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4.7 out of 5 stars43
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2004
When I was 14 a schoolfriend who had taken LSD played this album to me in the dark. Even though I had never tripped, after one listen to "Hawkwind" I knew the experience had something to do with paisley patterns! "Hurry On Sundown" and "Mirror Of Illusion" may be acoustic-guitar-based folk-rock, but they, along with the jam-based remainder of the album, have a haunting, timeless quality in their recording and production which reminds me of the classic tracks of Pink Floyd's "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" - although this band boasted jamming musicians to trump everyone in the early Floyd except Rick Wright. Hawkwind on this first album are not the pumping rock band we know from all their other recordings - they are mainly interested in psychedelic freakouts and do them very well. One of the essential roots records of the early 70's.
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on 1 February 2008
Reason I'm giving this CD a five-star rating instead of a four-star one is because of the superb remastering job that EMI had done on this title, Hawkwind's very first album. Every track on this 1970 debut of theirs is simply awesome! From the trippy opener "Hurry On Sundown" to the rocker "Be Yourself", "Mirror Of Illusion", the pre-Hawkwind blues cover "Bring It on Home" and their stellar cover of Pink Floyd's "Cymbaline". So, here you get the lp's original seven cuts + four bonus tracks. Keep in mind that Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor produced this album. First rate psychedelic, space rock - or just great head music. You decide. Highly recommended.
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on 11 June 2012
Now I have to confess to having a soft spot for early Hawkwind. The first time I saw them was in a youth club in Hatfield circa 1970. They turned strobes on the audience, Terry Ollis drummed naked. Nik Turner was seriously weird in the best way and Dave Brock earthed the whole thing and played mean guitar. Imagine our collective suprise when it was chucking out time that they had played for four hours it was well past midnight and the boy scouts running the club were seriously pissed by the beastliness of this band. oh, not to mention Mr Ollis and the condoms thrown into the audience and a whole lot of anarchist/subversive mags. In short it was a bloody good night and the aged fifteen Hertfordshire male collective we would attend other such occassions again and did, many! And none did disapoint. So this on vinyl. like the Fairies. it could not capture the vastness of the aural/sonic whiplash that was released from stage-maybe it should have come with free mini strobes and a condom. In New Zealand I played this in a music class for my 6 weeks I attended Takapuna Grammar-it met with disinterest only getting traction when I moved into a flat-barely 16 with a group of dope smoking architecture students. It is a classic but maybe not as good as the follow up "In search of space" a seriously brain altering bit of mayhem-particulalry in certain conditions-through cans and enough stereo effect to get shifting sounds. But Hawkwind is a cross roads into something other than the mainstream prog rock of its day.
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on 16 June 2012
As Hawkwind's debut this is seems to me a band still looking for their sound, and is probably just them recording their live set of the time. The opening track Hurry On Sundown is a strong start. It's an enjoyable pagan blues stomper with wailing harmonica. The closing song of the original seven is Mirror of Illusion, an excellent slice of psychedelia together with eerie keyboard noises, giving some clues on how they would later change their sound to a more spacerock style. The five intervening songs are largely instrumental and fairly forgettable psychedelic jams. Out of the four bonus tracks the standouts are their cover of Pink Floyd's Cymbaline, and an earlier less bluesy Hurry On Sundown. For the price this is not a bad introduction to the band - but you will find the classic stuff contained in the following few albums.
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on 22 September 2009
As a teenager I was blown away by "Silver Machine" and "You Shouldn't Do That", both tracks now considered classics by fans and critics alike, but I never bought any of Hawkwind's material. Shame on me. 40 years later I've finally got around to buying their first five albums on CD and my brain is on another planet - without the aid of certain stimulants.

I'm not normally favourably disposed to debut albums, but "Hawkwind" is impressive. The opening track, "Hurry On Sundown", is a very musical and surprisingly powerful song which I keep hearing in my head. It sounds nothing like the deep space excesses we've learned to love, instead acting as a solid departure point for the band's psychological journeying. The six tracks that follow are all nicely quirky, stepping away from normality into the uncharted territory of the psyche and doing a masterly job of setting out Hawkwind's agenda for their subsequent explorations. In deep space terms, this album represents the band's moment of lift off and hardcore fans shouldn't be disappointed. I found a couple of musical phrases in "The Reason Is?" reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, but I think that's coincedental.

The CD edition I bought has four bonus tracks consisting of archive material not available elsewhere. These include the original single version of "Hurry On Sundown", which has a richer arrangement, and a cover version of Pink Floyd's "Cymbaline".

All in all, I found "Hawkwind" to be a very creditable first album the band can be proud of. Highly recommended to fans and as a gentle introduction to the band for beginners.
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on 19 June 2012
The Digital Remastering of LP's is definitely a worthwhile process. On the CD version there is so much more detail to hear in the tracks that you don't quite catch from vinyl. This is another one of those successes. This is one to be savoured and enjoyed.
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on 5 January 2013
This is beautiful, you think to yourself, chilled out music to lose yourself in, welcome to the first track, chances are you will close your eyes not through boredom, just because of the intense relaxation and when you do you will find yourself in the middle of a field with no signs of human life, just sun, plants and blissful calm. Of course this album is a journey and not a destination and by the end of the first track an ominous feeling starts to develop. The mood evolves from relaxed to nervous into tense and even occasionally skirting the fringes of madness and you will love every second of it. It is a ride or `trip' if you like, that makes you excitedly crave the ups and downs.

It is like it is the soundtrack to the fall of the hippy era; we are shown paradise then we morbidly watch as it is slowly decays and breaks up in a physical and mental sense as the fractures get worse. Hawkwind touch the primal and they don't need to say because you can feel it.

Note that this album should be listened to in its entirety from start to finish, the tracks in isolation don't have the same impact.

Track List:
Hurry On Sundown
The Reason is?
Be Yourself
Paranoia (Part 1)
Paranoia (Part 2)
Seeing it as you really are
Mirror of Illusion

Bonus Tracks:
Bring it on Home
Hurry on Sundown
Kiss of the Velvet Whip
Cymbaline
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on 28 September 2011
I bought this on vinyl, too many years ago to remember when, and thought it was the most amazing.
Listening to it now brings back much the same feeling, from the folky busking track 'Hurry on Sundown' through the sound-scapes of 'Paranoia', 'Be yourself' etc to the jangling 'Mirror of Illusion'. A musical trip which, though dated, still manages to sound fresh. Worth 3 quid of anybodies money!
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on 11 July 2006
yes indeed, this is right out there, songs had been edited from hours of jamming and spliced where needed, all recorded on acid, and it shows, its great.. but it will loose an hour of your life, if you need the high thingy.. then this might send you on a bum trip.. first track is from dave brocks accoustic days and a great song too, but then just when u think its going to be a safe and alright,assured lp... it slighly drops a couple of acid in your fanta and you start trippin, and you dont know if you like it, even to this day... lol..!

me, i love it, but im a hakwind freak..! its not anything like usa trips.. far from it, i say hawkwind were harder and more dangerous than any usa trips band, touring europe and playing under fly-overs or fields..

its a must for a 11pm music fest.. you need the time and attitude to check it.

its a high times master piece. its weird and its hawkwind...! trully a wonderful music trip,

very highly recommended. play it loud and get freaked!
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on 19 January 2016
I really enjoy playing HAWKWIND's debut album, which(I'm pleased to say) arrived promptly from AMAZON- it is different to anything else that I have heard by them. HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL was the first of HAWKWIND's albums that I was introduced to, followed by various other records in the 70's and 80's. This eponymous album shows quite a blues rock, possibly a skiffle influence, and sometimes a noticeable swing beat- I was quite impressed to hear singer/guitarist DAVE BROCK playing a mean harmonica! From the comments made by different band members, this seems to betray the bands musical root's, although there is more than just a hint of the space rock direction that DAVE BROCK and co.have taken over the years. Also, as a sax player myself, I'm always interested in NICK TURNER's wacky saxophone riffs, which never disappoint! Whether or not you buy this album, I would definitely recommend giving it a listen. With the extra tracks, including a different version of HURRY ON SUNDOWN, this is probably my favourite HAWKWIND album.
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