The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hawkwind / Robert Calvert

Hawkwind / Robert Calvert

CDS 4004 Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music (Sept. ’76)

CDS 4008 Quark, Strangeness & Charm (June ’77)

CDS 4014 25 Years On (as “Hawklords”) (October ’78)

CDS 4016 PXR 5 (May ’79)

All titles Charisma Records UK.

After being a venerable progressive rock band for United Artists Records in England during the first half of the 70’s, Hawkwind signed to Charisma Records and delivered a quartet of “new wave / progressive rock” LP’s.

What? Hawkwind as a new wave band? Yes, it’s true – after the sonic assaults of “In Search of Space” and “Space Rituals”, the sound of the band was honed down to a tight new wave band with a charismatic lead vocalist, the late South African Robert Calvert. They had also added violinist Simon House (from High Tide) and the sound was wonderful.

“Quark, Strangeness & Charm” is my favorite of these four titles – from this album “Days Of The Underground” ranks as my single favorite Hawkwind track, with a great performance from Calvert – and fantastic lyrics.

I have no idea why Hawkwind decided to call themselves Hawklords – the band (and sound) were literally unchanged. “25 Years On” is a good album, too. “The Flying Doctor” is particularly amusing.

I am also fond of Calvert’s solo work – especially his third album “Hype – The Songs of Tom Mahler”. I understand there is a book that goes with this album, but I’ve never seen a copy.


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