Hawkwind and science-fiction/fantasy author Michael Moorcock had been hovering around each other's vicinities for years before they finally got around to recording this adaptation of Moorcock's Elric novels (long a favorite on the old DAW paperback line). They seemed made to order for the project, and by and large they are; the band rocks their way through the story of Elric and the sword that becomes the basis for his survival and his doom, breaking it up with a few ethereal keyboard-dominated interludes. "Needle Gun" could have been a single by the original band had it been released a few years earlier. They aren't quite as melodic here in their writing, singing, or playing as they might have been, say, a decade earlier, and some of the songs are a bit predictable, but overall this is a fairly successful contribution to rock's rarefied body of literary adaptations, well suited to its subject. The lineup here is Brock (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Bainbridge (keyboards, vocals), Langton (lead guitar, vocals), Alan Davey (bass), Danny Thompson (drums), and Dave Charles (percussion).
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder