Space-rock legends HAWKWIND have their fluid late-70s and early-80s periods compiled in two new box sets.

The Charisma Years 1976-1979 compiles the four albums they made for Tony Stratton-Smith’s label following their departure from long-term label United Artists.

The 1976 album Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music saw a marked change in style – completely in tune with the times – with poet Robert Calvert stepping up to the plate as songwriter and frontman, while the following year’s Quark, Strangeness & Charm is still, rightly, regarded as one of the band’s finest. Hawklords: 25 Years On – an attempt to reinvent the band – and the half-studio/half-live PXR5 complete the set.


After a brief dalliance with Bronze Records, which included the Levitation album, featuring Ginger Baker, Hawkwind signed to RCA’s new rock imprint, Active. The accordingly-titled The RCA Active Years 1981-1982 for three albums – Sonic Attack, Church Of Hawkwind and Choose Your Masques – that have gone on to become highly collectable. Re-recruiting drummer Martin Griffin from the Hawklords period, the albums¬†saw the increased reliance on sequencers, while revisiting Hawkwind classics ‘Sonic Attack’ and ‘Silver Machine’. Choose Your Masques also heralded the brief return of sax- and flute-player Nik Turner to the band.

Released by Cherry Red imprint Atomhenge, each set is presented in a clamshell box with replica album sleeves and an illustrated poster. The Charisma Years is scheduled for release on 30 September and is available to pre-order here. The RCA Active Years is scheduled for released on 28 October and is available to pre-order here.

Still going strong after 47 years, Hawkwind released their latest album The Machine Stops this spring.

Watch Hawkwind performing ‘Quark, Strangeness & Charm’ on the TV show Marc in ’77.

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