10 May 1974
United Artists Records
| March 1973 - June 1974|
Roy Thomas Baker
Rock music, Proto-punk
| Lucky Leif and the Longships
Robert Calvert albums, Rock music albums
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters is 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.
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 Vol.3 compilation.
The album has been re-released in the late 1990s by BGO Records and is currently available on Eclectic Records (ECLCD1056) with bonus tracks.
All songs by Robert Calvert except where stated.
- "Franz Josef Strauss, Defense Minister, Reviews The Luftwaffe in 1958. Finding It Somewhat Lacking in Image Potential" – 1:40
- "The Aerospaceage Inferno" – 4:35
- "Aircraft Salesman (A Door in the Foot)" – 1:41
- "The Widow Maker" (Dave Brock, Calvert) – 2:42
- "Two Test Pilots Discuss the Starfighter's Performance" – 0:41
- "The Right Stuff" – 4:23
- "Board meeting (Seen Through a Contract Lens)" – 0:58
- "The Song of the Gremlin (Part One)" (Arthur Brown, Calvert, Adrian Wagner) – 3:21
- "Ground Crew (Last Minute Reassembly Before Take Off)" – 3:17
- "Hero with a Wing" – 3:20
- "Ground Control to Pilot" – 0:52
- "Ejection" – 3:35
- "Interview" – 3:55
- "I Resign" – 0:27
- "The Song of the Gremlin (Part Two)" (Arthur Brown, Calvert, Adrian Wagner) – 3:10
- "Bier Garten" – 0:38
- "Catch a Falling Starfighter" – 2:54
- "The Right Stuff" (extended version) – 8.07
- "Ejection" (single version) – 3.47
- "Catch A Falling Starfighter" (single version) – 3.00
Hawkwind has incorporated some of the songs in their live set through the years including "The Right Stuff", "Ejection", "The Widow Maker" and "The Song of the Gremlin" and they have also been recorded and included on several of their live albums and compilations.
Monster Magnet did a cover of "The Right Stuff" on their 2004 album, Monolithic Baby!Robert Calvert - vocals
Arthur Brown - vocals on "The Song of the Gremlin (Parts 1 and 2)"
Paul Rudolph - lead and rhythm guitar (all), bass guitar on "The Song of the Gremlin (Parts 1 and 2)", "Hero with a Wing"
Dave Brock - lead guitar on "The Widow Maker"
Lemmy - bass guitar
Nik Turner - saxophone
Brian Eno (as Brian Peter George St John La Baptiste De La Salle) - Synthesizer
Del Dettmar - synthesizer
Adrian Wagner - keyboards on "The Song of the Gremlin (Parts 1 and 2)"
Simon King - drums
Twink Alder - Funeral drum on "Catch a Falling Starfighter"
The Ladbroke Grove Hermaphroditic Voice Ensemble - backing vocals
Vivian Stanshall - most leads (e.g. Ground Control, Bright Mechanic)
Jim Capaldi - American Salesman, Recruiting Officer, Dim Mechanic
Robert Calvert - Pilot
Richard Elen (mis-credited as "Richard Ealing")
Technicians: Phill Brown, Frank Owen, Rufus Cartwright, Anton Matthews, Phil Chapman
Producer: Roy Thomas Baker
Studios: Island, Olympic, Radio Luxembourg (dialogue) between March 1973 and January 1974
Mixing: Trident Studios
Concept: Bob Calvert
Art Directions: Pierre Tubbs
Illustrator: Stanislaw Ferdandes
1Franz Josef Strauss - Defence Minister - Reviews the Luftwaffe in 1958 Finding It Somewhat Lacking in Image Potential1:41Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters Wikipedia
2The Aerospace Inferno4:18
3Aircraft Salesman (A Door in the Foot)1:42