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Hawkwind Choose Your Masques album cover
2.79 | 82 ratings | 8 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Choose Your Masques (10:28)
2. Dream Worker (3:01)
3. Arrival In Utopia (5:47)
4. Utopia (3:00)
5. Silver Machine (4:22)
6. Void City (6:48)
7. Solitary Mind Games (3:58)
8. Fahrenheit 451 (4:48)
9. The Scan (1:02)
10. Waiting For Tomorrow (3:46)

Total time 47:00

Bonus tracks on 1996 & 2010 CD reissues:
11. Silver Machine (full length) (7:25)
12. Psychedelic Warlords (4:52)

Total Time: 59:17

Bonus CD from 2010 reissue:
1. Void City (Alternate Mix) (6:38)
2. Candle Burning (2:48)
3. 5/4 (3:21)
4. Waiting For Tomorrow (Alternate Mix) (3:43)
5. Radio Telepathy (5:44)
6. Lato (2:34)
7. Dream Worker (Extended Version) (5:34)
8. Oscillations (3:04)
9. Recent Reports (5:48)
10. Lato Percussive Electro (Earthed To The Ground) (3:45)
11. Solitary Mind Games (Alternate Version) (5:06)
12. Silver Machine (Single Version) (2:58)

Total time 51:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Brock / vocals, synthesizers, keyboards, guitar, producer
- Huw Lloyd-Langton / lead guitar, vocals
- Harvey Bainbridge / bass, keyboards, synthesizers, vocals
- Martin Griffin / drums

- Nik Turner / sax (6,2-1,2-10)
- Pascoe Brock / guest (?)
- Ian Holm / backing vocals (?)

Releases information

Artwork: Terry Oakes with Andrew Christian (art direction)

LP RCA ‎- PL 25440 (1982, UK)

CD Emergency Broadcast System ‎- EBSCD 124 (1996, UK) With 3 bonus tracks
2xCD Atomhenge ‎- ATOMCD 2026 (2010, UK) 24-bit remaster by Ben Wiseman with 2 bonus tracks and bonus CD with 12 tracks previously unreleased

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HAWKWIND Choose Your Masques ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (34%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

HAWKWIND Choose Your Masques reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars a popular album on its release, though not as startling as "sonic attack", it is very similar in style to "levitation" (though not quite as good in my opinion), "choose your masques" contained clues to the ambient shape of things to come, demonstrated to a degree in the excellent "dream worker". the album also includes my favourite tracks on the album the "arrival in utopia/utopia" suite, ("if you wanna get into gotta get out of it.." ) and on side two a reworking of "silver machine", strange they included this as it's not vastly different to the original, though rather overproduced. layers of soaring synths and deep bass on "void city" , though overall some parts of the production of this album seem rather thin. "solitary mind games", "farenheit 451" (contains a great guitar solo), "the ascan" (interesting short piece) and "waiting for tomorrow" are fairly average hawkwind tracks, and overall the album is a very good, though not outstanding, addition to any hawkwind /spacerock prog collection.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars HAWKWIND are a band I really like and I'm always ready to condone them even if they don't meet the Hawk-standard I praise too much. This is the case of "Choose Your Masques", a release some points below their fine output of the 70s - this album barely touches the pattern we're used to hear from them.

One will hear many sounds and effects that carry the HAWKWIND label but it's only a trick to keep the space-psych atmosphere, but among a bunch of weary tracks, 'Fahrenheit 451' and 'Arrival in Utopia' hover easily over others 'cause they are great rocks, full of energy and color, even dansant. The addition of classics like 'Silver machine' and 'Psychedelic warlords' may be of interest mainly if you are a beginner within the band's stuff.

Not too much to add but anyway if you're a Hawk-fan be sure this album was aimed for you. Collectors might appreciate "Choose Your Masques" too.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I fully agree with Atkingani's review. The band over-uses the spacey sounds in several tracks like the long opener and title song. This track is actually a dual one : half hard-rocking, half psychedelic/experimental.

Almost the same structure for "Arrival In Utopia" which is one of the best original songs here (they will repeat this again with ""Fahrenheit 451" a little later in the album, the structure, I mean) . The contrary of the dull "Utopia". Press nextT.

The annoying part of the game being that several numbers are of the same mould. Average to even poor : "Void City" as well as the insipid and uninspired "Solitary Mind Games". Gosh!

And god knows why they inserted both "Silver Machine" (even twice here!) from "In Search Of Space" which is one their oldest albums (I confess that this song was only available on the remastered CD version, not on the original album) and "Psychedelic Warlords" from "Hall Of The Mountain Grill " for a total of a mere seventeen minutes. Did they really need to release a one hour long album and didn't have the creative spirit for it?

To be honest, these three tracks are amongst the best of this album, which is consequently one of the weakest of the band so far. An average "Hawkwind" album which is not often the case I must say, since the band managed to be rather on the good edge so far.

Two stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars On the basis of the not-quite-title track (the song is "Choose Your Masks", the album is "Choose Your Masques"), one could mistake Choose Your Masques for a continuation of the "space metal" approach of the preceding Sonic Attack - Church of Hawkwind being more of a Dave Brock side project than an official Hawkwind album. As it unfolds, the album actually seems to be a melding of the guitar-led sound of Space Ritual with the electronic explorations of Church of Hawkwind - guitars and synths having always had something of an uneasy alliance within Hawkwind's ranks - in order to form a new and better balance between the two.

There's some issues here and there with the production sounding a little muzzy - I wonder whether there was budgetary constraints this time around which forced them to record this one on the cheap. At first I questioned the point of including yet another rendition of Silver Machine on here - especially since Dave Brock had tried to kill the song off by blowing it up at the end of Live Seventy Nine - but it fits into the particular groove of this album rather well. If Sonic Attack was Space Metal, Choose Your Masques is space pop-metal with the occasional progressive foray - a strange mix which it took me a while to get my head around, but which is rather engaging now I know my way around it a bit better.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Hawkwind's 80s albums are certainly a different approach to the 70s but there are still some great moments on these releases as is the case with "Choose Your Masques". The album features some wonderful compositions with excellent lead guitar breaks such as 'Arrival in Utopia' and 'Utopia'. Dave Brock and Harvey Bainbridge on vocals are effective. Bainbridge's bass and keyboard work is well executed here. Huw Lloyd-Langton is a fine lead guitarist as is evident on tracks such as 'Solitary Mind Games'.

'Choose Your Masques' is another great song with a driving rhythm and hypnotic melody. This sounds more like the old Hawkwind when they locked into one riff and sung variations of a simple melody. At over 10 minutes in length it overstays its welcome but is still a decent start to the album with some trademark spacey effects by Dik Mik and tons of lead guitar. It was also a treat to hear Ian Holm's narration, sounding like his "Alien" character Ash. This segues into 'Dream Worker' that has some nice weirdness to open it, a swathe of synth layers and dreamy ambience. It does not go anywhere but still somehow works as a transition into the Utopia tracks.

Unfortunately the band are prone to diverge into the new wave punk territory such as on 'Farenheit 451', and I am turned off by this approach. The band should stick to the spacey vocals of Brock. Nik Turner is the culprit again on this release and is a real nutter live and comes across as such on vocals, though there is no replacing his wild sax embellishments. It is nice to hear Brock's wife here too, Pascoe, singing occasionally. The album cover is not that good either looking like a dead Jawa.

There is as usual a lot of instrumental filler here such as 'The Scan' that is just a keyboard solo, and this leads to 'Waiting For Tomorrow' with a nice drone intro, spacey lead guitar and some interesting softer vocals. There is an over abundance of space effects as if the band are trying to revisit the good old days. 'Void City' is an interesting take on "The Outer Limits" TV show; "there is nothing wrong with your television set, we will control the horizontal, we will control the vertical". The track is basically another instrumental with repeated synth motifs and some space squirls and kanoodling. It goes for too long and is rather dull after a while, sounding like Sigue Sigue Sputnik's style.

To cap things off on revisiting old territory, there is a version of 'Silver Machine' that sounds really desperate to recapture that magical track. It does not work though with Brock's vocals sounding a bit forced. The lead guitar intro is unwelcome, and it has a different feel in the chorus. Admittedly it is one of the better tracks due to the fact that I always liked the melody but it still felt very unnecessary. On here there are two versions, a short and longer version. I recommend the longer version simply to hear the instrumental section. Overall the album is okay but once again Hawkwind are not the powerhouse of space rock that they once were. Grab this though as an example of the new Hawkwind sound, and it is better than a lot of their other 80s releases and for that matter better than most of the 90s output.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars For Hawkwind, do not choose this year

2.5 stars

1982 was definitely not a good period for the Hawks. After the electronic parenthesis of "Church of Hawkwind" the same year, this album showed great promises with its space heavy metal cover art and font though. It even features the participation of former member Nik Turner on a track. Furthermore, the title comes from a Moorcock's poem. However, listening to the whole disc gives the slight feeling that Captain Brock took a nap and set the HAWKWIND spaceship in cruise control.

Not much to say about the title song, repetitive and flat. "Dream Worker" is a five minutes experimental electronic track, whereas the space metal "Arrival In Utopia" is more typical of the Hawks, however average. "Utopia" is another strange dark ambient passage, introducing an eighties remix of the single hit pre-punk "Silver Machine". Compared to the original version, several sonorities and effects have been added, the guitar is heavier and the production sounds more 80's.

The second half of the record is more interesting. The nice robotic KRAFTWERK-ian "Void City" is the track where ex-member Nik Turner is invited. Then comes the melancholic "Solitary Mind Games", quite new-wave oriented. Although rather unusual for HAWKWIND, this song is rather enjoyable. The science fiction theme remains present with "Fahrenheit 451", which continues the space punk approach developed in "25 Years On" and "Sonic Attack". Clearly the best track of the album, featuring a powerful guitar solo. The sequenced "The Scan" serves as an introduction for "Waiting For Tomorrow". Sung by Huw Lloyd-Langton, this ender is a pleasant floating blues-rock that could have been composed by Lemmy. Original.

As a bonus track, the eighties revisitation of the "Psychedelic Warlords" is surprisingly good and different from the original version.

Nevertheless, this opus is rather deceiving. The composition quality is not on par with the cool cover art, nearly half of the tracks are ambient transitions, while the space rock songs are less remarkable than on the previous albums, just two years after the thundering "Levitation". At the time, a new generation of metal musicians were emerging with exciting refreshing ideas.

With "Church of Hawkwind", "Choose Your Masques" is one of the weakest HAWKWIND studio albums of the eighties. Fortunately, Captain Brock will soon wake up and redress his spaceship just one year later...

Latest members reviews

3 stars Classical thing for every hawk-cadet. Dave Brock & Co. continued their musical way from 1981's "Sonic Attack" album. Maybe it's too much infuented by new wave sound but "Choose Your Masques" is valuable postscriptum to greatest Hawkwind productions. "CYM" as many classic Hawkind album incl ... (read more)

Report this review (#99858) | Posted by Patique | Tuesday, November 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Despite the typical 80's production and Langton's melodic metal influences, this album has topnotch Hawkclassics such as Utopia and Fahrenheit. Also love Void City, an unusually electronic dancey tune. ... (read more)

Report this review (#25549) | Posted by | Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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