What does it sound like?:
This five cd box contains the Hawkwind albums released between 1994 and 1997, a period during which the band had fallen on some hard times, and was in a bit of a lull both creatively and commercially. There are two studio sets plus two live albums, one of which is a double.
The first in chronological order is 1994’s The Business Trip Live. Well, it says live, but apparently a number of the songs here use studio recorded backing tapes. The version of Quark is taken at a much slower pace than the original, while The Right Stuff is a cover of the song from Robert Calvert’s Captain Lockheed and The Starfighters album. I would have thought the vinyl only bonus track Terra Mystica might have been added, but there’s no sign of it alas. A very patchy effort.
Alien 4 is a studio set from 1995. It does, however, contain a number of songs that are simply rerecordings of older material, namely Death Trap, Wastelands and Are You Losing Your Mind. It’s pretty average Hawkwind by numbers, with nothing really to recommend it.
Next is another live set, this one being spread over two cds – Love In Space. Recorded in 1994, it concentrates on their more recent, and frankly less good, material, and you can almost here the audience sigh with relief when they wheel out Silver Machine.
Finally, we have 1997’s studio effort, Distant Horizons. Although this is an improvement on Alien 4, it is still very much a mixed bag, with only the occasional flash of the brilliance of their glory years
What does it all *mean*?
I don’t think even the band’s most ardent followers would claim these recordings are anywhere near the band’s finest hour, so this set is most definitely one for collectors only.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Hawkwind, free festivals.