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Hawkwind was the seminal British 1970s acid-rock band. An unrepentant bunch of hippies, their music is fundamentally driving psychedelic rock, cosmic orchestral pieces and even some humorous dance music. Their music usually deals with urban and science fiction themes.

Formed in the summer of 1969 as Hawkwind Zoo, they were offered a record deal by Liberty Records in November of that year and immediately shortened the band name to Hawkwind. Their live performances quickly gathered them a cult following, and their second album In Search of Space was very successful.

They achieved chart status with the release of the single Silver Machine in 1972. Their follow up single Urban Guerrilla had to be withdrawn after increased terrorist activity by the Provisional IRA.

Hawkwind have had a long-standing connection with the Stonehenge free festival, which was considered such a cultural threat that Margaret Thatcher sought to close it down in 1985.

On October 21 2000 the Hawkestra, a band formed by virtually all former members of Hawkwind, played at the Brixton Academy.

Over the years they have had many line-up changes, however Dave Brock has been at the heart of the band since they formed. Other members have included Lemmy Kilmister (who went on to front Motorhead), Nik Turner, Harvey Bainbridge, Del Dettmar, Hugh Lloyd-Langton and Robert Calvert.

Also Hawkwind have been known for giving credit to non-musician members of their crew, such as Liquid Len, a lighting engineer, and Stacia, a dancer. Their distinctive graphic design was created by Barney Bubbles, who would later create the graphic identity for Stiff Records.

The science fiction writer Michael Moorcock has a long association with the band. One of Hawkwind's albums Chronicle of the Black Sword was based largely on his Elric book series. The cover for this album was designed by John Coulthart

Hawkwind should be credited with the genesis of Lemmy's Motorhead speed metal style of music, as well as an influence on punk and grunge.

List of Original Albums

People are recommended to buy the original albums and avoid the repackaged greatest hits. Fortunately these albums are starting to be re-released on CD.

The Space Ritual concept album and Warrior on the Edge of Time in particular are representative of Hawkwind's style at the peak of their success. Their 1980s work is well represented by Levitation and Chronicle of the Black Sword.

The 1990s saw the band moving towards a world music approach.

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