Song of the Week

EHSDA Song of the Week: Silver Machine

Keeping workers safe when using machinery is an ongoing challenge for businesses. This week, EHS Daily Advisor wrote about citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to manufacturers in Ohio and Illinois about mechanical hazards. The Song of the Week continues with the machinery theme as we go back to 1972 and Hawkwind’s space rock classic “Silver Machine.”

Ostensibly about space travel, “Silver Machine” was Hawkwind’s biggest hit, reaching #3 on the UK Singles Chart. The English band had a much lower profile in the U.S. so it didn’t chart here, but the song is also notable for featuring a young Lemmy Kilmister on lead vocals. “Silver Machine” was released as a single but not included on a Hawkwind album until the reissue of In Search of Space.

The song was based on an essay about building a time machine, which lead singer Robert Calvert said seemed to actually be about putting together a bicycle. Calvert and a number of other band members tried doing the lead vocals on “Silver Machine” before they turned to the bass player, Kilmister.

After he was kicked out of the band a few years later, Kilmister went on to greater fame and fortune as the frontman and bassist for metal legends Motorhead, which continued on until his death in 2015. With a seemingly endless number of band members and configurations, Hawkwind has remained a going concern.

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