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Customer Review

8 of 9 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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Initial post: 31 May 2010, 13:51:16 BST
You've hit the nail on the head, vitamino. It's all about Calvert. The man was a genuine, bona fide visionary genius. All Hawkwind's best stuff involved him, and without him it's just not the same. I'll never forget the two occasions I saw him: the Quark tour in '77 and Hawklords in '78. RIP Robert, we miss you so much.
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