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Hall of the Mountain Grill is a 1974 album by space rock band Hawkwind, regarded by many critics and fans as a career highlight.

Overview

The group's fourth studio album, it was the first by a new line-up that included Simon House on synthesizer, Mellotron and electric violin; absent were Robert Calvert, who had previously contributed lyrics, vocals and spoken word interludes, and Dik Mik, who provided electronic effects. House's addition was generally seen as enhancing the band's musicianship and sense of structure, though perhaps at the expense of the improvisational nature of earlier work.

The album's title was a nod to Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and to a Portobello Roadmarker cafe called The Mountain Grill (now closed), frequented by the band in the early 1970s. The cover of a derelict spaceship in the mists of an alien lagoon was painted by the band's regular artistic collaborator, Barney Bubbles. The rear cover was by noted space artist David Hardy.

The record featured hard rockers like "The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke)" and "Lost Johnny" (subsequently recorded by bassist Lemmy's post-Hawkwind band Motörhead and also by co-writer Mick Farren with his band the The Deviants), psychedelia such as the heavily-phased "D-Rider" and "Web Weaver", as well as quieter atmospheric numbers like the instrumentals "Goat Willow", "Wind of Change" and the title track. Side Two of the original vinyl LP was bookended by "You'd Better Believe It" and "Paradox", live tracks recorded at the Edmonton Sundown in January 1974, that recalled the 'space jams' of earlier releases.

In the wake of Robert Calvert's departure, lead vocals for the album were performed by Dave Brock, along with Lemmy on "Lost Johnny" and Nik Turner on "D-Rider". Despite Hawkwind's relative success in the charts at this time, the band's line-up would continue to shift during the year. Del Dettmar left prior to the release of Hall of the Mountain Grill to live in Canadamarker, Alan Powell joined as an additional drummer, and science fiction author and friend of the group, Michael Moorcock, stepped in to read poetry at their concerts.

Hall of the Mountain Grill reached #16 on the UKmarker album charts and #110 in the USmarker. Its release was preceded by an edited single of "The Psychedelic Warlords" b/w "It's So Easy" in August. "Paradox" b/w "You'd Better Believe It" was issued as a single in Europe, both sides also being edits. All four of these tracks appeared on EMI’s 2001 CD re-issue of the album. An EP featuring "The Psychedelic Warlords", "Hall of the Mountain Grill", "D-Rider" and "Wind of Change" was released as a promo in the US in 1974.

Track listing

All songs written by Dave Brock except where noted.
Side 1
  1. "The Psychedelic Warlords " – 6:50
  2. "Wind of Change" – 5:08
  3. "D-Rider" (Nik Turner) – 6:14
  4. "Web Weaver" – 3:15
Side 2
  1. "You'd Better Believe It" – 7:13
  2. "Hall of the Mountain Grill" (Simon House) – 2:14
  3. "Lost Johnny" (Ian Kilmister/Mick Farren) – 3:30
  4. "Goat Willow" (Del Dettmar) – 1:37
  5. "Paradox" – 5:35
Remasters CD bonus tracks
  1. "You'd Better Believe It" (Single Version Edit) – 3:22
  2. "The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke)" (Single Version) – 3:57
  3. "Paradox" (Remix Single Edit) – 4:04
  4. "It's So Easy" – 5:20


Personnel



Notes

  • "Wind Of Change" - Jonathan Smeeton (Liquid Len) has stated that Brock specifically wrote this for a particular slide sequence he had on the Space Ritual tour (a tree being engulfed by a city, then the city collapsing with the tree remaining). It's musically similar to Twink's "Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box".


Band quotes

  • "For me, this was when the band were at their height. Oh, and I was in the band at the time." - Lemmy (Classic Rock, April 2006), listing it as #3 in "My Top British Rock Albums"
  • "The Doremi album lacked production. I wasn't really happy with the Space Ritual either. But the new one - I'm quite pleased with it. I like side one because I think it's something we haven't done before. Yeah - I'm pleased with half of the new album." - Simon King


Release History

  • Sep 1974: United Artists Records, UAG 29672, UK vinyl - original issues came in single sleeve with inner sleeve
  • Jan 1981: Liberty Records, LBG29672, UK vinyl
  • Oct 1985: EMI Fame, FA413133-1, UK vinyl
  • May 1989: EMI Fame, CDFA3133, UK CD
  • Oct 1992: One Way Records, S2147660, USA CD
  • Mar 1996: EMI Remasters, HAWKS5, UK CD - initial copies in digipak


References

  • Carol Clerk (2004). The Saga of Hawkwind.
  • Martin C. Strong (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th Edition).


External links




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