Get this crazy baby off my head!



Hawkwind - Live Seventy Nine - 1980 - Bronze Records

Hawkwind should be noted as one of the great prog./psychedelic/space rock bands to energe from Britain. They will be remembered for their great space rock hit "Silver Machine" in the early seventies, but the band have a considerable back catalogue, and much of their music remains unheard. This album was recorded live at St. Albans, City Hall, England on 8th December, during the band's U.K. Winter Tour in 1979. The band is full of energy, and there is some great playing here. “Brainstorm” is played with an "appetite for destruction". The guitar work here is explosive, and the rhythm section is brilliant. Mind numbing stuff! There is some great keyboard work on this album from Tim Blake,(of Egg), one of progressive rock's most underrated keyboardists. There is a good version of "Lighthouse", and another great power version of “Master Of The Universe”. Note the shortened version of "Silver Machine" at the end of the album. The band obviously had no interest in playing it for the "millionth" time. It is not labelled "Requien" for nothing! But all in all, the album is a great example of highly charged or highly "spaced" rock music, and is really worth hearing. Buy Hawkwind's amazing "Space Ritual [live]", which is a masterpiece of "Space Rock". Read a detailed bio of Hawkwind @ HWKWND/BIO/WIKI


A1 Shot Down In The Night - S. Swindells
A2 Motorway City - D. Brock
A3 Spirit Of The Age - D. Brock, R. Calvert

B1 Brainstorm - N.Turner
B2 Lighthouse - T. Blake
B3 Master Of The Universe - D. Brock, N. Turner
B4 Silver Machine (Requiem) - D. Brock, R. Calvert


Dave Brock - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Huw Lloyd-Langton - lead guitar, vocals
Harvey Bainbridge - bass guitar, vocals
Tim Blake - synthesisers, keyboards, vocals
Simon King - drums
N.B: This album has also been released on vinyl and CD with two bonus tracks, "Levitation "and "Space Bandits"


This is a Grade-B live Hawkwind recording, taken from their Winter tour of 1979. At this point, the members remaining from the golden years of the band earlier in the decade were guitarist and leader Dave Brock and drummer Simon King. Tim Blake of Gong had joined the band around this point, and though his role is generally auxiliary, he does provide one song entitled "Lighthouse," and supplies lead vocals there. Usual expectations of Hawkwind (who were always a question mark as an honest-to-goodness 'prog rock' act) apply here as well. No complex time signatures or intricately structured music in sight. Hawkwind simply weren't about that. It's more like the highly testicular, Spinal Tap-ian rock (manic power chords, sci-fi imagery, vocal boxes, etc.) with more prominently featured synthesizers. The set-list features an energetic opener, "Shot Down in the Night" and continues through eventually hitting two of the band's anthems, "Brainstorm" and "Master of the Universe." As might be expected, this lacks the mystique and stoned-out, Dionysian intensity of the band's classic live recording, Space Ritual. It's more streamlined and sounds very turn-of-the-decade. One can almost picture the band wearing sweat bands, etc. performing this stuff. As an analogue, think of Magma's sound during Live/Hhai and then what they sounded like circa the Retrospektïw concerts, or Yes during the Relayer tour and then the 90125 tour. Still, I find if you take this album for what it's worth, it's a fun enough listen, though nothing essential. © Joe McGlinchey, 7-21-00, © www.progreviews.com/reviews/display.php?rev=hawk-l79

Live Seventy Nine is a 1980 live album by Hawkwind recorded on their Winter 1979 tour. It reached #15 on the UK album chart. This is a reconstituted Hawkwind with Brock, Bainbridge and King emerging from the dissolved Hawklords, joined by lead guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton who had played on the debut album Hawkwind and keyboardist Tim Blake who was a long standing friend of the band and had played on Gong's Radio Gnome trilogy. This band embarked upon a UK Winter 1979 tour despite not having a record deal nor any product to promote, recording one of the shows. Originally the band "didn't think the Oxford gig was very good, but we listened to the mixing-desk tape and were really surprised. So we mixed the master tape and got a deal with Bronze. If we hadn't got that deal, we'd probably have split up - we couldn't have carried on on our own." Manager Douglas Smith secured a two album deal with Bronze Records, even if Gerry Bron confessed "I don't think we would have signed Hawkwind if it weren't for Motorhead, I can't say I was that interested... Once you run a record label and you're employing people, you have to make good commercial decisions - you can't turn away business, even if the business isn't what you particularly want to do". The music is more energetic and aggressive than the previous albums released on Charisma Records and the album benefited in the rise in popularity of NWOBHM at the time. "Shot Down In The Night" had been written by Hawklords keyboardist Steve Swindells for single release, but he departed during the year to record a solo album. The single was backed by the non-album cut "Urban Guerilla" and reached #59 on the UK singles chart. Swindells also released a studio version of this track as a single and on his Fresh Blood album which he recorded with King, Lloyd-Langton and Nic Potter. [ From Wikipedia ].


Any sci-fi fan with long memories probably remembers those 1970's DAW paperback editions of Michael Moorcock's sword-and-sorcery novels, with their images of heavily armored, very muscular warriors, carrying large swords and standing against eerie land- and starscapes. Take that imagery, throw in some terminology and names seemingly lifted from the Marvel Comics of the era (The Watcher, etc.) and particle physics articles of the period, translate it into loud but articulate hard rock music, and that's more or less what Hawkwind is about. One of England's longest-enduring heavy metal bands, Hawkwind was formed during the late '60s, just as art-rock was coming into its own. They combined bold guitar, synthesizer, and Mellotron sounds, creating heavy metal music that seemed to cross paths with Chuck Berry and the Moody Blues without sounding like either of them. At their best, their early records sounded like the Beatles of "Yer Blues" combined with the Cream of "I Feel Free." The introduction of lyrics steeped in science fiction and drug effects on their second album helped define the group and separate them from the competition — in some ways they were like Pink Floyd with more of a rock & roll beat and a vengeance. They've never charted a record anywhere near the heights that Dark Side of the Moon has achieved, but it's a sign of the dedication of the fans they do have that the group has about 30 CDs out, including archival releases of decades-old live shows and multiple compilations. Hawkwind's history has been marked by a series of confusing lineup changes, as members began an almost revolving-door relationship with the band virtually from the outset. The seeds of the group were planted when guitarist/singer Dave Brock and guitarist Mick Slattery of the group Famous Cure, which was playing a gig in Holland in 1969, met saxman/flautist/singer Nik Turner, a member of Mobile Freakout, on the same tour.Once back in England, Brock, Slattery, and Turner hooked up again and, adding John Harrison on bass, Terry Ollis on drums, and DikMik Davies on electronic keyboards, called themselves Group X, later changed to Hawkwind Zoo, and finally to Hawkwind. They secured a contract with United Artists/Liberty Records in England. Before the group recorded, however, Huw Lloyd Langton replaced Mick Slattery on guitar. The fledgling band hooked up with two Pretty Things alumni — drummer Viv Prince, who occasionally joined them on stage, and bassist (and onetime Rolling Stones member) Dick Taylor, who was recruited as a producer but played on their early records. Their first single, "Hurry on Sundown" (aka "Hurry on a Sundown") b/w "Mirror of Illusion," was released in July of 1970, just in time for Harrison to exit the lineup, to be replaced by bassist Thomas Crimble. Their first album, Hawkwind, was released to little public notice in August, but that same month the group made a modest splash by playing outside the fences of the Isle of Wight Festival. The following month, Huw Lloyd Langton quit the band along with Thomas Crimble — the replacement bassist, ex-Amon Duul member Dave Anderson, joined in May of 1971, the same month that DikMik Davies quit, to be replaced on keyboards by Del Dettmar. In June of that year, two more new members came aboard — poet Robert Calvert, who became lead vocalist, and a dancer named Stacia, who began appearing with the group on stage. Meanwhile, the band also hooked up with artist Barney Bubbles, who gave the group a new image, redesigning their stage decor and equipment decoration, and also devising distinctive new album graphics. Ex-bassist Crimble helped arrange for the group's performance at the Glastonbury Fayre in Somerset in June of 1971, which gave Hawkwind fresh exposure, and brought them to the attention of writer Michael Moorcock, who was entering a vastly popular phase in his career as the author of many science fiction and fantasy novels. Moorcock helped organize some of their performances, as well as occasionally serving as a substitute for Calvert. Equally important, in August of 1971, Dave Anderson departed the group, while DikMik Davies returned to the lineup to join Dettmar on keyboards and brought as Anderson's replacement — his friend Lemmy (born Ian Kilmister), an ex-roadie for Jimi Hendrix and a member of the rowdy mid-'60s Blackpool rock & roll band the Rocking Vicars. Lemmy had joined the group just in time to participate on the recording of the band's second album, In Search of Space. Released in October of 1971, it proved a defining work, carving out new frontiers of metal, drug, and science-fiction-laced music, including one major classic song, "Masters of the Universe," which became one of the group's most popular concert numbers and turned up on numerous studio and live compilations. More lineup changes followed, as Simon King succeeded Terry Ollis on the drums in January of 1972. The group played the Greasy Truckers Party — a showcase of underground and alternative music and politics — at the Roundhouse in London the next month, parts of which later surfaced on a pair of subsequent albums. All of these lineup changes and career steps had been compromised by a string of annoying bad luck and thefts of equipment, which were serious enough to threaten their solvency. Coupled with Bob Calvert's shaky health, the result of a nervous breakdown, Hawkwind went into 1972 on a very uncertain footing. The group's early sound, characterized by their singles up through this point, was essentially hard rock with progressive trappings. They slotted in perfectly with the collegiate and drug audiences, putting on the kind of show that acts like King Crimson and ELP were known for, but with more of a pure rock & roll base (not surprising, considering Lemmy's background). Their commercial breakthrough took place when a version of the driving hard rocker "Silver Machine," sung by Lemmy, got to number three on the British charts in August of 1972. They were unable to follow up on this unexpected flash of mass success, particularly when their follow-up single, "Urban Guerrilla," a surprisingly melodic rocker with lots of crunchy guitar at the core of multiple layers of metallic sound, was withdrawn amid a series of terrorist attacks in London, even though it had reached the British Top 40 and seemed poised to mimic "Silver Machine"'s success. The British tour that followed "Silver Machine," their first major circuit of the country, gave them more concert exposure, and their third album, Doremi Fasol Latido, released in November of 1972, which got to the number 14 spot on the British charts. This album codified the group's science-fiction orientation, presenting an elaborate mythology about the history of the universe (or some universe) into which the group and their music was woven. By this time, they had a major reputation as a live act, and rose to the occasion with an elaborate concert show called the Space Ritual. Their fourth album, a double-disc set recorded in concert called Space Ritual, issued in June of 1973, got to number nine. By the time of their next album, In the Hall of the Mountain Grill in 1974, Bob Calvert had departed to work on a planned solo project (Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters), and violinist and keyboard player Simon House had joined the group. This was the heyday of progressive bands such as Yes, ELP, and Genesis, and Hawkwind's mix of dense keyboard textures and heavy metal guitar and bass, coupling classical bombast and hard rock playing, became the sudden recipient of massive international press coverage — though they'd never charted a record in the United States, they became well known to readers in the rock press, and their records were available as imports. The group toured the United States twice during this era, once in late 1973 and again in the spring of the next year. These tours had their usual share of problems — the band and its entire entourage were arrested in Indiana for non-payment of taxes — but it was after the release of their 1975 album, Warrior on the Edge of Time, that a major membership change ensued. They were touring the United States behind the release of the album when Lemmy was arrested on drug charges. He was fired from the band and went on to form Motörhead, a successful and influential metal band. His exit also took away a lot of the energy and focus driving Hawkwind's sound. There was talk about the band calling it quits, but they carried on with Lemmy's replacement, Paul Rudolph, and with Bob Calvert back in the lineup. By this time, their chances for a breakthrough in America had been reduced considerably by the chart success of such groups as Kansas and Blue Oyster Cult, both of which melded proletariat rock with progressive sensibilities in just the right portions to appeal to kids on this side of the Atlantic. Hawkwind's revamped lineup did release a new album, Astounding Sounds, which performed moderately well, and followed it a year later with Quark Strangeness and Charm (1977), which had a good title song, among other virtues. Hawkwind was still working as a quintet, but by this time their chronic instability was about to reach critical levels — at the end of their 1978 American tour, Calvert quit the band again, and then the entire group virtually disbanded. When the smoke cleared, Calvert had put together a direct offshoot group, the Hawklords, and abandoned an entire finished album to record 25 Years On with a lineup that included Brock, Martin Griffiths on drums, Steve Swindell on keyboards, and Harvey Bainbridge on drums. That record made a respectable showing at number 48 on the British charts with a supporting tour, but the new group wasn't much more stable than the old one, with drummer Griffiths gone by December of 1978. Then Calvert quit (again), while Simon King, who had been a Hawkwind member a couple of years back, rejoined on drums, replacing Griffiths. The group was left as a four-piece and resumed the use of the name Hawkwind in January of 1979. Huw Lloyd Langton was back in the lineup by May of 1979, while Tim Blake replaced a departing Swindell. This lineup proved relatively stable and recorded a very successful live album (number 15 in the U.K.), released as part of a new contract with Bronze Records. The one big change took place in September of 1980 when Ginger Baker replaced Simon King, although Baker himself only lasted until March of 1981, when he was let go from the band and replaced by "Hawklords" drummer Martin Griffiths. This core lineup cut a string of good-selling albums through 1984, which were embraced by the heavy metal community and initially propelled into the Top 30 and Top 20 in England, culminating with another live album. By their 1984 album This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic, released under a new contract with Flickknife Records, Turner, Brock, and Langton were back together again.By this time, the band's 1970s recordings were starting to show up in profusion, in competition with their current work. Ironically, it was in 1985, just as the current group was starting to compete with their own early history, that they released their most ambitious record of all, Chronicle of the Black Sword. An adaptation of Michael Moorcock's sci-fi novels, the album was a return to their old style as well. It was in this same period that Brock, Turner, Langton, Anderson, Crimble, Bainbridge, and Slattery attended the first Hawkwind Convention, held in Manchester — Turner left soon after, but the remaining members held together for three years, a record for the band. Bob Calvert, who had quit the band twice at the end of the '70s, died of a heart attack in 1988. Hawkwind was still together, however, and the following year even managed its first American tour since Calvert's first exit from the band. By 1990, their fortunes were on the upswing again, when their sudden embrace of the rave culture on a new album, Space Bandits, gave them a new chart entry and a distinctly younger listenership. Their commercial revival was short-lived, however, and by 1991, they were busying themselves re-recording their classic material. They toured America again in 1992. They were left as a trio after a falling out among the members at the end of that tour, and in recent years, apart from periodic reissues of their classic material, the surviving group has achieved a serious following on the underground, drug-driven dance/rave scene in England, ironically returning to a modern version of their roots. They've played various major showcases (including the 12 Hour Technicolor Dream All Nighter at Brixton Academy), as well as benefit performances. Their entire catalog has been reissued on CD by several different labels (Griffin, Cleopatra, One Way, Magnum, etc.), in some cases recompiled and retitled (especially the live recordings), including numerous compilations and archival explorations, all very confusing and numbering in the dozens. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com