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Hawkwind, at their peak, as on '73's live "Space Ritual" double LP, were an air-tight rock'n'roll demolition unit who combined the best of trancey psychedelia and buttocks-scorching rock'n'roll. If you have the remotist interest in Krautrock or the pre-Punk school of high-energy rock a la MC5/Stooges/Pink Fairies/Deviants, then you need this in your collection.
From Dik's crazy synth whoops and bleeps thru to the sublime sci-fi spoken-word babble right up to the apocalyptic "Orgone Accumulator" (almost 10 minutes of pure sonic fist-shaking bliss), this is an album for both rock'n'roll purists and avant-prog geeks alike (I fall somewhere between the two).
Whilst nothing can compare to the original vinyl version with its fancy fold-out cover, this CD version is almost as good as it contains bonus tracks and a very well put together booklet with new photos, graphics and liner notes. Unlike many other reissues, it's nice to know that someone at the label actually put some care into it.
If you must know, everyone from Jello Biafra to John Lydon has sung the praises of this set, so do the done thing and get on it.
`Silver Machine' was even more of a freak than it appears. For a start it was a live recording, which was almost unheard of in singles land, especially as it was nearly five minutes long (even if it had been heavily edited with Robert Calvert's vocals completely erased and replaced with the far more aggressive growl of Hawkwind's bass player Ian Kiliminster, known to all as Lemmy). The sight of the Hawkwind video being played next to the Nolan Sisters on Top of the Pops did bring a smile to the face, but imagine if they had let Lemmy into the same studio as the Sisters?
It's not as though Hawkwind had not already enjoyed success, as their first three albums had already charted in the U.K. `Hawkwind' (1970), `In Search of Space' (1971) (complete with fabulous foldout cover and Hawklog), and `Doremi Fasol Latido' (1972) which had a vaguely space concept.
But with the money generated by a hit single Hawkwind decided to take their Space Ritual on the road for a massive tour of the United Kingdom and surrounding planets. A road crew was brought in, the most impressive display of lights were acquired under the auspicious eye of Liquid Len accompanied by his crew of Lensmen, costumes were fashioned, famous English D.J.Read more ›
This album dispels that idea for good. These guys are heavy, heavy metal space travelers on a vastly different mission than Roger Waters and the boys. Just listening to the "get in tune, mates!" countdown in the beginning of "Born To Go" still gives me chills as Simon plays across all the tom tom tops. Lemmy (Rickenbacker stereo bass) and Simon King (a really BIG kit of drums) then lay down the thunder like never before. Lemmy actually more or less plays "lead" on most of this tune, and plays some fine bass solos. This CD (though overpriced - come on, guys!) is probably the most authentic record of what I believe to be the best Hawkwind band.
The reason why there are no breaks between songs is that is how a Hawkwind concert was - a song, some lines from sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock, another song, some synth from Del Dettmar or Dikmik, another song...it was a revelation.
Unfortunately, they didn't fit into anybody's convenient pigeonholes then or now, and in an age of Peter Frampton and disco United Artists US pretty much let them drift away..but you can still have a piece of it, and a ferocious piece at that, on this disc. Listeners who heard the "1999 Party" live set beware: while it is without doubt the cleanest recording, this is the real concert sound.
There are a few problems with the CD version here, please note.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would have loved to have been at the show or shows. I can only imagine the fun that could be had. A very cool, engaging, psychedelic ride into that time and space. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Allan Bumgartner
A definitive Hawkwind album. One of their best, and one of the best of the decade!Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer