Hawkwind “Space Ritual” (Space Rock) [Album/Review]


Year: 1973
Genre: Space Rock
Label: United Artists Records

This live album features the classic lineup of the band with the soon to be Motörhead hero Lemmy. During the period leading up to this album they were more or less always on tour, averaging one show every three days. Among other things, they performed for free five days in a row outside the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

Recorded live at Liverpool Stadium 22.12.72 and at Brixton Sundown, London 30.12.72 , during the tour for “Doremi Fasol Latido”, it has been called the greatest live record ever. That might be for some, I would call it an amazing record since it is! But greatest live properly depends on what you want from a live record. If it’s any clearer interplay with the audience or a feeling you are right there at the venue, then no for me, I would prefer Johnny Cash “At Folsom Prison”, Kiss “Alive”, Depeche Mode “101”, Nirvana “MTV Unplugged in New York” or more or less any live recording with Bruce Springsteen. But as an album, this is f**king mind blowing.

I’m not directly knowledgeable about so called Space rock, but I usually like what I hear, so I have to dig deeper into those crates. Although it’s called space-rock I personally never get a “travelling out in space” feeling, but I get why some people would. For that kind of feeling to me, the repetivness of some acid techno music do that job for me.

Stand out tracks are the amazing fuzzy “Lord of Light”, the astounding, mind-warping sound of “Down Through The Night”. “Brainstorm” in its dirtyness and directness, and when the furious “Master of the Universe” comes on, my mind gets blown every time. I even like “Orgone Accumulator”, that has a boogie-rock part that I usually hate, but here I buy it for some reason. Probably because it’s drenched in spaced out rock 🙂

This is a mesmerizing psy-fi grooves masterpiece!

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