Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One (Hawkwind Medley) - Review

Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a musician from the Netherlands who has just (May 2002) released a
Space Metal album called Star One.  The remarkable thing about this is that Dave Brock sang the
vocals on one of Arjen's tracks, a 9-minute medley of Hawkwind songs.  Arjen kindly sent me a copy
of this track.  You can check out his Star One album, and other projects at Arjen's website,

http://www.ayreon.com
This track clocks in at 9:48, and covers 8 different
Hawkwind numbers (some fleetingly).  Arjen is an excellent
musician and does not slavishly follow the original versions
of these songs.  Plus of course, a certain Mr. David Brock
handles the vocals...  The track starts off with
Master of
The Universe
, familiar to all Hawkfans, but with the guitar
more upfront than on any Hawkwind version.  You can hear
why the artist calls this a Space Metal album.  MOTU
segues smoothly into
Silver Machine, which is very brief,
and then into
Psychedelic Warlords.  The chord progression
is the same, but Arjen puts a different emphasis on the riff,
making it rockier.  The result is a very *different* version
of the song.  Brainstorm comes along next, and the harmony
Chats & Interviews <|> Gig/Tour/Festival Reviews <|> CD/DVD/Book Reviews <|> Photo Galleries
Free Hawkwind Downloads <|> Resources <|> Other Features
News <|> Links <|> Search <|> Site Map <|> Home
vocals on the chorus make this the most melodic version you've ever heard.  Then Assault and
Battery
comes along, and this starts off like the intro to the Live Legends (1990) version, before
changing completely.  Arjen does something completely new with this track by making it very
dynamic, alternating between loud / quiet passages.  And then, to further push the envelope, he
*doesn't* follow this with The Golden Void!  
The War I Survived follows A&B and it's a smoother
version than the original, yet heavier too.  
Spirit Of The Age comes right on the heels of it, and is for
me the least effective move in this medley, being brief and staccato.  But a nice bit of editing and
arranging closes out the medley with a light, airy arrangement of
Lost Chronicles (an instrumental
that followed the track "Neon Skyline" on the Xenon Codex album).  Arjen adds some melodic lead
guitar to this before it fades out.  The musicianship is great, and Arjen has tried to put his own stamp
on these songs, which is always better than trying to duplicate what Hawkwind have already done
with them.  And Dave Brock's vocals are excellent - he's certainly never sung better than this on any
Hawkwind album or on his own solo stuff.  Arjen gave the vocals a very sympathetic treatment, lots
of delay or some other time-based effect, quite close to what Dave normally does with them
anyway...  I'm wondering what the rest of the album is like.  It has apparently gone into the charts in
Germany and Holland, and on this hearing it certainly deserves to!