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Album Review

Better remembered for the controversy that surrounded its original artwork than for either its contents or its genesis, PXR5 is historically one of the lesser-celebrated LPs in Hawkwind's canon. Not only was it their worst-selling new album since their debut nine years earlier, but the sheer confusion that surrounded its release, and (erroneous) reports that it was largely comprised of outtakes and off-cuts, lent it almost black-sheep status. But its original CD reissue remains a powerhouse collectible, and this remastered repackage restores it to the front line of Hawkish attractions. No less than eight bonus tracks double the running time of the original disc through the inclusion of two cuts mysteriously substituted on the earlier CD (a studio version of "High Rise" and a briefly extended take on the title track), plus a clutch of demos and alternate takes and a period live performance of "Quark, Strangeness and Charm." It's still a confusing and, in places, disheveled album, but the inclusion of such live favorites as "Uncle Sam's on Mars" and the breathless "Death Trap" establish it as a true Hawkwind classic.


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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