Originally called Group X, Dave Brock (ex-Famous) and Mick Slattery (ex-Famous) came together to recruit Nik Turner (vocals/sax), Terry Olis (drums), Dik Mik (Real Name: S. McManus; electronics/synthesizers) and John Harrison (bass) and would change their name to Hawkwind Zoo in 1969. But Slattery left just prior to their deal with United Artists' and the subsequent simplified name change as just Hawkwind. Promoting themselves at mostly outdoor free concerts, their eponymous debut arrived in the summer of 1970. The debut was a mix of bluesy and heavy psychedelic Rock and got enough momentum to encourage a follow-up, In Search Of Space (1971) that got an 18 U.K. spot, now with the modified membership of Dave Anderson (ex-Amon Duul; bass) replacing Thomas Crimble who had replaced John Harrison, Del Detmar replacing Langton partway through the album, Robert Calvert (vocals - stage performances only), Michael Moorcock as sci-fi writer, and exotic dancer Stacia.
Doremi Fasol Latido (1972) was the coming out for Hawkwind with the Silver Machine track obtaining a 3 U.K. on its own with the album getting a 14 U.K. over-all. Indeed, this was the classic period for the band whose membership swelled to include the later-to-be-famous Lemmy Kilminster (Real Name: Ian Kilminster) replacing Anderson, while Ollis was replaced with Simon King (ex-Opal Butterfly). It was Kilminster who stole the show this time with his crunchy bass work bulldozing the band forward, the track also appearing on numerous British compilation albums. Indeed, the work featured on this record was enough to sustain them U.K. hit status on all their remaining albums for United Artists' with a 9 for their live 1973 effort Space Ritual - Recorded Live In Liverpool And London, a 16 for Hall Of Mountain Grill (1974) an album that saw the band trimmed down with Dik Mik, Dettmar and Calverty leaving; Dettmar emigrated to Canada to be replaced by Simon House (ex-High Tide/ex-Third Ear Band). After the last UA' release, Alan Powell (ex-Stackridge/ex-Chicken Shack) took to a second drum roll.
Warrior On The Edge (1975) was a classic album of sorts that saw them now on the Crysalis' label and got them a modest 13 U.K. spot. It would be the last album for Limmy Kilminster, however, for he got sacked and moved on to form his own Motorhead act and became one of the developers of the Thrash Metal genre, to be replaced by Paul Rudolph, Stacia left to get married, and Moorcock left to form Deep Fix. With the membership splintering off in all directions yet again, they nonetheless kept up the pace with Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music Emporium in 1976 making a 33 U.K. slot. Quark, Strangeness And Charm (1977) saw Adrian Shaw take over from Turner who left to form Sphinx and Inner Blues, with Paul Hayes replacing House who joined David Bowie after the release.
In 1978 the band ran into legal problems with respect to their chosen name, so while this latest hurdle sorted itself out they released their next album, 25 Years On (1978) under the Hawklords name with the line-up Brock and Calvert recruiting Steve Swindells (ex-String Driven Thing/ex-Pilot; keyboards), Harvey Bainbridge (bass) and Martin Griffin (drums).
In May 1979, the line-up of Brock, Turner, Shaw, King and Hayles to release P.X.R. 5 to a 59 U.K. release. The following year saw two line-up changes in quick succession to see King return from Quasar to replace Griffiths on drums, and Tim Blake (ex-Gong) taking over keyboards from Swindells who went solo. Shortly later they would then add Huw-Lloyd Langton on guitar to release the Live 1979 live set to gain a 15 on the U.K. charts. Ginger Baker (ex-Cram/ex-Blind Faith/ex-Airforce) replaced King on drums so the incumbent could leave to join Swindells. The follow-up 1980 set Leviation got a 21 U.K.
Marvin Griffin returned to replace Baker, while Keith Hale replaced Blake for the release of Sonic Attack (1981), an album that obtained a 19 U.K. spot, while Church Of Hawkwind (1982) got a 26. Nik Turner then returned to replace Hale for the Choose Your Masques (1982), an album that got them a respectable 29 U.K. spot. Zones (1983) saw them live with other former 1980s members and got them a 59. Stonehenge This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic (1984), the follow-up, failed to chart, and after Alan Davey replaced Bainbridge and Turner both, and Clive Deamer replaced Griffin for Chronicle Of The Black Sword (1985), and album that saw them manage to squeak a 65 U.K. Clearly they were descending down the ranks of the charts - and fast, so after Brock assumed the name Dr. Hasbeen on vocals/guitar/keyboards/synth., and Langton, Davey, Bainbridge (now on keyboards/vocals/synthesizers) and Danny Thompson (drums/percussion/vocals) they would release the sci-fi sounding The Xenon Codex (1988), a 79 U.K. charter, then entered the 1990s with Space Bandits (1990) at 70 U.K. featuring the return of Simon House, Richard Chadwick and Bridgett Wishart. Electric Tepee (1992), a 53 U.K. charter, It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous (1993; a 75 U.K. charter), the live 1994 effort The Business Of Trip, Alien 4 (1995) and Lost In Space (1996; a live album from October 1995). Indeed, although their following was mostly aging hippies, the arrival of the techno-psychedelic scene in the 1990s didn't do them any harm, allowing them just enough fuel for survival.