Our Top 10 T. Rex songs list looks back at one of the most important bands in classic rock history who also played a significant role in the birth of Glam Rock and more. T. Rex was a popular band on a worldwide basis. However, the group had most of its chart success in the United Kingdom where they celebrated multiple number one singles and four top 10 albums. The band also found success in the United States based more on album sales than hits, with the exception of course of the song “Bang A Gong (Get It On),”which was a top 10 hit in the U.S. Yet, only one T. Rex album made the U.S Billboard top 100 albums charts. The great Electric Warrior album peaked at number thirty two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album hit number one in the U.K. Still the legacy of the band is undeniable as they have inspired countless legions of rock and roll artists over the past four decades in all countries that celebrate rock and roll music.
The origins of the band T. Rex goes back to a time period when the group was originally called Tyrannosaurus Rex. The band released four studio albums under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex. The first Tyrannosaurus Rex album entitled VepMy People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows was released in 1968. The second album also released in 1968 was titled Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages .The third album was released in 1969 was titled Unicorn. All three albums featured the duo of Mark Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took. Occasionally, John Peel would appear delivering spoken word performances on some of the songs, but for the most part all the music performed on the first three Tyrannosaurus Rex albums was done by Mark Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took. The fourth Tyrannosaurus Rex album entitled A Beard of Stars was released in 1970. The record saw a change in the lineup of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Out was Steve Peregrin Took and onboard was Mickey Finn. This would be the last album released under the Tyrannosaurus Rex name.
The first album to be released under the T. Rex name was issued in 1970 simply titled T. Rex. However, this was basically the same lineup as the last record with Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn. Additionally, there was a guest appearance by Flo and Eddie on the record. One year later in 1971, the band T.Rex and Marc Bolan became a household name with the release of the spectacular Electric Warrior album. Joining the band on that record was Steve Currie on bass and Bill Legend on drums. The album also featured guest appearances by Rick Wakeman of Yes, Ian McDonald of King Crimson, jazz musician Burt Collins, and once again Flo & Eddie.
The Electric Warrior album was followed up a year later with an album entitled The Slider. The legendary album cover that remains one of classic rock’s most iconic covers was photographed by Ringo Starr. This was another spectacular T. Rex record that contained some of the most famous T. Rex songs with tracks such as “Metal Guru,” and “Telegram Sam.” With the same lineup as the previous two albums T. Rex returned in 1973 with an album that veered more towards soul than glam called Tanx. The next record wound up not being released in the U.S. for various reasons. Entitled Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow, it was the first T. Rex album to be credited as Marc Bolan and T. Rex. In the U.S, an album entitled Light of Love was released instead.
The album Bolan’s Zip Gun was released in 1975 which contained tracks from Light of Love. In 1976 the album Futuristic Dragon was released in the U.K. The album was not released in the U.S. until 1987. The final studio album by T. Rex was released in 1977 entitled Dandy in the Underworld. The album was released in March of that year. Six months later Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash. With the passing of Marc Bolan, the band T. Rex came to an end.
Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex had released twelve studio albums between the years 1968 and 1977. There were also many T. Rex songs released as singles that were non album tracks. After Marc Bolan’s passing there was an incredible amount of records released containing unreleased tracks, live recordings and compilations. Marc Bolan and T. Rex left behind a legacy of songs that have inspired so many. Our top 10 T.Rex songs list is just a small sampling of some of T. Rex’s most popular songs, some fan favorites and some deep album tracks. Of course there are so many missing. Songs such as “Life’s A Gas, Mambo Sun, 20th Century Boy, Baby Strange, Ride a White Swan, Telegram Sam, Spaceball Ricochet,” and so many more deserved to be on this list. However, with only picking ten we had to make some tough choices. In the end, we hope this lists fuels your desire to check out the rest of the band’s catalog and start enjoying the great music of Marc Bolan and T. Rex.
# 10 – Get It On
We open up our top 10 T. Rex songs with the band’s most popular song at least from a mass cultural level. Originally titled “Get It On,” when it was first released in the United Kingdom, the song’s title was changed when it was released in the United States to “Bang A Gong (Get It On).” The song was released on the Electric Warrior album. It hit number one in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It just made the top 10 in the United States peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was written by Marc Bolan. The song’s brilliant production was produced by Tony Visconti. Interestingly, the band The Power Station with Robert Palmer as their lead vocalist recorded the song fourteen years later in 1985 and had just a bit better chart success with the song than T.Rex originally had. Released as “Get It On (Bang A Gong ),” the Power Station’s version hit number nine on the Billboard Hit 100; one spot higher than the original version did.
In the end, Bang A Gong will always be considered a T.Rex song as opposed to a Power Station song and stands pretty much as Marc Bolan’s signature song. Its influence on rock and roll is almost immeasurable.
# 9 – Cosmic Dancer
While “Cosmic Dancer,” was never released as a single or even a b side, it remains one of our favorite T. Rex songs of all time. This is one of those great deep album tracks that has always been a fan favorite of hardcore T.Rex fans. This one is just so smooth with such deep meaning. Listen to those strings soar over that haunting and yet beautiful vocal line. The ending is chilling. The song “Cosmic Dancer,” was released on the T.Rex album Electric Warrior.
# 8 – Do You Remember
As we continue our top 10 T.Rex songs we turn back to a time when the group went by the name Tyrannosaurus Rex. “Do You Remember,” was the b-side to the non-album single “King Of The Rumbling Spires.” The song was released in 1969. The 1960s and 70s were filled with great b sides that often got lost among the big hits. “Do You Remember,” was one of them.
# 7 – Hot Love
The great song “Hot Love,” by T. Rex was released as a stand alone single in 1971. “Hot Love,”would become the band’s first number one single in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the song only reached the number 72 position on the Billboard Hot 100. The song “Hot Love,” would eventually be released as a bonus track on the CD edition of the legendary album Electric Warrior..
# 6 – The Slider
With the number six position on this top 10 T. Rex songs list we turn to the title track of the great album The Slider. After the tremendous success of the Electric Warrior album, fans were anxiously awaiting to see what the band would come up with next. They weren’t disappointed as The Slider album was another great T.Rex record. The album’s title track that is featured here had such an addicting slow groove with those great glam flourishes that hit you in the face at different points, it was almost too good to take. Love this one.
# 5 – Dandy In The Underworld
“Dandy In The Underworld,” was the title track to the final T. Rex album. The record was released in 1977. The Dandy In The Underworld album was hailed as somewhat of a comeback album for T. Rex as as sales of the groups previous albums Futuristic Dragon and Bolan’s Zip Gun did not sell well. “Dandy In The Underworld,” is pure T. Rex excitement and seemed to be a preview for the next musical chapter of Marc Bolan’s life until he was tragically killed at the age of 29 in that auto accident.
# 4 – Jeepster
While we wanted to cover as many aspects of the career of T. Rex as space would allow, there was no way we were going to leave this great T.Rex song of this list. “Jeepster,” was one of the best songs released on the band’s best album Electric Warrior. The song served as the follow up single to “Get It On.” “Jeepester,” hit number two on the U.K. music charts in 1971. It failed to even break the top 100 in the U.S.
# 3 – Metal Guru
The classic T.Rex song “Metal Guru,” was the band’s fourth number one single in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was the second single released from the album The Slider. This was an incredibly addicting song that showcased the glam aspect of the music of T. Rex almost more than any of their other songs. The lead vocal and the backing vocals on the song “Metal Guru,” are stunning. One of the great rock and roll sing along songs of the 1970s.
# 2 – Raw Ramp
When I first purchased the single “Bang A Gong,” I found myself playing the B-side more often than the A side. I don’t think I was alone. I also found myself thinking abut the girl that Mar Bolan was singing abut. I was pretty young. That’s Rock and Roll.
# 1 – Children Of The Revolution
We close out our our top 10 T. Rex Songs list with the great track “Children of the Revolution.” This great song was released in 1970. The song was recorded for the motion picture film Born To Boogie. This track also featured Elton John on piano and Ringo Starr on drums. The song hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song “Children of the Revolution.” was released on various compilations and the DVD of the concert film. It was not released on any of the original T. Rex albums.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Albums
VepMy People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
Released in 1968
Released in 1968
Released in 1969
Released in 1970
T. Rex Albums
Released in 1970
Released in 1971
Released in 1972
Released in 1973
Released in 1974 (Not released in the U.S.)
Released in 1975 (U.S. Only)
Released in 1975
Released in 1976
Released in 1977