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Hawkwind - Space Ritual  CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.20 | 284 ratings

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4 stars "Space Ritual" is a live album release by UK psychadelic/space rock act Hawkwind. The album was released through United Artists in May 1973. "Space Ritual" was recorded during the 1972-1973 tour supporting their, at the time, latest studio album "Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)". The tracks on the album were recorded at shows in Liverpool and London. The rather extravagant tour, which included a concept sci-fi themed stage set, a special designed lightshow and exotic dancers (OK...they were naked), was made possible by the surprise commercial succes of the "Silver Machine (1972)" single release. The original release was a double LP set while the 1996 remastered CD reissue is a double CD set with three bonus tracks. There is a remaster from 2007 which also includes an Audio DVD and another set of bonus tracks than the ones that are featured on the 1996 remaster.

The tracklist on "Space Ritual" predominantly features tracks from "Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)" and itīs actually quite surprising that the only track from the first two Hawkwind albums is "Master Of The Universe" from "In Search Of Space (1971)". "You Shouldn't Do That" from "In Search Of Space (1971)" is included on both remastered CD reissues though. There are also 3 new tracks on "Space Ritual" in "Born To Go", "Upside Down" and "Orgone Accumulator".

The performances on "Space Ritual" are strong all around and some tracks come off as even more powerful than the original studio versions. Overall a bit more raw, noisy and heavy but also charmingly organic and just very much live. The recitation of sci-fi themed poetry by Robert Calvert which occurs a couple of times during the album is a nice break from the generally repetitive and heavy psychadelic rock style. The wild energy level on the album is greatly charming and itīs obvious that the members of Hawkwind had lots of fun during these shows (they were probably stoned out of their minds too if the rumours are true).

The sound quality on the album is raw but very powerful. Itīs very much a raw live sound but it never sounds like a bootleg. All in all "Space Ritual" is an excellent live album by Hawkwind. Itīs a chance to hear Hawkwindīs probably most classic lineup in their right environment. Iīm sure the Hawkwind live shows from those years were very special visual experiences but this album stands as the testimony to the fact that the audio part of their shows was greatly enjoyable too. A fully deserved 4 star (80%) rating.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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