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Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music (Remastered)

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Album Review

Hawkwind was at a difficult transitional point in 1976 when the band recorded Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music. Bassist Lemmy Kilmister had been fired after a drug bust the year before, and the band had been forced to scramble for a replacement, eventually hiring ex-Pink Fairies member Paul Rudolph. What's more, the band had just released a series of successful, landmark proto-heavy metal albums with Kilmister, and the pressure to follow them up was sizable. It was fairly predictable, then, that Astounding Sounds was significantly lighter and less focused than previous records. Unfortunately, that also meant it was less interesting as well. Most of the album consists of moderately forceful hard rock, dense by most standards but nowhere near as corrosive as earlier Hawkwind albums. "Kerb Crawler," frontman Dave Brock's ode to his car, is a rollicking party tune, and the closing instrumental, "Chronoglide Skyway," is a lush, beautiful epic, but these are the only standouts. The remaining tracks are pleasant enough, but tend to blend into one another. Lyrically, the album is far quirkier, thanks to wordsmith Bob Calvert's idiosyncrasies. Whether saluting a certain cash crop in "Reefer Madness" or claiming to be a werewolf in "Steppenwolf," Calvert tries hard to keep the album alive. Unfortunately, the music lacks the necessary punch to make these songs more than mildly amusing. Astounding Sounds is a nice complement to the early, groundbreaking Hawkwind oeuvre, but it's not essential. ~ Victor W. Valdivia, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Astounding Sounds & Amazing Music

A classic Hawkwind outing showing the best of the previous Hawkwind and entering into a new era showcasing their newer direction. The lyrics are just awesome matching the atmostphere created during the what feels like floating sequences. The mix of horns, bass line and keyboards conjures up a dream like musical landscape. To be listened to many times & a must for any true lover of all music. The title really lives up to its name - Astounding Sounds & Amazing Music - Awesome.


Still my favourite album by them


Formed: 1969 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Any sci-fi fan with a long memory probably remembers those 1970s' DAW paperback editions of Michael Moorcock's sword-and-sorcery novels, with their images of heavily armored, very muscular warriors carrying large swords and standing against eerie landscapes and starscapes. Take that imagery, throw in some names and terminology seemingly lifted from the Marvel Comics of the era (and particle physics articles of the period), and translate it into loud but articulate hard rock music. That's more or...
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