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 207 of almost 1,300 Luftwaffe Starfighters lost in accidents during the aircraft's time in service, which lasted from the early 1960s until the mid 1980s. The Starfighters had inherently challenging flight characteristics, possibly made worse by a number of ill-considered modifications made by the manufacturers at the behest of the Germans in order to clinch the sale.
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.
All songs by Robert Calvert except where stated.
Monster Magnet did a cover of "The Right Stuff" on their 2004 album, Monolithic Baby!
Full article ▸