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Hawkwind - Live Seventy Nine CD (album) cover



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5 stars Fantastically energetic, often with a new-wave edge (Brainstorm!) offset perfectly by Tim Blake' space-synths. This is one of the all-round best Hawkwind albums and not too hard to get hold of cheaply on CD.

As mentioned by another reviewer, there is a 'complete 79' around - I don't own it but have heard it and 1.the mix didn't seem nearly as good to me 2. some tracks seemed to be different versions.

Unless someone can flag up that I'm wrong about the Complete 79, get this original, turn the lights down and the speakers up...

Report this review (#25510)
Posted Sunday, January 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent live album that endeared Hawkwind to a younger generation of rock fans; it came out along side the NWOBHM. Very powerful performances with a twin guitar assult on most tracks. It also features Tim Blake's solo piece 'Lighthouse.' I haven't heard the expanded version, but you cannot go wrong with the original.
Report this review (#25511)
Posted Monday, January 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best! When you really want to picture these bursting amps on stage; just listen to "Shot down in the night" on headphones. And those sequencer sounds... nowadays there is a whole new vst- market for those everlasting synth-sounds. Real good producers craftmanship
Report this review (#25514)
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Thanks God for put this LP on my way! The classical 70's Hawkind sound (prog - psychedelic - almost - metal) runs through every piece of this album. Fantastic space synths by Tim Blake and great guitar work by Brock and Lloyd-Langton. A masterpiece of the late 70's psychedelic-prog with an impressive and powerful opening ("Shot down the night") and a very heavy live version of "Master of the Universe". I really think that Hawkwind is one of the great bands of the prog history and this album is a great example to mark my words.
Report this review (#39861)
Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This live album has of course little to do with "Space Ritual".

This one is seriously hard-rock or even metal oriented. But several years separates those two and the tendency of the early eighties is drastically different than in 1973.

Still the band is mixing their early days period ("Brainstorm", "Master Of The Universe") with their most recent one ("Motorway City"). This also shows that even during their early days, energy did mean something to the band.

The version of "Brainstorm" available here is totally disjointed and of an extreme violence. Guitars are devastating and after such a track the audience must have been pretty knocked down. Fabulous work as well from the rhythmic section. This is wiiiiild rock music, my prog friends.

Some aerial moment is needed to cool down a little bit, and "Lighthouse" fully does the job. It doesn't come from the "Hawkwind" repertoire but from a solo work from Tim Blake ("Blake's New Jerusalem").

Another crazy version of "Master Of The Universe" is rather energetic as well. While "Space Ritual" was more "trip" oriented, this "Live Seventy-Nine" is definitely a great moment of highly paced rock music. It all started with the punkish "Shot Down In The Night".

Three stars for this short live album which could wake up the deadliest ones.

Report this review (#165891)
Posted Sunday, April 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hawkwind - Live Seventy Nine (1980)

Hawkwind is band that should be listened to when playing live. The band also knew this and there are several live albums from throughout their long career. Hawkwind plays space rock/metal/punk with lot's electronic equipment. There isn't much great songwriting, but the sound is great and the atmospheres are a blessing.

L79 isn't one of the important live albums. It's short and it has some poor vocals and some weaker tracks. Spirit of the Age is a weak track of the band and I can't understand why this song has to played like on several live albums. The instrumentation of the band is however still good and it's good to hear Hawkwind as a five-man setting. Throughout the album one can hear the punk influences in the music, whilst the progressive leanings of the early and mid-seventies are almost gone. Still this is pure space-rock that would attract many lovers of the symphonic genre.

Conclusion. Not my favorite Hawkwind live album at all, but still good. Three stars. First try Space Ritual, Love in Space or The Business Trip.

Report this review (#308047)
Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Hawkwind's second live album is a pale shadow of the epic 'Space Ritual' due to its lack of depth and material overall but there is nothing wrong with this album, that really cements the band's reputation as live treasures. This one features some of their greatest works such as the fantastic energetic opener, 'Shot Down in the Night' that became a single for the group.

It is followed by equally great 'Motorway City' and the live favourite 'Spirit of the Age' from their recent at the time 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm', though this could have been replaced by the brilliant 'Orgone Accumulator' that only seems to appear on 'Space Ritual' in live format for some unearthly reason.

'Brainstorm' is always welcome and this version rocks hard for about 9 minutes. Brock sounds dynamic and it is the band at their heaviest. The lead break is perhaps better than on 'Space Ritual' focusing more on rock than psychedelic overtones. There is an improvised section with some pounding drums, electronica and experimental guitar sonics making this a sheer delight.

'Lighthouse' is a nice diversion from all the heaviness and only appears on this album as it was a composition by Tim Blake. The band are in excellent form here with Dave Brock sounding raw but vibrant on vocals and guitars, with some synth thrown in. He speaks to the crowd occasionally such as before the ridiculously short 'Silver Machine' Requiem that cuts off badly. Harvey Bainbridge's bass and Huw Lloyd-Langton's guitars are always great to listen to. Tim Blake is on keyboards, and Simon King is terrific on drums.

'Master of the Universe' is a faster version that goes by too fast for my tastes but it is still fantastic to hear. The only low point is that 'Silver Machine' seems tacked on rather than included as the indispensable classic that it is.

Overall this is a solid live release and kicked off the 80s in fine form for Hawkwind. As with many Hawkwind albums this one appears in different formats with different track listing; the vinyl being different than the CD, but in this case it does not seem to detract from the overall enjoyment of the concert.

Report this review (#646456)
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was my introduction to Hawkwind. All I knew of them previously was the repeated references in the Michael Moorcock books I devoured. Having since heard every album Hawkwind released before this one, and some of what came after (including their most recent releases), I can say that I don't think they ever sounded better than they did here.

Make no mistake, this isn't the Hawkwind of the legendary early '70s. Dave Brock and Simon King are the only survivors here of the Space Ritual era. Huw Lloyd-Langton returns, not having been seen since Hawkwind's debut album. Harvey Bainbridge continues on from the short-lived Hawklords, and Tim Blake fills the synth chair for the band for the first time.

The result is a glorious, raucous blast of energy, presented excellently by an intricate mixing job which does much to disguise the problems of Dave Brock's guitar performance and which adds interest to those moments when the churning would otherwise become monotonous.

The album opens with a Steve Swindells-penned number from the Hawklords rehearsals, Shot Down In The Night. (This album was the first time I heard of Steve Swindells, and it led me to discover his wonderful Fresh Blood album.) Tim Blake provides the bubbling synth swooshes and everything kicks solidly into gear. I can't listen to this one without bobbing my head.

The energy drops a little for the introduction to Motorway City, all slow-release synth chords and tinkling guitar before Dave Brock funks it up with a phased rhythm guitar riff which I think is my favourite of all the parts I've heard him play. A simple song but deadly effective.

Spirit Of The Age, which follows, is a variation on the version which Calvert intoned at previous Hawkwind concerts. I prefer this one, even if it does sound as though Dave Brock forgets the words halfway through and segues awkwardly into a different piece. The track follows the general pattern of side 1 (yes, I bought this album on vinyl): Tim Blake's synths introduce the song, then there's the song, then the jam, then the song ends.

Side 2 breaks that pattern in favour of opening with the full-frontal guitar attack of Brainstorm. As with Spirit of the Age, this is not the same as the Nik Turner original. Having since heard Nik Turner perform the original when he fronted Hawkwind, I prefer this version.

The energy drops down again for Tim Blake's synth intro to his own song, Lighthouse, from his album Blake's New Jerusalem. (This album was also my introduction to Tim Blake, whose work I fell in love with on Live Seventy Nine.) The version here is bolstered by a solid Hawkwind jam.

Then it's back to high-energy guitar with Master of the Universe. I suspect the highly-effective pre-echo on Dave Brock's vocal might have been added while mixing the album - it seems to me to be something which would have been difficult-to-impossible to pull off onstage in 1979. Either way, a good time is had by all.

My one disappointment when I first heard the album was Silver Machine. The song had achieved legendary status by the time I first heard it on this album, where it cuts off before the first chorus, reportedly due to Dave Brock having grown tired of performing the song. Disappointing - but then, how many other albums end in an explosion mid-song?

This album never fails to lift my spirits, and I believe that the imperfections of it are part of that charm. Hawkwind have never sounded this good to my ears, before or since; and what the album lacks in elaborate structures, it more than makes up for with its abundant energy, its solid musicianship (Dave Brock being the only one of the crew whose performance I could wish to improve), and one of the cleverer mixing jobs I've heard. My first taste of Hawkwind, and still my favourite. Alongside it, I find the rest of the Hawkwind oeuvre a disappointment.

Report this review (#905993)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a stint on Charisma Records where, with Robert Calvert fronting, Hawkwind developed the more ornate side of their sound for a time, Live Seventy Nine found them issuing a roaring return to the proto-metal aspects of their sound which had been such a feature of their United Artists years. As well as being a timely move in terms of current trends - the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was hitting at right about this time - it was also a creative breath of fresh air for the group, which allowed them to turn in the magnificent Levitation as their next studio album.

Including a well-chosen set of old classics (Brainstorm, a bit of Silver Machine before the titular machine explodes, and more recent tracks like Spirit of the Age) and new material (Shot Down In the Night was the big single from this release, and Levitation's Motorway City gets an early preview here), the album also includes a rare live performance of Lighthouse, a piece from Tim Blake's Crystal Machine solo album - for Gong veteran Blake had hopped aboard the Starship Hawkwind for this release.

Buyer beware: the release known under various names including Complete '79, which purports to be a complete recording of this concert, is not to be trusted. Yes, it is the full concert... but the sound quality is absolutely dire and is apparently sourced from an audience recording, and can only disappoint next to the sound of this release. The Atomhenge reissue includes as a bonus track Urban Guerilla from the same set, so if you must have more, you can tack that on, but that's it as far as recordings from this gig with acceptable sound quality goes. This does mean this live album is a little short compared with more epic releases from earlier and later in Hawkwind's career, but what it lacks in mass it makes up for in substance.

Report this review (#1941025)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2018 | Review Permalink

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