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Hawkwind - Quark, Strangeness And Charm CD (album) cover

QUARK, STRANGENESS AND CHARM

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 215 ratings

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andy
5 stars Ironic really. Pre-Calvert, Hawkwind's albums were all intensely embedded in their era, albeit slightly behind the times once you get to Warrior on the Edge but even so, that was pretty post-hippy (Everyone was impressed with the fold-out sleeve: even Floyd fans.) Then, after the brief interlude of compilations and astounding sounds, comes Quark S & C. And with Spirit of the Age, it manages to achieve a timelessness that Brock, Turner et al could never have managed without Calvert.

Spirit of the Age, for example, is mostly about the anonymity and clinical inhumanity of cloning and generally mucking about with natural processes. You'd think of that as a 90s theme, at the very least. Meanwhile Hassan I sabha isn't just some doped out hippy's musing on an Arab Theme, Calvert had contacts among radical Muslims who were predicting a holy war with the West and Anglo-American Imperialism. Yes, that's right, he'd picked up on that theme in the late 70's, twenty odd years before it would shake the world. Calvert was, of course, off his tiny little rocker most of the time. He picked up on the more outlandish, extreme notions of his time. Life on Earth was seeded from outer space. Life would soon be cloned. Assassins of Allah would be fighting over petro-dollars.

Where did he get these ideas? Well he stole them for the most part. But he brought them to the surface and the vehicle of Hawkwind was perfect for doing so.

There are still some who adhere to the notion that this album was somehow influenced by Punk. Strange then, that everyone of us buying it at the time were buying it precisely because it was NOT punk (nor anything like it). It had depth, musical ability, and a level of sophistication and intelligence.

QSC is a unique album. The result of a sophisticated musical heritage (coming out of 60's trance) and a deeply flawed but genuinely original genius. It is not to everyone's taste, but the dark, stark view of the world that was penned by Robert Calvert was very effectively animated by the musical abilities of Brock, House, King and Shaw. It achieves genius status because the music so perfectly has the edgy, off-key, slightly scaring tone that are demanded by the lyrics.

By the way, d'you know the names of any other sub-atomic particles?

| 5/5 |

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