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Hawkwind Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird album cover
2.14 | 18 ratings | 4 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Earth Calling (Calvert)
2. Born to Go (Brock/Calvert)
3. Space Is Deep (Brock)
4. Silver Machine (MacManus/Calvert)
5. Motorhead (Kilminster)
6. Angels of Death (Brock)
7. Magnu (Brock/Calvert)
8. Hash Cake '77 (Hawkwind)
9. High Rise (Brock/Calvert)
10. Douglas in The Jungle (Bainbridge/Brock)
11. Urban Guerilla (Brock/Calvert)
12. Who's Gonna Win The War (Brock)
13. Masters of The Universe (Brock/Turner)
14. You Shouldn't Do That (Brock/Turner)
15. Spirit of The Age (Brock/Calvert)

Releases information

CD Eporio EMPRCD 710 (1997)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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HAWKWIND Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(6%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (39%)

HAWKWIND Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Once upon a time, this was the only Hawkwind album I owned. I picked it up dirt-cheap at a closing-down sale, and it was a budget CD to begin with. Despite the sentimental value of it having been the album that introduced me to this great band, I must warn all of you to steer clear of it. The sound quality is poor, even for a live album and the liner notes are non-existent. Furthermore this appears to be a disjointed compilation of performances, rather than a recording of a single concert, although the fact that the group seems largely devoid of keyboards and wind instruments (with the exception of a couple of songs) and is playing in a punchier, rather than spacey fashion would seem to imply that most tracks were recorded in the 80s.

The only advantage that this album has over the definitive Hawkwind live album Space Ritual is its range of songs (from 1971's You Shouldn't Do That to 1981's Angels Of Death). In fact the pleasing late 70s songs, particularly the one keyboard-led song High Rise (which with a blend of organ and synth is by far my favourite tune here), Hash Cake' 77 and Who's Gonna Win The War are probably the only reasons I'm still holding to this trashy album. I'm still going to advise you to give it a miss. ... 18% on the MPV scale

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars Okay, I bought this only because it’s a Hawkwind album and I got it cheap. Turns out there’s a reason for that – I think this thing was probably a budget production even when it first came out, and the cutout label tells me I should have been more discerning. The track listings are impressive even if (like me) you’re not much of a Hawkwind fan and don’t know much about the band beyond the few Motörhead covers I’ve heard them do, but things go downhill quickly once the thing is opened and played.

I have a friend who’s retired from the Army, about 55 years old or so and a really straight-laced father of four kids. He’s very religious, conservative, reserved – pretty much the kind of guy you’d expect to have a Barry Manilow collection or one of those Time-Life Sounds of the Seventies 85-disc boxed sets full of bands named Boysenberry Urinal Cakes or Lance & the Actuaries or something like that. But instead the guy is a major hardcore Hawkwind fan. Has just about everything they’ve ever put out; and even has an old Volkwagen microbus in his garage. I’m not sure I want to know what he does with it, but more power to him. Anyway, he doesn’t have this one, and actually I don’t think he even knows about it. That tells me that Emporio Records is the British equivalent of K-Tel.

So what about the music? Like I said I’m not much of a Hawkwind fan, but I’ll pick up anything I know is supposed to be progressive if I find it in an out-of-the-way place and its cheap. Garage sales are nice; so are used record stores. Although I have to say used record stores are nowhere near the adventure they were 10-20 years ago. Nowadays they’re mostly filled with video games and DVDs and cheesy posters. This one I came across at a used book store, of all places. Found an Ezra CD there too. I’m guessing the two discs came from different original owners.

Anyway the sound quality on this thing sucks. I’ve heard many, many live bootleg albums that sound better than this thing. I suppose this was a soundboard recording, but you wouldn’t know it to listen to the thing. The bass sounds are almost completely washed out, and the few places where you can actually here keyboards (really “Silver Machine” mostly), they are tinny-sounding and not very effective. Lemmy’s “Motorhead” sounds like one of those sh!tty eighties thrash-band live cassette recordings that were so prevalent back then, and which completely destroyed those band’s music by removing virtually all sound separation when committed to tape. Gun Club comes to mind. The Nip Drivers were another one.

So let’s get this over with – this is not a very good album in terms of sound quality. Virtually nothing of value added to the package: no liner notes to speak of, no band bio or photos or extended song credits or paper 3d-glasses or Cracker Jack prize or rolling papers or anything like that included in the jewel case. So even though this seems to represent a very decent song selection according to my closet- hippie dear friend, even he agrees this one doesn’t deserve anything more than two stars. He did take it off my hands though – hardcore fans of a band will put anything in their collections; no shame whatsoever. Oh well, that would explain the four versions of Kansas’ 1989 King Biscuit concert that I have in my collection on various different labels and formats.


Review by Modrigue
3 stars Some interesting live recordings and novelties

Composed mainly of extracts from late 70's HAWKWIND concerts, judging from the track-list ("Angels Of Death" being the only 80's track but certainly in gestation before), "Onward Flies The Bird" is overall a pleasant compilation. This disc contains a few live rarities and unfamiliar interpretations, not present on the famous releases "Space Ritual", "Live '79" or "Live Chronicles". For these reasons, and despite poor sound quality, they may interest both the fan and the newcomer.

Let's talk about the novelties first: two tracks unreleased in studio version. The trippy "Hash Cake '77" is a cool mystical and gloomy jam. Well worth the listen! In contrast, the bizarre atmospheric futuristic "Douglas in The Jungle" is rather average.

Nonetheless, the highlights are undoubtedly the particular live renditions of "Motorhead", "Angels of Death", "Magnu" and "Masters of The Universe", also included on the 1991 "Masters of the Universe" Castle edition compilation. Recorded at Barnstable Queens Hall 23rd December 1977 during the Hawklords / Sonic Assassins tour, "Angels of Death" may have been the first draft version of the track later featured on the "Sonic Attack" album. "Magnu" has rarely been so ferocious and heavy, the oriental sonorities being replaced by raging guitars. Mindblowing! An essential listen for every space metal lover! The origin of the versions of "Masters Of The Universe" and "Motorhead" are unsure, maybe also circa 1977, maybe during the same tour. Nonetheless, they're also harder and faster than their original studio versions and includes additional sci-fi effects. Very very nice.

Although not matching the quality of the HAWKWIND's well-known live releases, the other performances are quite enjoyable. With Dave Brock on vocals, "Urban Guerilla" is very energetic, and "You Shouldn't Do That" simply rocks!

There are some misses though. "Silver Machine" and "Who's Gonna Win The War" both have poor sound recording, while the flute is too present on "Space Is Deep", too lengthy. "Spirit of The Age" concludes the record but has been appended a ramshackle dissonant electronic opening.

If you're not too demanding on sound quality, there are no reason not to give a listen to "Onward Flies The Bird". The rare "Hash Cake '77", the uncommon metallic versions of "Magnu", "Motorhead", "Masters Of The Universe" and the draft version of "Angels of Death" will interest fans, while the disc might also serve well as a first flight for the newcomers. A nice little live compilation.

Latest members reviews

3 stars No no, it's not so bad as it seems. The sound quality is listenable, and songs are pretty good. We have milions of the space ship Hawkwind live and rare albums, and this one is not worst and not better than the rest of them. Who's Gonna Win The War, Motorhead, High Rise are the highlights of thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#108732) | Posted by Deepslumber | Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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