YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #75 UK
SINGLES: Hurry on Sundown
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not over here.
LINEUP: Dave Brock, Nik Turner, Huw Lloyd-Langton, John Harrison, Terry Ollis, Dik Mik (aka Michael Davies)
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The pioneers of “Space Rock” (basically prog with psychedelic flourishes) release their debut with a more folky feel than where’d they’d wind up, but it’s still space rock for the most part.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The name Hawkwind brings to mind psychedelics, long meandering songs, and 70’s craziness. Well, they were mostly like that from the get-go, as this debut shows.
Starting off with a basic folk rock song (“Hurry on Sundown”), the band then devotes most of the album to a suite of ‘space rock’, utilizing electronics from Dik Mik (Michael Davies) to add color and texture. The suite is broken up into individual ‘tracks’, as it covered both sides of the album until the final track “Mirror of Illusion”.
It’s an audacious piece, experimental, and never boring – though parts of it seem like weirdness for weirdness’ sake instead of a cohesive musical statement. Still, for the UK hippies in 1970, this was manna from heaven.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They were originally called Group X, and then Hawkwind Zoo
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with some early demos with their original guitarist Mick Slattery
GRADE: B+: The suite’s got some really great stuff (like “Be Yourself”), but some things are just too out there – except for the most deranged and adventurous.