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Hawkwind - In The Beginning... CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

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2 stars What alternate universe do these things seep from? Somehow I've managed to sneak up on HAWKWIND, sifting through their garbage before shaking their hand in a proper hello. It's probably because I'm a cheap bastard, willing to part with six dollars for a glimpse of HAWKWIND but unwilling to keep pumping quarters into the slot for the full body shot. These are live recordings according to the liner notes, captured in an hallucinatory state rather than with clarity, but to my ears it exists in a middle world between real and unreal. Of course it's inessential to the casual acquaintance, yet perhaps more likely to make your acquaintance than a $20 copy of their earlier works. The danger is that some might mistake this for a true vision of HAWKWIND, which in some sense it is, though the band was more careful with their vision than these versions would suggest. It wasn't all some psychedelic jamfest, only part of it, and you'd be mistaken in taking from In The Beginning that HAWKWIND didn't pack for the trip as conscientiously as Gong. The opening "Master of the Universe" and "Dreaming" sound just fine, but by "Hurry On A Sundown" it's clear we're gonna have to work for this one. I wouldn't give it the boot out of hand, just approach it with the same expectations.

If a sneaky peek at the Hawk appeals to you, fidelity or not, then there's pleasure to be had in watching them while they do "I Do It." (Not to diminish the band's achievement but I've written a song on top of the two-note riffs of "Paranoia" out of boredom and it rocks, wrote the mind too beautiful to behold.) Anyway if you see In The Beginning in the bargain bin and you don't mind getting your ears dirty, gowahid.

Report this review (#25731)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris H
2 stars Did anybody order the psychedelic jam-fest? Anybody?

Honestly, aside from those words that virtually sum up the whole album, there is actually not much to be said about Hawkwind's "In The Beginning". It is crazy, trippy, psychedelic madness. The opening track, "Master of the Universe", is just an amazingly psyched up sound that I thought was impossible to produce. "Dreaming" and "Shouldn't Do That" are two monstrous jams that seem to stretch forever, but they play it so that it acts as a good thing. "Hurry On A Sundown" is almost a dance number, with some fast guitar work and a lot of random and pointless sax blowing. After that, the wrecked up sound quality and intense musical ecstasy make it hard to even focus on the album that is playing. The opening to "Paranoia" really is pure paranoia, just in music form. I recommend that you either turn off your stereo after that intro, or don't drive or operate heavy machinery after listening to the album in full.

A trippy psych-fest that never really got off of the ground because of horrible sound quality. I hope that if you are an occasional Hawkwind fan, you steer clear of this album. Truly a terrible representative of Hawkwind's catalogue, but not too shabby of an album all out on it's own.

2 stars, they tried at least.

Report this review (#114825)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2007 | Review Permalink

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