This 75 minute DVD is a British import, playable on USA sy stems. It features the 1985 stage performance at London's H ammersmith Odeon. with Tony Crerar & Kris Tait, narrated. b y Michael Moorcock, and includes previou... more »sly unseen encore w / 4 bonus tr« less
"I've been a big fan of Hawkwind for close to 30 years, and make a point of hearing everything new that they release.So, I was glad to see the first Hawkwind DVD, especially since relatively few concert videos have been released in this format.However, this was a poor choice for their debut in this format.First off, the concept of a rock band creating an album and show based on SF novels, in this case by Michael Moorcock, has a lot of potential. But, this mid-80's period of Hawkwind was, in my estimation, their weakest era both in composition and performance. So, frankly, the music that accompanies the lyrics just isn't very compelling.But, this video - rather than making the best of this mediocre material, makes the worst of it. The "Black Sword" shows were accompanied by elaborate sets, dancers, performers, etc. However, it's clear from the video, that rather than clearly lighting this show, instead it was performed in near darkness - so, you only get the shortest of glimpses of anything other than the lead vocalist.Even the sound quality is relatively mediocre - only just barely better than bootleg.All this is more understandable if your consider that the original video was made in 1985, when videotapes were still a new concept. However, it is almost criminal that someone merely took that old video, of very dated quality, and threw it onto DVD.Much better would have been either a recent performance recorded in excellent video and audio quality (cf Black Sabbath or Eagles), or else a terrific 1970's performance where more limited audio quality would be acceptable.In short, this DVD is recommended only for those who attended the "Black Sword" tour and want to relive it, otherwise wait for something better in the future."
First DVD by pioneers of Space Rock
doctor_m | Sunnyvale, CA USA | 08/31/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was intrigued to see one of my favorite and most underrated of bands on DVD. This is a live show from the mid 80s where the songs are taken mostly from the studio album of the same name, which is based on the Elric science fiction novels by Michael Moorcock. Moorcock is actually on stage with the band doing some narration between songs, and there are some actors dressed as characters from the stories. So this is not a greatest hits but the whole thing hangs together seamlessly. The sound quality is...well...all right. I've heard worse on DVD (eg. the dreadful Ziggy Stardust and Yes 70s DVDs) but it hardly approaches the potential of the medium. The characteristic synthesizer swirling noises are fairly low in the mix. Same for video, which is also edited in an unusual way. There are _tons_ of special effects, so much so that it takes a while to see that there is actually a band on stage. Sometimes I think it looks cool and suits the music, sometimes it's just a confused mess. I'm going to keep, play and enjoy this DVD, but it is really for existing fans. Beginners (and most young rock fans have no idea) should probably start with the Space Ritual album (those were the days)."
The Track List
Oren Douek | Budapest, Hungary | 04/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1. Song of the Swords [5:08]
2. Sea King [4:46]
3. Master of the Universe [5:20]
4. Choose Your Masques [8:20]
5. Needlegun [3:55]
6. Zarozinia [4:16]
7. Brainstorm [4:15]
8. Moonglum [4:41]
9. Elric the Enchanter [2:32]
10. Magnu [5:20]
11. Horn of Destiny [9:35]
12. Encore-Medley* [11:07]* The Encore-Medley contains: Coded Languages, Born To Go, Utopia and Levitation"
WOW: A HAWKWIND DVD! - well, maybe not so wow ...
crumbhunger | Fresno, CA United States | 11/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent quality DVD of a rare breed of band.
Sound is adequate - fairly Hi-Fi .
Video quality excellent but Mondo Video Effects are at times very cool and at times annoying."
Nothing to see here ..
Leslie A Munday | Bellevue, WA United States | 02/23/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Hawkwind can put on one of the best stage shows you'll ever see .. this is not one of them. Why is the film so dark - did the band play in the dark or was it just aweful video filming? The editor attempts to gloss the video with special effects, but fails horribly .. kinda like how you spill tomato sauce on a white shirt and attempt to clean it with paper and water which results in spreading the stain to a larger area, so the editing attempts to improve the original pictures just make more of a mess.
The sound isn't bad. This is not the best Hawkwind line up, but I've heard worse.
Worth listening to for Micheal Morrcock's narrations.