John Zion | 11/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once again I have "discovered" a great band many years after the fact. Growing up in the "70"s and "80"s I never heard their name once. When I heard the music recently I was floored. I just ordered my another of their CD's. Their sound was definitely ahead of their time."
The start of something great
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 09/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hawkwind's first album is interesting in that it contains both the bands best AND worst songs.
Now, I try to be positive every chance I can get, especially when it comes to music, because I've been listening to music for many years and my hope is that I've learned to appreciate that many bands take a LOT of time to properly figure out.
So that's why I give Hawkwind's debut album 4 stars, instead of 2 or 3, because a 4 is just more appropriate for a band that would soon become one of hard rocks very best.
Let's talk about the best songs first- "Hurry On Sundown", with some AWESOME harmonica playing and beautifully brilliant vocals... this is truly a spectacular song! "Be Yourself" has some wonderful saxophone jamming that leads into some equally impressive guitar soloing. I love this song a lot. And finally, the CCR-sounding "Mirror of Illusion", with a John Fogerty-like vocal melody that's both melodic and EXTREMELY good.
The bad songs would be the two "Paranoia" tracks. It's NOT a good idea to repeat the same 4 or 5 notes for several minutes. "Seeing It As You Really Are" kind of follows the same idea, with too much of it dominated with repeating notes. However in this case, the song eventually drifts into a really good guitar solo and a little bit of melodic saxophone playing at the end making it a pretty good jam.
I recommend buying the album for the three songs I mentioned above, but the band would become MUCH more consistent starting as soon as the next album.
Near Perfect Space Folk Psych Jams
Fritz Gerlich | firstname.lastname@example.org | 12/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"According to Wikipedia, the bulk of the album originated from a long free form jam called 'sunshine special' which was broken down into individual tracks with spacey synthesized interludes. And this certainly makes sense as the music shares the same vibe throughout the record. But don't let the 'free form jam' tag put you off. The music is not a chaotic drug fueled mess a la Amon Duul, not by a long shot. The music has a solid footing in the psych genre, and the improving fits within that structured sound. It sounds as if the band were playing live in the studio and were locked into a fantastic groove. The addition of flute, sax, and harmonic to the mix is greatly appreciated by this listener. It is one of the best examples of psych space rock around and I enthusiastically recommend it.
The album comes in two flavors. There is the 1992 One Way Records mastering, and the 1996 EMI classics remaster. Most of the ones you'll find for sale come from the 1996 master, and that's a good thing. The '92 version has a fair amount more compression than the '96 version (replay gain of -6 vs -2). The '92 version is substantially brighter and more harsh than the EMI mastering. IMO, the '96 remaster is of audiophile quality, so there is no need to seek out the old version. Also the newer ones come with 4 bonus tracks, although the only bonus track I really liked was the cover of a Pink Floyd song called Cymbaline."