Silver Machine

Song Review by

Certainly the best-known Hawkwind recording of all, it was "Silver Machine" that drew the band out of the London underground of the early 1970s and thrust them into the mass-media spotlight, climbing to #2 on the UK chart and single-handedly underwriting the expense of their forthcoming Space Ritual tour.

The hit performance was recorded live at the London Roundhouse in February 1972, for inclusion on the live triple album Glastonbury Revelation. This original tape, however, has very little in common with the hit version, not only being edited down from its original sprawling length, but also undergoing such a thorough remix that it's almost impossible to draw any sonic parallels whatsoever between the two - all the more so after Lemmy dubbed a new lead vocal onto the track. Nevertheless, any accusations of trickery were swiftly dispelled by the single's success, and "Silver Machine" has remained a vital part of Hawkwind's repertoire ever since. Live versions abound throughout their catalog, with highlights including a 2002 performance featuring vocals from Arthur Brown, and a humorously self-deprecating version coined by Nik Turner, that transforms the silver machine into a "Washing Machine". The band also returned to the song in the studio in 1982, marking its tenth anniversary with a remix/recording that itself returned them to the chart for the first time in almost as long.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
In Search of Space 1971 One Way Records 0:00
No Image 1976 United Artists Records
Choose Your Masques 1982 Atomhenge 4:21
Anthology, Vol. 1 1986 0:00
No Image 1986 Castle Music Ltd. 3:58
The Early Daze: Best of Hawkwind 1987 Magnum 3:38
Acid Daze, Vol. 3 1990 Receiver 4:02
Stasis: The U.A. Years, 1971-1975 1990 One Way Records 4:41
Metal Age: The Roots of Metal 1992
Various Artists
Psychedelic Warlords 1992 Cleopatra 4:38
Friends and Relations: The Best of Hawkwind 1993 Emporio
Progression [Import] 1994
Various Artists
Anthology, 1967-1982 1994 Essential Records 1:06
25 Years On, Vol. 1 (1970-1973) 1995 Griffin 4:39
1972: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 4:39
In Search of Space: The Sixties to Seventies 1997
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Dressed To Kill 3:45
In Search of Space: 60's to 70's, Vol. 3 1997
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 3:45
Acid Space 1999
Various Artists
Cleopatra 0:00
Epocheclipse: 30 Year Anthology 1999 EMI Music Distribution 5:18
Hawkwind Family Box 1999 Cleopatra 4:38
Wow That Was the 70's 1999
Various Artists
Disky Communications 4:36
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Disky Box] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 4:37
The Legends Collection 2001 Dressed To Kill 3:44
Totally Sensational 70's: 1970-1973 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:38
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 4:37
Masters of Rock 2002 EMI Music Distribution 4:39
Story of Rock: Radio 538 2002
Various Artists
B.R. 4:06
Sonic Boom Killers: The Singles 2002 Repertoire 4:40
The Best Prog Rock Album in the World...Ever 2003
Various Artists
Virgin 4:40
Original Hits: 70s 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:37
Wondrous Stories: A Complete Introduction to Progressive Rock 2010
Various Artists
Universal 0:00
Latest & Greatest Festival Anthems 2014
Various Artists
Union Square Music 4:36
At the Roundhouse 2017 Cherry Red 6:28
Be There Now
Various Artists
Soundsite 4:38
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:36
Massive Hits!: Rock
Various Artists
EMI Gold 4:38
The Best Ever Rock
Various Artists
The Best Rock Anthems ...Ever!
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:37