Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor, who was looking for a new venture after leaving the band, was pulled into Hawkwind playing some gigs and producing this album. After several unsuccessful attempts to capture the band's sound in the studio, it was decided simply to record it live in the studio. All songs on the original release were credited to Dave Brock to the amazement of the others as they had been borne from band jams. From the 1996 Remasters onwards the tracks have been credited to the entire band. The bulk of the album is composed of a freeform instrumetal piece that the band named "Sunshine Special" but it was separated into different tracks on this album. On the LP, "Paranoia" ends after the first minute with the music slowing down as though the turntable is stopping, and then picks up as the first cut on Side 2. Lyrics are scant, but those that are present and the song titles are a reference to the drug experience, as the sleeve notes explain:
This is the beginning. By now we will be past this album. We started out trying to freak people (trippers), now we are trying to levitate their minds, in a nice way, without acid, and ultimately a completely audio-visual thing. Using a complex of electronics, lights and environmental experiences.The two book-end pieces of "Hurry on Sundown" and "Mirror Of Illusion" are more of a nod to Brock's alternative activity of busking and were released as a single in edited form.
The cover is a fantasy painting that shows several dragon figures emerging from piles of leaves that also spell out the name of the band. On the front cover, the dragons are shown with human arms, while the reverse cover shows a dragon's head as an automobile with a driver wearing sunglasses.
Adverts for the album proclaimed Hawkwind Is Space Rock.