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Hawkwind - This is Hawkwind - Do Not Panic CD (album) cover

THIS IS HAWKWIND - DO NOT PANIC

Hawkwind

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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3 stars Hawkwinds' live albums I have found are always of varying degrees of recording quality, this is one of the better ones. Some would question Hawinds inclusion in a Prog rock reveiw site, I think the material on this disc more than proves that they can appeal to a 'Progressive' audience, even if paradoxically some of these songs (Psy Power) are not unlike punk! Hard, driving, sometimes heavy for its era, rock music with Hawkwinds signature swooshing and bleeping keyboards and synths present albeit taking a back seat here. Not vertically complex, sometimes only a couple of chords or motifs repeated hypnotically but horizontally complex in the way the music morphs and changes over periods of time, especially the amazing Levitation. A dynamic album.
Report this review (#25559)
Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars i brought ,this when it first came out on vinyl,i thought it was great ,just started listening to it again after so many years .i now think this recording by the hawkies, is brillant,i have the original cover too much better looking ,than the one listed,my vinyl is in mint condition. The music is totally acid rock ,space rock that only hawkwind can produce,levitation,psy power,angels of death.Turn it on ,lights out and listen and drift,you are now in hawkies world,the recording quality is faultless,very clear.10 out of 10 ,this is a great album a very good starting point for people wanting to explore hawkwind.
Report this review (#25560)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is not one of Hawkwind's better live albums. The first seven tracks are okay and Space Chase is the stand out track, sound quality is reasonable. Unfortunately, tracks 8 & 9, Stonehenge Decoded and Watching the Grass Grow are very badly recorded and should not have been included on this album. Tracks 8 & 9 sound like they were recorded with a cassette recorder, in a word dreadful.
Report this review (#77989)
Posted Saturday, May 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
semismart
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Never heard of Hawkwind? I'm not surprised, they're not exactly a household name but since you have never heard of them you may find this surprising - over one hundred Hawkwind albums have been released since 1970. That's right, almost three albums a year. True many of them are live bootlegs box compilations and EPs but still, I don't think even the most prolific artist out there has come close to that. Hawkwind is a Space Rock or Experimental Rock band from England.

Obviously there is a lot of history behind this band, which one could probably write a book about but here's the condensed version. Hawkwind was formed in the late '60s by Dave Brock (Singer/Songwriter), Mick Slattery (Guitar) and Nik Turner (Sax/Flute/Singer). Brock was the leader and glue of the band and managed to keep the band afloat through forty personnel changes over 35 years.

Their sound has continued to evolve and morph over the years. Starting with a semi-jazz feel in "Hawkwind," followed by experimental acoustic sounds of early releases - "In Search of Space." They adopted more of a metal sound in the late 70's, a contemporary electronic feeling on "Electric Teepee." They went on to virtually invent a new sub-genre of Progressive rock called psychedelic space-rock, featuring the use of the versatile new instrument - the synthesizer. Their creativity seemed to reach their acme with the use of the synths to augment their acid-space rock expressions.

Hawkwind

Stonehenge - This is Hawkwind Do Not Panic is a live album that was recorded in two locations. The first seven were recorded in Lewisham Odeon theater in London in 1980 and the last two in Stonehenge in 1984. The album was subsequently released in 1984. The music of this album is a curious mix of straight rock, almost sounding like a garage rock (Psi Power)on some tracks and progressive rock sometimes spacy rock ("Angels of Death" & "Shot Down in the Night")on others

CONCLUSION The more you listen to Hawkwind the more it grows on you. While there's nothing on this particular album that I couldn't go on without hearing again, as a whole it is an interesting if not impressive listen and like I said the more you hear it... Overall, for a live album, the production, while not great, is more than acceptable.

If you are interested and have not heard Space Rock with all it's attendant psychedelic nuances, this may be a good place to start. Final Rating - high 3 stars.

Report this review (#112636)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without question one of the finest Hawkwind live recordings and as the tile implies DO NOT PANIC!

Only about 20 % of the music you will hear on this disc was actually recorded at the mystic prehistoric Stonehenge monoliths located in Wiltshire County in the southern part of England. Now Hawkwing aren`t quite as strange as the monoliths themselves but are certainly one of the strangest rock bands to ever to have their music etched into vinyl.

The version I`ll be using for this short review is the original Nov `84 Flicknife Records vinyl release which came with a different cover than the one pictured here, a cool poster and a 7" 45 RPM single which contained the only two tracks featured on this package actually recorded at Stonehenge ( Stonehenge Decoded and Watching The Grass Grow ). The only reason you would think of for using the whole Stonehenge theme for this release is that was cooler to print " Do Not Panic Hawkwind Live At Stonehenge" than, "Do Not Panic Hawkwind Live At Lewisham Odeon, London" where the bulk of the tracks here were recorded on Dec.18, 1980 as part of the Levitation tour. In other words, a marketing scheme. But there might be another motive......

Both the long-time Hawkfan and those new to the band will glean much from this album and I`ll place more focus on the first London tracks and move on to the two Stonehenge pieces which are equally signifigant here ( after all, they couldn`t very well call the album a live at Stonehenge record if there weren`t any tracks actually recorded at Stonehenge! That would really duping the fans).

After a stormy late seventies period which was plagued with legal squables, personel changes, stylistic deviation ( into punk territory eeek!) and even a name change Hawkwind were back on track with an album entitled Levitation. The album featured consant Commander Dave Brock on guitars, vocals and synths and new members, Ginger Baker on drums ( the ex-Cream guy ), Tim Blake ( ex-Gong ) on synths and the return of an original member Hugh Lloyd-Langton on second guitar along with Harvey Bainbridge on bass. The result was a heavier edged sound which evoked Hawkwind`s days of the earlier half of the seventies. The live tracks heard here reflect a band which had fine tuned itself after a mediocre live album which was recorded earlier in `79 entitled "Live `79". So if you have heard "Live `79" and were not too impressed strap yourself into the ejection seat for this creature. Only one personel change occured on this particular recording with Tim Blake being replaced by Kieth Hale ( ex-Nothingeverhappens ) mid-way through the tour but whose approach to electronic keyboards was very similar.

The live acoustics at the Lewisham Odeon venue afforded a very spacious and pulsating sound for Hawkwind here. You never know which Hawkwind is going to show up for a gig. The "wow man" Hawkwind or the " what the freak was that?" Hawkwind. This was the definitely the former!

We get to hear a heavier classic ( Angels Of Death ) as well as several tracks from the Levitation album . A killer faster version of PSI Power from the `78 25 Years On LP is played here too during which time they had to change their name to Hawklords while legal issues were being sorted out. It is listed here as PSY Power for those very legal reasons, the inclusion of which is revealing of how suprising a Hawkwind show can be, and how suprising Hawkwind as a band can be period. Perhaps the real gem here though, is Shot Down In The Night where they really jam it out with the double guitars are used to great effect an offer contrasts between Lloyd Langton and Commander Brock`s riffing.

This is also a record for older Hawkfans to play detect the anomolies game on some tracks. In much the same ways that Trekkies can identify idioms from particular Star Trek episodes Hawkfans can do the same with Hawkwind's music. I managed to find snippets and introplations here and there. I`ll only give away a couple of the more obvious ones. For example, a good minute and half of Psychosis turns up well as an instrumental section from the haunting Seven Seconds Of Forever which blew so many young space hippies completely away on their 1972 magnus opus " Space Ritual" LP. Plus a few more suprises that you`ll have to detect yourself. Heh heh.

Hawkwind have been criticized ( Commander Brock in particular ) from doing dumb things in the past ncluding stupid business deals ( c`mon he`s a rock star !), many which were beyond his control but perhaps the most notorious one which was his own doing, being the deal he made to have Hawkwind`s " Live `79 " album released in it`s entirety on CD in 1999 without seeking the permission of the musicians involved, management and probably not even his cat in order to settle tax debts. To what extent Dave Brock was involved with naming this superb album Live at Stonehenge ( remember I`m using the original vinyl edition here, the CD title was altered to just say This Is Hawkwind Do Not Panic with Stonehenge written in small lettering) I don`t know for sure but iwhether it was him or managment they should be commended. The two tracks that appear in the package, " Stonehenge Decoded " and " Watching The Grass Grow " ( actually not even really a Hawkwind track !) were recorded on the evening of 20/21st June 1984 in celebration of the summer solice ( could have had something to do with aliens as well ), which drew over 65,000 hippies, lots of cops and numerous other bands who waived their fees for this event, celebration, pilgrimage or whatever you want to call it so many people who couldn`t afford to attend other larger more expensive festivals such as Reading and Glastonbury could come here and trip out. Needless to say, the long haired freaky people didn`t behave that well and climbed up on the stones, smoked too much dope and then the British powers that be shut down the festival in`85 without giving too much notice. Because Hawkwind were the headliners and came on last they didn`t have enough satisfactory material to justify a full length live album ( although many bootleg versions have surfaced of the whole event) that was so appropriate to commemorate this "auspicious" Occasion..

Unused material was discovered sitting in a vault that was up to standard for an official release along with the two ending tracks which are consistent with the 1980 show in London reflect the spirit of this concert that was so special to many people. So ahem that is my theory and what it is of why this album came to be and it sort of disheartens me to hear people criticising the Hawks for selling out here. They could have put out piece of sonic wreckage as they`ve done on more than on occasion ( Bring Me The Head of Yuri Gagarian comes to mind ). Rather what we have here is not only one of the best recordings of Hawkwind in the eighties but one of their best ever which reflects just what Hawkwind is all about not just musically but in concept and spirit. This is definitely one of Hawkwind`s 5 star jewels.

For those diehard vinyl collectors, roughly the first ten thousand copies of the first pressing run of the album ( the one which I own ) like so many Hawkwind albums, came with a poster of the freaked out artwork of the first cover. Worth a few $$$ if you can find one !

Report this review (#225412)
Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Don't let the cover of This Is Hawkwind - Do Not Panic deceive you; only the last two tracks actually hail from Hawkwind's 1984 performance at the Stonehenge Free Festival. The remainder all come from a December 1980 concert at the Lewisham Odeon on the Levitation tour - hence the presence of Ginger Baker on drums. That material is solid, though you only get extracts from the concert here. (Other bits would emerge on the Hawkwind Anthology series and on the Zones collection of odds and sods.) If you are interested in that concert, I'd say you are much better off getting the 3CD expanded rerelease of Levitation, since the two bonus CDs there offer the most complete official release of that gig extant and the remaster reveals the Levitation-era band on top form.

Overall rating: 2 stars for the rather poor Stonehenge recordings, 4 stars for the Lewisham material, so I'd say this comes to 3 stars on average (whereas the nearly-complete version of the Lewisham material on the Levitation reissue would come to, say, 4.5 stars).

Report this review (#1940016)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | Review Permalink

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