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Hawkwind: The Flicknife Years 1981-1988

Brock and band’s Flicknife material remastered and repackaged.

Hawkwind fans are a loyal but discerning bunch, as some of their online comments about this latest compilation prove.

Fragments of the band’s output for the Flicknife label have cropped up on various albums throughout their career since original release, so there’s much speculation about just which version of _Robot _is on Friends And Relations here, what tracks are on Zones that weren’t on the Levitation 3-CD set, and so on. All very trainspottery and comforting, but after a one-hit play of the five albums in this neat, classy box (the two aforementioned plus, _Friends And Relations (Twice Upon _A Time), Friends And Relations (Volume Three) and Out And Intake what comes across is that this band – ragged in parts, inspired in others – stand for something. There’s a purity to their music, a depth to their output; they mean it. This is what breeds that strain of avid fandom, rewarded here with bonus tracks galore (the Hurry On Sundown EP and limited edition single The Brothel In Rosenstrasse). Add liner notes from Hawkwind Feedback’s Brian Tawn and it makes for a varied, variable selection sure to give the completists plenty to talk about.