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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is space rock
This is the album that defines space-rock. Never mind all the electronic tweaks & twiddles of Tangerine Dream et al. Hawkwind had those, too, but they also had unrestrained power. Before you buy this CD, be warned that it is LOUD. I don't mean loud: I mean LOUD. The version of Brainstorm here is probably the loudest and fastest piece of rock music you will hear, and...
Published on 29 May 2003 by Gordon Dent

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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Live album but no concert footage
Another re-issue of Space Ritual. This time EMI have remastered the original and added a DVD for good measure.

The downside concerns the DVD. It is not, as expected, footage from the legendary shows that form the basis of the live album. Instead it is the audio of the live show with lots of patterns on the screen.

The patterns consist of the images...
Published on 27 Jun 2007 by Phil


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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is space rock, 29 May 2003
By 
Gordon Dent "dent" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
This is the album that defines space-rock. Never mind all the electronic tweaks & twiddles of Tangerine Dream et al. Hawkwind had those, too, but they also had unrestrained power. Before you buy this CD, be warned that it is LOUD. I don't mean loud: I mean LOUD. The version of Brainstorm here is probably the loudest and fastest piece of rock music you will hear, and several other tracks on the album come close to it.
The atmosphere is eerie and echoing, with even moments of relative peace such as Robert Calvert's The Awakening (actually the first stanza of his poem, "The First Landing on Medusa") and Calvert's recital of Michael Moorcock's The Black Corridor possessing a definite feeling of menace; some quieter songs, such as Down Through The Night and Seven By Seven shiver with an eerieness that was not so apparent in their original studio-recorded incarnations on the Doremi Fasol Latido album and the B-side of Silver Machine, respectively.
But when the peace is broken: boy, is it shattered. Calvert's Ten Seconds of Forever quivers into a stunning collision with Brainstorm, while his astounding performance of Moorcock's Sonic Attack (itself an unsubtle but potent rip-off of Peter Porter's famous poem, "Your Attention, Please") segués into a storming rendition of the Doremi-chant, Time We Left This World Today.
From the opening bars of Born To Go to the collapse of Master Of The Universe the band plays furiously but flawlessly. The CD bonus tracks include a frantic medley of You Shouldn't Do That and Seeing It As You Really Are that was a highlight of the mid-seventies collection, Roadhawks. This is definitely a CD to own, if you can stand the headaches.
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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you value your immortal soul, buy this album., 8 Jun 2006
By 
S. Durrant "Steve Seethrioux" (Directly above the centre of the Earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
Probably the most significant live album of all time. An absolute masterpiece. No other band has ever been as simultaneously chaotic and tight as Hawkwind are in this, their supreme offering. A piece of uncontrollable Godness come down to earth.

I still regularly (at least once a week - often more) listen to this album, despite first hearing it 30 years ago. I never tire of it, I never get bored. It still sends the same shivers down my back as it has done from day one.

Buy it. Play it. Revel in it. Faultless.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best yet., 27 Dec 2008
This review is from: Space Ritual (Audio CD)
I have been listening to this album for 35 years. It is one of my favourite albums and I am probably as familiar as you could possibly be with a record. I bought this, not because I expected video of the concert, (I knew that it doesn't exist), but because of the possibility of a DVD-Audio surround sound remix. Well I have not been disappointed. I now own no less than four copies of Space Ritual on CD. Up until now the 2001 remastering (which included the Greasy Truckers session) was by far the best yet available, but I think this easily surpasses that version. I listened to the DVD-Audio disc (which has PAL video effects that play on your TV) on a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound system. I chose the Dolby 5.1 audio choice because I couldn't get the DTS version to work on my system (which may have more to do with my system than the disc). The master tapes have been transferred at a DVD quality bitrate and then "upscaled" or "converted" to surround sound. I compared the DVD-A to the two CDs also included in this set and the DVD-A stood out as far superior. One concern I had was that this might be a completely new mix (something that happens a lot with DVD-A) but thankfully it isn't. (God forbid that someone had buried Brock or Lemmy in favour of Turner's noodlings). The surround sound is rendered with subtlety and often is only apparent during quiet moments or occasionally catching just the harmonics. Brock is very clearly placed on the right channel and Lemmy and King are planted firmly in the centre. Very subtle elements like Calvert's tambourine are now apparent drifting in and out of the left channel alongside Dettmar and Dikmik. Turner's flute and sax are nicely positioned just left of centre or dead centre and as previously noted are exactly as loud as they need to be to provide that overall ethereal quality you might desire. The vocals are as clear as I have ever heard them, especially Calvert and Brock. I got the feeling that had I cranked my system I would not have experienced any severe distortion. Of course then there are the bonus tracks. Now that Greasy Truckers has been released in its entirety, those tracks have been replaced by other versions of some songs from the Space Ritual shows. They make for excellent additions. Cap this off with two really nice transfers of the promo films for Silver Machine and Urban Guerrilla and you have an overall must have for any true Hawkwind fan with a surround sound system. Another great bonus is the very nice tribute to Barney Bubbles in Nik Turner's liner notes. These include Barney's original stage drawings for the Space Ritual show and they clearly demonstrate just how involved Barney was in the design work on this legendary tour. My only gripe would be the total lack of acknowledgement for Dave Brock's contribution. There are 110 minutes of music here and Brock wrote the music for 75 of those minutes. The dynamic on this recording between Brock, Lemmy and King is so integral to the album that no liner notes are complete without some acknowledgment. Lemmy is truly at his best here, especially during Lord of Light and you really won't hear this performance any better than on this DVD-Audio. Congrats to Peter Mew and Nigel Reeve for putting so much effort into creating this definitive version of the best space rock album ever recorded. If you have enjoyed this album as much as I have over the years you will love the clarity of the DVD-A in this set.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximise The Awesomeness, 10 May 2013
By 
S. Gornall "anelan" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Space Ritual (Audio CD)
Space Ritual - to buy the CD is now getting quite confusing. If you are going to buy the CD make absolutely sure that you are buying the 2007 Remaster, released recently in 2013 (not sure how a 2007 remaster comes out for the first time (?) in 2013) and not earlier versions. Sure you get a great album with any version but this CD really takes the quality to another level. This CD is catalogued HAWKSS 4. I don't usually bother buying an album again just for a remaster, we all know record companies rip us off with reissues, but there are loads of reasons why you should buy this, whether you have previous versions or not. I'll be brief: (1) First of all the sound has so much more clarity and power. (2) Brainstorm is no longer edited, this full version comes in at 13:46 with some 4 minutes of jamming restored. (3) An extended Welcome To The Future (with additional audience input) is crowned off with a brilliant You Shouldn't Do That (not the poorer version that was a bonus track on the previous CD). (4) You still get the previous bonus track of You Shouldn't Do That but two bonus tracks change with alternate night's performance of; Orgone Accumulator (with Turner's sax more prominent) and a storming 13 minute, Time We Left This World Today. (5) The packaging - this now mirrors the original vinyl album, the sleeve folds out into a poster with the same images as the original, the inner space behind the CD's features the same pattern that was on the inner vinyl sleeves and the rear image is much more in line with the rest of the design, unlike the last CD release. The print clarity is much better than the previous CD too. You do lose some images and lyrics from the previous CD booklet but who looks at lyrics when Space Ritual is on? Anyway, the music hear proves that the 1970's album should have been a triple album, easily. The fuller versions of Brainstorm, Time We Left and the addition of You Shouldn't Do That alone add an extra 22 minutes. But, the sound - wow, the sound is awesome. It's like a new album. Be careful you get the right one. Did I say the sound is awesome?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding Sounds Amazing Music, 25 Aug 2004
By 
J. Mann - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
"Earth Calling... Earth Calling..."
As the intro of Earth Calling fades out and "Born to Go" begins, you feel goose-bumps as possibly the greatest album of all time takes off. With all the menace and majesty of some huge alien spaceship ascending from some distant planet "Space Ritual" is a frighteningly brilliant album.
Listening to Space Ritual creates a unique experience of the universe: Bob Calvert's poems paint astonishing pictures of the future, appearing out of the music like the finger of God writing on the wall at the last feast of mankind.
The intense brilliance of each song - 7 by 7, Sonic Attack, Time We Left This World Today... each one a crashing wave of texture, lightening, thunder and emotion, yet collectively an existential explosion of cosmic rapture. Space Ritual overloads the brain with an impossibly intense experience of reality, where the term "music" has never been less adequate word. This is a portal to the metaphysical, the gift of a trip to open the doors of perception. In the Tenth Second of Forever you will understand that the earth is forever spinning in its stillness.
It's a back brain stimulator. It's a cerebral vibrator. Plug in, drop out.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Live Rock Album Ever Released. Period., 8 May 2007
By 
A. Clarke "South of Heaven" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
Simply put, if you have not heard this album, and you consider yourself a rock fan of any description, do yourself a favour and spend your fiver now. Not only the greatest live album by anyone ever, at this price its daylight robbery. Forget Silver Machine, this is Hawkwinds epic concept realised. An album that transports you to the future, not a pleasant one, in places you feel armageddon is imminent, with special effects that only Floyd would improve upon(at enormous expense I hasten to add) All the psychedelic post-rock that has come to pass since, owes everything to this album. 5 stars is an insult, turn it up to eleven!!!!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawkwinds Finest Hour (and a half), 22 Mar 2005
By 
Mr. Jeremy Carter "jeremycarter2" (Storrington West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
Absolutely mind blowing when heard on a dodgy bootleg cassette in 1976, as a spotty 15 year old who had hitherto only seen Hawkwind on Top of the Pops with bubble machine & Stacia shaking her considerable booty.
I knew that something had changed & in future I probably wasn't going to be listening to the, shall we say, rather precious stuff a middle class grammar school chap was supposed to like (that would be your Yes/ELP/Genesis)
Anyway back to the matter in hand. It starts with mournful far off howling and a disembodied voice calling across the cosmos - could be any pretentious 70's prog rock band so far. There is a pregnant pause & World War III starts - Oh My God this is THUNDEROUSLY LOUD & FLAT OUT & what are they thinking of & it blurs into the next track & that blurs into a POEM (!)and that blurs into another deafening track & that blurs.....
An hour & a half later you put it on again to see if it really happened....
I dont have any idea if, as certain other reviewers have claimed, that it influenced techno, or anything else. I don't really give a stuff who or what it influenced (except me!)
To summise, I can forgive Hawkwind all the cr*p that they have turned out since then (their quality control aint ISO 9002)just for this one moment of wonderousness....
Enjoy but please make sure it is maximum volume & non-stop or you wont really get that 1972 hit!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomely driven, 16 Aug 2002
By 
nick g black (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
I last heard this album nearly 30 years ago before buying it a couple of weeks past. Remembered it as dense, swirling, and a little lumbering in places. Duh.
How memory can play tricks on you! This is a monster of an album, a near-unremitting wall of sound, the famous sonic assault of Hawkwind... and what strikes me after all these years is how utterly different it was and is from any of HW's long-dead contemporaries.
The first surprise is the relentless excellence of the rhythmn section - a furious Simon King on drums matched with the gutsy prowess of Lemmy. What a pair! They drive, again and again, the band to new frenzies. Then add the odd, twisted words of Bob Calvert and the final ingredients - the whizzes, blurps, fizzes, screams, crackles which was the emerging synth section of the aptly named DikMik and Del Dettmar. Oh yes and a certain Dave Brock as well.
The CD is simply staggering. The heart of it is a wonderful, eiree Seven by Seven .. play it first if you want to know what this band is like. Orgone Accumulator is as fresh sounding now as it was then. Just don't expect any soft moments.
This is the finest moment of HW, a band truly unlike any other. What was to come lay unknown ahead of them, but at the time of these shows the band were earning enormous critical and commercial plaudits.
The bonus tracks here include a fairly truncated "shouldn't Do That".. ah, the soundtrack to a misspent hippie youth.
Get it now!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Rave, 28 Mar 2002
By 
Mr M C Treanor (Hadleigh, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Space Ritual Alive In London (Audio CD)
If your not old enough to have seen A Space Ritual fret not. This recording captures the whole sonic assault that was Hawkwind in the 1970s. Based largely on material from In Search of Space and Do Re Mi, this recording represents one of the most innovative live experiences ever performed. Its a wonder that the music holds together at all but it does, thanks largely in part to Lemmy's awsome control of the base department. Some of the tracks are over long but hey, you had to be there. For anyone else, if you want to find out where techno came from and why Hawkwind still fill concert halls today, check it out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate heavy metal electronic acid trip, 29 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Space Ritual (Audio CD)
Raw and ferocious live set from the 1972-73 tour fuelled by the commercial success of Silver Machine which does not feature in the CD but instead offers the excellent Shouldn't Do That originally on the 1975 Roadhawks compilation with different live versions of Earth Calling and Master of the Universe on CD 2. Only dissapointments are loss of the flow between tracks Electronic No 1 into Orgone Accumulator and Brock's closing metal chords at the end of Brainstorm both of which were hinted on in the vinyl double album. The Ritual is the definitive Hawkwind live that inspired punks and the later avante garde - note the heavy use of primitive electronics by Dikmik and the classic Lemmy Rickenbacker bass chords that hold much of the drive together with Simon Kings amphetamine drumming. Shame it cant be ressurected on DVD to appreciete the visuals including Stacia and Tony Careras dance alongside the definitive Hawkwind line up in their prime of space rock adrenaline. This period saw their hippy thing become much less peace and love and much more anarchistic . A true milestone in the history of UK rock.
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