11 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this 1973 debut album, the singing English actor dons personae with ease, and to good effect. The glammy title tune is the best song Marc Bolan never wrote and is one of the greatest moment-definers of the decade (it sold north of a million copies and was even up for a GRAMMY®). The glam continues on “We Are All Insane,” a heady, horn-augmented tune that sounds like what would result if you mixed vintage Bowie and T. Rex with Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire.” Elsewhere, Essex goes straight for Dr. John on the hit “Lamplight” and replicates Fabian on his 1959 doo-wop hit “Turn Me Loose”—but this version sees some glitter dust sprinkled throughout. He gets Johnny Nash Caribbean on “Ocean Girl” and adds a decidedly theatrical twist to Paul Simon’s “For Emily Whenever I May Find Her,” which makes the tune all his own. The ballads here set a tone for Essex’s pop-star future, and there’s beauty and some sorrow on both “Tell Him No” and “On and On.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this 1973 debut album, the singing English actor dons personae with ease, and to good effect. The glammy title tune is the best song Marc Bolan never wrote and is one of the greatest moment-definers of the decade (it sold north of a million copies and was even up for a GRAMMY®). The glam continues on “We Are All Insane,” a heady, horn-augmented tune that sounds like what would result if you mixed vintage Bowie and T. Rex with Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire.” Elsewhere, Essex goes straight for Dr. John on the hit “Lamplight” and replicates Fabian on his 1959 doo-wop hit “Turn Me Loose”—but this version sees some glitter dust sprinkled throughout. He gets Johnny Nash Caribbean on “Ocean Girl” and adds a decidedly theatrical twist to Paul Simon’s “For Emily Whenever I May Find Her,” which makes the tune all his own. The ballads here set a tone for Essex’s pop-star future, and there’s beauty and some sorrow on both “Tell Him No” and “On and On.”

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