Hawkwind is a British Psychedelic Rock group. They are often credited with the invention of Space Rock, if not its main contributor. Space Rock is a style of music that fuses elements of rock, jazz, and what people of today call Jam or Shoegazer. Long before any of the 1990’s Electronica and Ambient forms emerged as distinct styles, Hawkwind was creating dreamy spacescapes with tons of synthesizers flowing through blues and rock riffs. Some dreamy and some driving and heavy. Since their formation in 1969, Hawkwind remains an underground phenomenon that I would call a band’s band. Most casual listeners, and even some self-claimed audiophiles, have never even heard of Hawkwind. Yet, they are still playing live and making albums as of this writing.
Below is a list of critical albums one must possess in order to appreciate the Hawkwind experience. Mostly studio recordings, but there are a few live albums and tracks in the mix. There are vast expanses where a lot of material was reissued or where a lot of work is in the same vein and sound, so I have only included the best examples of those periods.
One must also keep in mind that, other than founder David Brock, Hawkwind is a continuous whirlwind of musicians coming in an out for one or two projects and tours, and then leaving. So it is a wonderful shift, however slight, in how the sound grows and flows over the decades. Amazing, really.
In my own estimation, here are the critical Hawkwind albums in chronological order by year of release, including live albums and EP releases:
In Search of Space 1971
The Space Ritual Alive 1973
Hall of The Mountain Grill 1974
Warrior on The Edge of Time 1975
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music 1976
Quark, Strangeness and Charm 1977
25 Years On 1978
The Chronicle of The Black Sword 1985
Live Chronicles 1986
Space Bandits 1990
Quark, Strangeness and Charm EP 1994
In Your Area 1999
Yule Ritual 2001
Spirit of The Age 2008
You may be hard pressed to find another band with as many albums to their name as Hawkwind. They have always been quite prolific, if not sometimes redundant, in their constant release of material. You can find a complete discography here: