The Info List - Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music

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Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
is the sixth studio album by the British rock band Hawkwind, released in 1976. It reached No. 33 on the UK album charts. The title makes references to old science fiction magazines (Astounding and Amazing Stories), the concept being that each piece of music (and its title) would be interpreted as an individual science fiction story. The record cover is a parody of the cover of these magazines, while the inner sleeve carried small ads, with each band member having their own product (e.g. Dr Brock's cure for piles, Paul Rudolph's Manly Strapon, and Simon King's Pleasure Primer). This album marked the start of a new era for Hawkwind, having left the management of Douglas Smith for Tony Howard and changed record companies from United Artists Records
United Artists Records
to Charisma Records. Musically, the dirty heavy metal lead bass guitar playing of Lemmy
was replaced by the cleaner, formally trained bass playing of Paul Rudolph. All members of the band were now contributing to the writing and arrangement of the music leading to more width in style, and the recording and production is better defined than previous albums.[2] The greatest change is in the return of Robert Calvert, this time as a permanent vocalist rather than the peripheral poet role he occupied on Space Ritual. Not only did he bring crafted lyrics to the band, but he was intent on turning live shows into a piece of music theatre with specific characters for him to act out, Calvert explaining in a 1976 interview that "We're writing numbers now with visual ideas in mind, rather than trying to think of things to impose on numbers we've already got. We're trying to get the visual side of the band focussed on individuals rather than on screen projections. Nik, Dave and myself are, in some parts of the show, playing the parts of actors... All in all, it works up to quite a nice piece of theatre, spontaneous theatre that is."[3]


1 Songs 2 Critical reception 3 Track listing

3.1 Side 1 3.2 Side 2 3.3 Griffin CD bonus tracks 3.4 Atomhenge CD bonus tracks

4 Personnel 5 Credits 6 Release history 7 References 8 External links

Songs[edit] See also: Kerb Crawler "Reefer Madness" lyrics are inspired by the 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness. It was performed during the tour of the album, appearing on the live album Atomhenge 76, and remained in the set until the formation of the Hawklords
in 1978. The song was added to the setlist in 1990/1 to be performed by Bridget Wishart, a version appearing on the live album California Brainstorm. Calvert had written the lyrics to "Steppenwolf" when Adrian Wagner, for his album Distances Between Us, "wanted a song about living in cities and I was re-reading Hesse's Steppenwolf at the time. It seemed to me that there was a strong myth in it about city life and it gave me the basic idea."[4] It was performed during the tour of the album, appearing on the live album Atomhenge 76, and remained in the band's set until Calvert left in 1978, versions included on Weird Tape 4 and 5. The song has occasionally been re-instated into the live set, between 1982 and 1984 it was performed by Turner, in 1996 by Ron Tree, in 2003 by Arthur Brown and in 2017 by Mr Dibs
Mr Dibs
during the Into The Woods tour. "City of Lagoons" is a Powell composed instrumental, although erroneously credited to House on the album's release. "The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon" is an instrumental, its title references Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band's 1967 hit single "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago". "Kerb Crawler" was released as a single backed by "Honky Dorky" which is the band jamming on "Reefer Madness". There are reportedly two versions of the A-side, the original and a re-mix by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour
David Gilmour
– it is the latter that appeared on the album. "Kadu Flyer" lyrics were written by Turner, who credited them to Jamie Mandelkau for legal reasons (Turner was still under contract either to United Artists or Douglas Smith). Calvert is also given a writers credit on some releases. Kadu is an abbreviation of Kathmandu. "Chronoglide Skyway" is a House composed instrumental, although erroneously credited to Powell on the album's release. It was performed during the tour of the album, appearing on the live album Atomhenge 76. Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings

Review scores

Source Rating

Allmusic [5]

Dick Tracy in the NME
(6 November 1976) reviewed the album as " Hawkwind
are back on form... their music has acquired about fifteen new levels since the old churn-churn days". He highlights "Reefer Madness" as the "stand-out" track and notes that " Simon House
Simon House
has injected a big shot of tuneful keyboarding into the mix".[6] Track listing[edit] Side 1[edit]

"Reefer Madness" (Calvert, Brock) – 6:03 "Steppenwolf" (Calvert, Brock) – 9:46 "City of Lagoons" (Powell) – 5:09

Side 2[edit]

"The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon" (Rudolph) – 3:37 "Kerb Crawler" (Calvert, Brock) – 3:45 "Kadu Flyer" (Turner, House) – 5:07 "Chronoglide Skyway" (House) – 5:04

Griffin CD bonus tracks[edit]

"Honky Dorky" (Hawkwind) – 3:16 "Back on the Streets" (Calvert, Rudolph) – 2:56 "Dream of Isis" (Brock, House, King) – 2:52

Atomhenge CD bonus tracks[edit]

"Honky Dorky" (Hawkwind) – 3:18 "Kerb Crawler" [single mix] (Calvert, Brock) – 3:45 "Back on the Streets" [alternate mix] (Calvert, Rudolph) – 3:07 "Dream of Isis" [alternate mix] (Brock, House, King) – 2:57


Robert Calvert – vocals Dave Brock
Dave Brock
– electric guitar, keyboards, backing vocals Nik Turner
Nik Turner
– saxophone, flute, vocals (on "Kadu Flyer") Paul Rudolph – bass guitar, electric guitar Simon House
Simon House
– violin, keyboards, sitar (on "Kadu Flyer") Simon King – drums Alan Powell – drums


Recorded at Roundhouse Studios, February 1976 to March 1976. Produced by Hawkwind, recorded by Mark Dearnley. "Kerb Crawler" remixed by David Gilmour
David Gilmour
(as Dave Gilmour). Cover by Tony Hyde and Barney Bubbles.

Release history[edit]

August 1976: Charisma, CDS4004, UK vinyl – some copies were printed with the front and back cover reversed. Original copies contained an inner sleeve. August 1976: Charisma, 9211-4004, Canada - disc label says "Amazing Music, Astounding Sounds" March 1983: Charisma, CHC14, UK vinyl April 1989: Virgin, CDSCD 4004, UK CD August 1995: Griffin Music, GCD483-2, USA CD; GCD345-0, USA CD with the Michael Butterwoth The Time of the Hawklords
book. 2005: Sunrise Records, LC12774, USA CD January 2009: Atomhenge (Cherry Red) Records, ATOMCD1005, UK CD


^ " Hawkwind
- Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2014.  ^ In a 1981 issue of Kerrang!, Dave Brock
Dave Brock
stated, "I used to mix all our albums when I was tripping, right up until the Astounding Sounds album. Some of those mixes turned out to be really strange, embarrassing some of them." ^ Sounds, 2 October 1976, Geoff Barton ^ Beat Instrumental, November 1976 ^ Allmusic review ^ NME, 6 November 1976, Dick Tracy

External links[edit]

Discogs.com Discography details Collectable Records – Original cover and inner sleeve Atomhenge Records

v t e


Dave Brock Richard Chadwick Mr Dibs Haz Wheaton Magnus Martin

Nik Turner Dik Mik Terry Ollis John Harrison Mick Slattery Huw Lloyd-Langton Thomas Crimble Del Dettmar Dave Anderson Simon King Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister Robert Calvert Simon House Alan Powell Paul Rudolph Adrian Shaw Harvey Bainbridge Paul Hayles Steve Swindells Martin Griffin Keith Hale Ginger Baker Andy Anderson Robert Heaton Rik Martinez Alan Davey Clive Deamer Danny Thompson Jr. Bridget Wishart Ron Tree Jerry Richards Jason Stuart Tim Blake Niall Hone Dead Fred

Studio albums

Hawkwind In Search of Space Doremi Fasol Latido Hall of the Mountain Grill Warrior on the Edge of Time Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music Quark, Strangeness and Charm 25 Years On
25 Years On
(as Hawklords) PXR5 Levitation Sonic Attack Church of Hawkwind Choose Your Masques The Chronicle of the Black Sword The Xenon Codex Space Bandits Electric Tepee It Is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous White Zone Alien 4 Distant Horizons In Your Area Spacebrock Take Me to Your Leader Take Me to Your Future Blood of the Earth Onward Stellar Variations (as Hawkwind
Light Orchestra) The Machine Stops Into The Woods

Live albums

Space Ritual Live Seventy Nine This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic Live Chronicles Palace Springs The Business Trip Love in Space Hawkwind
1997 Yule Ritual Canterbury Fayre 2001 Spaced Out in London Knights of Space Space Ritual
Space Ritual
Live At The Roundhouse

Archive albums

The Weird Tapes Hawkwind, Friends and Relations The Text of Festival Zones Bring Me the Head of Yuri Gagarin Space Ritual
Space Ritual
Volume 2 Hawkwind
Anthology Out & Intake BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert The Friday Rock Show Sessions Hawklords
Live California Brainstorm Undisclosed Files Addendum The 1999 Party Glastonbury 90 Choose Your Masques: Collectors Series Volume 2 Complete '79: Collectors Series Volume 1 Atomhenge 76 Live 1990

Compilation albums

Roadhawks Masters of the Universe Repeat Performance Angels of Death Spirit of the Age Stasis (The UA Years 1971 – 1975) Tales from Atom Henge Epocheclipse Future Reconstructions – Ritual of the Solstice Masters of Rock The Collection Spirit of the Age Anthology The Dream Goes On Spacehawks


"Hurry On Sundown" "Silver Machine" "Urban Guerrilla" "Psychedelic Warlords" "Kings of Speed" "Kerb Crawler" "Back on the Streets" "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" "Psi Power" "25 Years" "Shot Down in the Night" "Who's Gonna Win the War?" "Angels of Death" The Earth Ritual Preview
The Earth Ritual Preview
EP "Needle Gun" "Zarozinia" Decide Your Future EP Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Quark, Strangeness and Charm
EP Area S4 EP "Love In Space" "Spirit of the Age" Sonic Attack
Sonic Attack
(with Brian Blessed) A Solitary Man

Associated acts

Sonic Assassins Hawklords Space Ritual Hawklords

Related articles

Discography Members Videography Barney Bubbles Liquid Len Stacia Hawkfes