Monday, 30 January 2017

The Earth Ritual Preview EP - Tracks & References

The view, according to Frenchy Gloder: “Lemmy was a friend from the punk days and I just asked him as a favour because in my mind if Lemmy did it then the others would just follow. So I was eternally grateful to him for that; he was supposed to do a track for the Hawklords – Friends & Relations album that we did in 2011; he couldn’t do it in the end, but I’m eternally grateful for him doing 'Night Of The Hawks' because that created a big, big, wave. We were supposed to be doing an album, The Earth Ritual, which was going to be the follow up to Space Ritual with a gatefold… Some people who were in Hawkwind at the time, such as Harvey [Bainbridge], weren’t on the A-side and so weren’t going to be on the radio... Harvey was mightily pissed-off, being their bass-player at the time. And Harvey was the one who said that if it wasn’t for Flicknife, RCA would have taken Hawkwind more seriously. I love Harvey, he’s a great friend, but I don’t know why he would say that.”

What they said then:

“‘Night of the Hawks’ is a crushing war song… and should be bought by everyone who has ever slagged off the ‘Lords. Including me.” (David Tibet, Sounds 17 March 1984)

Tracks and references:

Night of the Hawks

“It was written as a Hawkwind anthem, for everybody to sing along with! A reflection of the festival scenes… people looking like peacocks in their bright colours.” (Dave Brock)

Lyrics partly by fan Julian Bishop, hence the ‘thank you’ credit in the 1984 tour book.

Dream Dancers

Dragons & Fables

“I wrote the lyrics in 1972 for Amon Din – I suppose the lyrics were meant to convey what it felt like being a free spirit following a nasty period of being imprisoned by a jealous maniac (not Huw, he was a breath of fresh air!).” (Marion Lloyd-Langton)

Green Finned Demon

Captain Nemo was the mysterious anti-hero of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Also played live:

Mark of Cain

Not played on the Earth Ritual tour of spring 1984, but included in the subsequent autumn tour of the UK, and again for a series of dates in June 1985.

“Words and music by Huw, signifying Huw & Marion’s belief in the Almighty,” (ML-L)

“Occasionally I thought about [the conflict between religion and Hawkwind’s ‘Chaos’ imagery] but the bottom line is that your internal religious feelings are yours. Anything that Hawkwind does is entertainment – unless you’re a complete idiot you don’t take any of it seriously. If you haven’t got that mustard seed of belief in you, you can get written off to all spectrums of sci-fi and God knows what…” (Huw Lloyd-Langton)

In Genesis, Cain is the first son of Adam & Eve. When Cain murdered his brother, Abel, he was cursed to a life of hard toil by God, who set a ‘mark upon Cain’ (Genesis 4:15) which prevented anyone from killing him. 

Got Your Number

“Words & music by Huw; the lyrics speak for themselves ‘Christ Crucified’ – Huw is not a bible-bashing Christian but often said, ‘if that’s what they did to Christ…’ then we should not be surprised when justice doesn’t serve us? That’s not to say we shouldn’t fight for it!” (ML-L)

Only recorded by Hawkwind for a session on BBC Radio's The Friday Rock Show, but appears on The Lloyd-Langton Group's Night Air album.

The Curse of Man

A Michael Moorcock poem, recited by Moorcock at the Hammersmith Odeon on the Earth Ritual tour (13th & 14th March, 1984, also at Oxford Apollo 17th March 1984) and by Nik Turner during the Autumn 1984 tour (the later occasions set to an electronic musical backing by Bainbridge). Published in Back Brain Recluse #1 (1984).

Watching the Grass Grow

Originally from the Inner City Unit album Passout and re-recorded by both ICU for their subsequent Punkadelic LP and by Turner for his solo album The Prophets of Time.

‘We know where all the flowers went today’ parodies the 1950s anti-war folk song ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone?’ (Pete Seeger & Joe Hickerson).

‘Tell me Doc Spock have you got all your answers,’ a reference to parenting Guru Dr Benjamin Spock.

The Right Stuff

The title comes from Tom Wolfe’s legendary history of the early days of the US space programme and the pioneering test pilots like Chuck Yeager who pointed the way to the stars. First printed as a series of articles in Rolling Stone in 1973, a highly-regarded film adaptation by Philip Kaufman was made in 1983.

The Earth Ritual Preview is included in Atomhenge's reissue of The Chronicle of the Black Sword.

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