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Hawkwind - Live Seventy Nine CD (album) cover

LIVE SEVENTY NINE

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.82 | 65 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After a stint on Charisma Records where, with Robert Calvert fronting, Hawkwind developed the more ornate side of their sound for a time, Live Seventy Nine found them issuing a roaring return to the proto-metal aspects of their sound which had been such a feature of their United Artists years. As well as being a timely move in terms of current trends - the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was hitting at right about this time - it was also a creative breath of fresh air for the group, which allowed them to turn in the magnificent Levitation as their next studio album.

Including a well-chosen set of old classics (Brainstorm, a bit of Silver Machine before the titular machine explodes, and more recent tracks like Spirit of the Age) and new material (Shot Down In the Night was the big single from this release, and Levitation's Motorway City gets an early preview here), the album also includes a rare live performance of Lighthouse, a piece from Tim Blake's Crystal Machine solo album - for Gong veteran Blake had hopped aboard the Starship Hawkwind for this release.

Buyer beware: the release known under various names including Complete '79, which purports to be a complete recording of this concert, is not to be trusted. Yes, it is the full concert... but the sound quality is absolutely dire and is apparently sourced from an audience recording, and can only disappoint next to the sound of this release. The Atomhenge reissue includes as a bonus track Urban Guerilla from the same set, so if you must have more, you can tack that on, but that's it as far as recordings from this gig with acceptable sound quality goes. This does mean this live album is a little short compared with more epic releases from earlier and later in Hawkwind's career, but what it lacks in mass it makes up for in substance.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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