Hawkwind - The Business Trip

(CD 2012/1994, 72:59, Atomhenge ATOMCD 1031)

The tracks:
  1- Quark, Strangeness And Charm
  2- LSD
  3- The Camera That Could Lie
  4- Green Finned Demon
  5- Do That
  6- The Day A Wall Came Down
  7- Berlin Axis
  8- Void Of Golden Light
  9- The Right Stuff
10- Wastelands
11- The Dream Goes On
12- Right To Decide
13- The Dream Has Ended
14- This Future
15- Terra Mystica

Hawkwind Website        Atomhenge Records

Hawkwind have always been a live band; during their existence they have released a relatively large number of live albums. The Business Trip was recorded during the tour that supported the album It's The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous released in November 1993 (see review). The first remarkable thing about this album is that, at the time, the band consisted of only three members: Dave Brock (guitars, vocals, keyboards), Alan Davey (bass, vocals, keyboards) and Richard Chadwick (drums, percussion). From their early existence Hawkwind have always been a band consisting of five, six or even more musicians. However, back then Brock, Davey and Chadwick had a real good relationship and in addition it felt for them as a challenge to play as a trio. They needed to really listen to each other; there was no room for making mistakes, no room to hide. In 1994 the band already existed for almost 25 years, so inevitably there was some routine in playing live. They had to throw it all overboard and start from scratch, but they all three felt good about it.

Being a trio meant that they could no longer play some older songs. For other songs they had to find new ways to play them. The track Do That for instance, is a different version of the Hawkwind-classic You Shouldn't Do That and The Right Stuff wasn't a Hawkwind-song at all since it was taken from Captain Lockheed And The Starfighters (1974), a solo album recorded by former Hawkwind-member Robert Calvert. The second remarkable thing is that this CD contains only one song from the album they were supporting: The Camera That Could Lie. Right To Decide is from an EP that was released around the same time. It's possible that the entire show had not been covered on this release, but still the vast majority of the songs are old.

It's The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous is an electronic album, although the band didn't want to become an electronic band on stage. Despite being a trio the live performance sounds very good. Or did they use pre-programmed sequencers or backing tapes..? Some critics even accused them of recording some tracks in the studio and added the noise of the audience to it later on, just to make it sound as a live performance, but according to Dave Brock the album was recorded live and only few overdubs were done.

The bonus track Terra Mystica is the only studio track. It didn't appear on the original CD, but it was released on side four of the original double-LP. It's the first time that it officially appears on CD. Terra Mystica is an instrumental track probably recorded around the time that It's The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous was recorded although the sound differs from the live tracks.

***+ Erik Gibbels (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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