Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Astounding Sounds Amazing Music
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
2009 digitally remastered and expanded edition of this album from the British Rock institution containing four bonus tracks. The album, originally released in 1976, marked the return to the band of Robert Calvert who would... more »
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2009 digitally remastered and expanded edition of this album from the British Rock institution containing four bonus tracks. The album, originally released in 1976, marked the return to the band of Robert Calvert who would be a major influence on the creative direction of the band lyrically and as vocalist. Including such classic tracks as 'Steppenwolf' and 'Reefer Madness," this reissue has been re-mastered from the original master tapes (a first for any CD issue of this album) and features previously unreleased mixes of "Back on the Streets" and "The Dream of Isis" along with the 1976 single 'Kerb Crawler' and 'Honky Dorky' as bonus tracks. Atomhenge.
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When Calvert took center stage...
S. Joy | New Haven, Connecticut | 06/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own an earlier CD release, so this reviews the music, not the Cherry Red Records/Atomhenge remastering. Here we find Hawkwind stepping away from a powerful lineup (including Nik Turner and Lemmy Kilmister) that had sadly degenerated (relationship-wise mostly, but arguably musically too - to my ear, Warriors on the Edge of Time, the release just before this one, represented a decline from the standards set by the previous three or four albums) and searching for a new sound, a new identity. The return of Robert Calvert, probably their best lyricist ever and a superb collaborator for band leader Dave Brock, moves them in new directions. The sound sometimes resembles Bowie or Roxy Music as much as Hawkwind blanga: it is more lyrically and melodically complex, less hard-driving for the most part, with fewer skirls of sax or audio generator. So if you only like Hawkwind for Brainstorm or Master of the Universe, it will be a shock at first and you may or may not wind up liking this one. But it is a remarkable achievement. As I understand it, the original idea was to develop a set of songs that would resemble the stories in a pulp SF magazine (hence the title), with perhaps a distinct little stage show for each. Until I picked this one up a year or so ago, I couldn't imagine how the band got from Warriors to Quark, Strangeness, and Charm - this fills in the gap. They aren't yet sounding New Wave, but then, in 1976 nobody else was either!
Anyway, it isn't perfect, but it is very good. Highlights include the lengthy Steppenwolf (Calvert's take on the Herman Hesse novel), Kerb Crawler (another bid for a smash hit single that didn't chart well but probably should've), and Kadu Flyer (Calvert's continuing obsession with piloting has him fantasizing an ultralight flight into the Himalayas). Most of the other numbers are pleasant instrumentals, more background than most earlier Hawkwind.
The older CD release (and there are probably used copies around still) had a raft of live material tacked on at the end, some just okay, but some outstanding - a good live Back on the Streets (yet another failed bid for the singles charts) and a totally berserk Urban Guerilla (with Calvert screaming 'bullets are the only way'). The new one has the key advantage of remastering from the original tapes and a different set of bonus material. It looks like the actual single version of Back on the Streets is there, which is a nice touch, since it was left off the Sonic Boom Killers compilation of singles. I'm curious about the other pieces, though probably not curious enough to buy a second copy of the record."