Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hawkwind ~ Spirit of the Age (Anthology 1976 – 1984)

New Esoteric subsidiary label Atomhenge has been set up to re-release all of Hawkwinds post 1976 albums up to 1997, fully remastered with bonus tracks and restored artwork. Those will start to be re-issued early in 2009, but prior to that the label has compiled two 3CD box sets. The first covers the period 1976 to 1984 and the second, titled “The Dream Goes On” covers 1985 to 1997. The “Spirit of the Age” anthology is noteworthy as it covers the successful period when the band were signed to the Charisma label, after being with United Artists since their inception. My favourite albums from the Charisma years were “Quark, Strangeness and Charm” and the excellent “PXR5”. The latter contains some of my favourite post-UA Hawkwind tracks like “Jack of Shadows” and the wonderful ”High Rise”. Listening to this stuff again I had forgotten what an excellent lyricist and vocalist Robert Calvert was. The band at this time sounded on occasion like a post-LSD Roxy Music but there is still no mistaking Dave Brocks riffing and the bubbling synths are trademark Hawkwind.

The remastering on all tracks is by Ben Wiseman from the Audio Archiving Company who has kept things very much at low volume, which is the antithesis to a lot of mastering these days. The 48 page booklet has lots of archival photographs and detailed text by Ian Abrahams who has written a book about the band. This is a superb compilation and suitably illustrates how surprisingly varied Hawkind sounded during the period covered here.


Blogger alcockrj said...

Sounds good. I am a big fan of 80's Hawkwind. Mamy progheads would disagree but I think they managed to incorporate synthesizers really well during this period as well as writing great songs.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Barrie Sillars said...

The Charisma period is what I have fond memories of. Although "Hall of the Mountain Grill" was I think the 2nd LP I ever bought. Most people think of them for the UA days, but going by this box set they did a lot of interesting stuff later on. I am hoping to get the other box set soon to see what they got up to in the 90's!

8:47 AM  
Blogger alcockrj said...

Hawkwind were very good in the early 90's. I recommend Electric Teeppee and Palace Springs. I'm also quite keen on the 1990 Live in Nottingham.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Barrie Sillars said...

Thanks Rob. I am looking forward to getting the 2nd box set!

11:41 AM  

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