Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters

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Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
Studio album by Robert Calvert
Released 1974
Recorded March 1973 - June 1974
Genre Rock, Proto-punk
Length 42:24
Label United Artists
Producer Roy Thomas Baker
Robert Calvert chronology
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
(1974)
Lucky Leif and the Longships
(1975)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]

Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters was a 1974 satirical concept album by Robert Calvert, the former frontman of British space-rock band Hawkwind. It consists of a mixture of songs and comic spoken interludes.

The concept was based on the German Air Ministry's purchase of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, colloquially known as the Widowmaker. In German service these planes had a poor safety record, with 270 of almost 635 Luftwaffe Starfighters lost in accidents during the aircraft's time in service, which lasted from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s.[2]

Musicians who appeared on the album include members of Hawkwind, The Pink Fairies, Brian Eno (although not credited as Eno), Arthur Brown, and Adrian Wagner. The spoken sketches are primarily performed by Calvert, Viv Stanshall, and Jim Capaldi.

"Ejection" (coupled with "Catch a Falling Starfighter") was released as a single, although both songs are slightly different versions to those on the album. "The Widow's Song" was included in the libretto and Calvert had hoped to record it with Nico singing. It wasn't recorded at the time but it was eventually recorded in 1984 with Calvert's wife Jill Riches on lead vocals and included on the Hawkwind, Friends and Relations compilation.

The album has been re-released in the late 1990s by BGO Records and is currently available on Ecletic Records (ECLCD1056) with bonus tracks.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Robert Calvert except where stated.

  1. "Franz Josef Strauss, Defense Minister, Reviews The Luftwaffe In 1958. Finding It Somewhat Lacking In Image Potential" – 1:40
  2. "The Aerospaceage Inferno" – 4:35
  3. "Aircraft Salesman (A Door in the Foot)" – 1:41
  4. "The Widow Maker" (Dave Brock, Calvert) – 2:42
  5. "Two test pilots discuss the Starfighter's performance" – 0:41
  6. "The Right Stuff" – 4:23
  7. "Board meeting (seen through a contract lens)" – 0:58
  8. "The Song of the Gremlin (part one)" (Arthur Brown, Calvert, Wagner) – 3:21
  9. "Ground Crew (last minute reassembly before take off)" – 3:17
  10. "Hero with a Wing" – 3:20
  11. "Ground Control to Pilot" – 0:52
  12. "Ejection" – 3:35
  13. "Interview" – 3:55
  14. "I Resign" – 0:27
  15. "The Song of the Gremlin (part two)" (Brown, Calvert, Wagner) – 3:10
  16. "Bier Garten" – 0:38
  17. "Catch a Falling Starfighter" – 2:54

Bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "The Right Stuff" (extended version) – 8.07
  2. "Ejection" (single version) – 3.47
  3. "Catch A Falling Starfighter" (single version) – 3.00

Monster Magnet did a cover of "The Right Stuff" on their 2004 album, Monolithic Baby!

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Actors[edit]

  • Vivian Stanshall - most leads (e.g. Ground Control, Bright Mechanic)
  • Jim Capaldi - American Salesman, Recruiting Officer, Dim Mechanic
  • Robert Calvert - Pilot
  • Tom Mittledorf
  • Richard Elen (mis-credited as "Richard Ealing")

Recording[edit]

Sleeve[edit]

  • Concept: Bob Calvert
  • Art Directions: Pierre Tubbs
  • Illustrator: Stanislaw Ferdandes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "[2.0] F-104 In Foreign Service (1)". Vectorsite.net. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 

External links[edit]