HAWKWIND: 50th-Anniversary Edition Of 'Space Ritual' Due In September

July 6, 2023

Atomhenge, the home of HAWKWIND's back catalog, has announced the release of a deluxe 50th-anniversary edition of HAWKWIND's legendary live album "Space Ritual". It was recorded on the band's U.K. tour of December 1972, which followed the release of the band's then-recent studio album "Doremi Fasol Latido". The live show was a continuous performance linked by poetry recitation by Robert Calvert and was a complete audio-visual experience. Featuring the dancers Stacia, Miss Renee and Tony Carrera, the concerts also featured an elaborate light show by famed lighting designer Liquid Len.

The "Space Ritual" tour followed the huge success of the "Silver Machine" single (although the song did not feature in the live set) and three concerts were captured on tape by the Pye Records mobile unit. The resulting double album was adorned with memorable artwork by designer Barney Bubbles and was a Top 10 hit in the U.K. upon its release in May 1973.

Due on September 29, this 50th-anniversary limited-edition deluxe boxed set comprises 10 CDs and a Blu-ray disc and features a new remaster of the original album, along with new mixes of all three complete concerts recorded on the tour at Liverpool Stadium, Sunderland Locarno and Brixton Sundown, all mixed by Stephen W Tayler. The set also includes a stunning 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the album, along with a new stereo mix of the album, including the complete unedited versions of "Brainstorm" and "Time We Left This World Today" and the encore of "You Shouldn't Do That". The set is completed with a 68-page illustrated book with new essay and a reproduction of the rare "Space Ritual" poster format tour program, making this box set the definitive release and this legendary album.

HAWKWIND were formed in 1969, originally as HAWKWIND ZOO, by former London busker Dave Brock. In 1970, the band appeared outside the perimeter fence of the Isle Of Wight festival as a protest to the admission charge. Jimi Hendrix was spotted in the audience. The same year they played at the first Glastonbury festival. These activities helped establish them as the people's band, as well as being widely acknowledged with creating a brand new genre of music — space rock. Also in that year the band's first single, "Hurry On Sundown", was released followed by the self-titled debut album, "Hawkwind".

By 1972, the band's popularity had grown to such an extent that they could now headline venues such as the famous Chalk Farm Roundhouse in London. A gig billed as the "Greasy Truckers Party" at this venue in February was to be forever etched into HAWKWIND folklore, as it was at this show that their trademark single "Silver Machine" was recorded. The track, which featured Lemmy on vocals, brought the band to the attention of the wider general public after it reached number two in the U.K. charts in the June of that year.

The success of "Silver Machine" financed their famous themed tour, titled "Space Ritual". This show set the precedent for all future HAWKWIND shows. The band's wealth of creative talent, including contributions from the likes of sci-fi author Michael Moorcock, poet and visionary Bob Calvert, designer Barney Bubbles and lighting engineer Liquid Len created the world's first truly multimedia touring roadshow. The barrage of light, sound, dance and theatrics has since become a hallmark of all subsequent HAWKWIND shows, making each gig a unique and spectacular event, rather than another standard rock concert.

Following the "Space Ritual" U.K. tour, the band went on to continue the tour in the USA coinciding with the release of their acclaimed third album, "Doremi Fasol Latido", and then the live recording "Space Ritual".

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