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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Dreams and Automotons.
Finally, Bob Calverts important contribution to the Hawkwind story is being given a timely reappraisal, and in turn showing what a sad loss to British music his untimely death has been.

By 1978, Hawkwind were in some disarray, but out of this confusion rose his fine new wave influenced project, that enabled Dave Brock, and the sadly missed Bob Calvert the...
Published on 1 Feb. 2009 by Paul M

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A STEP TOO FAR ?
I come to this disc from a slightly different perspective from the reviewers before me,i have never heard this disc before,it kind of slipped by me ,in fact this was the only hawkwind vinyl from the debut thru chronicles live,that i never purchased for some long forgotten reason,so i approach not with adoring love and reverance as the earlier reviewers but with a curious...
Published on 22 Mar. 2009 by Mr Blackwell


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Dreams and Automotons., 1 Feb. 2009
By 
Paul M "ROYALSFAN" (Reading ,England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
Finally, Bob Calverts important contribution to the Hawkwind story is being given a timely reappraisal, and in turn showing what a sad loss to British music his untimely death has been.

By 1978, Hawkwind were in some disarray, but out of this confusion rose his fine new wave influenced project, that enabled Dave Brock, and the sadly missed Bob Calvert the chance to move away from the hippy-ish space themes of the early seventies. Instead, producing a stripped down and focused record, whose songs reflected its surroundings far more effectively than any of Brock and Calverts earlier collaborations. With darker themes of psychic power, Cold War alienation, and industrial, rather than spiritual, progress, 25 Years On tapped into some of the new musical pathways being explored by Magazine, XTC, Devo, and even Brian Eno in the late seventies. Consequently, 25 Years On, perhaps more than any other Hawkwind related musical project, before or since, has aged particularly well since its initial release in 1978.

Disc 1 ; This now has a fine, sympathetic remastering, that has enabled many background instruments to find their own space within the mix. Opener, Psi Power, now really has an impact to match its subject matter, whilst tracks like 25 years, Flying Doctor, and stand out track, [Only] The Dead Dreams of a Cold War Kid sound full and menacing. Added bonuses on disc one include the single [ remixed ] version of Psi Power [ which shows how badly the song was butchered for a single release], and the single version of 25 Years.

Disc 2 ; The second disc, however is a real tresure trove of demos, alternate takes, and some very rare live recordings of the Sonic Assassins, who were in effect the Hawklords in all but name before the album project came into fruition.The highlights are the demos that were the skeletons of the final album tracks.Im also quite fond of the full extended take of Automoton which doubles the length of the album version

There is plenty in this superb package to tempt any fan of this album[ or even the many curious].Mention should also be made of the fine booklet and helpful notes [including full re use of the 1978 tour programme as part of the art work],that accompanies this release.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Class Album, 18 Mar. 2009
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This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
For a short while Hawkwind looked like they might make the jump into another league. The key albums were 'Quark Strangeness and Charm' and this one. The difference in direction was startling and well timed. Along with it's extraordinary sleeve and the tour programme the music seemed much more focussed and direct.

The bonkers concept behind this album was so well written that it seemed like a communication from some ruthless global corporation. The tour itself was also something different from the usual Hawkwind offering. Unlike previous shows where we got the band in usual rock formation these gigs were very disciplined performances with dancers wrapped in bandages manipulating large illuminated symbols. At one point the audience was showered with circular stickers with a flaming hand symbol bearing the words 'Reality You Can Rely On'. A classic imaginary strapline perhaps for a commercial trip into the mind of Philip K Dick.

The music too was clean, precise and beautifully written. The production still sounds great today and as a whole the music flows beautifully from track to track. From the wondrous opener 'Psi Power' onwards we get a series of excellent set pieces. 'The Only Ones' still makes my hair stand on end and the fabulous '25 Years' reveals just how good a combination Calvert and Brock could be.

This release will be welcomed by many as both the original album and the 'Hawklords Live' CD have been long deleted. The inclusion of demos from this period make this an essential purchase.

After the final departure of Calvert the Hawks returned to their original style (although with much higher production values). This album represents the pinnacle of that brief phase with Calvert and although many may prefer the stunning 'Quark Strangeness and Charm' this is nevertheless a class album.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A key re-issue that is a "must have" for Hawkwind fans, 23 Jan. 2009
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, great remastering, no brickwalling!, 1 Mar. 2009
By 
Lee Mendham "Lee M" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
In recent years the phrase "digital remastering" has all too often become associated with the excessive and egregious use of artificial loudness. Taken to its most extreme, this leads to brickwall compression, where every single soundwave above a certain level is boosted to maximum volume. While there's no doubt that this makes the music stand out against background noise when heard on iPods and the like, it completely destroys the original dynamic range and can cause listener fatigue.

Fortunately I'm happy to report that the Hawklords reissue does not use brickwalling. Although there's undoubtedly a certain amount of bass boost and compression, the overall sound quality brings out the music rather than distorting it.

According to an interview in Record Collector magazine this is the first CD release of the album to be taken directly from the original master tapes. If all of Atomhenge's subsequent Hawkwind releases are as good as this one then (to quote Robert Calvert) the universe is in for a treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into a great album, 14 April 2009
By 
Mr. A. G. Lock (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
Like everyone else here I bought this when it came out and it's remained a favourite; more consistent than most Hawkwind albums (and it is, despite the name, a proper HW record) and muiscally amd lyrically more deft than usual. The demos in particular are a treat, with the early version of Cold War Kid having disturbing synth or treated guitar comments that didn't make the final cut, and the Only Ones acoustic version showing just how thoroughly and inventively Brock had arranged it even before Simon House added his flying violin to the coda. The key song on the album is 25 Years itself, a pounding, tugging exercise in musical repitition and - from Calvert - anomie and despair. Brock's riff is a work of genius and the song's circle of never-ending ascents and declines is a wonder. It's also now more than eight minutes long - thank you Atomhenge. I've always been mystified why this song isn't more popular in their repertoire. It's interesting as well to note Steve Swindell's input here, as he's much less inventive than House but instead has a straight pop sensibility that nicely offsets Brock's affection for brutal, almost atonal, loops.
If you've not heard this before then it's a great, accesible Hawkwind album, and if you're a fan then the live tracks and demos fully entitle you to buy it all over again.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A STEP TOO FAR ?, 22 Mar. 2009
By 
Mr Blackwell (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
I come to this disc from a slightly different perspective from the reviewers before me,i have never heard this disc before,it kind of slipped by me ,in fact this was the only hawkwind vinyl from the debut thru chronicles live,that i never purchased for some long forgotten reason,so i approach not with adoring love and reverance as the earlier reviewers but with a curious interest,why is it held so high,certainly psi power and 25 years are well known from various compilations and are both superb,indeed the latter encapsulates everything punk tried and failed to communicate thru its short history ,freefall on initial hearing is class as is the only ones with some atmospheric playing - i've said it before if floyd had created some of this it would be legend,but thats it for me the rest leaves me cold,neither bored nor excited just not interesting,for me this a 3 star disc,special mention for the bonus disc,nice to have the live tracks,i can now archive the sonic assassins 12' single now,the demos are ok,but i still give 3 stars,the live tracks for me although decent show why this line up would not survive long,just not exciting enough,certainly no doubt some will be offended as i tread over a hallowed album but my reviews are an honest opinion and i hope they can be respected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have Your Mind Caressed, 5 May 2009
By 
Dudley Serious - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
This 1978 Hawkwind variant captured the punk sensibilities of the time with a collection that placed their dystopian visions of sci-fi armageddon in a very earthly, urban setting. When Malcolm McClaren said you should never trust a hippy he can't have imagined how immediate and relevant one of the most obviously hippy bands could be.

Hawklords succeeded in writing direct, catchy songs that remained true to their more other-worldly past. "25 Years On" is a set of prime Hawkwind/Hawklords cuts often lamenting the loss of individual freedom in a society ever more regimented and mechanised. It is both beautiful and disturbing and demands repeated listening.

The second disc contains some quality live and demo tracks. The overall package shows how worthwhile a reissue can be when the original album is as good as "25 Years On" and proper care and attention is given to its relaunch.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hawkwind re-issue series gets off to an impressive start, 21 Jan. 2009
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
Part of the first batch of re-releases for Hawkwinds back catalogue dating from 1976 to the early 90's. Having left United Artists after "Warrior on the Edge of Time", Hawkwind went through a sort of renaissance when signed with Charisma who they recorded four studio albums for. This, the forth was recorded under the banner Hawklords as there was a dispute at the time over ownership of the Hawkwind name. The resulting album was still typical Hawkwind though, maybe with less of a space rock bent and more new wave as evidenced by the Barney Bubbles black and white cover art.

Leading the band through the Charisma years was vocalist/lyricist Robert Calvert who was at the peak of his creativity co-writing such great songs such as "Psi Power", "Free Fall" and "The Only Ones".

This re-issue, released on the new label imprint Atomhenge, is a 2CD deluxe edition. There are 3 bonus tracks on the first CD,which includes the original album, with the second CD featuring 5 live tracks recorded by The Sonic Assassins and 10 demo tracks and album outtakes. Everything has been remastered and sounds clean and sharp. The booklet has notes by Mark Powell and a reproduction of the Hawklords tour programme. The whole package is housed in a cardboard slip-case making this a truly deluxe edition.

This is an impressive start to the re-issue of Hawkwinds back catalogue and full marks to the Esoteric Label team for their work in restoring these recordings and producing such a high quality archival release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stillas good over 25 years on, 11 May 2009
By 
J. Devall "Floydian" (Leigh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
I was unsure about buying this after so long without listening to it. I was pleasantly surprised it still sounds as fresh and interesting as when I first bought it as a 17 year old. The extras on CD 2 are worthwhile as well and give an alternate listen to tracks I thought I knew well. The whole album does not fail to deliver and the quirkinees of songs like Flying Doctor with its faux Aussie accent are a pleasant change to some of the more meaningful songs. If asked to say which was my favourite I would have to say Psi Power which is powerful and the lyrics give some impression of what it would be like to read other people's minds. If you are into 70's Hawkwind don't delay buy today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars File alongside Quark Strangeness & Charm, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
I went to see Hawkwind supported by Motorhead at St George's Hall in Bradford in 1977 but only purchased the Quark Strangeness & Charm LP then and the single; Psi Power / Death Trap. This album and PXR5 I seemed to have overlooked - or weren't widely stocked at the time. Surprising, as I also saw them at the Futurama gig in Leeds in 1979. The original album stands up to the two tracks I knew - and my 14 year-old really rates Psi-Power! The live tracks on disc 2 aren't as focussed, but then again it was one of the first shows they played. Obviously the gig was longer and the tracks selected as they are unreleased/different. Would have been good to hear the whole concert, especially to see what other songs they played (but they may be on one of those Collector Series of CDs) but adding those would have meant losing the other mixes/tracks on CD2 - which are excellent! So this is the Hawkwind that have lost the shackles that the 'great coats' enjoyed and brought them before a new teenage audience, before, somehow baffling, seemed to get lumped in with Heavy Metal - which they've never been. Loads more of their music to explore... The sound is really punchy - miles better than the lame sound on any of the previous releases (the compendium Epoch Release on EMI).
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