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Hawkwind - Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.14 | 18 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Modrigue | 3/5 |


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