Warrior on the Edge of Time
's fifth studio album. It reached #13 on the UK album charts and was their third and last album to make the US Billboard
chart, where it peaked at #150.
Having recruited a second drummer, Alan Powell, this album's line-up was short-lived, by the end of the year, bassist Lemmy had left and vocalist Robert Calvert had rejoined. Originally issued in a sleeve that unfolds into the shape of a shield, Warrior on the Edge of Time features some of Hawkwind's best-loved future showstoppers, like the swirling instrumental "Spiral Galaxy 28948," the frenetic "Assault and Battery," and the "Kings of Speed". Most of the album has a highly psychedelic flavour, consolidating the style of the previous album Hall of the Mountain Grill. Many of the lyrics are by Michael Moorcock and the album is loosely based on the concept of Moorcock's Eternal Champion.
- "Assault and Battery (Part 1)" (Dave Brock)
- "The Golden Void (Part 2)" (Brock) – 10:20
- "The Wizard Blew His Horn" (Michael Moorcock/Simon House/Alan Powell/Simon King) – 2:00
- "Opa-Loka" (Powell/King) – 5:40
- "The Demented Man" (Brock) – 4:20Side 2:
- "Magnu" (Brock) – 8:40
- "Standing at the Edge" (Moorcock/House/Powell/King) – 2:45
- "Spiral Galaxy 28948" (House) – 3:55
- "Warriors" (Moorcock/House/Powell/King) – 2:05
- "Dying Seas" (Nik Turner) – 3:05
- "Kings of Speed" (Moorcock/Brock) – 3:25bonus track on CD releases:
- "Motorhead" (Lemmy Kilmister) – 3:02
- Recorded Rockfield Studios, Mar-1975. Produced by Hawkwind, engineerd by Dave Charles. Mixed at Olympic Studios, engineered by Phil Chapman and Steve Owen.
- Kings Of Speed and Motorhead recorded at Olympic Studios, Jan-1975.
- Sleeve designed by Comte Pierre D'Auvergne. The original album sleeve unfolds into a large shield-shape, revealing that the silhouetted Warrior is standing at the edge of an apparently bottomless chasm. The landscape on the other side of the chasm is a mirror image, with another setting sun. Taken as a whole the image gives the impression of a face, with the suns as eyes, the clouds in the chasm forming a vague nose and mouth, and the cliffs on either side forming a helmet covering the cheekbones. The reverse of the cover depicts a bronze shield bearing the 8-rayed emblem of Chaos, as described in Moorcock's books. There is an optical illusion in this design, akin to the two views of the Rubin vase that provides an alternative, bawdy, picture: the upward curve of the overhang to the chasm making the bridge of the "nose" a phallic tip; the twin suns and clouds become ovaries sweeping into the trees as Fallopian tubes; the alternative image is blatantly that of intromission. In confirmation: the "shield-shape" structure has an alternative interpretation: as a pair of underpants.
- On some versions of the vinyl pressing, the fifth track is listed on the sleeve as "The Demented Man", but on the record label itself it is listed as "The Demented King".
- "Assault & Battery" lyrics quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Psalm Of Life".
- "Opa-Loka" is a homage to Neu!
- "Magnu" lyrics are based upon Percy Shelley's Song To Apollo poem.
- "Warrior On The Edge Of Time was a concept of mine. What Dave tends to do is he says 'Do us a concept' or 'I've got this rough concept, can you work it out?' I do it, then Dave has a different idea and the whole thing shifts away, so that's the way it works. It's a perfectly good way of working - it tends to give Dave a bit of a start or whatever. I was doing a lot of my 'Eternal Champion' stuff on stage, so it seemed automatic to do that because there were so many numbers I could fit into that. I was only in the studio about an hour to do the stuff I did, and it was one of those weird things I didn't get the session fee either." - Michael Moorcock, Orbit 6
- "The album was a fuck-up from start to finish. That "Opa-Loka" was a lot of fucking rubbish. I wasn't even on that. That was the drummer's thing, that track... We were kind of complacent anyway. If you have a hit album, you're complacent, and if you have two you really are in trouble. With them, they had four, 'cos they had In Search of Space before me... There's great stuff on all them albums. "The Golden Void" was a beautiful track, but by then I was well out of favour." - Lemmy (The Saga of Hawkwind)
- "There was some good stuff on that album. I think we peaked then, in 1974/75." - Dave Brock (The Saga of Hawkwind)
- “I suppose I’m two-thirds happy with this one. For me that’s not bad as I was only half happy with the last one! Warriors is a different musical thing because it’s Simon House’s first real contribution: on Mountain Grill he was too new to be able to have that much influence, and now, of course we’ve got Allen as a second drummer, which has meant a lot of changes.” - Simon King, Beat Instrumental, July 1975
The original UK master tape for the album was apparently lost or destroyed some time after the original release. The album was eventually released on CD
in Britain on the Dojo label apparently as a vinyl dub. A second version was later released on the Canadian
label Griffin Music, apparently taken from a first-generation copy of the original master. The Dojo CD's booklet does not reproduce the fold-out cover design; the Griffin CD does, but with the shield on the reverse in black and white.
- May 1975: United Artists Records, UAG29766, UK vinyl - original copies came in gatefold foldout sleeve with inner sleeve. Later pressings retained the inner sleeve but had a normal single LP sleeve based on the outer part of the gatefold.
- May 1975: Atco Records, SD36-115, USA vinyl
- Jan 1981: Liberty Records, UAG29766, UK vinyl
- Oct 1992: Dojo Records, DOJOCD84, UK CD
- May 1993: Griffin Records, 55421 3931-2, USA CD