|Album Sleeve Notes, Part 4
Hawkwind Zoo: Hurry On Sundown / Sweet
Mistress of Pain
Summer 1969. The 'Swinging Sixties' were
about to give way to the 'Sensational Seventies',
while music and the arts flourished in an
explosion of creativity and new ideas. It was
an exciting time, bursting with innovation.
Musical styles, in particular, were in a constant
state of transition, partly due to the trend for the
use of LSD and partly down to the rapidly
widening field of electronic experimentation.
The former expanded the musician's
imagination, while the latter enabled them to put
it into practice. A cultural revolution was in full
swing and new sounds were on the way!
In that glorious setting, a bunch of hippies
playing under the name of Group X, took to the stage in the All Saints Hall, Ladbroke Grove, West
London, which led to the formation of one of the longest-running British bands and the best Space
rock band in the World! Dave Brock, Nik Turner, Mick Slattery, Terry Ollis and Dik Mik were an
instant success and interested parties suggested the band record some demo material. This they did,
under the name of Hawkwind Zoo (the 'Zoo' being dropped soon after) and successfully landed a
recording contract with Liberty / United Artists, the label best suited to their brand of rock. The
touchpaper to the Hawkwind Starship had been lit!
Hurry On Sundown and Sweet Mistress of Pain (then called Kiss Of The Velvet Whip), both penned
by Dave Brock, are two of the tracks from that demo and bridge the gap between Brock's days as a
busker and member of blues bands to the days of being the prime mover of an imaginative and
experimental psychedelic space rock band.
The tape for these two tracks languished in Dave Brock's archive for many years, till he came across
it one day and wondered if Hawkwind fans would be interested in hearing it. Would they? Too right
they would! Enjoy them. Two priceless Hawkwind songs which played a vital part in getting the
band off the ground.
Hawkwind: We Do It
While early Hawkwind did play some 'real' songs, they were renowned for their long instrumental
pieces, with powerful, driving rhythms, along the lines of much of the German rock of that which
Dave Brock, at least, was a fan - he wrote the sleeve notes for the first Neu! album. Words were
merely chants which served to intensify and dramatize the rhythm. Even lead instruments such as
guitar and saxophone were mixed low enough so that they served to embellish the rhythm rather than
dominate it. Within this framework, the use of bleeps, burps and whooshes from the synthesizer
seemed quite natural and complemented the sound. At concerts, this was performed to the
accompaniment of flashing strobe lights, swirling lightshows and, sometimes, dancers. We Do It is a
classic example of a 'live' cut from that early Hawkwind period. Tribal Music indeed!
Another Hawkwind tradition lies with the use of poetry and short pieces of oration to further
dramatise the music about to follow. It is hard to imagine the likes of Led Zeppelin or Rainbow doing
such a thing, yet, such is the sense of drama and mystique with Hawkwind that when they do it, it
seems quite natural to lead up to a song or show in that manner. Earth Calling performed such a role,
guiding the audience into the epic journey of 1972/3, The Space Ritual
Kings Of Speed
Much as Hawkwind have always enjoyed offering us a feast of electronic psychedelia over the years,
the band has ever liked to also supply a rich diet of 'heads down and boogie' rock. With Kings Of
Speed, offered here as an instrumental, instead of with the Michael Moorcock lyrics, Brock and co.
show why they have always been able to please the headbangers occupying the floor near the stage.
It's not just rock, it's fun!
The song Motorhead is, of course, strongly associated with its writer, Lemmy. It was released on the
flipside of Lemmy's last single with Hawkwind (Kings Of Speed) and he took the song with him when
he formed his new band, Motorhead. The previous track is unusual in that it is a lyriced song
performed as an instrumental and this track too is unusual. Oh, it has vocals all right, but it has ever
been the case with Hawkwind that the person who writes the words is, with rare exceptions, the one
to sing it on record...¦well, unless, of course, the, writer is one of the many who has since left the
band! However, in this particular rendition of Motorhead, although Lemmy plays on it (who could
miss that bass sound?), it is Dave Brock whose voice you hear.
Spirit Of The Age / Robot
The ever-changing line-ups of Hawkwind have led to different writers and collaborations providing the
songs. Of these, the most successful has been the partnership of the poet Robert Calvert penning
words for Dave Brock to put to music. Robert's easy command of words, vivid imagination and often
offbeat point of view gave him the ability to write more lengthy, interesting songs. Sometimes, it was
simply his fine poetry which lent itself so easily to the music of Dave Brock and, therefore,
Hawkwind. This is the case with Spirit Of The Age, which is in fact the combination of two of
Robert's poems, Starfarer's Despatch and Spirit Of The Age. These two give us a song which is
destined to always be a Hawkwind favorite. In fact, twenty years after it was first recorded, this song
was voted third most favorite of all Hawkwind songs in a Hawkwind magazine poll.
One of many common bonds between Brock and Calvert was their shared love of Science Fiction, the
subject motivating Hawkwind's brand of space rock. Robert Calvert was (and Dave Brock still is)
inspired by the books they read, which is why so many Hawkwind tracks relate to the works of
Moorcock, Zelazny, Asimov, Ballard, Hesse, Farmer and so on. The song Robot drew on the Robot
stories by Isaac Asimov, in which the fundamental rules for controlling all 'intelligent' robotic forms
were laid out. Asimov's robots were virtually human control. With a few well-chosen words and
phrases, Calvert depicts the scene, while Hawkwind's solid, punchy rhythm sets the mood.
Sonic Assassins: Over The Top / Free Fall / Death Trap / Golden Void
One would think that the constant personnel changes within Hawkwind, continually adding new
dimensions to the music, would give Dave Brock all the variety he needed. Yet in 1977, he and Robert
Calvert got together with Harvey Bainbridge, Martin Griffin and Paul Hayles of the band Arc, to form
the Sonic Assassins. The plan was to play 'local' gigs in the west of England when Hawkwind were
not touring or recording.
The Sonic Assassins arranged to play at the Queens Hall, Barnstaple, just before Christmas in 1977,
the headlining act to a festival day with something to offer for all the family. At this gig, Robert
Calvert demonstrated his ability to weather the storms of whatever surprises were thrown at him on
Shortly before the great event, Robert decided he didn't want to do it. Then, at the last minute, he
changed his mind and returned to the fold, where he was welcomed back, but not informed that
changes had been made to the playlist! You can hear the result on Over The Top. Calvert was
expecting the band to launch into Master Of The Universe, but they just kept on playing music
unfamiliar to him and ignoring his remarks that they should get on with the proper set. When he
realized that he had been left out on a limb, he simply ad-libbed, incorporating the words to The
Awakening and Over The Top and we are fortunate enough to be able to hear the result.
It had been planned to release an album of the Sonic Assassins set, but this never came to pass and
only four Sonic Assassins tracks have been made available. Make the most of them.
Hawklords: Valium Ten / Time Of
When Hawkwind folded for a while in the spring of 1978, the Sonic Assassins, with Steve Swindells
taking the place of Paul Hayles, came to the fore. Under the name Hawklords, they recorded an album
and toured the UK in the Autumn of 1978. As with Hawkwind, the line-up was prone to changes and
by 1979, when these two tracks were recorded, Mick Smith had taken the place of Martin Griffin on
the drum stool and Robert Calvert had 1eft to pursue a solo career.
No longer writing music to suit the lengthy lyrics of Robert Calvert, Dave Brock quickly indulged
himself in the luxury of the pulsating rhythms and chants which were a feature of early Hawkwind.
The Harvey Bainbridge influence encouraged the words to relate to insights into the world around us,
rather than looking into space. Valium Ten takes that route and one can't help but feel that Brock
would have been happy to keep it up for hours. Time Of... is an example of the Hawklords (and,
equally, Hawkwind) jamming in the studio for fun and to see what comes out. The band having a
A handful of other new songs were recorded, but there was a strong cry for the return of Hawkwind
and so the Sonic Assassins/Hawklords were set aside, though not before Dave Brock lured Harvey
Bainbridge into the ranks of Hawkwind.
Hawkwind: The Earth Ritual Preview EP (Night Of The Hawks / Green Finned Demon / Dream
Dancers / Dragons & Fables)
This EP, recorded late in 1983, was issued to coincide with the Earth Ritual tour in the Spring of
1984. The four tracks showed different sides of Hawkwind music, with the principal track, Night Of
The Hawks, stealing the show with its fast pace and rousing chorus. You could picture the band
standing in the middle of Stonehenge, playing this song while lightning flashed from rolling, black
thunderclouds above, the wind howled and thunder echoed to the rhythm of the music. A great
Hawkwind headlining the Stonehenge free festival, an event which was banned by law from 1985
The song is special for another reason too. Ex-members of Hawkwind often turn up to join the band
at the odd gig and sometimes in the studio. On this occasion, the great Lemmy was around and not
only do you hear his mighty Rickenbacker, but on Night Of The Hawks you also hear his gravelly
voice. A Night Of The Hawks indeed!!
The Interview With Dave Brock
A rare and interesting ending to this CD set. Dave Brock tends to speak his mind, so be prepared for
anything. This has only been previously available as a bonus disc in The Official Picture Log Book
box set of albums, issued in the UK in 1987 as a limited edition and now as scarce as hen's teeth.
Hardly a conventional way to round off a CD set, but then, when have Hawkwind ever bowed to the
Properly speaking the following are gig
programme notes rather tjhan album sleeve notes,
since they first appeared in the 1972 Space Ritual
tour programme (pictured left). However they
have since appeared in the packaging of CD
reissues of the Space Ritual album.
In the original programme, the text was
interspersed with song lyrics, including some
(Psychedelic Warlords and Infinity) which would
not be released until years later. Since the lyrics
are widely known and are anyway to be found
elsewhere on this site, I have not included them
below. However, I have left the song titles in
places to show where they were to be found
amid the narrative.
Contemporary press articles mention that for the
Space Ritual tour, each member of the audience
was given a free programme "so they can
understand what's going on." The following text
does not exactly tie in with the claimed theme of
the Space Ritual (the dreams of seven starfarers
in cold sleep) but this is Hawkwind - do not
Silence. Darkness... Voices one by one building to incoherent chant.
Wearily, Nik Turner, captain of the Galactic Union space ship Hawkwind, fighter for the Holy
Imperium army, champion to Her Most Illustrious Majesty Queen of Thorasin, flicked off the switch
and ran a hand over his face. Fiery acid vision blinded his eyesight. The scream of wounded horses
and the smell of burning machinery rang in his mind. Sonic starbursts, rainbow chords and arched
curving sound flared in his ears. Outside cool and dark space stared back unblinkingly through the
"Pulsars negative. Trip circuit function." clattered a hypnopod at his side. Purple light from the dials
washed over his face and as he readjusted the coordinates, his consciousness soared into channels of
fire. He thought of the six musical orb sensors resting in their piles in the hold below, each humming
slightly from their pumatic influx drivers. Six gleaming towers of chromium, custom built by the
master craftsmen of Xenon. Smooth. Efficient. Waiting. He thought of the charter. And his mind
flashed to the words engraved on the crystal... We the representatives of the Galactic Union, with the
authority delegated to us by our Great Mother and in accordance with the Brotherhood of Men send
greetings to the leaders of planet Terra...with the growing certainty that your ambitions are causing an
imbalance to the Galaxy, are not in accord with the great flow and are therefore, no longer tenable...
suspend immediately all traffic in arms... the break down of complex defence systems... please show
our emissaries unrestricted powers of investigation...
Lord of Light
Was it really ten light years since they had blasted off from the sacred lake at Abydos? Ten long years
of dreary flight routine. Peace ambassador? As the Queens champion he'd had to obey the cnichts
code and accept the commission. Missionary work to a race of superstitious natives. This quest was
not to his liking. He was a man of action. Years of battling in the Queen's army had toughened and
made him lean. He stroked his plaited beard and felt a surge of energy flow shudderingly through him.
"Nik - NIK!" a voice came hazily through his mental fog. A red light was strobing in front of him. He
stared uncomprehendingly at the light. as it became larger and turned into a bleeding heart and then
slowly melted and dissolved into a stage, perfectly smooth, stretching away in all directions to infinity.
He saw rows of gleaming expectant faces and the musical orbs. Strangely familiar red lights blinked
over them. He put his hand out toward the light and to his amazement found a flute in it.
Down Through The Night
"Nik - for fuck's sake man - are you spaced or something? Get out of the way."
A hand appeared and stabbed at the emergency button. The ship veered sharply, gyros hissing as they
stabilized the floor level.
"Another meteor storm methinks, eh Cousin DikMik?"
"How boring Milord Lemmy, now let's see - three degrees east, I fancy."
The ship accelerated, mighty engines burning fuel at a thousand metons a minim. Gravipull sucked
them back, their ears popping, but then the warning light blinked off and was replaced by the green fail
'"And now a six degree bank. There!"
The retrorockets screamed and hundreds of miles flashed past in a ten minim burst.
"Yet another success, Sirrah!"'
The two cavaliers, both fashionably dressed in the latest Thorasin style, threw their arms around each
other's shoulders. DikMik waved an elegant hand and danced a mock quadrille in the baroque style
favoured in the royal courts. Lemmy yawned and popped a blue peppermint pill into his mouth from
out of a tiny engraved casket.
"Pray Milord Dik and Milord Mik: but if you must dance the harbuck then please do it with some
"Avaunt thee noble Lord Lem but I think the honourable Nik here owes us all an apology."
Nik looked at them. These men he trusted. So many a battle they had fought side by side - or was it
played side by side... The others stared curiously at him, Lemmy, Lord of Darkness, neat but
intimidating in his elegant black armour. A black cloak bearing the clenched talons of the royal hawk
was thrown carelessly over one shoulder. An eloquent speaker who could talk for hours. A dabbler in
sorcery who knew the elixir of eternal youth. Seemingly weak, yet the broad sword champion of
Saturnus. DikMik, heavily loaded with metal ornaments, gay coloured feathers and beautifully wrought
leather trappings ingeniously set with precious stones. From his shoulders hung a short cape of white
fur, lined with brilliant scarlet silk.
"I'm sorry DikMik," he mumbled and focused his mind on the Bhoodan training chant.
The Black Corridor
Space Is Deep
He looked around the council chamber trying to recognize anything which could earth his racing
thoughts. It was a spacious, circular cabin having that dull blue sheen peculiar to boroniurn metal. In
the centre, fountains watered the necessary oxygen-producing jungle plants. He noted with pride the
latest Ganter series of computer banks which lined the perimeter and provided a steady background
noise with their busy clicking. Overhead their standards hung with the Union's banner correctly placed
in the centre. Exotic soft furnishings and rugs from Aruscansus draped over the grilled floor and the
massive anthroguns, completing the stark decor. A disturbing thought flashed onto his consciousness.
Again those images. Was it all remembered, or in the future, or even was it now and he really wasn't
sitting there at all? Dim visions smoked his brain. Pictures of people standing and screaming and a
band playing loud shrieking metal music. Heavy electronic drum throbs filling his head. Was this
reality, or was this more suspended animation dreams or was it hallucination? He stared at a fountain
and watched the water fragment into a million faceted diamonds. Abruptly he snapped the intercom.
"Give me Simon, can you."
A tinny voice replied "Sire - he's in the wenching room - "
"I don't care where the fuck he is. Get him up here - quick!"
He swivelled round on the plastimould chair and looked across at his fellow ambassador. Baron Brock
lay flat on his back, comfortably lounging on a pile of cushions. He strummed a melody on his new
Zenith basinett, humming the words to himself.
But his thoughts were far away with his woman and family on their ventec farm. An image of a
smiling face came to his mind with the last rays of the Divonium sun reflecting off the long hair.
"Thinking of home again, Dave?"
"Yes and I'll be right pleased when this mishugomy is done with."
The two friends smiled at each other and in a glance Nik took in his fellow lord of light. The fresh face
and the well muscled body. The long hair flowing over armour of grotesquely writhing entwined
dragons. The dents in the intricate metal work which told of many a campaign. A clash of arms and a
gong announced the arrival of another lord. The guards snapped into the double handed hawk salute.
Count Simon leRoi was tall, rangy and had the bowed legs typical of a Rohrusse plains rider. At his
side loped two massive Boorhounds, spiked collars fitting tightly round their necks. He flung himself
into the nearest chair then bounded up and made towards Nik. The dogs got up and padded over with
"Look man, what's this all about? A guy's got to have some relaxation on this crate, and...¦"
"I'm sorry Simon, but we're nearing our destination and it's time we got a few things sussed out."
"Well OK but let me know a little earlier next time." He grinned. "Those Kapok femchiks can get a little
wild if you leave them for too long you know."
"And then they'll bite you to pieces, eh Simon," said a voice. Del the dwarf had entered noiselessly and
stood looking at the five lords.
"You called for me?" he continued without waiting for a reply and bowing his head in their general
direction. Del, a man of few words but fiery actions. Leader of the hammer-throwing dwarfs. Small,
broad of shoulder, narrow of hip and wearing the characteristic double forked beard of his tribe. His
hair had grown thin on top from long wearing of his two-horned war helmet. He stood there now
looking at them with an impatient frown. Absentmindedly he tossed his huge hammer from his thong
and spun it several times before catching it and throwing it up again.
"Yes gentlemen. We are swinging in on our final run for Terra. We shall arrive in about eight hours
time. But before we prepare ourselves I have something important to tell you. Very important. You
remember the feast of Baccho after the battle of Mu?" Grins of pleasant memories creased their faces.
"That night, the priests of Ilbrahim imprinted on my mind some information that was to be triggered as
we approached the end of our travels. Well, that time has come. You are all familiar with the saga of
Doremi Fasol Latido. Of how the Hawklords left their planet, after a losing fight but swearing one day
to return and rid that planet of evil. Of their final arrival at Thorasin. Of how they put their swords
and men as the disposal of the Great Mother. Of how these lords became great champions for the
Galactic Union and led many a crusade..."
"Yes yes, just drop the history bit and get on with it."
"So gentlemen, if I can continue - without interruptions," and Nik glared at Simon, "our collective
amnesia has been lifted. You see, we are here to fulfill many prophecies and settle many scores. We
are from this planet and we are coming home. In short, we are those same Hawklords."
In the stunned silence only the swish of the air-conditioning could be heard.
Ten Seconds of Forever
Seven By Seven
The chronometers said it was evening. Green lights flicked on, automatically dimming the main
lighting. The newspeak crackled over the loud speakers - "This is the Galactic Union broadcasting on
all astrophonic metawaves." Over a soothing background choir of femchiks a honeyed voice droned.
"Increased fighting on the hydroplanet Xeseus continues. Fresh squads of hydras have been called in.
Beep Beep. Appeals against the law courts. A record six thousand hovermobiles damaged by
unworthies so far this segment. Beep Beep. Kraken woman has 36 children, father saysâ€¦"
"Turn that thing off for fuck's sake"
The lords were gathered round a glowing visor globe. The light giving their faces a conspiratorial glare.
"That's their moon or rather, our moon over there" said Brock.
"And that's Terra. By cepheid just look at that mother."
"So that's Terra. Oohwee, look out wenchlings, here come the Hawklords."
Nik smashed a fist against the barrel of an anthrogun.
"No! How many...¦ Listen! The Hawklords are known in a thousand galaxies - sonic assassins,
psychedelic warlords, dragon commandos - all these things they call us, and fear us. No, here we
show restraint. Would you cross the Great Mother. Bring peace with honour, she said."
"Honour my arse, give me a good wenchling and some cocaine" snorted Lemmy and turned to his
A figure crept in from the shadows.
"Milord, time is getting short and the priests wish to start the landing ritual."
DikMik turned pill-bleary eyes to the priest and swayed slightly.
"Listen godman, we don't need your interference with this sort of job."
"But I protest milord, we must show the proper observances - "
"You talk false preacher" and he stepped a pace forward, his hand going to his sword. "Get down with
the ladies - I didn't get these scars by wailing to my gods when things got difficult."
"Gently DikMik" said Nik, "please show the priests in."
Time We Left
A retinue entered the chamber. Two roboscribes came first swinging incense holders followed by six
pages dressed in the Imperium livery and bearing the lords' banners. Next came seven priests and seven
witches in the middle of whom walked a tall thin woman of proud hearing with a painted silver face of
the prime sorceress caste. Sparkles of light flashed in her waist long hair. Flowing filmy white
material billowing around her as she walked on with head held erect and eyes staring at a point beyond
space. Two drummers playing a slow measured beat followed her. Some lieutenants completed the
procession and stopped nervously, clustering around the air lock. The priests and witches formed two
half circles facing each other.
The pages stopped at the centre fountain and the sorceress stepped in front of them. The drums
An aura of stillness came into the chamber and the lords knelt in front of her. She breathed deeply
sending a convulsive shiver through her body. Abruptly her eyes opened and flashed at the scene, as if
it was the first time she was aware of her surroundings. She raised her arms to the metal grill ceiling,
her eyes fluttering, her pale skin growing even more pallid from the dimmed lights.
"Hail to thee most noble Great Mother" she began in a low wail "we raise our standard to your crescent
"So it is spoken, so it is done," murmured the force.
"We make union with the spheres, we bring the message."
"So it is spoken, so it is done."
Thirty six minutes to touch down rattled a roboscribe.
Her body stiffened, "I am the great mother. I traverse millions of years. I am she whose being has
been reborn in her eye. I shall not die. I shall prevail. In the name of Crom. In the light of darkness.
I call upon the sounds of the spheres to enter these sons of freedom and grant success to their holy
grail. Come most excellent Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do, come from your glittering palaces of sound.
Enter in. Activate the orbs. Fill the bodies of the lords Captain Nik, Baron Brock, Lord Lemmy, Count
Simon, Sir Del and Sir DikMik with your radiant light."
With a clash of arms the company raised their swords, leather bucklers and bronze cujons flashing in
the glare. The ritual was at an end and the chamber became immediately changed to a war ship.
Coordinates centering at red delta two plus seven.
The witches hurriedly led off the sorceress. With the ease of a band that had made many such
landings, the men went efficiently to their tasks. All was quiet in the chamber except for the
monotonous printout of the robo screen, "Astrological conditions favourable. Terran data system
The planet jerking and jumping in the visor globe began to show brown and green with an occasional
flash of blue. Nik adjusted his silver spurs and loosened the thongs of his sword. The drug fire
engulfed him again. Images merged into each other. Faces with landscapes. Bodies with stars.
Wailing guitar, electronic rainbows spraying over the audience. "Ley lines observed and show
information accurate. Twelve minutes to landing. Lasgun primed and ready." Rippling flute notes
curving in arcs into a circus of sound. A man coughed and grim anxious faces glanced quickly at each
other. The great desert plains of Egypt started to loom up on the visors. "Four minutes to landing and
counting. External heat building up." Echo shouts. "Zantor squad report position secure.
Retrorockets burning. Altitude decrease normal." A great pyramid appeared, wobbled, focused and
spun slowly into position. "Landing as marked. Cut down steady." Climax after surging sound climax
built to an all-powerful crescendo. The lords braced themselves against the coming impact. A last
thought, "will these people accept us... or must there be another bloody crusade...¦" Touch down. The
rocket roar cut off. The music stopped, or did it begin...
|An extract from the Saga of Doremi Fasol Latido
Instellation 15 - Sonic Attack
When you try to capture a free spirit, anything
can happen. Containing the raw excitement and
diverse elements of Hawkwind on disc has
never been a simple operation. Anyone who has
witnessed their live performances will realise
they are rarely the same two nights running and
to create all that loose energy and vitality in a
recording studio might seem an impossible task.
Yet- as the tracks on this LP clearly prove - the
power that is Hawkwind can be captured on
They recorded just four albums for the label-
including one as Hawklords - between 1976 and
1979, but during that period produced some of
their strongest music and most imaginative
Though Hawkwind have never attempted following fashion in rock music they found fashion
following them as albums such as 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm' became precursors of the â€˜new
wave'. Some of the new bands declared Hawkwind as influences and some of the rock critics who
have previously described them as "in an acid rock time warp" began to think again. All of which must
have made Hawkwind's army of fans smile. The story of Hawkwind starts way back in the late sixties
in the Notting Hill area of London:
Here, at a jam session lasting just a few minutes at the All Saints Hall was a band comprising Dave
Brock, Nik Turner and Mick Slattery (of Brock's Famous Cure band), plus Terry Ollis, John Harrison
and DikMik performing under the name of Group X. This was the first Hawkwind lineup â€” known
initially as Hawkwind Zoo - and in 1969 they signed to United Artists records.
Hawkwind had apparently been one of Nik Turner's numerous nicknames. The band became well
known for their experiments with sound, light and drugs and their following soon grew to legendary
status after a 1970 appearance at the Isle Of Wight festival. Their early music and lifestyle truly
embodied the "underground" spirit of the time and many people were stunned when they broke
through into the singles chart with 'Silver Machine' in 1972, which got to the number three position.
They recorded six albums for U.A. and made "live" contributions to album sets like 'Greasy Truckers
Party' and 'Glastonbury Fayre'. Their lineup had changed drastically, so by the time they split from U.
A. in 1976 just Brock and Turner remained of the original band. Former members had included
bassist Lemmy, who went on to form Motorhead, and the "larger-than-lifeâ€� lady dancer Stacia,
who went off to get married.
Hawkwind arrived at Charisma in the summer of 1976 with a lineup of Brock - guitar and vocal;
Turner - sax and vocals; Bob Calvert - poet and vocalist: Simon King - drums; Simon House â€”
keyboards; Paul Rudolph - bass; and Alan Powell - drums.
The first release for the label was the single 'Kerb Crawler' (CB 289), in July 1976, closely followed
by the album 'Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music' (CDS 4004), including the menacing 'Steppenwolf'
track. In 1977 came a new single 'Back On The Streets' which predated a further change of lineup.
Nik Turner departed and set up Sphynx, whose 'Xitintoday' LP (CDS 4011), was released by
Charisma in June 1978. Rudolph and Powell were getting a bit funky for the likes of Brock and
Calvert, so they were shown the door and formed a short-lived outfit called Kicks. Adrian Shaw, bass
and vocals, was drafted in for a new slimline band. Shaw was from a band called Magic Muscle,
from Bristol, who had supported Hawkwind on tour.
The new five-piece recorded the great 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm' album (CDS4008), released in
June 1977 and reaching number 30 on the album chart. A single version of 'Quark' (CK 305), was
released in July '77 and is the version that appears on this album. Their autumn tour was named after
another popular track of the LP, 'Spirit Of The Age'.
Early in 1978 they recorded the 'PXR5' album (CDS 4016), which was not released until May 1979 as
the band split up shortly after it was recorded. Simon House left to join David Bowie's band and they
recruited Paul Hayles to play keyboards for a US tour. Because of legal complications and a Calvert
concept the band dropped the name Hawkwind and appeared next as Hawklords. Hawklords
comprised: Brock and Calvert; Martin Griffin (drums), Harvey Bainbridge (bass) and Steve Swindells
(keyboards). Simon King left the band but was to later return to their ranks.
The 'Hawklords' album (CDS 4014), was released in October 1978 and reached 38. A single version
of 'Psi Power' (CB 363), was released in October '78, while a 12" metallic grey version of '25 Years'
(CB 332 12), appeared in May 1979.
Bob Calvert left for solo ventures and Hawkwind became a four-piece for a while. With the release of
'PXR5' in May 1979 (which made it to number 42), Hawkwind left Charisma and a new Hawkwind
took to the road in September.
For the new fans this album is intended as a useful introduction to an exciting period in the band's
development. To the established fan it serves as a timely reminder as to the band's excellence. Long
may they fly.
- David Brown