EMI have performed an exemplary job of maintaining the Liberty/United Artists portion of the Hawkwind catalogue (their eponymous debut through to Hall Of The Mountain Grill, thus excluding the originally released “out of contract” Warrior On The Edge Of Time) via budget editions and expanded remasters. They’ve unearthed the 1999 Party live set and provided last year’s Hawkwind At The BBC compilation.
Now here’s something akin to the summation of this custodianship mixed with a fascinating glimpse of how different some tracks might have been in a titular parallel universe. While for perspective there’s a thoughtful choice of familiar material, really exciting are the 13 previously unreleased tracks, including the formerly unknown Hog Farm.
Early versions of the psychedelic epic You Know You’re Only Dreaming and the neo-classical Wind Of Change reveal in the former a track that now appears to have originated out of Dave Brock’s busker sensibilities. For the latter, here was an instrumental seeking definition prior to the arrival of Simon House and his rich violin sound which so illuminates the track in its final form. We’ve studio cuts where only live recordings were previously available and alternative takes. Hawkfans pinch yourselves: you are not “only dreaming”.