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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