HW: Review - Quark

Paul Ward sonique at AARDVARK.APANA.ORG.AU
Thu Sep 7 18:17:43 EDT 1995

             Record Review: Hawkwind 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm'

Disclaimer: I've done this a few times now, but I still have *NO* literary
            talent whatsoever! In fact it's getting harder as I go :-(
            My humble opinion is mine, and no-one elses! I do know what I
            like though, and that means HAWKWIND!

            Any reference to record labels & catalog numbers reflects what
            my copy is, and is not necessarily the only (or original)

Artist/s:       Hawkwind
Title:          Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Label/Cat#:     Charisma 9124 012
1st Release:    1977
Lineup:         Bob Calvert, Dave Brock, Simon House, Adrian Shaw, Simon King

The last LP, 'Astounding', we noted (sadly?) Lemmy's abscence. This time, it's
Nik Turner who is missing. Not to worry, this is one of Hawkwind's greatest!

We are back in space with QS&C - but this time with a sense of humour! Like
'Mountain Grill', this is more approachable music than earlier Hawkwind, with
catchier, softer tunes - but with a space theme. The cover of the album gives
away the science/space theme ... the control room of a Nuclear Power plant,
complete with (emitted from a switch lever ?) Laser beams and strange green
glowing crytals!

"Spirit of the Age" is, without doubt, one of the most brilliant tracks which
Calvert ever penned for Hawkwind. The opening samples taken from 'Mission
Control' lead us out into space .... but not as 'Masters of the Universe'. This
is the tale of a space pilot clone's barely functional sex-slave android, and
his longing for the flesh and blood woman left back on earth that it was meant
to replace. "Damnation Alley" (based on Roger Zelzany's book) is a raunchy, up
tempo piece about travel through the remnants of the USA after a nuclear
holocaust (complete with Air Raid sirens), while "Fable of failed race" is a
mournful tale of ...... a failed alien race!

Side two begins with a boppy (yes - I said 'boppy') jingle (!) about the antics,
trials and tribulations of histories greatest minds, and their apparent lack of
knowledge of the power and importance of "Quark, Strangeness and Charm",
especially when it comes to picking up women! The middle eastern sounds behind
"Hassan I Sahba" (later known as 'Assassins of Allah') combine with the power of
Hawkwind rock which we all know and love, but I have to admit being a little
disappointed with the instrumental synth track "The Forge of Vulcan". But hey -
no LP is perfect ..... except maybe SR! "Days of the Underground" laments the
loss of the independance experienced by 60's protesters & freedom fighters etc.
I think. This segue's into the short final track, "Iron Dream" which (to me at
least) gives the impression that there is more to come ........

That was the shortest review ever (but I did say that it was getting harder).
All I can say is - if you don't have it, get it.

Paul Ward        aka: Assassin Sonique'          .---.  __  .--------   Long
R & D Manager, P & C Micro's Pty Ltd            /     \( o`-,  -----   may
mail: sonique at aardvark.apana.org.au            ////    '~ (    ---   they
http://aardvark.apana.org.au/~sonique/my.html /////// :    ; ---   Fly!

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