Hawkwind - Levitation


Year of Release: 1980
Label: Castle
Catalog Number: CLACD 129
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:08:00

Hawkwind is one of the most innovative bands from the category "Space Rock". They're a really progressive space rock band, unlike, for example, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra, and the like, which are simply "Space", maybe even "Prog-Space", but structurally not "Rock" at all, as it is. Hawkwind's stylistics have changed through their long "cosmic" years, yet it always remains their own, absolutely original style. This is the case, when any direct comparisons with any other band should not be drawn, especially when we talk about the incomparable great performers (read the review on Ozric Tentacles' Strangeitudes in "O" section [in ProgressorR]).

The first, title track opens with an energetic theme of bass guitar supported by a galloping drumming from Maestro Ginger Baker, and nobody can stop him until the end! This excellent rhythm-section is supported a bit later with driving electric guitars, keyboards modulations and excellent rockish vocals. There's no changes of tempos, and open drive, and energy, and speed, to keep you in strained attention till the end of a song, but still how many beautiful and diverse arrangements waiting for you on the way, including fantastic "spacey" solo interplay between keyboards and guitar! This is not the Morass of Dreams, and very soon you will lose your bag with tangerines, if you came here with it (of course, only for the first time, otherwise you won't simply like the Tangerines). And now you have a choice, as always, since the second track.

"Motorway City" with its overdriving tempo doesn't give you breathing-space while waiting for the true space: to go back to the morass of dreams under the ruins of someone else's temple, or to ride on this a very unpredictable horse, who already stops to drink the clear spacey water from Psychosis. It won't last long. Because it's a really rockish horse, and if you've made a right choice, ride on to the next World of Tears, where still more various spirits are waiting for you on the same hard road. And here you don't have time to rest and to turn over the LP, this is CD.

"Prelude" is indeed a spacey prelude to "Who's Gonna Win the War" (one of the most popular Hawkwind's songs), which, as always, is a quite heavy composition, yet one of the most truly spacey. And you, as already an experienced rider, now have time to watch with pleasure on the last three mid-tempo tracks a delightful locality of the road.

"Space Chase" is an instrumental piece with lots of brilliant solo interplay between guitar and keyboards, as well as with some impressive spacey effects from Tim Blake. "The Fifth Second of Forever" opens and also closes with a nice acoustic guitar, whereas in the middle this is a genuine rock song with a unique work from Baker (no drummer before or after him has ever given Hawkwind's overall sonority so diverse and energetic drumming) among the other things.

"Dust of Time" is quite a long song, completing the album. Along with the title track and "Who's Gonna Win the War (now)," this is one of the most complex, energetic compositions in the album.

Summary. As for me, this is my most favourite album from Hawkwind, though I also like very much Astounding Sounds..., Quark..., Doremi... and even The Chronicle.... Despite the absence here of such usual for Hawkwind instruments as sax, flute and cello, the combination of such extraordinary musicians in that album only gives it the status of the most (exactly!) progressive album of this band. Progressivity, such a complex of compositional and technical nuances (for details see the article "Progressive Rock and its meaning in our life" [in ProgressoR]), is the main aspect to be considered in the lands of Progressive Rock.


Tracklisting:
Levitation (5:48) / Motorway City (6:45) / Psychosis (2:22) / World of Tears (3:17) / Prelude (1:41) / Who's Gonna Win The War (4:43) / Space Chase (3:06) / The Fifth Second Of Forever (3:27) / Dust Of Time (6:19)

Musicians:
Dave Brock - vocals, rhythm guitars, synthesizer
Huw Lloyd Langton - lead guitars
Harvey Bainbridge - bass
Tim Blake - keyboards
Ginger Baker - drums

Discography:
Hawkwind (1970)
In Search Of Space (1971)
Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)
Space Ritual (1973)
Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)
Warrior On The Edge Of Time (1975)
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music (1976)
Quark, Strangeness And Charm (1977)
25 Years On (1978)
PXR5 (1978)
Live Seventy-Nine (1980)
Levitation (1980)
The Weird Tapes Volumes 1-8 (1980)
Sonic Attack (1981)
Church Of Hawkwind (1982)
Choose Your Masques (1983)
Text Of Festival (1983)
Zones (1983)
Stonehenge/Do Not Panic (1984)
Chronicle Of The Black Sword (1985)
Hawkwind Anthology (1985)
Live Chronicles (1986)
Out And Intake (1987)
The Xenon Codex (1988)
Space Bandits (1990)
Palace Springs (1991)
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1991)
Electric Tepee (1992)
The Friday Rock Show Sessions (1992)
Hawklords Live (1992)
California Brainstorm (1992)
It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous (1993)
The Business Trip (1994)
Alien 4 (1995)
Undisclosed Files Addendum (1995)
Love In Space (1996)
The 1999 Party (1997)
Distant Horizons (1997)
In Your Area (1999) (US only)
The Elf And The Hawk
Epoch-Eclipse (?) (1999)
Family Box Set (1999)
Hawkwind 1997 (1999)
Glastonbury 90 (1999)
Choose Your Masques: Collectors Series Volume 2 (1999)
Complete '79: COllectors Series Volume 1 (1999)
Year 2000-Codename Hawkwind (1999)
Atomhenge '76 (2000)
Yule Ritual (2001)
Canterbury Fayre 2001 (2002)
Live 1990 (2002)
Spaced Out In London (2004)
Take Me To Your Leader (2005)
Take Me To Your Future (2006)

Genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 1st 2000
Reviewer: Vitaly Menshikov

Artist website: www.hawkwind.com
Hits: 1128
Language: english

  

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