Stasis: The U.A. Years, 1971-1975

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Something of a wasted opportunity, UA -- Hawkwind's label throughout their early-'70s years of most vital significance -- delved into the vault and emerged with little more than an expanded version of Cleopatra's earlier Psychedelic Warlords gathering of non-album singles padded out with great swathes of the Space Ritual live album. There is, after all, so much that could be done with Hawkwind's back catalog, beginning with a box set that delves deeper into the period archive -- with many of this set's prime rarities having already surfaced on the expanded versions of the original LPs, the need for a mere single disc's worth of odds-and-ends was minimal, to say the least. All of that notwithstanding, of course, the sheer quality of the music on Stasis remains unimpeachable. "Silver Machine," "Urban Guerilla," and "Psychedelic Warlords," the band's most successful U.K. singles of the age, all stand proud among the all-time Hawkwind classics, while the live material readily captures the intent, if not the entire mood, of the Space Ritual. The B side "Seven By Seven" is a genuinely atmospheric jewel, and only the absence of "Master of the Universe" truly derails this set's claim to be a genuine best-of Hawkwind's early years.

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