Thursday, May 31, 2007

276. Hawkwind - Space Ritual (1973)

Track Listing

1. Earth Calling
2. Born To Go
3. Down Through The Night
4. Awakening
5. Lord Of Light
6. Black Corridor
7. Space Is Deep
8. Electronic No 1
9. Orgone Accumulator
10. Upside Down
11. Ten Seconds Of Forever
12. Brainstorm
13. Seven By Seven
14. Sonic Attack
15. Time We Left This World Today
16. Master Of The Universe
17. Welcome To The Future


Ahh! The Mighty Hawkwind grace our ears with their mighty muzak! Ok, there is only one way to listen to this live album and that is loud. I think I should make a list of pros and cons here, for this album are the very amazing riffs on some of the tracks which sound heavier than anything before them. Against this album is basically everything else. It sounds silly, the writing particularly on the spoken bits written by the great Michael Moorcock sound silly in the voice in which they are delivered, they might actually look not bad on the page but there is an overdramatic delivery which might be tongue in cheek, but it might also not be and if it ain't it's scary.

Another thing which goes against this album is the fact that it is very long and very samey, its hard to tell a lot of the songs apart except for the different lyrics. Hawkwind got a full guitar riff sound which works and so they just use it throughout. Frankly it's not enough.

The album can still be enjoyed thoroughly, because the heavier tracks do work, but there are to many irksome elements for it to be a truly great album. There is a refreshingly Motorhead like sound to the album tough and you can really see how Lemmy developed his sound from here (he's the bassist in Space Ritual). Now I am sure that seeing this live would have been a completely different experience, Hawkwind are famous for their on stage shennanigans and amazing stage shows and would probably completment the music nicely enought for it to be worth the admission price, as it is it just becomes a somewhat laughable attempt at profoundish science fiction rock. Actually I pity Moorcock here, he is a great writer and listening to this album should not taint your ideas of Moorcock, father of Elric, creator of multiverses. Get this album at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Down Through the Night
2. Orgone Accumulator
3. Master Of The Universe
4. Brainstorm

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Former Black Flag and current Rollins Band singer Henry Rollins is a fan, as is Jello Biafra. The Sex Pistols included "Silver Machine" in their reunion performances of 2002; while reviewers may have seen this as "ultra ironic", John Lydon made it clear that this was a tribute. Another musician who has claimed Hawkwind as an influence is Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook, who took his father to Hawkwind concert as a teenager in an attempt to help him appreciate rock music in a more visceral fashion. Because of the rapid beat of many of their songs and jams, and perhaps to a lesser extent Robert Calvert's solo collaborations with Brian Eno, Hawkwind was one of the few bands from the progressive/psychedelic era to maintain a following in the punk/new wave era. Similarly, the group would be cited as a seminal influence once more with the advent of electronica in the early 90s thanks to their pioneering work with synthesizers and Brock's motorik-esque riffs.

There is a tangible connection between the sound of Lemmy's later group Motörhead and that of the influential 1971-1975 group, with songs such as "Born to Go" and "Master of the Universe" during that time period played at breakneck tempos live (characteristic of punk) while containing guitar solos more reminiscent of heavy metal and psychedelic rock. With Motörhead, Kilmister would refine this into the sound of speed metal.

BBC 4 documentar on Hawkwind part 1/8, you can chase the other ones down by clicking on the video:

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