Coming off the back of their near-new wave Hawklords era, Levitation saw an almost complete realignment of the Hawks’ membership, with returning founder member Huw Lloyd Langton delivering spellbindingly crisp lead lines to contrast the backbone of Dave Brock’s grungy guitar, resulting in the classic Motorway City and a heavy rock direction for 80s Hawkwind.
As an extended release, though, this three-disc set is messy. It might perhaps be that the original version of the album, laid down before departing drummer Simon King’s contribution was overdubbed by his unlikely replacement Ginger Baker, is now lost to history, but there’s no compelling case for the inclusion of out-of-context Hawklords material instead. The adding of most, but not all, of the Lewisham Odeon gig from the Levitation tour contains a number of tracks previously released elsewhere, nicely spruced up, but also reproduces a later studio vocal overdub by Michael Moorcock, which, from a historical viewpoint, is an odd decision.
This, a 3,000 limitededition run before reverting to a single disc, proudly describes itself as the “ultimate edition” but, truth be told, though the quality of the remastering is exemplary, and the original album one of the cornerstones of the catalogue (as reflected in our rating), ultimately, this disjointed edition disappoints.