Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Spaced Out Friends & Relations

The Friends and Relations series put out by Flicknife Records in the early eighties were eventually clipped down to one album: The Best of Hawkwind, Friends and Relations, put out on CD by Cherry Red Records.

Unfortunately, probably due to lack of space and time, I felt they omitted some of the best tracks; and a couple of those tracks appear on this 1982 release: the first in the series.

Side one of the vinyl release is made up of the typical repackaging that Dave Brock came to specialise in.
Familiar tracks, but new versions; and these three tracks are all live recordings, with the version of 'Robot' sung by Bob Calvert, from the excellent PXR5 album, being the outstanding track.
A real blinder, reflecting Hawkwind’s most creative period and without doubt the band’s best sound; both live and in the studio (Astounding Sounds & Quark, Strangeness and Charm also came out of this time), proving that they were one of the most vital and greatest creative forces of that decade.

I remember hearing Gibby Haynes once in interview saying that the Butthole Surfers really wanted to be ‘the new Hawkwind’; but then so did Gaye Bykers on Acid.

The second side is really what makes this release worth listening to.
Made-up of various recordings from Hawkwind related projects; an eclectic group of tunes are brought together, reflecting the diversity of influences that made Hawkwind such an interesting band.

The standout track from this group is definitely the Michael Moorcock, Pete Pavli penned tune: ‘Good Girl, Bad Girl’, performed by Moorcock’s Deep Fix. A band that existed in reality enough to produce one album (New World’s Fair); but existed more substantially in Moorcock’s fiction, fronted by the sci-fi hero Jerry Cornelius.

‘Good Girl, Bad Girl’ has a reserved dirge-like guitar-led tune that accompanies Moorcock’s strained and vulnerable almost falsetto vocal delivery, making for a curious but highly listenable to song.

This may be the only place this track exists, as it was not part of New World’s Fair, and was not included on the Best of album.
A peculiar omission in my opinion.

The other bad omission on the Best of album was Inner City Unit’s ‘Human Beings’. A wonderful percussive piece of musical primitivism that urges you to join in, like the best of football chants: ‘here we are, here we are, here we are, here we are…’
You’ll soon pick it up.

The album ends with another Deep Fix tune, but rather than the expected space-rock, the listener is confronted with a wonderful piece of electronica.
(I remember hearing this back in 82 and being totally freaked by its peculiar pattern and minimal quality; a good few years ahead of its time, I think.)

It’s a tune that seems endless; a loop that is both compelling and ingenious; and the ever so long fade reiterates its infinite desire.
Like space itself, it seems endless, only the lack of volume and plastic brings it to an end; but once heard its existence is assured, as it virally infiltrates and possesses the mind of all beholders.

Prepare to be possessed.

Various Artists - Hawkwind, Friends and Relations (1982)

Who's Gonna Win the War - Hawklords (Live 1978)
Golden Void - Sonic Assassins (Live 1977)
Robot - Hawkwind (Live 1977)
Raj Neesh - Inner City Unit (1982)
Good Girl, Bad Girl - Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix (1982)
Valium Ten - Hawkwind (1977)
Human Beings - Inner City Unit (1982)
Time Centre - Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix (1982)

Quality vinyl rip @320kbs
Blast off into outer space here


Anonymous said...

Thank you, i don't know what the world needs, but surely this!

Anonymous said...

I second the thanks!

newelectricmuse said...

Sure I used to have this - wonder where it went? Looking forward to hearing it again.

Josh said...

Sweet. I am super excited about this one Roy.

Chris said...

Fantastic ! Any Hawkwind is allways appreciated ! Another great upload,thanks for this !

Anonymous said...

strangely i was playing this lovely record only last night,ah i thought,lost in time.cheers

roy rocket said...

Great to see so much interest in the ol' fellas.
Timeless. Bloody timeless!
Hope y'all enjoy...
Shanti, roy

Jude said...

HO-LEEE SHIT! thank you!

Any chance you post the follow up HF&R '83 release "Twice Upon A Time"??

roy rocket said...

Unfortunately, no can do as that was lost in time.
But maybe someone else could.
Is there anybody out there...
Shanti, roy

Anonymous said...

2 interesting anthologies out now on atomhenge- spirit of the age 76 to 84,covering calvert and moorcock stuff and the dream goes on 85 to 97 double cds .great blog mr rocket if the music wasnt enoough youve got a tasty way with words,cheers again

roy rocket said...

Thanks for heads up on new anthologies; I'll certainly check them out.
Shanti, roy

cuddlefish said...

Thanks so much for this upload. It brings back some great memories...


devotionalhooligan said...

nice to re/visit.cheers mate.x

nickjorg said...

Our goofball college cover band used to do "Raj Neesh" to the amusement of all concerned -- substituted a MicroMoog solo for Nik's sax. All we were missing were buckets for our heads. Thanks!

roy rocket said...

Nice story!
Y'r welcome.

Anonymous said...

Raj Neesh was the killer track on this album for me. ICU mayhem at its best, but Human Beings is great too.

Agree completely about Robot btw. Nice site.


roy rocket said...

Thanks. roy