Back to the lists, well the ever evolving list.
I have an affection for Hawkwind that sometimes flows over to obsession.
I got Quark Strangeness and Charm in the early 80’s. It was a Christmas gift from my parents, I am not sure they knew what they were buying. Over the years I wore our three records I think through various mishaps and disasters.
I sold my last copy to buy baby formula when our youngest was young enough for formula. Well to be honest I sold my entire Hawkwind collection for baby stuff, we were poor and the records seemed surplus to requirements at the time.
When we moved to the USA Hawkwind were too obscure it seemed and there was no Amazon and discogs to meet a need.
Over time I replaced many of the Hawkwind albums on CD mainly when I went back to the UK but those Charisma albums seemed to never be released except on dodgy Russian labels. I lived with the memory alone and played Space Ritual and other masterpieces of blanga constantly much to the annoyance of my wife.
The album became the Holy Grail of my cd searches, never turning up but always rumored to be available. Eventually I bought Epocheclipse which had many of the songs but none of the flow.The Cherry Red releases came but I never bought them, there was something about the memory of the vinyl, the sleeve and the inner sleeve with the typos and crossing out.
So finally I succumbed spending $20 on used vinyl copy on the Sire label. It is not the Charisma label with the mad hatter and Cheshire cat but the music is all there in the right order.
The science fiction lyrics of Robert Calvert, the social commentary, the homage to Krautrock in the Forge of Vulcan, the riff’s the violin solos and other fun stuff to marvel at as the synths wash over you. When I first got the album it seemed like one of the greatest things I had ever heard and it still makes the list of my 50 favorites I guess.
I want to talk glowingly about the audio and the sound but it is Hawkwind. It sounds like it was recorded in a hurry between tours. It has some mistakes on there and the urgency of a band getting something important out. It is the best of the Charisma albums although I have to admit to a love of PXR5 as well.