Quark, Strangeness and Charm (song)

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"Quark, Strangeness and Charm"
Single by Hawkwind
from the album Quark, Strangeness and Charm
B-side "The Forge of Vulcan"
Released 29 July 1977
Format 7" Vinyl record
Recorded Rockfield Studios, February 1977
Genre Space rock
Length 3:06
Label Charisma Records
Writer(s) Robert Calvert/Dave Brock
Producer(s) Hawkwind
Hawkwind singles chronology
Back on the Streets
Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Psi Power

"Quark, Strangeness and Charm" is a 1977 song by the UK rock group Hawkwind, being the title track from the Quark, Strangeness and Charm album.

The title references quarks which are sub-atomic particles; "strangeness" and "charm" are playful terms used by physicists to refer to how many strange and charm quarks are within a particle. The lyrics take a humorous look at certain famous physicists' romantic failures.

1977 Single[edit]

It was released as a single in the UK (CB305) on 29 July 1977, being a slightly different version to the one on the album. Some European copies had a different B-side, such as Germany which featured "The Iron Dream" instead. The single version was subsequently included on the 1980 Repeat Performance compilation album.

At the time Hawkwind shared the same management as Marc Bolan and so were given a slot on the Marc Granada Television programme to promote it. For some reason Brock declined to appear either being unwilling to drive to Manchester for the filming or because he held a long time grudge against Bolan. For the pre-recording of the music on this show, Shaw played guitar whilst Calvert mimed playing guitar during the filming.[1]

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" (Calvert/Brock) – 3:06
  2. "The Forge of Vulcan" (House) – 3:05



Live versions[edit]

The song only briefly featured in Hawkwind's live set in 1977 with one recording surviving, released on both the Hawkwind Anthology and Weird Tape Volume 2 albums. It was briefly resurrected at the end of 1993 for the tour of the It Is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous album and remained until the end of 1994.

1994 EP[edit]

"Quark, Strangeness and Charm"
Single by Hawkwind
from the album The Business Trip
B-side "Black Sun"
Released September 1994
Format 12" Vinyl record and CD
Recorded 1994
Genre Space rock
Label Emergency Broadcast System Records
Writer(s) R.Calvert/D.Brock
Producer(s) Hawkwind
Hawkwind singles chronology
Decide Your Future EP
Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Area S4 EP

In 1994 Hawkwind recorded a new version of the song with significant rewriting of the music. This version was also included on the album The Business Trip.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Uncle Sam's on Mars" (Red Planet Radio Mix) – 2:43
  2. "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" (Calvert/Brock) – 6:24
  3. "Black Sun" – 9:34
  4. "Uncle Sam's on Mars" (Martian Conquest Mix) – 6:53


  • Dave Brock – guitar, vocals, keyboards, synthesisers
  • Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals, synthesisers
  • Richard Chadwick – drums, percussion
  • Astralasia – remixes

Release history[edit]

  • Sep 1994 – UK – Emergency Broadcast Sysrem Records – 12" vinyl (EBT 110) and CD (EBCD 110)
  • Nov 1994 – USA – Griffin – CD (GCD 312-2)

Cover versions[edit]

The Stranglers Jean-Jacques Burnel has long been an admirer of the song, stating it was "a song I'd really fucking wish I'd written.". He has performed versions of the song with Three Men And Black.[2]


  1. ^ The Saga of Hawkwind, Carol Clerk, p.179
  2. ^ The Saga of Hawkwind, Carol Clerk, p.176