Hawkwind: 77

Brock, Calvert and band getting Weird during punk’s Year Zero.

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The myth that punk subsumed everything else in the late 70s still prevails, mainly in those hipper parts of the media nourished by that very fallacy. Never Mind The Bollocks did away with prog? Do me a favour! Johnny Rotten actually once made a point of shaking Dave Brock’s hand and telling him what a fan he was, as would Henry Rollins later on.

Hawkwind’s raw cosmic rock had much in common with the DIY, state-changing ethos that charged the safety-pinned scenesters. Purportedly all from 1977, the lo-fi live tracks collected here such as Masters Of The Universe, Uncle Sam’s On Mars and Angles Of Life chime with the musical times.

A word to the wise though: 77 is pretty much just another vanilla repackage of highlights from Brock’s Weird Tapes, Vols 1, 2 and 3. So you get tracks from Sonic Assassins (Over The Top to Who’s Gonna Win The War, and a derisory 12 seconds of Freefall) and Damnation Alley Pts 1 & 2 from Weird 3.

Yet there’s no apparent regard for the original sequencing and order here. The brief, unenlightening sleevenotes only add to the hackle-raising sense that this double CD set’s been smashed together with scant love or care.