Hawkwind Announce New Orchestral LP Featuring Eric Clapton, ‘Road to Utopia’
Underground legends Hawkwind, still led by founding member Dave Brock, are set to release a new album that's unlike anything in their vast catalog.
Marked for a Sept. 14 release, Road to Utopia is the band's 31st album, and this time around they are digging out some of their most celebrated songs that will be colored by an orchestral backing. The album also features an appearance by Eric Clapton.
The album began as a mostly acoustic work, but soon changed course and became a full collaboration with conductor Mike Batt. “Dave was delightfully free-spirited and generous to me using a small ensemble of additional musicians and giving me a pretty free hand with the arrangements,” Batt said in a press release.
Hawkwind members Brock (vocals, electric, acoustic guitars, harmonica, keyboards), Richard Chadwick (drums, percussion, vocals), Mr. Dibs (vocals), Haz Wheaton (bass) and Magnus Martin (acoustic guitar) will be joined throughout the album by a string quintet, sax quintet and brass section.
Band classics like"Quark, Strangeness and Charm," "We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago" and "Down Through the Night" are given new readings on the LP, while Clapton guests on "The Watcher," where his trademark guitar blends with Brock's harmonica and Batt's piano . "Reinventing these familiar songs has been an interesting experience," said Brock. "We hope you like them."
Clapton's appearance now makes two former members of Cream to hook up with Hawkwind. Drummer Ginger Baker was a member of the band briefly in the early '80s.
Road to Utopia will be previewed next month by a two-track digital single coupling "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" and "The Watcher." Hawkwind will then head out for a European tour in October and November with Batt, including sold-out dates at the Palladium in London.
You can see the track listing for the album below.
Hawkwind, 'Road to Utopia' Track Listing
1. Quark, Strangeness and Charm
2. The Watcher
3. We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago
4. Flying Doctor
5. Psychic Power
6. Hymn To The Sun
7. The Age of the Micro Man
8. Intro The Night
9. Down Through The Night