Hawkwind: Warrior On the Edge Of Time (Steven Wilson Remix) Review
This has a special place in my heart as it is my all-time favorite Hawkwind album. But hold on, this review is not just to wax nostalgic about this musical gem, but also to alert you about a potential hiccup with this new special vinyl edition reissue. Keep reading!
Playing On An Automatic Turntable
Before we dive into the album itself, it’s crucial that you are made aware of a peculiarity in the pressing of this reissue. I want to draw your attention to two images ( watch the video for detail) that highlight the difference in the way the grooves are cut between the original and the reissue. The grooves on Side Two of the reissue extend right up to the paper label in the center.
This might seem innocuous but here’s the catch: if you are playing this on an automatic turntable, the needle will lift up before the end of the track ‘Kings of Speed’. This happens because the grooves go so close to the center that an automatic arm lift may be triggered prematurely.
Don’t worry, there’s a workaround. If your turntable has a manual setting, simply disable the automatic arm lift and the album will play perfectly. However, if your turntable only supports an auto setting, you might face an issue.
A Closer Look at the Reissue
This pressing is not your everyday purchase as it comes at a hefty price tag of around £45-50. It was cut at Abbey Road Studios and it’s clear that great attention was given to detail.
What sets this reissue apart is the Steven Wilson mix. It’s an audibly different experience compared to the original 1975 mix. For instance, in the original mix, Lemmy’s bass has a cleaner and more precise sound, especially in the opening track ‘Assault and Battery’. In contrast, the Steven Wilson mix pushes the keyboards forward and brings out more layers from the recording. Both versions are fantastic, but they cater to different tastes and preferences.
The Packaging and Artwork
The reissue includes the original sleeve design. However, it’s not as sharp as the original, primarily because, back in the 70s, artwork was put together using paper, card, and colored ink. Over time, these original artifacts have gone missing or deteriorated, making it necessary to recreate them. While the reissue artwork is as close to the original as possible, slight differences in sharpness and color precision can be noted.
A Timeless Classic
‘Warrior on the Edge of Time’ is, without a doubt, an iconic album. With tracks like ‘Assault and Battery’, ‘The Golden Void’, ‘The Wizard Blew His Horn’, ‘Opa-Loka’, ‘The Demented Man’ and ‘Kings of Speed’, it’s a compilation of sheer brilliance.
This album is so special that it’s always given standalone treatment rather than being bundled in box sets. Hawkwind fans, like myself, hold it in high regard.
This reissue is a must-have for Hawkwind aficionados, but be aware of the pressing quirk if you have an automatic turntable. A manual setting is needed to play Side Two in its entirety.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine