Sunday, 6 February 2011

It's Time!

I can't believe this album is out of print; changing hands at thirty-five quid for a second hand CD version: ridiculous!
Most of Hawkwind's back catalogue is available at much reduced price; yet this, what has to be one of their finest albums, isn't.

Of all the Hawkwind albums, this has to be the most musically ambitious and progressive - in the genre sense - of their entire discography; and as an album; a singular piece of work; a whole, complete product; it could well be their masterpiece.

And the original vinyl edition cover did this when opened out fully:

And this on the other side:


They did some great things with their covers did Hawkwind; my favourite has to be the blanket sized enormity of the original Space Ritual; man, how we used to pour over those things.

The band were at their peak during this period; and with two drummers and Lemmy as a rhythm section there's some pretty pounding, almost industrial rhythms accompanying many of the tracks.

(Lemmy has stated that he hated this period of working with Hawkwind, with 'fascistic drummers taking over the sound', but has also admitted that Warrior does contain some quite superb cuts.)

In fact, it's quite trancy in places, a little Neu, even; but essentially Warrior is a very heavy album, with long instrumental breaks, allowing the band to really show off their development and their chops.

To bring in Moorcock was a masterstroke.
Dave Brock knew his audience; and he was right, we were all reading Runestaff, Elric, and the brilliant Jerry Cornelius' stories.
Moorcock was the writer of space rock: the absolute literary equivalent of their music.

Poet, Bob Calvert, had become so much a part of the band's identity and sound he was sorely missed (absent: later to rejoin for Astounding Sounds), the poetry added something quite essential to their sound at the time; Moorcock was the perfect replacement, filling Calvert's role admirably; and in places sounding uncannily similar to the original Hawkwind 'Space Poet'.

The poetry nuzzles its way in between the tracks, often acting transitionally between the pieces of music.
Many of the segues on this album are so seamless, and I think so essential to the listening experience I haven't interrupted them; to have done so would would have been criminal; so some tracks are grouped together as single mp3s; but I'm sure you'll agree: many of these pieces run together like suites, and that's how they should be heard.

The album ends with the classic Hawkwind tune: Moorcock and Brock's 'Kings of Speed'; a track that somehow encapsulates all that both the writer and the band stood for during this period.
And it still sounds great.
Ear whizz to add a spring to anyone's step; a great big aural injection of energy: a mainline straight to the psyche.

Hawkwind - Warrior on the Edge of Time (1975)

Assault & Battery Part I
The Golden Void Part II
The Wizard Blew His Horn
The Demented Man
Standing at the Edge
Spiral Galaxy 28948
Dying Seas
Kings of Speed

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Go inner space here


. said...

I can't believe this is out of print either. But then I was amazed to learn it's 1997 already.

Look, Roy - can't you browbeat some other of your mates to leave comments? I feel a little exposed like this ... out here on me ownsome ...

roy rocket said...

Hmm, mates? I'm afraid you find yourself among the lazy, the wasted, the apathetic, the pleb and the illiterate.

Still, it's all about that quantity theory thing, right....

I value your comments greatly; and hey, if nothing else it validates your existence and confirms your experience.
So one should see it as a zen thing.
Om to ya, roy

. said...

If making comments here validates my existence and confirms my experience, then I think it's all worthwhile.

H K Hackenbacker said...

Lazy, wasted, apathetic, plebite and illiterate I may be but... oh I can't be bothered I'm too, lazy, wasted and apathetic!

Cheers for reminding what a great band 'the wind' could be..glad for the mention of 'astounding sounds' still one of my top albums, name me another song that has 'Aubergine' in the title?

I'm getting my white lab coat out of storage!!!

Cheers Roy.

roy rocket said...

Present company accepted, my dear H.

Yeah, we had some fun with the Wind, did we not!?
Love 'Astounding Sounds'; the way 'Aubergine' segues into 'Kerb Crawler', could well be one of the greatest musical juxtapositions of all time, bar The Surfers' transition on 'Stairway' where the hellish sounds turn to the pastoral; O, you know what I mean.
And no can't think of another 'Aubergine' song; not even as a lyric; although, Ween may order a portion in 'Pollo Asado'...?

Anyway, glad you're enjoying the Hawks.
Good ol' Dr Technical on the way; if I can get it together.
From a fellow wastee:
Happy Sunday, roy

Ben from OZ said...

Hey Roy,

Cheers for this, some long-hair stole my vinyl copy many moons ago. Can't wait till next month when the 'WIND storm the shores of Australia.

Ben from OZ

Anonymous said...

Hawk Fans Unite!
Just to let you know the old cd of warrior by Dojo label is awful. It does have Motorhead the B side of kings of speed as an extra but better copies of that can be obtained elsewhere.The whole sorry story is on Starefarers pages somewhere.
Hopefully Atomehenge label might reissue it properly. I recommend their other remasters.
This is definitely a case where Vinyl rules.
Thanks .Love your blog.

Travis said...

You´ve got excellent taste, sir! Thanks for this blog! Just stumbled upon it...:)

roy rocket said...

Have fun!

SpiralArray said...

I totally agree with you roy rocket, this may be their masterpiece. I still have my vinyl copy in great condition.