Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Hawkwind
Levitation


Released 1980 on Bronze/Castle Music
Reviewed by Moon Cat, 31/10/2000ce


I'm aware that it is the earlier Hawkwind matieral that has garnered the most favourable responses and appraisals from the drudes and drudettes on HH, and to be honest, with Hawkwind, that's where my heart lies too. But I have to recommend "Levitation" not only 'cos it was my first Hawkwind album, but also 'cos I think its UTTERLY FANFUCKINGTASTIC.

Produced by what is possibly one of the most musically proficient of the 'Wind line ups "Levitation" is space rock par excellance! The whole album is powered by A)some of the best melody driven as opposed to chord driven rockers that Dave Brock has come up with an B) the stunning drumming of (ex-Cream) Ginger Baker.
The guy might be a bit of a flake but he really drives this album. Few drummers have a "sound" and Baker does. Stick that with Hawkwind and something pretty fucking cosmic happens. The songs , for me, represent the perfect combination of Hawkwind's cosmic rock vision and their burgeoning heavier sound. Later albums sounded like they were trying to cater a little too hard to the metal audience that had "re-discovered" them. But with "Levitation" Hawkwind got it right. The fluid lead runs of the (underrated) Huw Lloyd-Langton to the pure electronic head-scapes concocted between Dave Brock and Harvey Bainbridge; this album is soundtrackin' a road movie to Alpha Centuri. The instrumental "Space Chase", from its Space Invader opening to its main groove riffing IS someone surfing on celestial dust.
The warp jump from "Psychosis" to "World of Tiers" HAS to be played at Space-Shuttle-Leaving-Cape -Kennedy volume. The synth and riffola of "Dust of Time" just rocks...like asteroids do. "Who's gonna win the war?" Hawkwind 1 Rest of the Cosmiverse 0
For those that think Hawkwind were a lost cause after , say, '77...you owe it to yourself to dig out Levitation, pump up the volume, fire all boosters and just GOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!


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