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Hawkwind Space Ritual Live - Album Review


Staff member
The eyeball searing album cover screams it out and then prepare yourself to be overwhelmed as you jump on board the Hawkwind Spaceship. Brock, Lemmy, Dettmar, King, Turner backed up by the bizarre space effects of Dik Mik and emblazoned over this is the most surreal poetry of Calvert. This is not music, its an adventure into pyschedelia at its highest level. The album sounds like a proto Motorhead journey into space. The Hawkwind trademark of weird spacey effects from keyboards saturate each track and all blend seamlessly into one another with poetry and spaced out wizardry transporting one into another universe.
We begin the voyage with the gatecrashing rocker 'Born To Go'. It drives relentlessly along with the trademark chug-a-chug rhythm that could only be Hawkwind - an absolute delight.

Every track is perfection on a live stage. Of note is the fabulous 'Down Through The Night' and 'Lord Of Light'. This is followed by 'Space is deep' that is saturated in space effects as is every track. It's absolutely wonderful prog rock, laden with some interesting guitars and vocals.

It gets better with the greatest Hawkwind track 'Orgone Accumulator'. It motors along its 10 minutes length and is mesmirizing with amazing riffing guitars and effects. A wall of sound without remorse. Check out those amazing lyrics sung with echoed downbeat tones by Brock:

"I've got an orgone accumulator, It makes me feel greater, I'll see you sometime later, When I'm through with my accumulator, It's no social integrator, It's a one man isolator, It's a back brain stimulator, It's a cerebral vibrator, Those energy stimulators, Just turn your eyeballs into craters, But an orgone accumulator, Is a superman creator, of Orgones!"

The iconic lyrics are backed by the relentless chunky riffs that are almost hypnotically trance like. This is a masterpiece track and quintessential Hawkwind by any standards.

'10 Seconds Of Forever ' takes us poetically down the maelstrom into 'Brainstorm' - another riff heavy rocker. Then we are inundated by the surrealism of 'Sonic Attack'. Depending on how jaded your sensibilities are will depend on how you take this weird poem, as follows:
"In case of Sonic Attack on your district, follow these rules... Use your wheels, it is what they are for, Small babies may be placed inside the special cocoons and should be left, if possible, in shelters, Do not attempt to use your own limbs If no wheels are available, metal, not organic, limbs should be employed whenever possible... Remember, in the case of Sonic Attack survival does mean every man for himself, Statistically more people survive if they think only of themselves, These are the first signs of Sonic Attack: You will notice small objects, such as ornaments, oscillating, You will notice a vibration in your diaphragm You will hear a distant hissing in your ears, You will feel dizzy, You will feel the need to vomit, There will be bleeding from orifices, There will be an ache in the pelvic region, You may be subject to fits of hysterical shouting, or even laughter, These are all sign of imminent Sonic destruction, Your only protection is flight If you are less than ten years old remain in the shelters and use your cocoon....Do not panic.......... Do not panic..."

I rest my case. The high strangeness is a welcome effect in itself. There are other highlights, 2 versions of the classic 'Master Of The Universe' at varying lengths, and another version of 'Brainstorm' and 'Time We Left This World Today' featuring awesome bass from Lemmy showing his dexterity as a player like you have never heard.

The bonus tracks are excellent, the artwork and booklet are inspiring, and the sound quality is mind blowing. I never tire of it. Brilliant prog classic! A masterpiece in every sense of the word. This is the best thing Hawkwind have done, make no mistake. Its a live extravaganza that grips you and refuses to let go mercilessly.

Live, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1:
1. Earth Calling (Live) (1:46)
2. Born To Go (Live) (9:56)
3. Down Through The Night (Live) (6:16)
4. The Awakening (Live) (1:32)
5. Lord Of The Light (Live) (7:21)
6. Black Corridor (Live) (1:51)
7. Space Is Deep (Live) (8:13)
8. Electronic No 1 (Live) (2:26)

CD 2:
9. Orgone Accumulator (Live) (9:59)
10. Upside Down (Live) (2:43)
11. 10 Seconds Of Forever (Live) (2:05)
12. Brainstorm (Live) (9:20)
13. 7 By 7 (Live) (6:13)
14. Sonic Attack (Live) (2:54)
15. Time We Left This World Today (Live) (5:47)
16. Master Of The Universe (Live) (7:37)
17. Welcome To The Future (Live) (2:03)
18. You Shouldn't Do That (Live) (6:55)
19. Master Of The Universe (7:26)
20. Born To Go (Live) (5:04)

Total Time:
Line-up / Musicians - Dave Brock / vocals, guitars
- Robert Calvert / poetry *
- Del Dettmar / synthesizers
- Dik Mik / audio generator, electronics
- Lemmy Killmister / bass, vocals
- Simon King / drums
- Nik Turner / vocals, sax, flute


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