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Hawkwind - The 1999 Party CD (album) cover



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4 stars If you like Space Ritual then this is seriously worth checking out. Recorded on the US tour 18 months after the Sp Ritual tour, this has got an excellent (and long) version of Brainbox Pollution and, as you can see from the track listing, the set also heavily previewed the Mountain Grill album (1974). The sound quality isn't quite as good as Sp Rit, but only HiFi buffs are gonna whinge.
Report this review (#25696)
Posted Sunday, February 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Don't be fooled its misleading title, this is Hawkwind live 1974. Sometimes cited as a companion album to Space Ritual and as a worthy addition to your expanding Hawkwind universe.

A first thing I noted was that the tracklist isn't all that different from SR. At that time Hawkwind didn't have 25 albums of material to make up a set from. On top of to the known tracks from SR, there are some singles and some material from Hall of the Mountain Grill. But they fail to convey the subtle atmospheres from that record. For once, a Hawkwind live fails to live up to a studio album.

Brainbox Solution never was much of an interesting tune and nor is this live version. It is scanty rockabilly and doesn't seem to inspire the musicians very much. Maybe this type of song would work in a tight Motorhead jacket, but it doesn't in Hawkwind's elaborated tapestries. I could repeat exactly the same for It's So Easy. This groove is too pedestrian to serve as the basis of an 11 minute jam. The ending isn't bad though.

You Know You're Only Dreaming is a first highlight. This song from ISOS just screamed for some thick mellotron and that is what they added here. The instrument is a bit in the background but nevertheless and improvement over the studio album.

Brainstorm and Seven by Seven are ok but don't live up to the versions from SR. Seven By Seven has an extended closing section added to it but it's nothing special really.

It's good to hear the Watcher here. It has evolved into something that comes close to how Motorhead played it later. On the contrary, Paradox is a murky affair and so is You'd Better Believe It, which never was very great tune anyway.

I really had my hopes high up to hear Psychedelic Warlords in a live version. Unfortunately they just play the single edit and pull it off very chaotically. D-Rider suffers from the same treatment.

All in all, not much of a necessary addition. The two tracks of interest feature on later live albums in even better versions: You Know You're Only Dreaming on The Business Trip and The Watcher on Spaced Out In London.

Report this review (#243988)
Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hawkwind archival live albums are, to say the least, thick on the ground - but this one has great sound quality and captures the band during one of their creative peaks. Just as the preceding year's Space Ritual tour would be based around the loose concept of a journey through the stars, the 1974 tour had as its schtick a trip through time to 1999 - but Prince isn't anywhere in sight.

What this amounts to is a sound much like a somewhat less overwhelming and rather more varied and technically adept take on the sound of Space Ritual, with a different enough setlist to be worth the price of entry. Material which would later end up on Hall of the Mountain Grill and Warrior On the Edge of Time also gets previewed. The band even manage to reclaim The Watcher from a quirky throwaway track from the end of Doremi Fasol Latido into something rather more powerful.

Watch out that you don't get fobbed off with the truncated 1CD version of this album, and you'll have a fine addition to any Hawkwind collection; this is a real gem that doesn't deserve to get loss in the mass of questionable live releases that have cluttered up the band's back catalogue.

Report this review (#1524444)
Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Review Permalink

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