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Warrior on the Edge of Time
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  • Hawkwind: Dave Brock (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, bass), Nik Turner (soprano & tenor saxophone, flute, vocals), Simon House (piano, synthesizer, violin), Lemmy (bass, vocals), Alan Powell, Simon King (drums, percussion).
  • Additional personnel: Michael Moorcock (vocals).
  • All songs written or co-written by members of Hawkwind.
  • Hawkwind's fifth studio album found the band enjoying a rare oasis of stability after the multitudinous personnel shifts of the past five years. Only the recruitment of a second drummer, Alan Powell, disturbed the equanimity of the lineup that created the previous year's Hall of the Mountain Grill, although it would soon be time to change again. By the end of the year, bassist Lemmy had departed, vocalist Robert Calvert had rejoined, and the group's career-long relationship with United Artists would be over. In the meantime, Warrior on the Edge of Time ensured that it was brainstorming business as usual. Decorated with a magnificent sleeve that unfolded into the shape of a shield, Warrior on the Edge of Time delivered some of Hawkwind's best-loved future showstoppers -- Simon House's far-reaching "Spiral Galaxy 28948," the frenetic "Assault and Battery," and the monstrous "Magnu" all made their bow here, while the accompanying "Kings of Speed" single was certainly a big hit in the youth clubs of the day, even if it did steadfastly avoid the chart. Remarkable, too, is "The Golden Void," a stately bolero set, indeed, on the edge of time and buffeted by one of the band's most impressive ever instrumental performances. A handful of tracks do betray their age. Michael Moorcock's echo- and effects-laden recitation of "The Wizard Blew His Horn" is impossibly overwrought, although it's worth sitting through simply for the segue into the throbbing "Opa-Loka"; in fact, the entire album is presented with minimal breaks between tracks, to deliver a seamless treat that -- in the light of Hawkwind's next musical moves -- has since seen Warrior on the Edge of Time described as the band's last true "classic." It isn't, but you can easily see why people think it might be. [The CD reissue includes one bonus track, Lemmy's valedictory "Motorhead," recorded during the album sessions but released only as the B-side to "Kings of Speed."] ~ Dave Thompson
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