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Hawkwind - Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.45 | 176 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Everyone knows that the Hawks can be hit and miss. Buying a Hawkwind album without having heard it first can be a risky business! ASAM is the first of three albums fronted by singer/poet Robert Calvert. For many this is where Hawkwind lost the plot and their true spirit. I disagree, belieiving that Lemmy was far better placed in the excellent Motorhead, and that being sacked from HW was the best thing that happened to him. He probably agrees. ASAM sees Hawkwind take their playing and songwriting seriously for a whole album, and not just part of it. Rober Calvert, by all accounts, ran a boot camp in the studio, banning cannabis from all recording sessions, much to the fury of the other band members. But, the result was that ASAM and the three albums that followed it were relativly well produecd, and well performed. There are inevitable low points but nothing as bad as the worst off 'Warrior on the edge of time' (Dying seas - for example!)

The opening track on ASAM is 'Reefer madness' boasting a great rif, great energy and a psychedelic jazzy interlude in which Calverts tells us of how one of his fingers fell from his hand, raided his piggy bank and stole his stash!! Its sending up the anti pot propoganda of the 1940's and 1950's while at the same time doesn't exactly sing the praises of the weed. Reflective perhaps of Calverts stance on drugs being inhibitive to creativity, and not an aid to it as Hawkwind had long testified. 'Steppenwolf' follows, and this in a real Hawkwind classic. Long and conceptual, moody, dark, paranoid with great organ work and a memorable guitar riff. ASAM is well produced and has a great, positive and quite polished feel. It may not sound like the Hawkwind fans had grown to love, but should be appraised for what it is; a creative and successful departure from the years of badly produced confusing noise (mostly) The Calvert era allowed Hawkwind to take a breather before the Dave Brock fronted band returned refreshed at the beginning of the 80's. In which time they reached out to the punks and the new- wavers without betraying their roots, IMHO. If you can get hold of this album, you'll probably have to pay a lot of money for it, as its deleted. On auction sites, albums from this era are going for over $100!!

Blacksword | 4/5 |


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