Hawkwind Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Ultimate Space Ritual Live Album Package

There is little middle ground with Hawkwind. You either love ’em or loathe ’em. Only one of these is the correct answer, though. As the band, led by the ever-steady Dave Brock, navigate into their sixth decade, those lovely lot at Cherry Red Records and Atomhenge, the keepers of the band’s extensive back catalogue, have lovingly crafted perhaps the ultimate 50th-anniversary package, which celebrates the band’s first live album, Space Ritual, or to give it the correct title, The Space Ritual Live in Liverpool and London.

Hawkwind – Space Ritual 50th Anniversary Edition (Cherry Red Records)

Release Date: 29 September 2023

Words: Paul Hutchings

I’ve got a friend who, as a 16-year-old, was at the Liverpool Stadium where some of Space Ritual was recorded on 22 December 1972 as part of their tour in support of the album Doremi Fasol Latido. You can get some sense of what Dave Brock remembers about the shows (the other venues on the tour were the London Brixton Sundown and Sunderland Locarno) in our interview with him.

The double album hit the UK top ten and featured Brock, Nik Turner, Lemmy, Dik Mik, Del Dettmar, Simon King, Robert Calvert and dancers Stacia, Miss Renee, and Tony Carrera, who over a decade later was back on stage playing the part of Elric in the Chronicle of the Blacksword tour.

The first two discs comprise a remaster of the original album. It’s a fascinating listen, even if you are familiar with the album, with the poetry of Calvert mingled between the bruising space rock of songs such as the powerful and meandering Brainstorm, the trippy Orgone Accumulator, and the stellar opening Born to Go that kicks thing off for real.

Swirling keyboards and electronic effects, multiple vocals, crazed drumming, and percussion, everything that Hawkwind has continued to deliver over the past 50 years is present. Lemmy’s driving bass pushes everything forward, whilst Turner’s deranged flute and saxophone add a disturbed and jarring angle.

The sinister Sonic Attack, written by Michael Moorcock but delivered here by Calvert, remains as eerie today as it must have sounded back then. No Hawkwind album is complete without Master Of The Universe, and the version that is featured here is spectacular, fast, and furiously delivered, with Lemmy’s trademark bass runs, Brock’s futuristic lead guitar work and Turner’s harrowing saxophone echoing across the whole song.

29sep7:00 pmHawkwind | Space Ritual, Royal Albert HallRoyal Albert Hall

Listed at number 8 in a Q & Mojo Cosmic Rock Top 40, Space Ritual was also featured in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, coming in at 276. It’s an album that needs to be heard at least once just to appreciate the sheer chaotic quality that the band were able to conjure up. The Brock riff on Master Of The Universe should be made compulsory listening in schools.

It’s the additional discs that make this release so compelling. As well as the remaster of the original album, the three shows are included in their entirety, mixed by Stephen W Tayler.

They make fascinating listening, following a similar formula but with subtle differences in each show. With unedited versions of Brainstorm (which the band performed magnificently recently at their show at Chepstow Castle), Time We Left This World Today, and the encore of You Shouldn’t Do That, illustrated booklet and poster, this is a box set that is well worth grabbing.

If you are a fan, it’ll be worth it for the live recordings, and if you are just discovering this Great British institution, then this is a genuine piece of music history and an amazing recording of a band who are still wowing audiences fifty years later.

BOX SET TRACK LIST

Disc One: “Space Ritual” The original album re-mastered

1. Earth Calling (Original album mix)

2. Born to Go (Original album mix)

3. Down Through the Night (Original album mix)

4. The Awakening (Original album mix)

5. Lord of Light (Original album mix)

6. Black Corridor (Original album mix)

7. Space is Deep (Original album mix)

8. Electronic No. 1 (Original album mix)

Disc Two: “Space Ritual” The original album re-mastered

1. Orgone Accumulator (Original album mix)

2. Upside Down (Original album mix)

3. 10 Seconds of Forever (Original album mix)

4. Brainstorm (Original album mix)

5. Seven by Seven (Original album mix)

6. Sonic Attack (Original album mix)

7. Time We Left This World Today (Original album mix)

8. Master of the Universe (Original album mix)

9. Welcome to the Future (Original album mix)

Disc Three: Liverpool Stadium 22nd December 1972 New mix – previously unreleased

1. Earth Calling (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

2. Born to Go (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

3. Down Through the Night (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

4. The Awakening (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

5. Lord of Light (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

6. Black Corridor (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

7. Space is Deep (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

8. Electronic No. 1 (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

9. Orgone Accumulator (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

10. Upside Down (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

Disc Four: Liverpool Stadium 22nd December 1972 New mix – previously unreleased

1. 10 Seconds of Forever (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

2. Brainstorm (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

3. Seven by Seven (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

4. Sonic Attack (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

5. Time We Left This World Today (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

6. Master of the Universe (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

7. Welcome to the Future (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

8. You Shouldn’t Do That (Liverpool 22.12.1972)

Disc Five: Locarno Sunderland 23rd December 1972 New mix – previously unreleased

1. Earth Calling (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

2. Born to Go (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

3. Down Through the Night (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

4. The Awakening (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

5. Lord of Light (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

6. Black Corridor (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

7. Space is Deep (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

8. Electronic No. 1 (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

9. Orgone Accumulator (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

10. Upside Down (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

Disc Six: Locarno Sunderland 23rd December 1972 New mix – previously unreleased

1. 10 Seconds of Forever (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

2. Brainstorm (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

3. Seven by Seven (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

4. Sonic Attack (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

5. Time We Left This World Today (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

6. Master of the Universe (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

7. Welcome to the Future (Sunderland 23.12.1972)

Disc Seven:

Brixton Sundown, London 30th December 1972

  1. Earth Calling
  2. Born to Go
  3. Down Through the Night
  4. The Awakening
  5. Lord of Light
  6. Black Corridor
  7. Space is Deep
  8. Electronic No. 1
  9. Orgone Accumulator

Disc Eight:

Brixton Sundown, London 30th December 1972

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Seven by Seven
  3. Sonic Attack
  4. Time We Left This World Today
  5. Master of the Universe
  6. Welcome to the Future
  7. You Shouldn’t Do That

Disc Nine: Space Ritual 50th Anniversary Stereo Remix by Stephen W Tayler

1. Earth Calling (new stereo mix)

2. Born to Go (new stereo mix)

3. Down Through the Night (new stereo mix)

4. The Awakening (new stereo mix)

5. Lord of Light (new stereo mix)

6. Black Corridor (new stereo mix)

7. Space is Deep (new stereo mix)

8. Electronic No. 1 (new stereo mix)

9. Orgone Accumulator (new stereo mix)

10. Upside Down (new stereo mix)

Disc Ten: Space Ritual 50th Anniversary Stereo Remix by Stephen W Tayler

1. 10 Seconds of Forever (new stereo mix)

2. Brainstorm (new stereo mix)

3. Seven by Seven (new stereo mix)

4. Sonic Attack (new stereo mix)

5. Time We Left This World Today (new stereo mix)

6. Master of the Universe (new stereo mix)

7. Welcome to the Future (new stereo mix)

8. You Shouldn’t Do That (new stereo mix)

Disc Eleven: Blu-ray
Space Ritual 96 kHz / 24-bit 5.1 mix & new stereo mix By Stephen W Tayler

1. Earth Calling (5.1 Surround mix)

2. Born to Go (5.1 Surround mix)

3. Down Through the Night (5.1 Surround mix)

4. The Awakening (5.1 Surround mix)

5. Lord of Light (5.1 Surround mix)

6. Black Corridor (5.1 Surround mix)

7. Space is Deep (5.1 Surround mix)

8. Electronic No. 1 (5.1 Surround mix)

9. Orgone Accumulator (5.1 Surround mix)

10. Upside Down (5.1 Surround mix)

11. 10 Seconds of Forever (5.1 Surround mix)

12. Brainstorm (5.1 Surround mix)

13. Seven by Seven (5.1 Surround mix)

14. Sonic Attack (5.1 Surround mix)

15. Time We Left This World Today (5.1 Surround mix)

16. Master of the Universe (5.1 Surround mix)

17. Welcome to the Future (5.1 Surround mix)

18. You Shouldn’t Do That (5.1 Surround mix)

Sleeve Notes

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