Futuristic Dragon

Futuristic Dragon is the eleventh studio album by T.Rex, released in 1976. Preceded by two UK Top 40 hits, “New York City” (#15) and “Dreamy Lady” (#30), Futuristic Dragon was released in January, reaching #50. It was T. Rex’s first album to register in the charts since Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow in 1974. The album features some unusually dense production from Bolan, with hints that he had been listening to old Phil Spector records, especially Chrome Sitar and Calling All Destroyers, which contained unusual musical embellishements such as sitar & other sonic sound effects. The album also contained a handful of songs which could have been singles, such as ‘Jupiter Liar’ and ‘Sensation Boulevard’.

Live recordings of the successful tour T.Rex undertook that year in the UK (the first since the birth of his son Rolan Bolan, with Gloria Jones) show him to be returning to form from the cocaine addiction, (alleged) Napoleon complex, and weight gain which had plagued him since late 1973, when his star began to fall. In many of these (bootleg) recordings, often done by members of the audience, Bolan thanks the audience for coming, and admits that he did not know if they would. He was heartened by the response received on the two aforementioned hit singles, and set to work on a new album immediately.

One factor which also sparked Marc’s renewed interest in music was the emergence of punk. Photos from early 1977 show Bolan at a pub/restaurant with members of The Ramones. He toured in spring 1977 with The Damned, and on the Granada TV show “Marc”, which he hosted, guests of his included The Boomtown Rats, The Jam, and Generation X.

The album is also notable for the sleeve illustration by artist George Underwood, who had first worked with Bolan on the 1968 Tyrannosaurus Rex album My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows.

 Reissues

Futuristic Dragon was remastered for CD by Edsel Records in 1994 as part of their extensive T.Rex reissue campaign. A number of bonus tracks were added (see below). A companion release, entitled Dazzling Raiment (The Alternate Futuristic Dragon), was released in 1997 which contained alternative versions, studio rough mixes and solo recordings of the main album and bonus tracks. A combined album digipak (MEDCD719) was released in 2002.

Track listing

All songs were written by Marc Bolan.

  1. “Futuristic Dragon (Introduction)” – 1:52
  2. “Jupiter Liar” – 3:40
  3. “Chrome Sitar” – 3:13
  4. “All Alone” – 2:48
  5. “New York City” – 3:55
  6. “My Little Baby” – 3:06
  7. “Calling All Destroyers” – 3:53
  8. “Theme for a Dragon” – 2:00
  9. “Sensation Boulevard” – 3:48
  10. “Ride My Wheels” – 2:25
  11. “Dreamy Lady” – 2:51
  12. “Dawn Storm” – 3:42
  13. “Casual Agent” – 2:53
1994 CD reissue (Edsel EDCD394)
  1. “London Boys” – 2:19
  2. “Laser Love” – 3:35
  3. “Life’s an Elevator” – 2:24

 Dazzling Raiment (The Alternate Futuristic Dragon) (EDCD 522)

  1. “Futuristic Dragon (Introduction)” – 1:46
  2. “Chrome Sitar” – 3:16
  3. “All Alone” – 2:50
  4. “New York City” – 3:57
  5. “My Little Baby” – 3:51
  6. “Sensation Boulevard” – 3:48
  7. “Dreamy Lady” – 2:50
  8. “Dawn Storm” – 3:31
  9. “Casual Agent” – 2:54
  10. “London Boys” – 2:20
  11. “Life’s an Elevator” – 2:25
  12. “Futuristic Dragon (Introduction)” – 1:52
  13. “All Alone” – 3:51
  14. “Dreamy Lady” – 2:31
  15. “Casual Agent” – 4:05
  16. “Casual Agent” – 4:04
  17. “All Alone” (Solo recording) – 2:46
  18. “Dreamy Lady” (Solo recording) – 2:19
  19. “London Boys” (Solo recording) – 1:55
  20. “Life’s an Elevator” (Solo recording) – 2:01

 

Versions

  Title Label Cat# Country Year
  Futuristic Dragon (LP, Album) EMI BLN 5004 UK 1976
  Futuristic Dragon (LP, Album, RE) Sounds Marketing System SP20-5064 Japan 1983
  Futuristic Dragon (LP, RE) Relativity, Marc On Wax Ltd. none US 1987
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album, RE) Marc On Wax Ltd. MARCD 507 France 1989
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album, RE) Marc On Wax Ltd. MADCD 507 UK 1989
  Futuristic Dragon (LP, Album, RE) Marc On Wax Ltd. MARCL 507 UK 1989
  Futuristic Dragon (LP, Pic, Album, RE) Marc On Wax Ltd. RAPD 507 UK 1989
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album, RE, RM) Edsel Records EDCD394 Europe 1994
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album, RM + CD, Album, Del) Rhino Records (2) R2 73288 US 2002
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album, RM + CD, Comp, Del) Edsel Records MEDCD 719 UK 2002
  Futuristic Dragon (CD, Album) Imperial Records (Japan) TECI-26568 Japan 2009

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