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Hawkwind - Levitation CD (album) cover

LEVITATION

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.98 | 235 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars With Ginger Baker joining on drums and Tim Blake temporarily bringing his exceptional synthesiser skills back to the Hawkwind mothership, Levitation is something of a comeback album for Hawkwind following the muddled circumstances of the end of their stint with Charisma. Bringing back the heavy guitar and bass-driven songs of the classic Hawkwind sound to an extent not heard since Warrior on the Edge of Time, the album is a reasonable reminder of what made Hawkwind great back in those glory days.

With a much greater focus on instrumentals as opposed to the sparse vocals, the lyrical focus of the Robert Calvert-fronted albums of the past four years give way to a re-establishment of the band's original musical vision in some respects, though this is fused at the hip with a standard of production and new synthesiser toys that early Hawkwind could have only dreamed of. Most Hawkwind fans would be well advised to give it a listen, particularly if they were turned off by the band's direction on albums such as Quark, Strangeness and Charm or PXR5. Be warned, however, that it may take a while to grow on you - it did me - and you shouldn't overlook the instrumentals; Space Chase, for instance, is an exciting piece which gets much of its energy from a rip-roaring drum performance by Ginger Baker.

Of all the various editions that have been put out there, the 3CD Atomhenge remaster would seem to be the best value, since it offers as a bonus the most complete official release so far of the legendary Lewisham Odeon gig from the Levitation tour - which had otherwise been chopped up and distributed among compilations like Zones or Anthology, with a chunk used as the basis of most of This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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