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TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Hawkwind

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Hawkwind Take Me To Your Leader album cover
2.60 | 72 ratings | 12 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spirit Of The Age (6:43)
2. Out Here We Are (5:56)
3. Greenback Massacre (4:14)
4. To Love A Machine (6:00)
5. Take Me To Your Leader (5:50)
6. Digital Nation (5:25)
7. Sunray (3:55)
8. Sighs (1:22)
9. Angela Android (5:08)
10. A Letter To Robert (6:08)

Total Time: 50:41

Bonus DVD from 2005 Special Edition:
DVD 1 - Interview with Dave Brock
DVD 2 - Interview with Alan Davey
DVD 3 - Interview with Richard Chadwick
DVD 4 - Spirit of the Age (Promo)
DVD 5 - Silver Machine (Ruisrock Festival, Finland, 10 July 2004)
DVD 6 - The Right to Decide (Live 1992)
DVD 7 - Spirit of the Age (Live 2004)
DVD 8 - Psychedelic Warriors (Live 2004)

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Brock / guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals, co-producing & mixing
- Alan Davey / bass, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals, co-producing & mixing
- Richard Chadwick / drums, percussion, vocals

With:
- Matthew Wright / vocals (1)
- Arthur Brown / vocals (7,10)
- Lene Lovich / vocals (9)
- James Clemas / organ (1,7)
- Jason Stuart / keyboards (3,4)
- Simon House / keyboards (9), violin (7)
- Jez Huggett / saxophone, trumpet & flute (2,6,9)
- Lemmy / vocals & bass (DVD 5)
- Phil Calvano / guitar (DVD 5)

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Pracownik

CD Hawkwind Records ‎- HAWKVP35CD (2005, UK)
CD+DVD Hawkwind Records ‎- HAWKVP35CDSE (2005, UK) Bonus DVD with extras

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HAWKWIND Take Me To Your Leader ratings distribution


2.60
(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
17%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (22%)
22%
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)
12%

HAWKWIND Take Me To Your Leader reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hawkwind's latest was eagerly anticipated after a long and turbulent few years since the band's previous studio release. Most latter-day Hawkwind studio albums have been patchy affairs and now the euphoria has died down, Take Me To Your Leader proves to be much the same. The band that invented spacerock has long left full-on blanga behind, at least in the studio, in favour of a cold and rather sterile techno-rock hybrid that sometimes has psychedelic tendencies but only ventures into space on synth-based ambient pieces.

Too much of this album passes in an impenetrable cocoon of blandness - the vague and meandering 'Out Here We Are', an average heavy riffer in 'Greenback Massacre', jazzed-up techno of 'Take Me To Your Leader', the repetitious 'Digital Nation' and its annoying drum pattern, the short interlude of 'Sighs', and Arthur Brown's uninteresting techno-backed 'A Letter To Robert' monologue which doesn't bear more than a single hearing. None raise a flicker of emotion in the listener, and none displays much in the way of inspiration. Fortunately, the remaining tracks provided adequate compensation ....

.... opener, the old classic 'Spirit Of The Age' is rather splendid, generally an improvement on the original though not deviating much from the 1977 arrangement; Brock's 'To Love A Machine' enters Symphonic Prog territory and features some unexpected, but very welcome, acoustic guitar as well as tasty electric riffs; Arthur Brown's bouncy 'Sunray' is a brilliant Roxy Music thrash awash with crunchy guitars; and an infectious 'Angela Android', with an aptly loopy Lene Lovich adding vocals in her inimitable style to a pounding beat.

These four tracks are undoubtedly bright stars in the Hawkwind post-spacerock firmament. Had the remainder been even close then this might have been a stunning album based around a theme of a mechanized future world. The reality is that, once again, a Hawkwind album fails to satisfy in its entirety. If you strip away the contributions of guest performers, you are left with a pretty average bunch of songs that don't stand the test of time. Overall - good, but they have done a lot better.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After years of silence on the studio album front, does Take Me To Your Leader break the curse Hawkwind had seemingly been under Distant Horizons (or, depending on how hardline you are, maybe the Xenon Codex, or Levitation, or Warrior On the Edge of Time) where they simply couldn't manage to make a studio album worthy of their illustrious name? Unfortunately not, as most listeners will realise when they note that the first song is merely a re-recording of an old Calvert era track which was perfectly good in its original incarnation. And the new compositions are just outright tedious. I really should give up and turn my attention to more recent studio outings by Hawkwind, since I hear that from Blood of the Earth onwards they've done a bang-up job of making their studio albums more consistent, but as far as the mid-2000s go their live albums from the era are far better than their studio efforts.
Review by TCat
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Team
1 stars After a five year lapse in releasing studio albums, the hope was that Hawkwind would come back to the studio with better songs and a better album. After all, the core group at this time consisted of Dave Brock who was with the band from the beginning, Alan Davey who had worked on and off with the band for several years now, and Richard Chadwick who had been with the band since 1988. Things were in Hawkwind's favor, but the last two decades saw them releasing average material and swinging away from their space rock sound that made them legends. "Take Me to Your Leader' had a lot of fans hoping for a real comeback. Unfortunately, the time was still not right.

The album starts out with a re-make of "Spirit of the Age", originally co-written by Dave Brock and Robert Calvert who passed away in 1988. This new recording features vocals by journalist Matthew Wright. The track is great, of course, with its broiling guitar and spacey effects, but not enough has changed in it to merit a re-make, other than a slightly cleaner sound. I suppose it was quite an attraction to Hawkwind fans however, to get them curious about the new album. The next two tracks are written by Alan Davey. "Out Here We Are" fades in from the previous track and goes right to a mid-tempo, synth-washed track that sounds too safe and mellow, almost like one of the more commercial Moody Blues songs from their own later commercial music. There is some sax thrown in, but it sounds completely out of place here. It was put there to give this boring instrumental some life, but it doesn't. In fact, it sounds a bit like new age drivel, you almost expect to see Yanni step out of the spaceship. "Greenback Massacre" tries to factor in some stoner rock sounds and the vocals are gruff, almost sounding like Lemmy who left the band and formed "Motorhead" long ago, but it only comes off as weak, like they are trying to mimic their own sound.

"To Love a Machine" is written by Brock, but that doesn't mean it is any better. In fact, it is also surprisingly weak even if it does venture towards the space rock sound again, it is just poorly executed and rough sounding. The programmed percussion doesn't help either. The track keeps building and then losing its momentum each time it softens, trading space rock power for acoustic softness in an alternating pattern. Then there is this long section that is supposed to sound jazzy underneath crowd noises. The title track "Take Me to Your Leader" is credited to all three core band members. It is mostly instrumental with some spoken word. It is mostly just automatic music, a heartless track with no direction past the first minute or so.

"Digital Nation" is credited to Chadwick. It starts accapella with minimal spacey effects, then a percussive pattern kicks in with some guitar, synth and flute that joins in later, but they just seem to float off in their own directions. It's quite lifeless even when the sax comes in later. Arthur Brown worked with Hawkwind quite extensively during this time period and wrote the next track called "Sunray". Simon House, who also worked with the band previously, lends his needed help with keyboards and violin while Brown provides the vocals, and it actually sounds a bit more interesting and believable. You can almost hear echoes of the band's glory days in there, and a bit of a Bowie sound, especially with the guitars and Brown's flamboyant singing. The album could have used more tracks like this.

"Sighs" is a short track written by both Brock and Davey. It's a bit more experimental, but really too short to go anywhere. "Angela Android" comes next, co-written by Brock and Chadwick and some vocals provided by new wave singer Lene Lovich and her high pitched singing and annoying partly spoken vocals. Lene actually toured with Hawkwind for a few years. The style is in the vein of rock and roll with space rock leanings, but it just doesn't have enough life in it to make you want to shake & shimmy or even stumble & trip. Corniness incarnate. The last track is "A Letter to Robert" co written by Brock and Chadwick again, but this time joined one more time by Arthur Brown. Simon House is also there again, so maybe this will be a better track like "Sunray" was. It's not. Brown is reading a letter he wrote to Robert Calvert with spacey synth effects going on around his reading. I suppose it is supposed to be there for nostalgic purposes or something, but it really doesn't do anything for me.

There was a bonus DVD that came with the first 2000 copies of the album sold which has interviews from the three core members, a promo video of "Spirit of the Age" and a live performance in 2004 of the same song, a live version of "Silver Machine" done at the Ruisrock Festival in Finland in 2004 and apparently includes Lemmy in the performance, and also a live 1992 performance of "The Right to Decide" and a 2004 performance of "Psychedelic Warriors". I haven't seen the DVD so I don't know what it's like, but I doubt it changes this lackluster album much.

So, unfortunately, the long waiting period between studio albums didn't improve the quality of this album, and only lengthened the time span of the sub-par albums released in the '90s and 2000s. This is a period of Hawkwind material that is best to be avoided and I'm happy to give you the low down on these weaker albums so you can see if you want to waste your time with them or not. Only hard core completionists should look for this album. That's all.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Hawkwind's most recent album, 2005's "Take Me To Your Leader", is a very worthy example of the band's brand of space-rock and a fine addition to the Hawkwind collection. The band opens with the perennial Hawkwind classic, "Spirit of the Age" and I must admit that this is a slight irritation ... (read more)

Report this review (#162316) | Posted by alextorres2 | Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hmmm. I love Hawkwind and have maybe 20 albums. This starts so well - a good new version of their classic Spirit of the Age followed by a superb ambient/jazzy/ambient sequence penned by Alan Davey. After that though it goes rapidly downhill. I really don't like the final Letter to Robert thing a ... (read more)

Report this review (#142389) | Posted by memark | Saturday, October 6, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Perhaps a more apt title for this long awaited ( at the time ) Hawkwind album would be " Hawkwind & Friends Go to a Rave". A disappointing Hawkwind effort despite a guest list of artists which include Lene Lovich and Arthur Brown. It sort of reminds me of the mediocre Alien 4 album from 1995 whos ... (read more)

Report this review (#112814) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The comments about the stop/start nature of the album's release are true,but were here to talk content.....so...."Take me to your leader" eh?...the only song that dosn't stand up for me is "Letter to Robert",which is just a rambling load of tosh,but,the rest of the album is quite a cool affair ... (read more)

Report this review (#64482) | Posted by | Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Well I finally received the CD and what a disappointment it turned out to be. Spirit of the age yet again,dull and boring, surely the Hawkwind members could have written a new song to put on this new CD. Tracks 2 and 3 are okay, I suppose. Then comes To love a machine, quite a good song BUT th ... (read more)

Report this review (#54111) | Posted by | Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Having been a loyal Hawkfan for 30 years now, it pains me to hear such a patchy effort after an 8 year wait. This basically sounds like a collection solo tracks cobbled together to pose as a band effort. The remake (again) of "Spirit of the Age" is utterly pointless and some of the best lyrics ... (read more)

Report this review (#52330) | Posted by prabbit | Wednesday, October 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Rock? I think not. A Real Shock to the system that a band synonymous with progressive rock should turn out something which sounds like the unholy offspring of techno meets acid house meets pretensious 80s arty band. I heard better in this genre from a never-got-anywhere self-produced 'band' (2 ... (read more)

Report this review (#48779) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's been quite a wait for the new Hawkwind album, and I've been very curious to hear what they've come up with. But unfortunately I've got to say it's a bit of a patchy effort. Things get off to a good start with a reworked 'Spirit Of The Age', and there are some decent tracks such as Out Her ... (read more)

Report this review (#47408) | Posted by Tom 'tron Ozric | Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Q - What's been eight years in the making, plagued with false starts and changes in personnel, yet could well turn out to be one of the albums of the year? A - It's Hawkwind's latest studio release - Take Me To Your Leader! It's without a doubt one of the bands most consistent yet varied albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#46300) | Posted by Dave Museum | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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