Hawkwind - Live Seventy Nine
Hawkwind's second live album is a pale shadow of the epic 'Space Ritual' due to its lack of depth and material overall but there is nothing wrong with this album, that really cements the band's reputation as live treasures. This one features some of their greatest works such as the fantastic energetic opener, 'Shot Down in the Night' that became a single for the group.
It is followed by equally great 'Motorway City' and the live favourite 'Spirit of the Age' from their recent at the time 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm', though this could have been replaced by the brilliant 'Orgone Accumulator' that only seems to appear on 'Space Ritual' in live format for some unearthly reason.
'Brainstorm' is always welcome and this version rocks hard for about 9 minutes. Brock sounds dynamic and it is the band at their heaviest. The lead break is perhaps better than on 'Space Ritual' focusing more on rock than psychedelic overtones. There is an improvised section with some pounding drums, electronica and experimental guitar sonics making this a sheer delight.
'Lighthouse' is a nice diversion from all the heaviness and only appears on this album as it was a composition by Tim Blake. The band are in excellent form here with Dave Brock sounding raw but vibrant on vocals and guitars, with some synth thrown in. He speaks to the crowd occasionally such as before the ridiculously short 'Silver Machine' Requiem that cuts off badly. Harvey Bainbridge's bass and Huw Lloyd-Langton's guitars are always great to listen to. Tim Blake is on keyboards, and Simon King is terrific on drums.
'Master of the Universe' is a faster version that goes by too fast for my tastes but it is still fantastic to hear. The only low point is that 'Silver Machine' seems tacked on rather than included as the indispensable classic that it is.
Overall this is a solid live release and kicked off the 80s in fine form for Hawkwind. As with many Hawkwind albums this one appears in different formats with different track listing; the vinyl being different than the CD, but in this case it does not seem to detract from the overall enjoyment of the concert.
Live, released in 1980
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Shot Down in the Night (7:38)
2. Motorway City (8:09)
3. Spirit of the Age (8:19)
4. Brainstorm (8:41)
5. Lighthouse (6:25)
6. Master of the Universe (4:33)
7. Silver Machine (Requiem) (1:23)
Total Time: 45:14
Line-up / Musicians - Dave Brock / vocal, guitar, synthesizer
- Harvey Bainbridge / bass, vocal
- Huw Lloyd-Langton / guitar, vocal
- Tim Blake / keyboards, synthesizer, vocal
- Simon King / drums