Always a curiousity with this writer was London based space rockers Hawkwind, in fact this was my first encounter with the band.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Warrior On The Edge Of Time
LABEL: United Artists
SERIAL: UAG 29766
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Michael Moorcock – vocals (‘The Wizard Blew His Horn’ and ‘Warriors’) * Dave Brock – guitar, keyboards, vocals, bass (‘Opa-Loka’) * Nik Turner – saxophone, flute, vocals (‘Standing at the Edge’, ‘Dying Seas’) * Lemmy (Ian Kilmister) – bass, vocals (‘Motorhead’) * Simon House – violin, mellotron, VCS3, keyboards * Simon King, Alan Powell – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Assault & Battery Part I * 02 The Golden Void Part II * 03 The Wizard Blew His Horn * 04 Opa-Loka * 05 The Demented Man * 06 Magnu * 07 Standing At The Edge * 08 Spiral Galaxy 28948 * 09 Warriors * 10 Dying Seas * 11 Kings Of Speed
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It wasn’t until the 70’s decade was nearly finished, that I fell upon Hawkwind. Perhaps a bit of cover art seduction, band name attraction, and the availability of their LP’s in the second hand bins of my home town during my high school era. Anyway, the first LP of theirs which landed in my collection was this one, ‘Warrior On The Edge Of Time’.
I had read up extensively on the band due to some books that I had managed to acquire. Surprisingly, this was well before the Internet age. Wonders never cease. WOTEOT was Hawkwind’s sixth album (if you count 1973’s live set ‘Space Ritual’), this one released in 1975. We’ve reviewed two of those earlier efforts, so you can also read a bit of their history from there, click the tag below.
I’ve always enjoyed the symphonic/psychedelic space rock epic of ‘Assault And Battery Part I’, which kicks this album off. The airy synth strings pervades this song all the way through. The band adds a dose of flute and some lyrics straight out of a Larry Niven sci-fi novel.
Seguing into ‘The Golden Void Part II’, it’s a continuation of Hawkwind’s haunting space rock, the band heading down the corridor of fame, as the lyrics imply. Most of the lyrics have Michael Moorcock’s indelible hand all over it. This is pretty good stuff. ‘The Wizard Blew His Horn’ is more spoken word than anything else. Like space rock poetry. If Kiwi band Blerta ever decided to do sci-fi, then this is what they would sound like.
It moves on into ‘Opa-Loka’, featuring an insistent snare back-beat of which five minutes is a bit too much to be honest. In later years, Lemmy called this song ‘crap’! He wouldn’t be far from the truth. ‘The Demented Man’ moves into acoustic territory, it’s like we’ve got a spacefaring astronaut standing on the cliff of an alien planet playing an acoustic guitar. Stay with me on this one.. lol!
‘Magnu’ sees Hawkwind getting back to hard rock. At 8 minutes, it might be a tall order to get through, but at least it has total variety within as the instrumentation is totally off the planet. ‘Standing At The Edge’ is a vocal featurette, which has crazed sound effects that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (a la Doctor Who) would be proud of.
The instrumental ‘Spiral Galaxy 28948’ is quite beautiful stuff. Written by drummer Simon House, it’s laden with synthesizers, this one is my pick on the album. ‘Warriors’ is another bit of Moorcock’s lyrical spoken word in the style of a Dalek voice. I was waiting for the phrase ‘Destroy.. Destroy!!’ to come chiming in.
‘Dying Seas’ and ‘Kings Of Speed’ finish things up in a mostly hard rock style. The latter could be an indicator of things to come, as it has early Motorhead written all over it thanks to Lemmy’s influence, despite some bayou fiddle work shining through.
‘Kings Of Speed’ and the track ‘Motorhead’ (which didn’t appear on the original release of this LP) would allow Lemmy to develop this style even more when he decided to form Motorhead soon after.
WOTEOT would be Hawkwind’s final release for United Artists, departing to join Charisma for 1976’s ‘Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music’. You can read more about the makings of the album, and the critique that surrounded it after release click here...
Entire Album (Select Tracks)