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4.9 out of 5 stars
58
4.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2007
For a band that are so defined (to most people) as having peaked in the early 70s in the Lemmy / Silver Machine / Space Ritual period, this album is proof that the late 70s flowering was every bit as powerful though in a different way. The science fiction element is strong - Damnation Alley from the Zelazny / Dick epic and the awesome Spirit of the Age (along with Queen's Year of 39 a brilliant song about time dilation), plus the much played Hassan i Sabbah and the tongue in cheek title track make this the peak of a very interesting period (check out PXR5 and, if you can get it, 25 Years).

There is a hardly a gig goes by even 30 years later that doesn't have something from this album - Calvert at a lyrical peak and a tight, unpretentious line-up.
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on 8 August 2015
timeless album. had it on vinyl, tape & now cd. hugely underrated band, influenced loads of rock / punk outfits. sublime interweaving of guitars & keyboards. can't get away with recreational substances anymore but don't need them when I can sample righteous sounds like this
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on 10 April 2007
i bought this album on vinyl when it was first released (the single was forever being played on the jukebox in the royal park in leeds and it piqued my curiosity-b.side was the forge of vulcan).i'd gone off them a bit after they'd sacked lemmy but this brought me back to the fold.it takes a slightly different direction to some of the stuff they've done before but still has the s.f. edge (spirit of the age, title track,damnation alley).in addition, you've got hassan i sabha a classic by anyone's standards.the new additional live tracks aren't really necessary but show how good they were as a live band-and still are- when they produced this material.
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on 29 June 2007
I had this on vinyl many years ago, probably when it first came out. It is one of their best albums. 'Hassan I Sabha' followed by 'The Forge of Vulcan' have to be played loud, but that's probably what everyone does. The album is made even better by the addition of the live track, especially 'Robot' whis is one of my all time favorite tracks from any band. Infact 'Robot' (I can't do it in Russian) by Tatu and, I think, 'Die Roboter' by Kraftwerk are also worth a listen. Ace
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on 2 November 2010
Genre busting stuff. Punk? Prog? New Wave? I don't know and - at this distance of years - don't really care. It's a belter.
Bob Calvert makes 'deranged' sound like a state to which you might like to aspire. Which, let's be honest, many of us did.
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on 30 April 2009
Another fantastic collection from arguably one of Hawkwind's most diversely creative periods.

As other reviewers have said, each of the different versions has something different to offer, and the development of the tracks is both fascinating and entertaining (which sums the Hawks up for me!)

The one shame for me is that the live 77 version of "Robot" ends too soon, it fades out before the "R" "O" "B" "O" "T" climax. I will hang onto my vinyl copy of "Friends and Relations" until the same version gets released on CD.

Otherwise it's hard to fault such a well put together artifact, the quality of the mastering really lifts the tracks to another level.

Highly recommended. Bring on Church, Masques, Attack, and (maybe?) Warrior.....
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on 31 October 2010
I hadn't listened to Hawkwind for years, and then one morning, for some inexplicable reason, I woke up with the tune of "Hassan I Sabbah" whirling round and round in my head. It seems to have started something off and I felt the irresistable urge to buy not only this album, but Levitation too!

Often when you buy records or CD's that you listened to years ago, they sound dated... well this sort of sounds dated, by which I mean I couldn't imagine many bands coming up with a sound like this nowadays... but it's soooo good!

It swept me back in time to the madness that was the free festivals in the early '80's... probably the most fun time of my life.

Buy it!
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on 7 September 2009
Now, this is more like it; vintage Hawkwind at what was probably their creative height. With Commander Calvert at the helm, the Silver Machine set a course into the punk-era musical galaxy and delivered a classic album.

The extras are pretty impressive too!

Well worth getting and a great reminder of Hawkwind when they were capable of producing truly great albums!
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on 31 December 2009
Take the finest studio album Hawkwind ever made, add a whole slew of quality, previously unreleased versions of Quark material and other songs from the period, and lavish packaging including a booklet with essay and you have an essential package. A fitting tribute to the finest hour of a unique band.
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on 9 June 2009
God, what an excellent release.

Be honest. There must have been a few times when you found an 'Expanded', 'Deluxe' or even 'Ultimate' re-release of an album you loved that was frankly not quite the ticket when you got it out of the box.

It probably contained some pretty dodgy out-takes that didn't make the final cut because they weren't much good anyway. It might have featured a mangled remix of the record you loved so much and what with the insult of paying a high price for disillusionment it sank, down to that pile of nicely packaged CDs that you'll never play again.

That kind of nonsense can taint your enjoyment and it just ain't right.

But fear not with this release. The original album has been tweaked but in an intelligent way. It's cleaner and slightly more focussed so that everything, all the excitements and nuances, are brought to the fore. It's a bit of a thrill actually, the new sound brings the listener right back to when that original bit of vinyl hit your turntable back in 1977.

But it's the extras - those unreleased moments so often associated with disappointment on other editions - that charm. Everything here is not only worth hearing but highly evocative of the age. They make the whole project live again. Even track 10 on disc 1 (modestly called 'A minor Jam session'), re-ignites the genuine passion that the original was so full of.

This edition of Quark Strangeness and Charm is something of a time machine. It doesn't make you yearn for that age. It places you right then and here and reminds you how great this album was and is.
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