Hawkwind 1973

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Confirming the worst suspicions that any Hawkwind collector has ever entertained -- namely, that the bulk of the band's discography comprises vaguely disguised repackagings of the same old performances you've already bought three times before -- Hawkwind 1973 turns out to be just once more around the block for the 1973 Wembley concert appearance, best known (and most sensibly purchased) as Bring Me the Head of Yuri Gagarin. Neither remastered, reworked, or even lightly tweaked, there is no advance on the original's sound quality, nor any upgrade of its useless annotation. However, if the original album proves at all elusive, Hawkwind 1973 at least reacquaints the listener with two lost Hawkwind classics "The Egg" and "Wage War," with the poetic brutality of the latter segued exquisitely into a heartfelt "Urban Guerilla," the band's then-current single and an odds-on hit until the BBC chose to ban it. The release coincided with a real-life outbreak of urban guerilla-ism, and it seemed somehow distasteful to continue playing the record. Of course there are critics who have said exactly the same thing about this album. The sound quality really is as lousy as you'll ever find outside of the bootleg world, and Hawkwind certainly deserved better. But, as the only document of the band at the very peak of its post-Space Ritual/pre-protracted self-destruction period, and the only source for the aforementioned "The Egg" and "Wage War" jewels, it's either this or nothing. And nothing is no option at all.