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Hawkwind

Live ‘74

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally released as the third disc of the 1999 Party set. It’s a live recording from The Chicago Auditorium in March of 1974. Perhaps the coolest thing about this is the fact that it’s a live performance featuring such a classic lineup of the band.   The group at the time was Dave Brock (guitar and vocals), Nik Turner (saxophone, flute and vocals), Lemmy (bass guitar and vocals), Del Dettmar (synthesizer), Simon House (violin and keyboards) and Simon King (drums).  The recording features killer live tellings of a lot of classic Hawkwind songs. In addition, three live tracks for the Hall of the Mountain Grill album make this even more desirable. The sound quality is quite good considering the time period. It’s a highly recommended live set from Hawkwind.

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Track by Track Review
Brainbox Pollution

This classic Hawkwind track gets a killer live reading here. It’s got great vocals and the jamming on it is just plain classic. This must have been an incredible show if this first track is any indication.

You Know You're Only Dreaming
A mellower track, this is also classic Hawkwind. It works quite well in this live version. It’s a great space rock track in the old-school Hawkwind tradition.
Brainstorm
A full changeup, this is a noisy space jam. It’s another Hawkwind classic and it’s a pounding, furious workout. It includes one of the great old tribal chant sections Hawkwind used to like to do. There is also a lot of great jamming that’s a bit different from the studio version. This is quite a theatrical piece.
Seven by Seven
Another classic Hawkwind track, this has a driving sort of sound and is another that works very well in this live telling. It features a mellow section with a spoken reading.
You'd Better Believe It
The first of three cuts from the Hall of the Mountain Grill album, this is a chugging sort of number that is very space rock and prog rock oriented. It has such a cool sound and this live version works extremely well. Simon House’s violin really works well here.
The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke)
Another killer cut from Hall of the Mountain Grill, this is perhaps the ultimate song fitting on the progressive rock end of space rock. Again House can be heard fairly prominently and this live rendition captures the power and character of the track nicely while bringing a little bit of an edge to it.
D-Rider
In some ways, this mellower space rock jam, also from Hall of the Mountain Grill, is an even stronger number than the two that preceded it. It showcases an alteration between a mellow movement and a harder rocking soaring section. It’s always been one of my favorite Hawkwind songs of all time and this live recording is killer. It’s a dynamic and dramatic cut and arguably the highpoint of this set.
Master of the Universe
Here’s one of the real classic Hawkind tunes. This rendition has a bit more of a Hall of the Mountain Grill kind of sound to it than some of the other live versions out there. It’s a great tune however you slice it and the jam segment is top-notch.
Welcome To The Future
This science fiction based space rock jam is fairly short and serves as a nice close to the set.
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