Hawkwind

Masters of the Universe

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Not to be confused with any of the other Hawkwind albums of the same title (on EMI, UA and Simply The Best; let them become confused among themselves), Masters Of The Universe is, instead, a cheap and ugly repackaging of the 1985 In the Beginning CD, which itself was merely a reissue of the earlier Text Of Festival, minus the two-side long "Sound/Shouldn't/ /"Improvise"/"Improvise/Compromise"/"Reprise" medley jam. The bulk of Masters Of The Universe, therefore, is taken from two of the group's three BBC sessions recorded during 1970-1971, together with a clutch of rough live recordings, taped at an unspecified venue around the same time -- possibly the Cambridge Corn Exchange. The sound quality throughout is raw, to say the least; however, the album's reputation for unlistenability owes as much to Hawkwind's own performance, as to any screaming deficiencies in the fidelity. With the band locking into one solid groove after another, and wrapping up with the marathon bass riff of "I Do It" and "Come Home" (which may or may not be the songs' actual titles), it is very easy to imagine that much more must have been taking place on the night that has been lost in the muddy mix. In fact, what you hear is what you got -- only with the strobes flashing, the light show exploding and Stacia dancing naked before you; it really did seem a lot more exciting.

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