The Chronicle of the Black Sword

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Studio album by Hawkwind
Released 11 November 1985
Recorded Rockfield Studios, August and September 1985.
Genre Space Rock
Length 49:40
Label Flicknife Records Griffin Music
Producer Hawkwind
Hawkwind chronology
This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic
The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Live Chronicles
Alternative cover
Griffin release, North America 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Chronicle of the Black Sword is the fourteenth studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1985. It spent two weeks on the UK albums chart peaking at #65.[2] The album is based upon the adventures of Elric of Melniboné, a recurring character in the novels of science fiction author Michael Moorcock, a long standing associate of the group, who contributes lyrics to one track on the album.

After two years of constant lineup changes, guitarist Dave Brock (the only member who has remained since the band's formation) settled on a lineup of himself, guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton, keyboardist Harvey Bainbridge bassist Alan Davey and drummer Danny Thompson (son of Pentangle's bassist Danny Thompson).

Though the album is based around Elric, "Needle Gun" is a reference to Jerry Cornelius, another of Moorcock's fictional characters. The lyrics were ghost written by Roger Neville-Neil.[3]

Prior to the recording of the album, the group appeared on Channel 4's ECT on 26 April and recorded a session for BBC Radio 1 on 19 July. They headlined an anti-heroin festival at Crystal Palace on 24 August, with a guest appearance from Lemmy.

The group undertook a 29 date UK tour in November and December to promote the album, with support from Dumpy's Rusty Nuts.[4] The Hammersmith Odeon shows on 3 and 4 December were filmed and recorded, released as the video The Chronicle of the Black Sword and album Live Chronicles, and featured a guest appearance from Moorcock.

It has been issued on CD multiple times, each with differing bonus tracks. The latest issue in 2009 includes 1984's The Earth Ritual Preview EP.


Track listing

Side 1

  1. "Song of the Swords" (Dave Brock) – 3:25
  2. "Shade Gate" (Harvey Bainbridge) – 3:01
  3. "The Sea King" (Huw Lloyd-Langton) – 3:23
  4. "The Pulsing Cavern" (Bainbridge, Alan Davey) – 2:33
  5. "Elric the Enchanter" (Davey) – 4:51

Side 2

  1. "Needle Gun" (Brock) – 4:13
  2. "Zarozinia" (Brock, Kris Tait) – 3:21
  3. "The Demise" (Bainbridge, Brock) – 1:02
  4. "Sleep of a Thousand Tears" (Brock, Michael Moorcock) – 4:09
  5. "Chaos Army" (Bainbridge, Brock) – 0:53
  6. "Horn of Destiny" (Brock) – 6:21

Flicknife CD bonus tracks

  1. "Arioch" (Davey) – 3:26
  2. "Assault and Battery" [live] (Brock)
  3. "Sleep of a Thousand Tears" [live] (Moorcock/Brock)

Dojo and Griffin CD bonus tracks

  1. "The War I Survived" [live] (Brock, Davey, Neville-Neil) 4:00
  2. "Voice Inside Your Head" [live] (Bainbridge, Brock) 4:57

Atomhenge CD bonus tracks

  1. "Arioch" (Davey)
  2. "Night Of The Hawks" (Brock)
  3. "Green Finned Demon" (Robert Calvert/Brock)
  4. "Dream Dancers" (Bainbridge/Brock)
  5. "Dragons And Fables" (Lloyd-Langton)

Band members


Release history

  • November 1985: Flicknife Records, SHARP033, UK vinyl, first 10000 with inner sleeve including typed lyrics
  • 1986: Flicknife Records, SHARP033D, UK CD
  • August 1992: Dojo, DOJOCD72, UK CD
  • May 1994: Griffin Music, GCDHA 0142-2, USA CD
  • 29 June 2009: Atomhenge (Cherry Red) Records, ATOMCD1012, UK CD

External links


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Hawkwind". Chart Stats. UK albums chart. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  3. ^ Abrahams, Ian (2004). Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins. SAF publishing. ISBN 0-946719-69-1. 
  4. ^ Youles, Steve. "Gig and Set Lists 1985". Starfarer's hawkwind Page. self-published. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 

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