Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Hawkwind - California Brainstorm CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars A very fine live recording, the sound quality is excellent and the production is also very good. Unfortunately there are two things I do not like on this album, track 6 Propaganda is 1.08 minutes of spoken nonsense and the second flaw is the audience giggling on track 5 (very briefly), I found this extremely annoying and I feel it should have been removed or whatever. Shouting, clapping no problem but giggling no way. The rest of the album is great because the audience keeps quiet and just laysback and listens to the music. The album has a very nice selection of songs on it, so there is something here to please everyone.
Report this review (#51058)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars You can't go wrong with a Hawkwind Live one. It usually comes with the guarantee of a solid setlist and an inspired performance. This California Brainstorm is from the short period when Bridget Wishhart fronted Hawkwind, meaning that the official live album Palace Spring released in 1991 is an obvious point of reference.

Compared to Palace Springs, this one is for completists. First of all there's the recording quality. All instruments are clearly audible but the frequency range is very limited. There's no power in the lower end and the high end is dull. Actually it sounds as if you would rip Palace Springs to a 96kbps mp3. Meaning thin and flat.

The setlist is quite interesting, featuring some old classic and rare live gems such as Ejection, Brainstorm and Reefer Madness (sung by Bridget). But none of these versions are a compulsory listen. The band plays tightly but the rearrangements are generally disappointing. Ejection lacks its original upbeat drive, Brainstorm is reduced to 3 minutes and extended with a reggae improvisation that also ended up on Palace Springs. Reefer Madness is better then its studio version but that wasn't hard to achieve given the lifeless original.

Void's End is better avoided. It's just an improvisation on the instrumental middle part. Nothing like the superb version on Palace Springs. The more recent material is adequate but doesn't deviate too much from the studio originals. Definitely a fan's item.

Report this review (#264324)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars California Brainstorm is a natural complement to the Palace Springs live album - Palace Springs having been recorded shortly before the production of Space Bandits, whilst California Brainstorm was recorded on the tour for that album, and with the track list not having that many overlaps. Indeed, the two go so well together that on the recent Atomhenge 2CD rerelease of Palace Springs the California Brainstorm set is provided on the bonus disc. Overall, this period of Hawkwind found them taking a turn for extended cosmic jams and progressive electronic soundscapes, perhaps as a deliberate recalibration after the mid-1980s saw them taking an increasingly hard rock-oriented direction.
Report this review (#1942731)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2018 | Review Permalink

HAWKWIND California Brainstorm ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of HAWKWIND California Brainstorm

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.