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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 499 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars If Gong's Radio Gnome Trilogy were available as a single set (I think I saw it in a record store once), I would undoubtedly award it five stars, such is the wonderful variety of music to be found therein. Taken on their own, however, none of the albums qualify as absolute masterpieces, for reasons I'll explain in three separate reviews.

FLYING TEAPOT has always been the part of the trilogy that is closest to my heart. The more conventional songs will brighten up your day (especially "Radio Gnome Invisible" and "The Pot Head Pixies") while the two longer "freakouts" ("Flying Teapot" and "Zero the Hero") will blow your mind. The first of these freakouts starts with floating sounds produced by Daevid Allen on 'glissando guitar' and by Tim Blake on synth. It soon turns into a prime space-rock jam session (tremenjous fun: space-rock about flying teapots!) which is dominated by Didier Malherbe's sax, and it ends on what must be one of the weirdest drum solos ever put to record. Malherbe is probably this album's star, since he is also given the chance to solo freely on "Zero the Hero", superbly accompanied on (among other things) rhythm guitar - but whose? Daevid Allen's or Steve Hillage's??? I only recently found out that Hillage actually appears on this album... He does not contribute any solos, though.

My only reservation about FLYING TEAPOT concerns the 'space whisper' and the witchy cackling of a certain Gilly Smith, a.k.a. Shakti Yoni. It's bad enough that old hippies viewed women as 'magick mothers' or sex kittens, but it's downright irritating that a woman gets to play only sex kitten roles on not just one, but TWO different parts of the Radio Gnome Trilogy. I never fell for all the whispering and cackling - nowadays I use my fast-forward button!

fuxi | 4/5 |


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