The Hawklords's "25 Years On" represents a key moment in the history of Hawkwind and as such is a "must have" for keen fans of the band.
The Hawklords were formed in 1978 by Dave Brock joining what remained of Hawkwind after a series of departures from the band with musicians from the west country band Ark, amongst them Harvey Bainbridge.
"25 Years On" was to be their only album before Hawkwind once again took flight but many fans of the band,including me, see this as a Hawkwind album in itself.
My feelings about the album itself are the same as they were when I bought the original LP all those years ago: it's not a bad album, but it's not brilliant. Certainly the music by itself does not justify the 5-stars that fans, including myself, have been allocating (it's a 4-star album). The soundscape is lighter than that of most incarnations of Hawkwind but does have the band's recognisable trademark sound colours. It's nearer the "Amazing Sounds" and "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" soundscapes than it is the hard driving, thunping basss space-rock of Lemmy's period.
The 5-stars are justified on the basis of the joy that the music is available again, that the remastering work has been carried out well and the sound is first-class and, perhaps more importantly, that Esoteric have added huge amounts of historical bonus material, including both live performances and different studio versions of the songs, so much so that what was a fortyish minute LP has now become a 2-CD set!
In terms of the original album itself my favourite tracks haven't changed over the years: he opener "PSI Power" edges it as my absolute favourite, with "Freefall", "25 Years On" and "The Age of the Micro Man" not far behind.
Of the bonus material, the pick goes to the first five tracks of the second disc which are a recording of the band appearing under the name of the Sonic Assassins in 1977.
This is a key purchase for all Hawkwind fans!