“Metal Guru” finds the T Rex sound reaching critical mass: it’s all hook and muscle, a thick platinum noise that brings the band right into line with the emergent glam mainstream: Gary Glitter’s “Rock And Roll Parts 1 and 2”, which just missed number one, uses the same iconic beat, and the rollercoaster backing “whoooooooaaaa”s anticipate the Sweet’s klaxon rush on “Blockbuster”. After this, it was plateau for Bolan – “Children Of The Revolution” and “20th Century Boy” have the same wallop as “Metal Guru” but don’t move the sound forward – and then decline, the density coming to sound clumsy and forced as the hits ran out.

A great deal was lost on the journey from “Hot Love” to here – most obviously a nimbleness Bolan had carried over from the woodland boogie years, but also a giddy way with a groove, a spry sexiness – only the Pied Piper voice and the compacted lyrics really link that record to this. But the simple wham of “Metal Guru” almost makes the sacrifice worth it: like the best glam it has an incredible immediacy, a commitment to style, texture and joy over subtlety, a puppyish eagerness to show itself off that I can’t help falling for.


Score: 8

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