The Info List - Quark, Strangeness And Charm

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Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Quark, Strangeness and Charm
is the seventh studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1977. It spent 6 weeks on the UK albums chart
UK albums chart
peaking at #30.[1] This is Hawkwind's seventh studio album, hence "The Hawkwind
Part 7" title on the inner sleeve. It is the band's first album without co-founding member Nik Turner, and drummer Alan Powell had also departed. In addition, Adrian "Ade" Shaw from Magic Muscle replaced Paul Rudolph during the recording session. Robert Calvert starts to dominate proceedings with his science fiction-inspired lyrics, whereas the music is lighter and more commercial than with their previous offerings.


1 Recording 2 Tours and promotion 3 Songs 4 Critical reception 5 Track listing

5.1 Side 1 5.2 Side 2 5.3 Atomhenge bonus tracks 5.4 Atomhenge bonus CD

6 Personnel 7 Credits 8 Release history 9 References 10 External links

Recording[edit] At the end of 1976, after their Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
album and tour, the group were reduced to a five-piece following the departure of saxophonist Nik Turner
Nik Turner
and drummer Alan Powell. They recorded the single "Back on the Streets", and undertook an eight-date tour of England in December which featured embryonic versions of this album's tracks "Spirit of the Age", "Hassan I Sabbah", and "Damnation Alley". The group entered Rockfield Studios
Rockfield Studios
to record this album in January and February 1977, self-producing the album with help from resident engineer Dave Charles. However, Paul Rudolph left during the recording sessions having been given an ultimatum to "apologis[e] for something or leaving. I chose the latter, not fully understanding the situation".[2] Guitarist Dave Brock
Dave Brock
expanded on his leaving with the explanation "You get an idea and you like things to be a sort of unit and we were in the studio and he was in a chair playing his bass and we were doing a high energy number!", while singer Robert Calvert added that he "was always carping about not doing [numbers influenced by Science Fiction] and it affects you".[3] The 2009 2CD re-issue of the album includes early versions of tracks with Rudolph's contributions. Rudolph's replacement was Adrian "Ade" Shaw, bass player from the group Magic Muscle who had shared Hawkwind's management and had been the support on the 1972 Space Ritual
Space Ritual
tour. Shaw's introduction to the group was after the backing tracks had been completed, so he was required to overdub his bass parts onto the existing tracks. Drummer Simon King lamented "I only wish that I'd recorded the rhythm tracks with him in the first place. For me the switch of bass players happened at just the right moment. With going back to using one drummer I needed help from a bass player and as things were I wasn't getting it".[4] Tours and promotion[edit] After recording the album, the group undertook an 11 date tour of Germany and the Netherlands in March, followed by a five date tour of France in April. In June, during which the album received its general release, the group undertook a 10 date tour of England with support from former bassist Lemmy's group Motörhead. They followed this with appearances at the Stonehenge Free Festival
Stonehenge Free Festival
on 21 June, and headlined the Reading Festival on 28 August.[5] The group appeared on Marc Bolan's show Marc at Granada Television's Manchester studios on 14 September, miming to a pre-recorded version of the single "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", even though it had been released two months previously. Their spot on the show was secured as their management team, Tony Howard and Jeff Dexter, also handled Bolan. Their appearance was significant in that Brock did not appear, due to a long-standing resentment on his part towards Bolan. His role was filled by Shaw recording the guitar tracks at the pre-record, while Calvert mimed guitar during filming.[6] An extensive 20 date UK tour in September and October was undertaken, with support from Bethnal (who would go on to be Calvert's backing group for his 1981 album Hype). This was immediately followed by an October tour of France, but due to Calvert's erratic behaviour, the tour was aborted after 3 dates.[5] At Calvert's wedding to author Pamela Townley on 5 November, he countered that "Brock convinced the others that I was having a nervous breakdown. What nonsense! They dumped me and my bags on the street in Paris... I was a bit high-spirited – after all, I was going to get married! The truth is that Dave Brock
Dave Brock
didn't want to do the extra gigs."[7] However, in a BBC4 documentary on the band, several of the band members stated that the reason was indeed Calvert's mental health and that he chased after the band's car waving a sword and climbing over cars to reach them.[8] In January and February 1978, the group recorded the album PXR5
and in March toured North America, after which they disbanded. Calvert and Brock would then go on to form the Hawklords. There are several live recordings in existence from these tours that have been issued under different titles. The dates given for the live PXR5
tracks do not match the tour dates, and if these tracks actually were recorded at a live show, then they were subsequently subject to studio overdubs. All the other tracks, although differing sources are given, are the same recordings, with the exception of "Robot" which is of two different performances.

PXR5: "Uncle Sam's on Mars" – Hammersmith Odeon, November; "Robot" and "High Rise" – Leicester De Montford Hall, November. Weird tape 2: "Quark, Strangeness And Charm", "Master of the Universe", "Welcome to the Future", "Spirit of the Age", "Sonic Attack" – Stonehenge Free Festival
Stonehenge Free Festival
and Oxford. Weird tape 3: "High Rise", "Damnation Alley", "Uncle Sam's on Mars", "The Iron Dream", "Robot" [version 1] – Stonehenge Free Festival. Weird tape 5: "Brainstorm", "Wind of Change", "Assassins of Allah", "Forge of Vulcan", "Steppenwolf" – Hammersmith Odeon. Hawkwind, Friends and Relations
Hawkwind, Friends and Relations
Volume 1: "Robot" [version 2] – no source stated. Hawkwind, Friends and Relations
Hawkwind, Friends and Relations
Volume 2: "Spirit of the Age" – Chicago, March 1978. Hawkwind
Anthology: "High Rise", "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" – USA, March 1978 PXR5
2009 re-issue: "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" – USA, March 1978. Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Quark, Strangeness and Charm
2CD 2009 re-issue: "Spirit of the Age"; "Robot" [version 2 edit]; "High Rise".


See also articles "Spirit of the Age" and "Quark, Strangeness and Charm (single)".

"Damnation Alley" lyrics were inspired by Roger Zelazny's book Damnation Alley. It was first performed on their December 1976 UK tour, and remained in the set until the formation of the Hawklords
in 1978. It was re-introduced to the live set between 1989 and 1992, a version appearing on the 1991 album Palace Springs. "Hassan-i Sabbah" (spelt Hassan I Sahba on the cover) is a Middle Eastern flavoured song, mixing the legend of Hassan-i Sabbah (assassins and hashish) with contemporary issues (oil and Palestinian terrorism). This version was released as a 7" single in Italy and France. During the live performance of this song, Calvert took on the persona of Aubrey Dawney, which he describes as "a sort of 1914–1918 fighter ace, plus a bit more. Mick Farren
Mick Farren
described him as being a cross between Biggles
and Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia
– which he is, he has connections with the Far East and also opium smoking".[9] It was first performed live during 1976's Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
album tour, a version appearing on Atomhenge 76, and remained in the set until the formation of the Hawklords
in 1978. A new studio version was recorded for the 1987 album Out & Intake, and since then it has almost been an ever present in the live set, appearing on numerous live albums, usually under the title "Assassins of Allah". "The Forge of Vulcan" is a Simon House
Simon House
instrumental, featuring organ, synthesiser, and sequencer with percussion provided by hammering on an anvil in reference to the mythology of Vulcan. It was played live during the tour of the album, a version appearing on Weird tape 5, but then dropped. "The Days of the Underground" is a self-reflective song covering the halcyon days of the band. "The Iron Dream" is an instrumental based on Gustav Holst's "Mars", its name taken from Norman Spinrad's book The Iron Dream. The track was typically played live as a climax to "Uncle Sam's on Mars", versions of which can be heard on The Weird Tapes. It has also appeared under the title "The Dream Goes On" on 1994's The Business Trip album, and with added lyrics as "Are You Losing Your Mind?" on 1995's Alien 4 album. Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings

Review scores

Source Rating

Allmusic [10]

The album was warmly received by the British weekly music papers at the time of its release, Sounds noting that "the band are still capable of making a stir",[11] and Melody Maker
Melody Maker
that they had "gone part of the way [in rehabilitating themselves]".[12] Critics especially praised Calvert, Sounds stating "Calvert, having adapted to his role as frontman, now pulls out the stops, his poetical-lyrical contributions working particularly well",[11] Melody Maker observing that "the band have developed a real sense of humour" and the album "finds Calvert in very fine form as a lyricist",[12] while the NME
assessed it as "sci-fi comic book thrills to the proles, only this time around Bob Calvert's psychotic sense of humour is well to the fore".[13] The critics were less complimentary about the progress in the band's music, with Melody Maker
Melody Maker
noting that the lyrical improvement "has not been matched instrumentally nor structurally. The only musician of note... is Simon House
Simon House
for his consistently impressive violin passages",[12] while the NME
stated that "musically it's all battering ram riffs and monoplane synthesised drones, with Dave Brock occasionally cutting loose on guitar (rather than just providing frenetic rhythm) and Simon House
Simon House
contributing some hypnotic violin solos".[13] Sounds felt the "production may be naff in parts", believing the "magnificent mugginess" of Doremi Fasol Latido
Doremi Fasol Latido
more suited to the band's sound.[11] Track listing[edit] Side 1[edit]

"Spirit of the Age" (Robert Calvert, Dave Brock) – 7:20 "Damnation Alley" (Calvert, Brock, Simon House) – 9:06 "Fable of a Failed Race" (Calvert, Brock) – 3:15

Side 2[edit]

"Quark, Strangeness and Charm" (Calvert, Brock) – 3:41 "Hassan I Sabbah" (Calvert, Paul Rudolph) – 5:21 "The Forge of Vulcan" (House) – 3:05 "The Days of the Underground" (Calvert, Brock) – 3:13

"The Iron Dream" (Simon King) – 1:53

Atomhenge bonus tracks[edit]

"Damnation Alley" [live studio version] – 10:33 "A minor Jam Session" – 9:49 "Spirit of the Age" [demo – excerpt] – 2:59 "Hash Cake Cut" – 4:25

Atomhenge bonus CD[edit]

"Damnation Alley" [first studio version] – 10:34 "Spirit of the Age" [full extended version] – 11:20 "Days of the Underground" [first version] – 5:38 "Quark, Strangeness and Charm"/"Uncle Sam's on Mars" – 9:18 "Fable of a Failed Race" [extended version] – 6:49 "Damnation Alley" [alternate harmony vocal version] – 8:23 "Spirit of the Age" [live 1977] – 5:54 "Robot" [live 1977] – 5:57 "High Rise" [live 1977] – 5:39


Dave Brock
Dave Brock
– guitar, synthesisers, sound FX, vocals, and quark Robert Calvert – vocals, percussion, morse, and strangeness Simon House
Simon House
– keyboards, violin, anvil, vocals, and charm Adrian Shaw – bass guitar, vocals, and hand-claps Simon King – drums, percussion, and no-vocal


Recorded at Rockfield Studios, February 1977. Produced by Hawkwind, engineered by Dave Charles. Cover by Hipgnosis and Geoff Halpin. The photographs are of control room B at Battersea Power Station.

Release history[edit]

Jun-1977: Charisma, CDS4008, UK vinyl – original release contained an inner sleeve with typed lyrics on graphic paper. Jun-1977: Sire, SRK6047, USA vinyl – original release contained an inner sleeve with typed lyrics on graphic paper. Jun-1977: Charisma, 9124012, Germany/Italy – contained 6 slides of Calvert/Brock/Rudolph/House/King performing Atomhenge Jun-1977: Charisma, 9211-4008, Canada Oct-1986: Charisma, CHC50, UK vinyl Apr-1989: Virgin, CDSCD4008, UK CD Jun-1995: Griffin Music, GCD370-0, USA CD; GCDHA162-2, USA CD with the Michael Butterworth Queens of Deleria book. March 2009: Atomhenge (Cherry Red) Records, ATOMCD2009, UK 2CD


^ "Hawkwind". Chart Stats. UK albums chart. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  ^ Abrahams, Ian (2004). Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins. SAF publishing. pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-946719-69-1.  ^ "Brock / Calvert Interview". Sniffin' Flowers. 1977. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2009.  ^ Gary Cooper (September 1977). " Hawklords
Regroup!". Beat Instrumental. Retrieved 27 August 2009.  ^ a b Youles, Steve. "Gig and Set Lists 1977". Starfarer's hawkwind Page. self-published. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  ^ Abrahams, Ian (2004). Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins. SAF publishing. p. 98. ISBN 0-946719-69-1.  ^ Jamie Mandelkau (12 November 1977). "Hawklord in KGB wedding affair". NME.  ^ Video on YouTube ^ Geoff Barton (2 October 1976). "The adventures of the ten stone warriors that shattered the earth". Sounds.  ^ Allmusic review ^ a b c Geoff Barton (9 July 1977). "Strange but charming review". Sounds.  ^ a b c BH (25 June 1977). "Hawks get back in gear". Melody Maker. Retrieved 27 August 2009.  ^ a b Monty Smith (9 July 1977). "HAWKWIND back on course". NME. 

External links[edit]

Atomhenge Records Collectable Records – Original cover

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