With Hawkwind as an entity itself, one could talk for weeks about 30 studio albums, over 11 Live albums, and more than 15 compilation albums. Secondary to those you have such a wealth of Releases from ex-members Largely Nik Turner and Bob Calvert. I want to touch on certain periods and projects that Were seeds planted to Blossom often years after.
Many Bands cite Hawkwind as the reason they formed their own band, many bands showed influence and may not even realize it. To Be brief The band was atmospheric in Varied ways.
To quote Lemmy there were the days of the “Black Nightmare” In Keeping with the Culmination of tracks like “Born to Go” and “Brainstorm” and spoken-word pieces of Science Fiction Like ‘Sonic Attack” and “In the Egg” Roles being handled by Michael Moorcock, Robert Calvert and Nik Turner.
Born To Go By Hawkwing With Robert Calvert,Nik Turner and Dave Brock
The aforementioned “Space Ritual” is the best but not the only document of this. “Bring me the Head of Yuri Gagarin” and other bootlegs and compilations although not of great sound quality, nonetheless reach the Listener.
For myself my First experiences Hearing the Flicknife record compilation “Masters of the Universe” and the Live “This is Hawkwind Do Not Panic” from the Solstice at Stonehenge, and a second performance at The Lewisham Odeon Side 1&2 behind the drumkit you found no less than Ginger Baker. . I would have been content if these 2 albums had been the only 2 ever as they have been in my rotation now for 37 years. However, there were new gems to be discovered albeit out of timeline or by random chance.
I would be remiss to not mention Mr. Brian Tawn. He was not a Band member but his importance to them cannot be overstated. Hawkwind in the United States during my time of Discovery was still a cult following especially in Appalachian areas. I would have to special order projects and wait a month or more for Records to come into our local shop. I discovered Brian wrote “HawkFan” a Fanzine in the U.K. and they were a major promotional tool.
We began a long-distance friendship in that I would send him a relative amount of currency in the mail that may or may not have covered his cost on some occasions and I would wait for what Mr. Tawn termed “The Post Awful” to eventually place a small brown envelope in my mailbox. What he did was an extra effort, he would take his own copies and photocopy them for me so I had something very close to the Original. So I had Christmas several times a year thanks to Mr. Tawn. We even now in 2021 will give each other the Nudge Nudge wink wink say no more via Facebook. Still the Gentleman.
Somehow I suppose through my random huntings did not catch a large portion of time in the Bands Progress post-Lemmy in that I did not hear more of Robert Calvert‘s time of stepping up to bat. This would take a turn that I will bring to light in this set of writings later. I was finding Albums Like “Out and Intake” that were leading me to realize more & more.
About the value of Guitarist Huw Llyod Langton. With his stellar Lead guitar work that can in no form be compared to anyone and now him bringing his own songs like “Waiting for Tomorrow” from that album. I was spending the time on these albums, They were lived with on the turntable as part of my everyday life. So this was a slow discovery but deepest appreciation and study.
1988 brought the first time I caught up to a record the year it was released. “The Xenon Codex” not only brings one of the most awesome album art and packaging, an astounding visual it also brings a new atmosphere. “The War I survived” opens the album with a post-punk and not exactly pop sense. It is part Retro and part futuristic, an enigma of 5 mins and 30 seconds. The Larger picture here announces itself in track 2 “Wastelands of Sleep.” and in combination with a few other tracks are still Hawkwind Trance but more ethereal and relaxing sounds.
The album however can lead you to there to the Alarm of Dystopian tracks “Mutation Zone” and “E, M.C” Prompting on more than one occasion to cause these sounds in conjunction with ingestion of certain Botanicals to bring fevered screams of “Shut it OFF, MAN!” Think of Benicio del Toro in “Fear and Loathing”. You took too much!
1990 Brought “Space Bandits” with the new vocal genius of Bridget Wishart. This was proof there were no doors closed to exploration and that this was a Group that was never going to rest on their Laurels. Three more albums came and by 1995’s “Alien 4” Album with new frontman Ron Tree, Arguably one of the Best ever…..Leads us to part 3 of this article “Hawkwind Live” Holdin no shortage of tales of the weird and Glorious. To be continued…….