my fav hawktrax (as at end Nov 1999)

FABLE OF A FAILED RACE
Quark

Also on the Spirit of the Age 1976-78 compilation, this is the track that I closed the Hawkwind circle with, when I left my Tiverton house in 1978 and my York pad in 1981. It just seemed the thing to do. Both times. Only 4 lines in the song but by fuck I got wrecked.

Our legends tell we came from a seed that travelled at a whirlwind speed;
Til it came to rest upon this land that once was green, is now all sand...
That buried us up to our eyes and made us wanderers of the skies -
Til shadowed wings came for our sight and left us to conspire with night...

Yes, 1977: and Bristol Hippodrome, and my first back-stage foray... and I should have been saying hi to Dave and Bob and the rest - but instead I got mesmerised by this woman in the dressing room with whopping big tits and wearing a string-mesh dress and toking on a spliff packed full of grass. Sod Dave when there's knockers like that around....

POPULATION OVERLOAD
Distant Horizons

Ambience and raunchy bits all in one track and Brock keyboard in places that reminds me of that reggae type break in Damnation Alley that first blew me away when acid-tripping at Treworgy Festival (1989) when I watched them on 'Stage 2'. And the next night I checked them out again, in the so-called Travellers' Field. Much to my surprise, they redid the previous night's set, rather than hang loose and improvise. But Damnation Alley was soooooo good...

WE DO IT - Anthology 1967-1982

Embryonic, grungy, muffled vox, spacey, what more can you want for a 'being there' experience as Hawkwind try out an embryonic version of "Seeing it as you Really Are".

Well you could want wailing sax over grinding rhythm section, splashing cymbals and chunky Brock riffs: and this track (12.i) provides all of this in ample proportions. Drifty spacey bits, drones and drum rolls too... seriously good shit from the hawklords at their festivally best... and, unlike Weird Tapes W103, the drifty bit thankfully doesn't slice into 'Slap it on de Table'. Instead, it meanders into a segue with 'Brainstorm' ... which promply fades out - oh, well...

WIND OF CHANGE

I'll never forget the 1976 live visuals where a tree sedately grew as the music swelled, and was gradually swamped by a city - before the city eventually crumbled and the solitary tree was then left, still standing...

Hawkwind generally did this one as part of the encore in 76/77. The closing track on the Central TV video takes me back, but it's not really the same without those tree+city visuals...

BRAINSTORM - Space Ritual Vol 2

The volume 2 version if only because it's got the bits they cut out out of the original S.R. - and the buggers cut the best bit out, too. Otherwise it's the same Brixton 1972 cut. Or is it the Liverpool one? Anyway, whatever. Same track but no cut.

Probably my overall ultimate favourite track at gigs, Dave once told me that the chant is "Is he dead; where's his head?" and I often wonder where my head is, after hearing them do Brainstorm.

If anyone knows of any Brock tone-bending intensity that betters Brainstorm on Vol 2 then please let me know...


TIME WE LEFT - Palace Springs

Mainly for the intro, which is separate to the rest of the track. Why the hell the track is split into two on this album I cannot understand, but there you go.

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

The In Search of Space version is seriously spacey stuff, georgous to mellow out to with a smoke and with a mix seldom bettered in Hawkwind's 30 years at the game. The separation and blending of the guitars is sublime.

The Greasy Truckers Party version is my next fav version - now also on the Space Ritual CD as the first bonus track (track 7 disk 2) - yippee! I like most other versions, though...

HASSAN I SAHBA - Love in Space
In '76 we called it the hashish song because no-one knew what it was called. And even Hawkwind can't make their minds up - first Hassan and now Assassins of Allah.

The version on the Love in Space album/video has gotta to be the best for me, cos of the ambient swirly bits and especially the long long build-up. I love a good HW intro.

HONKY DORKY - 1976 B side
Someone (hi Martin) once told me they're singing "Can't add the numbers, can't add 'em up..." on this instrumental extract from Reefer Madness.

I gather the numbers thing ('totting') was supposed to be the test American cops did to see if you're shit-faced or not. Heyyyy boah, can yew add 26 and 47...? Soon Blair's techno-police are bringing in forehead wipes instead. So avoid sweating when yer pulled, okay?

BLUE SKIN - Love in Space
If someone had told me back in 76 that I'd one day get off on a Hawkwind track about blue-inked clicking ball-point biros, I wouldn't have believed them! Funny ol' world, innit?