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Review by Gary Hill

I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about this disc. For my money it’s well worth having. Of course, I am one of those Hawkwind completists. There are really only four new tracks here, but I like all of them a lot – although one is very short. They fill things out with several live performances. Frankly, you can’t find this stuff elsewhere and there are enough strong pieces to make it worth having. Besides, there aren’t a lot of Hawkwind releases that feature Ginger Baker – so pick them up – they are a piece of rock history.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review

This is a short, less than a minute, sound-effects laden introduction. There are no lyrics here, but some sound bites.

Dangerous Vision
A fairly mellow number, this rises up with waves of keyboards and other sounds. I love the way it resolves out into a slow moving jam. This doesn’t go far, but it’s in such a cool place to begin with that it doesn’t really matter. There’s a tasty guitar solo on this.
Running Through The Back Brain
Here we get a fast paced piece of Hawkwind weirdness. I like this track a lot. The mostly spoken vocals on this seem to be a stream of consciousness thought process of someone with some serious issues. Of course, perhaps it’s just the kind of thoughts that flit about in all of our minds here and there. This is a great tune and works through some intriguing changes and alterations along its course. There’s a great driving jam later with “messages” repeated – at first with whispered voices and then a nearly screaming voice – the same one delivering the earlier vocals. This is definitely a highlight of the disc.
The Island
This starts with a guitar driven, but atmospheric, melody. That carries through for a time and then gives way to a melodic keyboard dominated excursion. An instrumental, this cut moves out into some soaring guitar soloing later.
Motorway City
Here’s a live version of a track from the Levitation album. This is a strong rendition. It doesn’t really alter or up the ante, but presents an energized performance.
Utopia 84
They include a live performance of this poetry meets weird sounds jam.
Social Alliance
Coming straight of the last piece, this is a fiery hard-edged musical journey that’s quite potent. I like this track a lot and would rate it as one of the highlights of the set. Saxophone joins and this becomes a noisy, but very cool jam.
Sonic Attack
A live recording of this Hawkwind freakout, this is actually one of my favorite versions. It’s more “song-like” and rocks out more than some of the others. This is pretty awesome and another reason to own this set.
Dream Worker
This piece of space from Choose Your Masques has always been a favorite of mine. The live version here is great. I love the tone and the delivery.
Noisy and raw, this is high energy, but probably far from the best version of the cut I’ve heard. It’s a Hawkwind classic and any performance is good, but this one might have some of the least going for it of any. It seems like they get lost a bit in the middle of this.
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