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Hawkwind - Hawkwind CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.37 | 264 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hawkwind - st (1970)

It's funny to see the difference in opinions about Hawkwind's debut album. Some claim it is a masterpiece whilst others discard it as being an immature, naive failure. I myself feel related to those who claim this is a very good album, and I even dare to say it's sound is way more mature than Hall of the Mountain Grill of 1974 (my only other Hawkwind vinyl).

The space-rock genre has been listed a bit strange on PA. Whilst there is a psychedelic/space-rock genre you'll find most of it's masterpieces in the Krautrock (Guru Guru, many others), Canterbury (Gong, Kahn) and even Symphonic prog (Grobschnitt's Solar Music) genre. Hawkwind is often seen the main space-rock band, but it's sound- driven approach hasn't always worked that well for me. On the debut the band benefits hugely from one aspect: authenticity.

The sound of the band is really original and the approach is naive in a good sense. There is a lot of experimentation with sounds, but the music doesn't seem to suffer from it. So what do we have here? A very out of place, but pleasant, psychedelic pop/country styled opening track, some spacey sound-scapes, a trippy Be Yourself with extended atmospheric soloing and a lot of spacey tracks on side two. In fact, I think this record could well be seen as a psycho-beat record. The repetitive rhythms work very well for Hawkwind and it makes me wonder why they dropped this discipline later on in their long career. The Can from Germany developed the genre very well, but perhaps Hawkwind saw no future in it.

Be Yourself stands out as my favorite track on the album. The introduction, The Reason is?, introduces it's psychedelic/spacey atmospheres really good. The main theme with the distorted 'Be Yourself!... See yourself!.. etc.' lyrics is very strong. The power of it all comes from it's simplistic approach and the difference between it's use of blank notes from the rest of the song. The use of saxophones now and then is tasteful.

Conclusion. An authentic, original space-rock record with a psycho-beat (perhaps even Krautrock) feel. I still hope find a copy of Warrior on the Edge of Time and Space Ritual, but it won't surprise me if this debut album of the band remains my favorite. An excellent addition to space-rock, krautrock and psychedelic rock collections. Four stars.

friso | 4/5 |


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