’t release it unless it was T-Rex.

The band is Marc Bolan on Vocals, Guitars and Moog, his partner Gloria Jones on Backing Vocals and Clavinet, Steve Currie on Bass,
Davy Lutton on Drums, Dino Dines on Keyboards and Jimmie Haskell on Strings.

George Underwood did the cover artwork who also covers for other T-Rex albums, along with Bowie, Mott The Hoople and alot of book covers.

Here is a snapshot of some from his website.

All tracks are written by Marc Bolan.

Futuristic Dragon

It’s almost two minutes of a bass groove like the one in “Crazy Train”, guitars on cocaine and a voice over from Marc Bolan. But part from the bass groove, I was like “what the…”

Jupiter Liar

The “Get It On” style riff is back as Bolan is vamping on a F5 power chord.

But this time there are gospel/soul like backing vocalists. And Marc Bolan has a talent for creating a catchy song without a proper Chorus.

Chrome Sitar

The groove on this song is addictive. It’s almost metal like in the riff, however the horns give it a blues/soul rock vibe.

All Alone

It’s a Blues Rock Soul cut, very Rolling Stones like in the blues rock department.

If the verse vocal melody and progression sounds familiar, it should as Nikki Sixx took for when Frankie died. “On With The Show” I say.

New York City

It was a single, a blues rockabilly tune with catchy gospel like backing vocals.

And there is a vocal melody here (the “I did, don’t you know” lyric) which reminds me of another song from another artist, which I can’t remember right now. I like it when that happens, but also hate it when I can’t remember the other artist.

My Little Baby

Another catchy tune, mixing blues rock with soul and a bit of ELO like strings. The vocal melody was definitely used by other artists in the 80’s and beyond.

Calling All Destroyers

The verse vocal melody inspired Phil Lynott for the verse vocal melody on “Cold Sweat”.

Theme for a Dragon

It’s soundtrack like with the strings carrying the melody.

Sensation Boulevard

This could have been on any 80’s pop album it’s that catchy. Press play to hear to bass groove that rumbles throughout the song.

Ride My Wheels

This one has too much soul and less rock. The first slip up on the album, but I still appreciate it for the experimentation of soul based rhythms.

Dreamy Lady

Another experimenting song, however the sugary 60’s pop works here. It’s even disco-esque. Was disco even a thing in 76.

Dawn Storm

It’s a perfect blend of soul and rock.

Casual Agent

A small misstep with too much soul and not enough rock and blues.

Overall, the album is enjoyable to listen to. Marc Bolan is very underrated as an artist and on this album, you will hear a lot of melodies and riffs that other artists have used afterwards.

The blend of rock and blues was always there in T-Rex’s music, and the strings also appeared, however with the addition of soul and a bit of disco, the album was definitely ahead of its time.

Futuristic. Yes.

But it was no match against “A Night At The Opera” from Queen. While T-Rex toured on this album, the overall turnout at the gigs was poor and the album didn’t do that great on the charts either. The glory days of just a few years ago seemed like decades ago.


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