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Hawkwind The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86 album cover
3.21 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Magnu / Angels Of Death
2. Pulsing Cavern
3. Assault And Battery
4. Needle Gun
5. Master Of The Universe
6. Utopia
7. Dream Worker
8. Assassins Of Allah (Hassan I Sahba)
9. Silver Machine

Recorded live for BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show at The Reading Festival on 24 August 1986.

Line-up / Musicians

- Harvey Bainbridge / keyboards, vocals
- Dave Brock / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Alan Davey / bass, vocals
- Huw Lloyd Langton / guitar, vocals
- Danny Thompson / drums

Releases information

CD: Raw Fruit Records FRSCD 005

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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HAWKWIND The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86 ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (32%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

HAWKWIND The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
2 stars Halfway through the 80's Hawkwind were a hard rocking unit, as if they wanted to recover some space occupied by Motorhead since Lemmy left 10 years earlier. Unfortunately, some Hawkwind songs do not fare well from this straightforward approach.

Songs like Utopia and Masters of the Universe work well under the increased speed and riffing. But Assault and Battery is indeed very much battered here and is stripped from it dramatic build and melodic harmonies. Magnu suffers the same treatment. The sung parts are quite well but the rhythm has lost all of it's droning power and is reduced to the most basic of rock beats: kick-snare-kick-snare.

Assassins of Allah (Hassan I Sahba) is just dreadful. They've done like hundred of amazing performances of this tune but this is bland hard rock here. The one reason you might want to check this album out is because they have Lemmy on Silver Machine. Not that it is any better then the original but still, it's quite something of an event, unique to this festival.

For all casual fans, you can easily skip forward all of Hawkwinds output from 1980's Levitation up to 1990. Even the live output won't challenge you.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Hawkwind's eye-catching Chronicle of the Black Sword tour had, if not springing them to the levels of success they'd had back in the 1970s, at least got them enough momentum to snag a spot on 1986's Reading Festival. Playing up to the rock-oriented crowd and the high-energy feel of the festival, they essentially do an even more hard-rocking take on a mix of 1980s and 1970s material, and welcome Lemmy back onboard for a guest spot on Silver Machine. The end result is not the most subtle of Hawkwind releases, not least because (aside from the instrumental Pulsing Cavern) they give a hard rock spin to more or less all the material, including stuff like Utopia which was never originally cast in that mode, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in energy.

That said, what is credited as merely Dream Worker is in fact a medley of Brainstorm, Dream Worker and Dust of Time, which offers a more progressive sonic exploration at just the right time in the running order. The final song - the aforementioned take on Silver Machine with Lemmy guesting - is by contrast gloriously slipshod and shambolic, the reunion clearly being a spur-of-the-moment gesture of friendship and goodwill that didn't admit much opportunity for careful rehearsal but, much like Lemmy's then-current work with Motorhead, hooks you more on its gusto than its technical brilliance.

As you might have guessed from the title. the Reading appearance was recorded by the BBC for Radio 1's Friday Rock Show, this release being part of a series by Raw Fruit Records licensed from the BBC of Friday Rock Show sessions by various bands (hence the hilariously inappropriate cover art - all the Raw Fruit Friday Rock Sessions releases got a similar treatment). The upshot of this is that the sound quality on this is pretty decent - on a part with Live Chronicles and perhaps a notch above it. I'd say Live Chronicles remains the definitive live concert experience of mid-1980s Hawkwind, but for those moments when the full pretentious spectacle of it would be too much this Reading appearance fits nicely.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars By 1986 Hawkwind had released a tremendous body of work that ranged from the early spacerock chaos and madness through to the early 80's excursions into electronic music, succesfully fusing their own particular brand of hard rocking space music with extensive use of keyboards and electronic sounds. It's quite a magnificent journey, really. Hawkwind might seem as the salt of the Earth but they are truly larger than life and absorbed every part of the majesty of pomp into their repertoire. Drawing alot of inspiration from author Michael Moorcock and staging the epic live concerts around "The chronicle of the black sword" they carved out a space of their own. Quite brilliant and breathtaking.

1986 saw them gaining a spot at the Reading Festival and, man, did they put on a show. It's true that the repertoire is played in a severely loud hardrock fashion, a bit different than usual. But then again, they always maintained the hard edges in both studio and live settings, so I wouldn't mind too much about the alledged "heavy metal" branding the album sometimes seems to be associated with. What you get is high energy Hawkwind playing stuff going back to "Warrior on the edge of time" and all the way up to their, by then, current album "Chronicle of the black sword". The energy level of the performance does not eradicate the subtleties that in effect are the soul of Hawkwind. Au contraire. There are enough of the wonderful, spacey keyboards to go around and in "Dream worker", which is my personal favorite on the album, the spacey effects makes me shiver and wish I'd been there. Yes, Lemmy does appear on "Silver machine" and while that is a treat in itself and the result is a fun and loving rendition of the track it's the rest of the album that really kicks up a storm.

There's so much ambiance and enthusiasm on this recording that I find it hard to not put this live album in my personal top10. I know it's kind of difficult to track down these days but if you do get the chance I'd advise you to get hold of a copy. I had the unexpected fortune to land my very own copy at a flea market for a measly 1. That is a bargain, I know.

Simply put, a great live album and a great example of a band blowing it all off the stage. Great album.

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