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Hawkwind - Dreamworkers Of Time – The BBC Recordings 1985-1995

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 12 / 4 / 2022

Hawkwind - Dreamworkers Of Time – The BBC Recordings 1985-1995
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Julie Cruickshank examines a fabulous box set containing the BBC recordings of Hawkwind, pioneers of psychedelic rock.

Moving in rock music circles during the late 1980s, Hawkwind was the favourite band of the majority of my friends and acquaintances. They were played at parties, their gigs were major events and each new album was bought, discussed and cherished. Listening to this excellent new compilation, it is easy to understand why. Hawkwind, formed in London in 1969 by Dave Brock, were early trailblazers of heavy psychedelic rock. They are known for having an ever-evolving line-up (including, at one point, Motorhead’s Lemmy), a healthy disregard for convention and following fashion, and a surreal sense of humour. Cherry Red Records have put together a wonderful box set containing their BBC recordings during the 10 years between 1985 and 1995. Disc One features a performance at the BBC Radio One Friday Rock Show; Live at Reading Festival, 24th August 1986. ‘Magnu/ Angels of Death’ (“We’re angels of life, we’re angels of death/We’re born to blaze a nuclear way through space/A way out of the waste that held the human race”) opens the show, with crashing cymbals, pealing guitar and menacing bass, overlaid with swirling keyboards. ‘The Pulsing Cavern’, with its sinister, brooding feel, leads into ‘Assault and Battery’, its synth-heavy intro leading into glorious ringing guitar and pulsing, throbbing bass. ‘Masters of the Universe’, picks up the tempo to an almost punk-like pace (“I am the centre of this universe/The wind of time is blowing through me/And it’s all moving relative to me”). Hawkwind’s lyrics are frequently deep and searching, but their sense of humour will shine through all of a sudden. ’Utopia’ is a spacey bassy psychedelic rocker. ‘Brainstorm’ is notable for its nifty drumming. A highlight is the ‘Silver Machine’, featuring guest vocals from Lemmy. “‘Allo bastards!” he yells to the delighted crowd, then proceeds to growl and croak his way through Hawkwind’s most famous song. Disc Two features BBC Radio One in Concert at London Hammersmith Odeon, 14th May 1988. ‘Utopia’ announces the arrival of Hawkwind with droning keyboards leading to mellifluous guitar. ‘Shot Down in the Night’ rattles along at a tremendous pace, incorporating bell-like guitars and droning bass. ‘Tides’, Wastelands of Sleep’ and ‘Moonglum’ are followed by fan favourite ‘Sonic Attack’, its spoken, half tongue-in-cheek lyrics warning: “You may be subject to hysterical fits of shouting or even laughter/These are signs of imminent sonic destruction/Do not panic/Do not panic” The terrific, bass-heavy ‘Brainstorm’ ends with a reminder for fans to check out some of the many free festivals that Hawkwind would ‘turn up’ to. Stalwarts of the free festival scene, the band’s support was crucial to the later success of the Glastonbury Festival. BBC Sessions from 1985 to 1995 make up the third disc. This includes a Friday Rock Show session. Dave Brock, on synthesiser, guitar and vocals, is joined by Huw Lloyd Langton on lead guitar and vocals; Alan Davey on bass and vocals; Harvey Bainbridge on keyboards and vocals; and drummer Danny Thompson. It opens with ‘Assault of the Hawk’ which shimmers. ‘They’ve Got Your Number’ is a comment on privacy. The dreamlike trance of classic ‘Dreamworker of Time’ is followed by the strident, punky ‘The Right to Decide’ (“You can’t do this, you can’t do that/You can’t go forward and you can’t go back”). Final track ‘The Dream Goes On’ is classic Hawkwind territory, a rousing, crashing finale to a highly enjoyable set of songs.

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Hawkwind - Dreamworkers Of Time – The BBC Recordings 1985-1995

Hawkwind - Dreamworkers Of Time – The BBC Recordings 1985-1995

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