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Under Cover: Morrissey Dances Cosmically With T. Rex

By 1991, Morrissey had long thrown off the shackles of the Smiths and was in the middle of a full-bloom solo career. Having just released his second album, ‘Kill Uncle,’ Moz continued a path set by his former band, putting out terrific non-LP singles along the way.

In July 1991, he released ‘Pregnant for the Last Time.’ It reached only No. 25 on the U.K. chart, but the single included a cover of the T. Rex classic ‘Cosmic Dancer’ that was recorded live in concert during a stop in Holland earlier in the year.

The cut finds Morrissey in top form as he delivers a heartfelt rendition of the 1971 song, found on T. Rex’s ‘Electric Warrior’ album. He remains faithful to the original track, but puts enough spin on it — stripping it down to just guitar and vocal — to make the song his own.

Twenty years before Morrissey tackled ‘Cosmic Dancer,’ Marc Bolan’s band finally made its breakthrough album. After releasing a batch of records under the slightly longer moniker Tyrannosaurus Rex, the group transformed its previously acoustic-based music and fantasy-filled lyrics into an entirely different realm.

On 1970′s ‘T. Rex’ LP, things were streamlined and plugged in; by the time they made ‘Electric Warrior’ the following year, T. Rex were a full-blown rock ‘n’ roll band, and T. Rextasy was in full swing in the group’s native England.

Even though ‘Cosmic Dancer’ wasn’t pulled as a single, it’s a significant part of ‘Electric Warrior’ and a longtime favorite among the band’s most faithful fans. Morrissey was among that group, and he served the song well on his excellent cover.

Next: Joan Jett on the Replacements’ Unisex Evolution

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