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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You CD (album) cover



Canterbury Scene

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5 stars Along with pt.2 of the Invisible Trilogy, Angel's Egg, 'You' represents the high point of Gong, strong pieces that are both well recorded and performed. Steve Hillage shines on this one, his style is fully developed here, the rythm section of Howlett and Pierre Moerlen is in top form, and Daevid Allen's characteristic vocals and glissando guitar are well represented here too. Band founder and frontman Allen was to leave the band soonafter, eventually regaining control later, but nothing has really matched the invention and calibre of You and Angel's Egg among their work.
Report this review (#27622)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unlike Flying Teapot and Angels Egg, which shine due to the sheer inventiveness and fun of the compositions, 'You' is really a chops tour-de-force. Only a few vocal tracks (great ones though), the rest is instrumental. This is the best album of Pierre Moerlen's drumming (better even than his own later-renamed 'Pierre Moerlen's Gong' recordings, despite their even greater complexity), probably because of the high quality of the compositions he is playing over. Very memorable and hummable 25/8ths time!
Report this review (#27623)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars With You , GonG ends this fabulous trilogy where the Pothead Pixies find Tolkien's trilogy and rip it apart , laughing at this sombre history , much preferring the silliness of their own story , The Planet GonG Mythology.

I think that this is the only time GonG had a stable line-up that lasted two albums , but it won't last long as Daevid and his now wife Gilly will leave at the end of this album (maybe even before the release of it - I'm not sure). After this album , the Gong world will lose the silly and absurd link to Planet Gong: From GonG , they will become Gong heading in a much jazzier direction and further albums can easily be identified as Fusion or Canterbury albums.

Two relatively short and trivial tracks start on side1 but soon comes the Invocation and the trip start on a cosmic level throughout Master Builder and Sprinkling of Clouds to end in such heavenly manner some 17min later. Rarely has such repetitive rhythms been so captivating but the better is yet to come.

Side 2 starts with another short track but again the cosmic trip takes off this time for some 22 minutes of pure paradise, superb interplay between Hillage , Malherbe and keenly underlined by Tim Blake's ethereal synthetic layers. This superb and stunning artwork is perfectly suited to match and evoke the music developed on the disc.

Of all the early GonG albums, this is the only one that was relatively well respected in its sleeve artwork (also the only one that was not a gatefold sleeve) but nevertheless Charly Records released a mini-lp (on Victor label cat#61174) not only respecting the artwork but also reproducing the lyrics and explanations of the end of Radio gnome Invisible's emission of Planet GonG's message of peace, love and fun. Stunning, stupendous , mirific , flabbergasting.

Report this review (#27624)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "You" is the third and final instalment of the "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy set and IMHO is GONG's best work. Anyone out there who love space rock or fusionish jams will definitely love this album. Mostly gone from "You " is the classic GONG silliness that embodies most of their albums and stands out as their characteristic watermark. Fans of England's OZRIC TENTACLES should definitely check out this album as it obviously had an influence on their sound. One of the most intriguing aspects of this album is GONG's ability to shift abruptly from harmless, sunny-day pop music a la The BEATLES (the opening two tracks) to an ominous, mystical fury a la MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA ("Master Builder," and the band's masterpiece, "A Sprinkling of Clouds"). "You" is for me the perfect mix of Tim Blake's sea of synthesizers, Didier Malherbe's sax offset by Steve Hillage's wild guitar frenzies, Gilli Smythe's 'space whispers and the thunderous rhythm section of Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. At the helm remains the zainy yet inspired Daevid Allen who continues to paint his convoluted musical story of Zero the Hero, Octave Doctors, and the Pot-Head Pixies. This is by far GONG's most instrumental album in their Daevid Allen days, as there is tons of absolutely killer jams. "A Sprinkling of Clouds" is simply one of the best GONG songs I have ever heard, with tons of great, spacy synths, lots of guitar jams, and at the end, killer bamboo flutes. Wow... what else could you ask for ?
Report this review (#27625)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars this is a very singular record. on one side i hate all the story of the trilogy and there are songs in this album that are a waist of time. but when this guys, set apart the stuoid themes and start to play real space rock, they shine on like crazy diamonds. when is good is very good, and powerfull, especially en magik mother invocation, a sprinkling of clouds and master builder. the first time i heard it i was dissapointed, buit the i listen carefully and y realize that Gong takes you to space. the ride is going to start, take a chance and enjoy
Report this review (#27627)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My first experience with GONG started with "Gazeuse" and "Shamal". I liked a lot the fusion sound of that period but only read articles about the famous Gnome trilogy, so at one time I decided to give it a try by purchasing "You". It did not work that time. It was in mid-1980s and I remeber that I had put the LP record on my turntable only for 2-3 times. And I remained untouched. Recently I decided to refresh my collection with this famous Planet Gong artistry from "Camembert" to "Shamal" and it was a whole new experience for me, discovering the true treasure hidden in "You". And I am talking about the remastered issue by Virgin which includes a bonus alternate version of "PHP Advice" and a nice booklet with lyrics, photos and graphics. So, apart from "Thought for Nought", "PHP's Advice" and "Perfect Mystery", which are short, funny typical Daevid Allen songs reminiscent of their previous work, the rest of the album comprises of the long instrumental space-fusion jams where the band show their instrumental skills. These are worth naming because IMO it's the peak of "Space-rock" music in general: "Magic Mother Invocation", "Master Builder", "Sprinkling of Clouds", "Isle of Everywhere" and "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever". Wow what a music! It shows similarities with both jazz on one hand and kraut- rock on the other. Tim Blake's etherial, spacey synths, Steve Hillage's psych guitar, Malherbe's immaculate saxes and flutes, female whispers, energetic and relaxed rythm section of Howlett's bass and Moerlen's percussions are all perfect. So Allen probably felt that he had offered his final ideas up to here, closing the trilogy story, therefore left the band after this release, and they continued on into more jazzy territory. This album is concentration of all the best ideas each GONG member had to offer at the time, making thus a masterpiece worth including in any serious music collection.
Report this review (#27632)
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "You" the third and last part of the Radio Gnome Trilogy is certainly, for a newcomer, Gong's CD to buy first. Music can be described as space rock with strong jazz influences. I always listen this CD as a "modern" transposition of John Cotrane's music : spiritual and very human. Interplay between musicians is really great. It's not just a question of technical capacity. They really play together with a same goal : to create a universal music. "You" is certainly less original than "Flying Teapot" or "Angel's egg" but this record is an excellent addition to any prog music collection.
Report this review (#27633)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The spacy province of Canterbury land was ruled by Daevid Allen-era Gong, and their "You" album is not only the definitive epitome of what Gong was all about, but also, IMHO, the absolute apex in their musical career. This album, which completes the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, encapsulates better than any other Gong record the perfect match between the band's ideology and spirit and the performers' sonic input. It is, to put it simply, their masterpiece. The ridiculously high-spirited lyrics about Zero's search for the ultimate key to mankind's freedom are perfectly complemented by the bizarre musical architecture that in "You" has found its more solid expression. The combination of avant-garde jazz's complexity, theatrical singing/chanting and electronic experimentation (synths, glissando guitars) have come to their ultimate fruition, something that can be easily noticeable thanks to the robust sound production and the sense of ordainment that seems to prevail in the album as a whole. Even though there's still lots of room for improvisation and expansion, it is clear that the anarchy and raw energy of their previous albums has been somewhat (not totally) subdued in favour of a bigger amount of cohesiveness in the band's functioning: it is clear that Allen and Mrs. Allen are the ideological captains of this ship, but it is also clear that their musical input has ceased to be a major asset in Gong's integral sound. Individually speaking, the most notable stuff is provided by lead guitarist Hillage, saxist/flutist Bloomdido, and the amazing rhythm section of Howlett and Moerlen. Hillage himself incarnates the mix of jazz and cosmic psychedelia that forms the core of Gong's instrumental facet (with his colleagues tending to trend toward one side or another); meanwhile Howlett and Moerlen have stopped being the "new kids on the block" and have already become a crucial part of the band's overall sound, serving as the main source of energy and bombast, especially during the jammed passages. Tim Blake's sonic provisions on synth and mellotron stand strongly on the most frontally cosmic side of things, serving as a powerful surrounding landscape for Hillage and Bloomdido's soloing excursions, touches of tuned percussion and male-and-female chanting. The album's segued repertoire kicks off with the funnily solemn brief intro 'Thoughts for Naught', followed by the Zappa- esque brief interlude 'A P.H.P.'s Advice'. Once 'Magick Mother Invocation'/'Master Builder' begins, we are faced against one of the most overtly classic moments of Gong's history. The thing starts with an eerie, disturbing inscrutable invocation, until the fade- in brings a Hindu-like motif structured in a jazz fusion scheme: the successive sax and guitar solos are incredibly excellent, and finally, the climax is explosively captivating. Things get a bit less intense and much more ethereal for the instrumental 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', mainly a showcase for Blake's ability to create soundscapes and ambiences as well as to use his electronic ideas as a medium of interaction with some of his partners' virtuosity. Up to this point, everything has been awesome, and things will continue that way. Another brief Zappa-esque short song comes, which is 'Perfect Symmetry'. The segued 'Isle of Everywhere' is a jam that kind of resumes the combined spirits of 'Master Builder' and 'Sprinkling' in a funky jazz context. Once again, Hillage and Bloomdido share alternately the spotlight for their respective solos: meanwhile, Mrs. Allen (a.k.a. Bambaloni Yoni) delivers her spectral humming. Then comes the epic closure, the stunning suite titled 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever', an effective, enthusiastic number that somehow recaptures the overall ambience displayed in the band's previous two albums (the other two of the Radio Gnome Trilogy). The spirit of joy that is constantly anticipated during the first 10 minutes is ultimately exposed along the final litany, in which the final truth is revealed and celebrated: "You are I or I am You". This manifestation of the urgent need to recognize that our fellow man is but a real image of our own selves is cleverly delivered in this line and its subsequent lyrical variations right until the fade-out: the Arabesque motif is simply mesmerizing. It's just unbelievable how well Gong manage to make good use of their unabashed Dadaist sense of humor in order to create a real connection with the listener: the ultimate truth of universal love is seen through the eyes of a child and sung in a carefree, easy-going manner, and we're all invited to see and sing it that way. Aaah. those sensual flute lines and those final guitar flourishes. a greatest closure for a true prog masterpiece.
Report this review (#27634)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I've tried liking this album, having listened to it three times, but each time just made me hate it more. It's not an irrational hate, it is based on analysis of the music. First of all, the songs lack depth and structure. They are mostly built around a simplistic riffs or chord progressions, that are in no way progressive. Then the guitar jamming goes on for 10 minutes or more, without the music going anywhere. A wide variety of stupid and and irritating sound effects are liberally applied to the whole album, but they cannot disguise the shallowness and mediocrity of the music. Some bands deserve obscurity, as Gong certainly does.
Report this review (#27635)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Superb album. Intervals consisting of crazy 2 min. pieces - one of GONG's characteristics - are prelude to long parts of increasingly strong and progressively richer ripetitive space dreams, ending up in real "sound walls". If Blake & Hillage & Malherbe work is innovation and mastery, a blend of Canterbury, jazz and space rock that is quite unique in GONG results, a mention is worthy for Howlett's bass guitar, and other band's members fantastic drums & percussion. If this album is still fantastic nowaday, we can imagine in the 70s... I often wonder about the final evaluation resulting from singles' evaluation on this site, since albums like this (apart perhaps the silly short intervals) are a must in everyone collection.
Report this review (#37972)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Essential.This is a masterpiece of progressive music.It is the highest masterpiece of Gong that hits the final work of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy. SF conception joins optimism and the utopian idea and the unique world is constructed.YOU ARE I, I AM YOU, GONG IS ONE AND ONE IS YOU.
Report this review (#39118)
Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This actually was my first Gong album, and when I put it on for the first time, I thought the beginning was quite boring, so I put it away for a while, only to put it on again a long while later. Again at the first moments I thought it wasn't all that special, so I started reading a book while playing the album, and somewhere halfway I found myself getting more and more distracted from reading, and I realised the music was rather great, and hypnothising. So I put the book away and listened to it again, paying more attention to what was happening in the music, and I began to appreciate it more and more. Nowadays I have most Gong albums, and I can only say I like them all.

Compared to the previous two radio Gnome albums, this one is as explained a bit more difficult to grasp, but in the end I think it's more rewarding aswell. The music is more spacy, more intricate, and with more extended instrumental parts compared with the previous albums, with a larger emphasis on progressing and developing the tunes, building the atmosphere to become somewhat hypnotising.

The first side of the album contains some shorter songs, that naturally progress from one song in to the next, I think The Pot Head Pixies have entered Tibet on this record, for that's what the music reminds me off, tibetian combined with Southern American (Inca/Maya's) influences (correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I hear it), with a slow start, gradually becoming more intens. great first half, but side two is even better.

Side two starts with a short fun typical Gong funny song, then two long jams take control of the album side, The Isle Of Everywhere, and You'll Never Blow Your Trip Forever. the first being a very spacy Jam, with great bass guitar/drum base, with some saxophone and guitar playing on top of it, a really very trippy experience, You'll Never Blow continuos that direction with some lyrics thrown in to complete the Radio Gnome story, and some more heavy guitars, great.

Rereading this review, I realise I maybe didn't say enough about the music, but you will hear it yourself, if you're any smart at least.

5 stars, don't miss out on the Radio Gnome trilogie, for it's a great musical experience.


Report this review (#40280)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Bob Greece
4 stars I found out about this album from suggestions of other prog archives readers about bands similar to Ozric Tentacles. This album was a major influence to Ozric Tentacles. It contains long space jamming sessions including some great sax playing (that's something that the Ozrics never tried). There are some short strange little tracks too but the overall feel is of spaced-out jamming.

You have to be careful with Gong because their music is so varied that it passes through many categories. Their early work is a little strange thanks to Daevid Allen's big influence. By the time of the Radio Gong albums Steve Hillage's influence transformed the sound of the band. After this, both Allen and Hillage left the band and the sound is more jazz fusion.

If there are any fans of Ozric Tentacles out there that haven't heard this album then I would recommend you listen to it.

Report this review (#42018)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow!What a trip man.I bet if you went to a party hosted by these guys you would have never been the same.I think the mix of jazz,prog and space music is very effective and brilliant.The best Cantubury music as far as listenability with the possible exception of Caravan.
Report this review (#44030)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars YOU is the Masterpiece of the Canterbury School's french band . Last volet of their Trilogy "Radio Gnome Invisible" (after "Flying Teapot" and "Angel's Egg"), a pataphisical mythology inspired by the genious mischievous sprite Daevid Allen after an astral trip under LSD, YOU is the most cosmic and eccentric album of Progressive Rock.

Sometimes atonal or even somewhat dissonant (Didier "Bloomdido" Malherbe on wind instruments), the music presents extraodinary melodies exploring jazz, free, pop and space-rock. By listening this delirious disc, these perfect instrumentalists and happy elfs from an another planet (The Planet Gong !) form the best band of the world.

On "Master Builder", the rythmical accelerations (of Mike Howlett on Bass and of Pierre Moerlen on drums) and the cosmic flights on the E.T. Steve Hillage's guitar wind you. The long track "Isle of Everywhere" is really ambitious and the musicians are at their zenith. Astmospheric instrumental passages, floating music, fluidity of soli, mystical singing (inspired from Tibet), spatial keyboards (Tim Balke), woman space whispers (Gilly Smith) , electronic effects (Venux de Luxe), surrealistic and futurist lyrics of the leader Daevid Allen, the whole impregnated of an unrivalled humour.

GONG is not dead !

Report this review (#75114)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One has to be aware that Gong has 2 distinctive eras: the space/psychedelic progressive years and the fusion years; this album belongs to the space/psychedelic progressive era. They were really unique and they strongly inspired the progressive space rock band Ozric Tentacles. Even Steve Hillage's solo career has some elements of this Gong's style, given that he plays similar patterns on the record here.

Compared to their previous Angel's egg album, the keyboards are more omnipresent, spacy and cosmic here: they are closer to the Ozric Tentacles' atmospheres; The guitars effects also have a key role in the arrangements. There are some sax parts that give an obvious jazzy touch to the ensemble; the Canterburian elements are a bit less present than on the Angel's egg album. There are some excellent flute parts like on the relaxing track "Thoughts for naught", which contains zeuhl-esque voices. Pierre Moerlen uses some excellent percussions of the xylophone family: with Mireille Bauer, he uses those percussions a bit more than on the Angel's egg album, but less than on the Shamal & Expresso 2 albums.

"Magick mother invocation" is the worst track: it is a minimalist, spacy & hypnotic track that decreases a bit the artistic value of this record. "Master builder" and "A sprinkling of clouds" contain the very similar elements found on Ozric Tentacles' albums like Erpland: exotic flute, fast & complex drums, typical punchy bass and spacy & cosmic floating keyboards; it is also reminiscent of the Steve Hillage's Green album; there is even a cosmic moog solo very similar to the one on Camel's "Lunar sea" track, from the "Moonmadness" album. "The isle of everywhere" is a bit repetitive but the cosmic, spacy and slightly psychedelic ambience is quite pleasant, reminding again the Steve Hillage's Green album.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#78178)
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, this one is a true great - made awesome by GonG's greatest 2 song cycles - Master Builder and The Isle of Everywhere - each leading up slowly but surely to be hit by Steve Hillage's totally fantastic guitar freakouts.

My 13 year old son loves this - if but for the silly bits - maybe they are a bit silly - but can you hear the words at the end "Gong is One, and One is You" - listen carefully, I can't...

Also I'm not sure about looking at the Gong mandala during the freak-out in the Isle of Everywhere. Hmmmm, that's a bit weird for me. I'm not sure I can reach total melt, ah yeh - maybe I can.

...A masterpiece...

Report this review (#79452)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Okay, last night I turned off the lights, sat down, got comfortable, turned up the volume on my stereo and put this album on. This was the 8th or 10th time listening to it the first time meditating to it. This is really an album to focus on while listening to, not something catchy and definitely not for dancing to. During this album I felt it effect me, I wasn't listening to music I was absorbing it, it wasn't just music it affected me. I cannot explain the feelings I had, I felt changed like a spiritual experience. It was very real, I did not listen to the music I stepped into it and was surrounded, I felt it in my bones and my gut, it quickened my pulse and emptied my thoughts, I became a part of something. It did this to me when I was completely sober, not a single mind enhancing substance was used and the music (which seemed more than just music) produced these amazing feelings.

now for the tracks: Thought for Naught is a slow start but sets the mood nicely. I immediately feel that this is different than anything I know. Gilli Smith creates images with her voice and she is probably the most unique part of the track. Thought for Naught really just sets up what is to come. A P.H.P.'s Advice is a fun track, I enjoy the percussion and the vocals (although they seem incomprehensible) are done very well. The transition between songs is also perfectly done. Which leads to Magick Mother Invocation, the track that nearly put me to sleep while meditating to this album. Nothing really happens in this track but a mood change from A PHP's Advice to Master Builder. Master Builder is my favorite track on You, this track is the most difficult to explain. I love the way it builds up. The drumming is quite possibly the best drumming ever. It fits with what is going on perfectly. It is amazing that the drums are kept in the background, every other great drummer I have listened to overpowers the rest of the sound when it is of this quality, but Moerlen does just what drums are meant for, staying in the background, but creates amazing rythyms. Other bands would use a drummer of this talent as a poster boy and keep him in the foreground, but because of the level of skill the other members contain, the drumming becomes just a part of something bigger. Also the bass work is ridiculous, how was this band not more popular with this kind of talent? Sprikling of Clouds starts slow and builds up just like Master Builder did, but the way it flows is even more enjoyable. Sprinkling of Clouds is almost my favorite track on the album, the slow opening helped me catch my breath after the climax of Master Builder. The best part here is the bass work, the bass sings to me here it is very nice. Perfect Mystery follows the same sort of style as A PHP's Advice and it is perfectly placed in this album, it is a very nice change from the previous three tracks and the next one, The Isle of Everywhere. The Isle of Everywhere has a repetitious background part and different instrumets taking the lead throughout I like the style of it and it is another well done track. I think it is the easiest track to appreciate on You. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever I think is a bad closer to this album, its good but its not as excellent as the previous tracks. It is enjoyable but forgettable.

Its hard to decide whether to give this album 4 or 5 stars, I think it is a masterpiece and it affected me in a very positive way, but it is definitely not for everyone. I will give it 4 stars because it fits the description just right it is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I recommend it to those with a very open mind and a willingness to do nothing but listen and absorbed the experience of music. Try it sober or not, the same effects happen, either way it is good. This is my first Canterbury Album and first Gong album, I am excited to have more experiences with this band and genre, a great start to it for sure.

Report this review (#81512)
Posted Monday, June 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars By the time Gong reached the Studio with this material parts of it had been played many times live and this is reflected in a slightly jaded feel to the material. Live this material was possibly their finest moment in the studio it becomes more muddy sounding and muddled. What we are left with is a Gong albums that is not over cluttered with silly lyrics and musical jokes. The Compositions Master builder , A sprinkling of clouds and The isle of everywhere make up the bulk of the record and demonstrate how good Gong were at playing extended and interesting Jams. This LP is closest to fitting the prog rock label and is pretty good into the bargain. However it has faults mostly down to its poor production and maybe overambitious (a times) sound. I am always left wondering what if ? and most especially what if they ad recorded this 6 months earlier when the material was fresh. I caught Gong live twice during this period and the music sound awesome live. Again I would point to the official gas bootleg called "you don't have to give up dope" to show just how much better this material was being played at that stage. Despite these remarks YOU remains a great LP and one that all gong fans should own and most prog fans should consider.
Report this review (#91918)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The greatest trilogy ever?

SeanTrane, in his reviews of the three Radio Gnome Invisible albums, calls this the greatest trilogy ever. I can't honestly comment on that, as I've only heard this album out of the three. If the rest are anything at all like this, however, he may well be right. This album can be a lot to swallow the first few times through, as it covers a wide range of styles, and sounds like nothing you've heard before. In fact, a month after I bought this album, I felt like it was a two star album. Now, another month later, I feel like it is be a masterpiece.

As I've said, this album covers a wide range of styles, from some CAN-like moments to some almost pop moments to what i-tunes labeled as "acid punk." Don't let the acid punk bit turn you off, though, because this is one of the most intelligent and creative albums around, and, yes, very much a progressive album. As far as concept goes, this album is a continuation of the story of Planet Gong, and "peace, love, and fun" (thanks SeanTrane), though I'd guess from the title and some of the lyrics that there's some Planet Gong religion mixed in. The album shines, however, when it is instrumental.

The album opens with three shorter tracks, the first two silly, and the third a tone-setter. Thoughts for Naught features some nice flute work and some awfully deep male vocals and whispery female vocals that create a dark but whimsy atmosphere. This is probably the weakest song on the album, but it's not without its merits. Next up is a P.h.p.'s Advice (p.h.p. = pot head pixie, which are the main character's on the Planet Gong). This is a very poppy song with some incredibly silly lyrics and vocals to match, and featuring some great percussion work that really makes this worthwhile. Up next is Magick Mother Invocation, which starts leading us into the meat of the album. It features some spacey music that conjures up dark images and cursed pyramids, and on top of all this is some deep chanting that will remind you of CAN's Aumgn.

After this six or so minute introduction consisting of three different songs, the album really starts. Master Builder flows right out of Magick Mother Invocation, and some chanting comes in, presumably in a made up language. Spacey sound effects and some engaging drumming really start to take you away to a new place where no other music I've heard will take you. This track builds in intensity, and really grabs me and sucks me into the collage of atmospheres and textures that come together to form a cohesive image. This song goes along at almost breakneck speed, but with more intelligence than most music that goes that fast. This is what i-tunes determined was acid punk, and I must say, if it really is, acid punk is some of the greatest music around. The saxophone, or whatever instrument it is (when you listen to the song, you'll know what I'm talking about), is quite crazy. Some lyrics reminiscent of Gentle Giant's Knots take the show for a while, with some minimalistic music, but soon the lyrics morph into more gibberish chanting and the song returns to old form but with new textures, new images being added to the collage I discussed earlier. The song comes to an end with some nice vocals, asking the master builder how to make a temple. This is a masterpiece of a song, perhaps my favorite on the album, and one of the few where the vocal sections compete with the instrumental sections.

Master Builder does have some competition for best on the album, however, especially in A Sprinkling of Clouds. It opens with some repetitive textures that simply sound really good and will impress themselves on you. The rest of the music starts building in the background to excellent effect, and this song is the kind that will just wash over in a manner similar to Rick Wakeman's organ in the I Get Up, I Get Down section of Close to the Edge. However, here, this is sustained for almost ten minutes, and every minute of it perfect, while Wakeman's work only lasts for about thirty seconds or so. Just to clear it up, the two sections don't sound alike, they just have a similar effect (and it's a good one that is done better here). Around 4:15 into the song, the drumming builds and the rest of the song really takes off. The intensity is excellent, and this is a song that you don't listen to. This is a song you experience. You put it on and it pervades every essence of your being in a way that is indescribable in mere words. I cannot do it justice in this review, I will just say that this may well be better than Master Builder, but both are incredible songs that you cannot live without (at least not after you've heard them).

This ended what was side one on the LP version of the album, and now it's time for the equally strong side two. Like side one, this opens with some silliness before the true journey begins. Perfect Mystery opens with some quite catchy music, followed by the witty lyrics ("it's a perfect mystery, how becomes a tree a tree"). This song goes all over the place, with the "cops at the door, no cops at the door" section, followed by an odd instrumental bits and some even odder female vocals. I promise this song is better than I'm making it sound. It's hard to stomach, but when it picks up at the end, it really gets good, and it stands as the best of the 4 under 3 minute tracks on the album.

It's with the Isle of Everywhere that side two really stars, however. This song opens with some psychedelic female vocals mixed with some music that is building wonderfully. About 1:15 into the song, the drumming goes on a trip, and the rest of the music starts following, with excellent results. The Isle of Everywhere is excellent, almost "groovy," but not in the way that much non-prog is, which, for me at the very least, would be a real turn-off. Rather, this is groovy in that the music gives you vibes that make you want to move to it, but without sacrificing any of its intelligence or creativity. The saxophones here is quite wonderful over the repetitive texture (repetitive here is a good, mood-setting thing). The song continues to find new ways to enthrall you, finally climaxing in the last three minutes. I must say, the ending of this song is perfect, a climax equal to those of Genesis' The Musical Box and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This song builds around the main theme perfectly, always doing something new, something inventive, that never leaves you bored or wanting, not even for an instant.

You Never Blow Your Trip Forever starts with some thrumming bass and psychedelic sound effects, building up into some almost funk music with some crazy vocals that simply amazing. Around 1:15 into the song, these vocals change to a rather funny dialogue set to the music, ending with the two speakers missing the bus. The song then gets softer, with some nice vocals asking Zero the Hero if he remembers why he came to everywhere. The music builds perfectly behind this, again in a way that is indescribable solely using words. The funk of the beginning is gone, and around 3:30 into the song, it explodes into some music in God knows what style, probably one Gong invented. The vocals here are some of the best on the album, almost rap, but more intelligent than any straight rap, both in lyrics and singing style. I BEG YOU, with all my heart, to not make any negative associations with my connection to rap, pretend I never said it if you must, because this is an amazing song that transcends the boundaries of any style, and one part happens to sound similar to but much better than a style of modern music that most of you probably dislike. So please, please, please, don't discount the album on account of that one sentence. Anyway, back to the song, it gets pretty crazy in the sixth and seventh minutes, but nothing a progster can't handle. It then features some great lyrics, "well there goes Zero the hero, turning all around the wheels of births and deaths, meanwhile the octave doctors and the pilot pixies and all the other characters of planet Gong have to leave you know with this last little song." What a great excuse for the song to change, into a section with some spacey music and repetitive vocals that somehow don't irritate me. Then, with about 1:45 left, the music switches to the ending theme that fades out to end this marvelous album.

There are several types of prog styles, it seems to me. There are the bands, like Genesis or Yes, who introduce a lot of different themes in their songs, never staying the same for longer than they can help. There is the prog antithesis of this, in which bands (like Le Orme and Solaris) take one theme and see how many new and creative ways they can express it. And then there are bands that take one theme and build around it (technically, there is a fourth style of prog music, which is solely CAN style, where CAN does whatever they want). Based solely on this album, I can easily say that Gong were masters at this last technique (not the CAN one), as seen in Isle of Everywhere and A Sprinkling of Clouds especially. Every song on this album has its merits, interspersing wit with some of the most serious and best music around. I'd love to give this album the full five star rating, but I've given out too many recently, and already have to edit several of them down to four stars. So, for now, 4.5 stars, and maybe someday soon, it'll make the final impression on me that it's a masterpiece. I urge to treat this review as if it were a masterpiece, and rush to buy this album, probably the best Canterbury album I've heard. But, that said, it's hard to define this album as Canterbury. It transcends all the boundaries of genre, all the boundaries of any genre, for that matter, and it is an album you simply MUST own. Well, with that, I'm done recommending this album, and I'll have to let the album's high regard stand on it's own to convince you that this is an essential album. 5 stars for this effort.

Humph. Acid punk indeed. The best of Canterbury is a better label in my eyes.

Report this review (#107172)
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars While the music for the body makes you dance, the other makes you think. YOU is actually music for the mind, but it affects it in such a way the listener has no control over itself. Listen to Gong feels like somebody had pulled your brain off of your head, which is the very LSD effect. At the end of Mother Magick Invocation, Allen says the hipnotic line "ZA-I ZA-O MA-I MA-O TA-E TA-O", and suddenly you are into an almost never ending cosmic trip. Gong is, IMVHO, the last word in psychedelia and sapcey rock. Hillage's stunning soaring guitar, Howlett's brilliant bass riffs (the band's speciality), Moerlen's accurate and innovative percussion... with Blake's spacey synths and Didier Malherbe's colourful on top of everything creates the perfect atmosphere for Allen's concept.

I can even describe each song perfectly, but all I shall tell is: if mushroom tea is like Gong's music, I'd love to try it again and again...

Report this review (#115314)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the begginning and the end of space rock.influences from jazz,flower power,electronica,psychedelia or whatever else you may find.MASTER BUILDER is the biggest influence for the sound of OZRIC TENTACLES (many people believe that they are one of the best groups nowadays.just listen to GONG and you will see the simularity)
Report this review (#128248)
Posted Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars YOU is Gong at their trippiest. The album consists mainly of long space-rock jams, which give the likes of Steve Hillage and Bloomdido Bad de Grasse a chance to come up with exciting solos (on guitar and sax, respectively). Tim Blake isn't bad either: I love his synths in "A sprinkling of clouds".

The only problem is that Daevid Allen has now virtually disappeared from his own trilogy. We never really find out what happened to Zero the Hero and the Pot Head Pixies; the music only tells us that they reached some kind of high. YOU hardly bears any trace of the funny little ditties which made FLYING TEAPOT and ANGELS EGG so utterly delightful.

As I pointed out in my review of RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE's first volume, the trilogy as a whole definitely deserves five stars, as it's one of prog's happiest masterpieces. But about YOU on its own I have my doubts - let's award it three and a half stars.

Report this review (#130076)
Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I recall during may or august 2007 I bought this album, and took it over to a friends house. after engaging in a 'cup of tea' me and another friend sat upon this nice comfortable bed and engaged Gong's You...upon first listen we and my friend Mchael where totaly blown away by how far ahead of it's time it sounded, I was just getting into Gong and exploring further and further into the Canterbury Collective. When the first song began to play (Thoughts For Naught) my friend Michael looked at me with those red soaked eyes that haunt me to this day. he looked at me and laughed as Daevid Allen began to sing and heard the weird structure of it. After experiancing Gong's Flying Teapot & the magnificent Angels' Egg, and Steve Hillage's Fish Rising solo effort, I was sort of dis- satisfried with You, and to be honest most of it has to do with the absent Daevid Allen, the creative force behind Gong, besides that the music is onehundered percent psychedelictrippcanterburystyle. If I had to rate all of Gong's "primary albums" it would be as followed::

1>Angels' Egg 2>Flying Teapot 3>You 4>Cambert Electrique

Report this review (#134373)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the only GonG album I've heard and is easily the best spacey record I've heard too, This album is perfect for relaxing, passing time and sleeping (I mean that in the best possible way), it's so effective at tapping into that majestic, spiritual emotions I don't know how I ever lived without it.

'You' starts off innocuously enough with the opening track 'thoughts for naught' somewhat reminiscent of a lullaby and the silly 'a P.H.P.'s advice' before slowly drifting off into another world with 'magick mother invocation' which is pretty much just the introduction to the best song on the album 'master builder'. Master builder is in my view the perfect song for what it is a psychedelic fusion space jam of epic proportions, I couldn't love this song more or sing higher praises of it, easily one of my all time favourites. 'A sprinkling of clouds' is up next and is just as spacey and jamalicious as 'master builder' only in a different way, it starts off with a dreamy spacey synth building up into a nice jam with a synth soloing over the top.

Next we have the intermission song really another short and silly one in 'perfect mystery' before we wade out into the cool waters of space jamming in 'the isle of everywhere' with some bass driven funky space jam action before in the final song 'you never blow your trip forever' the sillier side of gong and the prolonged jamming side of gong are merged with somewhat mixed but ultimately positive results.

The musicians on this album are great my personal favourite is drummer Pierre Moerlen - he creates such amazing rich textures with his drumming, it's so frenetic and jazzy and always appropriate, it just adds so much to the music and fills a void I never knew drums could occupy, the drumming on 'master builder' is some of my favourite of all time. The bass is the main rhythmic component holding things together and is what your head will be swaying too more often than not, there are some seriously deep bass grooves on this album as there is in all good space rock jamming. The guitar is fairly subdued in this album but when it comes it it does so in force, there are some great solos and jamming moments here from the guitar. The synth is one of the greatest parts of this album, it's so varied and interesting it is primarily responsible for the feeling of spaciousness and it's odd because rarely does it occupy the foreground of the music. The introduction to 'A sprinkling of clouds' is one of my favourite uses of synth of all time (I'm saying that a lot aren't I? - with good reason) very spacey, never cheesy pretty much sums up the synth. The vocals are fairly hit and miss, you can live with them or without them they don't really have much bearing on the music overall. The saxophone is a great touch and adds that extra jazziness to the music when the jams are in full swing, there's nothing like a good sax wailing to get the blood rushing.

Overall 'You' is a fantastic album that should be owned by anyone serious about space/rock, fusion jamming and psychedelia. I've introduced about a dozen friends to this masterpiece now and every single one has shared the same opinion of it as me, the best thing about it is it's good for listening anytime and anywhere, if you want to go to sleep it will put your mind at ease, if you're on public transport then you'll zone out from what's going on around you, if you're on a road trip or a plane it will make the time pass quicker, if you're just sitting in bed by yourself with the lights off listening to it with headphones - it will satisfy you.

Report this review (#140491)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

The final installment in the Gong Quadrilogy(It is 4 albums of Pot Head Pixie life, so yes it is a quad !!), and the last real album for this line-up and this brilliant aura, style and sound of Gong. YOU is the ultimate finish to a brilliant series of albums. This album is epic space rock genius at it's best. I love this album to death, it has some of the best moral teachings through it's lyrics, some incredible production quality and sound, and the musicianship/music is uneblieveable. Magic Mother and Master Builder combination is by far my favorite section. This album can really transport you places, it is the closest thing to a musical "drug" I have ever experienced. The ending to this album is bitter sweet, such a perfect, fitting end to this Quadrilogy. I can never get enough of Tim Blakes work on here and Pierre, they are just genius and phenominal at the choices they make for songs...

Well there you have it, the end of a segement of greatness in the land of music. Pierre will take over after this to deliver some fantastic jazz/fusion style stuff. YOU is a must have for Gong fans or interested jazz fans, or freaks, and crazy people in general ;)

Also check out "Live in the 70's" for the absolute best live versions of some of the tracks from YOU. Masterful.

"maybe you don't know what you know..."

Report this review (#147262)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album puts me into a trance mode, that is very enjoyable. You is musch different from anything that has come from GonG so far, it has much more of a trippy jam session feel to it (which is what i think happened when they recorded it!) The Bass and Sax on this album are stellar, and the goofy lyrics will always make you smile with some hardcore hippy style. If you enjoy taking drugs, buy this album, because you will have no more need to waste money on such things anymore.
Report this review (#161216)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars With a Kind Permssion from PROGARCHIEVES & all Proggers-- What i want to draw yur attention to is not - YOU - as an Excellent crafted musical add to any proggers ( in fact it is & more ) - What draw my attention was two things -= The next period from Steve Hillage career & a review regarding him by ERIC , Also btwn brackets the albums OPEN & Fishrising- -------- Fishrising - Green - Live Herald - L - where essential works frm Steve Hillage , bUT , what was really impressing for me as a Lebanese Arab was his Album - OPEN - & let me tell yu why============== I'm a 54 years old Retired Pilot , btn the period 1969 - 1979 I was really into hard & prog rock without paying any attention to our culture & musical library -- So,,, there was an instrumental track in this album originaly for a most famous star female singer in the middle eastern coast ( Oum Koulthoum ) and i use to hear this song in my mothers room (without noticing that ) So , this talented artist introduced me to my culture and i believe shurely he doesn't understand any arabic . after all i agree with Eric regarding his review , he was really honest specially ( about the hippie frm outer space ) BUTTT, SH was'nt the inventor of Space rock , and certainly PORCUPINE TREE wasn't inspired by his works - completely different timings, different inspirations ( cause i've known both all the way ) Sooo, i'm not playing the role of a teacher here, specially fr proggers , cause each of us has his own opinion . reviewing these albums is more essential than many bands & works in progarchieves , specially LIVE HERALD - FISHRISING & -- L --
Report this review (#163254)
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
el böthy
5 stars When talking about "trilogys" in music, or well, in prog, it´s hard not to think of Gong´s Radio Gnome right away; that is, of course, if you are not familiar with them... which you should! While Flying Teapot might have been the funniest of the three and Angel´s egg the best representation of Daevid Allen´s talent, You is the absolute peak of Gong as a band. Everyone in the band is at their best, most specially Pierre Moerlen behind the kit, and while this means that Allen might have taken a back step in terms of "frontman", it´s for the best, as it allows the rest of the band to keep up with him, so it no longer feels like Allen band, something most can disagree with, but I get the feeling when listening to their previous albums, this is really Gong working as a unity.

The album opens with the "quirky" Thoughts for naught, with Allen reciting Pixies´s last adventures before fully diving in the music this album offers. It´s really nothing more than a pleasure to the ears to hear how they move forward from song to song in such a natural way, this is, from Thought for naught to A P.H.P.'s advine, moving on to the trippy Magick mother invocation and finishing with Gong at it´s absolute best, Master builder. You might have heard from this song, as a couple of bald women in the forum won´t shut up about it... and how right are not to do so! Moerlen is a god here! You can clearly hear when one song ends and the other begins, but had they let the first four tracks of the album as one long song, I doubt anyone would have had any complains. This is really one of the highlight of the Space rock scene, and this reviews personal favorite! The album continues with the spacy and "let´s smoke some weeds" hint (well, the whole album is pretty much a big hint) A sprinkling of clouds with Tim Blake providing some outstanding bubbling, atmospheric key work. Perfect mystery might have more to do with the previous two albums than it has with this one, but it still fits perfectly with the rest of the songs. The isle of everywhere is perhaps You´s best representavie. If anyone asks me what You sound like I will probably make him listen to this song. It´s basically one big, spaced out jam, where Jazz, Space rock and elevator music (in the best scense of the word) meat to make some of the trippiest sounds ever. You never blow yr trip forever start´s as the continuation of Isle, but it soon grows into a more fun, more Allenesque song. The perfect trippy closer to one trippy album!

An absolute classic of it´s genre, the peak of Gong´s musical carrier and a great pot-album! Hahahaha...

Report this review (#163462)
Posted Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I'm not a very big fan of Canterbury School Prog in general. It's too light and silly for my taste. However, I love long, trippy space rock pieces by artists such as Tangerine Dream and Ozric Tentacles. So I am a little conflicted about this album. The long instrumentals are great. Really spacey and great to chill out to late at night with a drink. If the album consisted of only these pieces I would give it four or maybe even five stars. They are really an excellent example of the style.

On the other hand, the short vocal pieces strike me as REALLY annoying. They completely ruin the mood of the record for me. Now granted, I haven't heard the previous two installments of this trilogy, so maybe there are important story points I am missing. But from a purely musical standpoint, I hate the vocals and the melodies that the vocals are singing. The most glaring example of this is in the awful A P.H.P.'s Advice (included twice on the remaster! Yay.) I would be interested to hear some of Hillage's solo stuff, if it is in the same vein, but overall I have no desire to hear other Gong records based on this one. Sorry, Canterbury fans.

Report this review (#163651)
Posted Monday, March 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Im really greatefull to prog archives for discovering me this awesome group called GonG. How it was possible that a freak as me didnt knew anthing of this bunch of loonies? For a time i was shocked and just keep on playing their albums and reading about them and Daevid Allen like a madman. Ok they are from the canterbury scene but instead of going to the lyrical british tolkienesque psychedelic side like Caravan, they went the hard anarchist spacey cosmic side. Thats why the goofyness humour of caravan turns here to be whimsismical acid assaults to all kind of cliches arround psychedelia. Caravan humour compared with that is very light and soft. In fact theres something very weird about GonG , they seem to be members of a religion of madness and complete freedom tresspassing the verge of mental sanity. And whimsismical humour is the ground were they can offer they mistery, because you first think they are just joking and then your blown out because you realize they are not faking, they are as crazy as they seem to be. Daevid Allen was completly on the other side or he was not?......I dont know for sure but what i know is that their music is not an introduction to british wonderland as caravan in the land of grey and pink is music from the planet Gong pure spacey weirdo, hilarious and funny to the point your unable of listen to this music without feeling like a joker of the most blown-out specie. Is a cosmicaly stunning assault: you can hear savage space rock mantras were the humour tends to get near madness and whimsismical psychedelia turns to be mystic monuments of space rock. For me they are the better space rock band by the hand! The music is clearly enough but their anarchist humour and the stupid boldness they have to make the camembert and the trilogy ( wich i think is as fantastic in overall concept almost as the freak brothers comics, well just a little bit less). Is fantastic how they jump so naturally from the whimsismical to the monumental mysticism. One thing i know for sure their music just feels like always increasing freedom. Floating anarchism.

Ok the music of this absolutely essential disc: "Thoughts for naughts" and "A.p.h.p advice" are goofing songs wich are superb , your heart laughs and thats the good type of mood for the barbarian "Master Builder" to begin trough the "Macick mother invocation". Their space rock is just the best, always going up , getting delighful, weird, and intense as it goes. Master is driving , stunning space rock with a pharaonic sound , the hard side. "A sprinkling of clouds" is unique! Theres a lot of reviews were people dissmis these song......... I think is wonderfull , something i love from this music is that is not functional in anyway, is not new-age music, is not foor relaxing , is not for dance, you dont know any social situation were this music could be put without causing pure chaotic bliss ( i always think of putting the song in a yoga-like meditation, the first part would seem alright then they would kick my ass out of there), you dont know if you have to sit or stand-up. Anyway for sure its cosmicaly tripping of the wildest kind. "Perfect mystery" is a joke for taking a breath and keep with the trip. "The isle is everywhere" is wild and smooth psychedelic perfection, with its funky laidback bass and all this space whispers ( trademark of Daevid and company) and then after 10 minutes of pure groovy joy, you come to a monstruosity called "You never Blow Your Trip Forever". The introduction shows that you have landed the weirdest side of Gong planet with these sesame street kinda voices but... completly freaked-out! The song is full of changes and it seem you are always getting further and further in the rabbit hole of blissfull madness. Great disc, great group, great style. Ill give it 5 stars

Report this review (#163821)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dang! I love Space Rock! Master Builder is a space rock epic! Sometimes the album is downright silly, though, but that's what you get with Gong. If your taking your listening to seriously, just stay away from these guys and play Ozric Tentacles instead, they do a great job of reproducing Gongisms through two decades or album releases. But if you want to hear the more raw, experimental, and boundary pushing edge of Space Rock and Canterbury, you have to go here.
Report this review (#170373)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The famous Gong trilogy is really a masterpiece that should be listened by every prog enthusiast. The album You is the perfect closure for it. The blend of psychedelic and jazz in songs like Master Builder and the long compositions toward the end of the album create the perfect atmosphere to sit calmly with headphones in a nice comfortable couch and drink tea :). I don't think there is any weak song on this album, they just fit perfectly well together. It's the perfect example of a perfect album.
Report this review (#171100)
Posted Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars You finally culiminates the Radio Gnome Invisible series, and is definitely Gong's masterpiece. This is perhaps one of the most original works of progressive music I have heard in my entire life. It defies the boundaries of post-psychedelia with its numerous fusion jams and originality towards songwriting. A masterpiece when listened to as a whole. The first few tracks of the album set the listener into the surreal world of Gong mythology, setting the atmosphere for Master Builder, arguably the best track of the album. If you consider yourself a prog fan and you don't own this album, go and buy it right now.
Report this review (#178023)
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the final installment of the trilogy and in my opinion the best of the bunch. This is more spacey, jazzy and sophisticated than all their previous records. This is the peak of their most creative phase. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like this one. The silliness of the previous two albums is almost gone as they seem to focus more on the instrumental music.

"Thoughts For Naught" features spoken male and female vocals with a spacey background. Singing after a minute to the end with flute. "Ap Hp's Advise" is a silly vocal track. Vibes and percussion a minute in. "Magick Mother Invocation" has this spacey atmosphere with chants. It blends into "Master Builder" where drums eventually join in. It's getting intense. Sax comes in after 1 1/2 minutes. Great melody. It stops before 3 1/2 minutes as we can hear birds singing. It's back and Hillage starts to light it up on the guitar, especially before 5 minutes. Vocals come in to end it. "A Sprinkling Of Clouds" has this spacey soundscape not unlike what ASH RA TEMPEL used to do. Very hypnotic. A fuller sound before 4 1/2 minutes and it kicks into an even higher gear before 6 minutes as Hillage rips it up. Sax 7 minutes in and it ends with flute and mellotron.

"Perfect Mystery" is a silly song with both male and female vocals. "Isle Of Everywhere" is spacey with throbbing bass lines as these distant sounding female vocal melodies cry out. Sax after 3 1/2 minutes leads the way until guitar takes over 7 minutes in. Percussion late as it blends into "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever". This one opens with strange vocals and sounds that come and go. It gets spacey 2 minutes in with mellotron. Vocals come in. The tempo and sound picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. Guitar starts to get aggressive 7 minutes in. Spoken words 7 1/2 minutes in as it just meanders to the end.

If you want to check out one GONG album make it this one.

Report this review (#179595)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strange, yet somehow wonderful

Once upon a time before I know what prog rock was, I had a magazine which was a special edition about the history of progressive rock and its key players. In the back of said magazine was a list of the top 50 prog rock albums (according to them, anyways) - and there was one of the albums (I can't even remember where it placed anymore) which always caught my eye thanks to it's wonderfully weird title. The Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1: Flying Teapot. I never did get my hands on the album in the early days of my snooping around the progressive genre, being that despite having seen it on the shelves a number of times I never quite trusted my instinct to just buy it. It also doesn't help that in Canada, buying a new cd of that caliber can be quite costly for the frostbitten inhabitants of the country. One day, however, in my need to branch out and explore new frontiers of music (Canterbury, specifically) I entered a used music store and saw this album sitting on the shelves. Thank god for Prog Archives, otherwise I wouldn't have known that this was simply another album in the series that came after Flying Teapot, and it was for a good price. And so, holding my breath, I finally took the plunge... and then headed back down the street to attend the night's punk show (and may the prog-gods smite me for that).

Let's be honest with ourselves here - this is not normal music. If you're expecting to play it safe with this album you're waaay out of the woods. Even in the realm of Canterbury this one is quite unusual - and yet it sits pretty as the number one album of it's genre (at the time of writing this, anyways). Needless to say, this one may take a while to catch on. I can recall talking to other prog heads about this album and saying, ''I really just don't get it!''. But y'know what? This album has enough charm to it, even if you 'don't get it' that you'll want to come back for more... and more... and even more. There's just a certain something about the album. It's so spaced out that you'd think it was supposed to be put under the psych/space rock sub-genre, and yet at the same time it experiments with jazzy elements enough to stick in with Canterbury. Whether it be the mean bass riff and guitar from Master Builder, the quirk of the two opening songs (Thought For Naught and A PHP's Advice) or the spaceoutedness of the entire second side this one just mesmerizes.

But like I mentioned before, you'd better be ready for some quirk. If the cover and title of the first album in the series didn't give it away, this one can certainly get strange. This happens mostly in the shorter tracks such as Perfect Mystery, but also in the longer pieces, like the ending section of You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (''bye bye!'') - usually the parts that have vocals, because apparently the band just wanted to keep it weird - and kudos for that. A Sprinkling Of Clouds also features a lot of quirk in its keyboard playing - a long spaced out instrumental that simply bounces until about 5 minutes in when it explodes into motion, the wonderful bassline coming in again.

Someone who really needs a nod from this album (although he's gotten many, many by now) is Steve Hillage, lead guitar (in case you didn't know). Although the first listens reveal barely any guitar other than some subtle noodling thanks to the multitude of other instruments, peeling away the layers eventually shows a wonderful virtuoso whose talents really pick up the album (and all the Canterbury experts are reading this, smacking their heads and saying, ''duh!''). Of course where would we be without Mike Howlett on the bass. I've mentioned it already, but I have to say it again - the bass parts on this album are absolutely great!

Something happened with this album after I gave it more and more listens - originally it was only worth a 3 in my books, but with repeated listens this one is going to have to get a 4. Make that a 4.5. Really wonderful music - quirky and interesting with a touch of heaviness where need be. Highly recommended, although it might not be the place to start with the sub-genre if you're unsure about it.

Report this review (#181605)
Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is no downside to this album. It is pure magic. The drum and bass work so well together creating a solid centre allowing the other elements to float and dance around. It feels like there is less singing and more instrumental work on this album than than the previous two parts of the trilogy. The album is packed with fabulous and infectious riffs, the theme from master builder (later recorded as The Glorious Om Riff by Hillage on Green) stands out for me. My favorite track on the album is the Isle of everywhere, a wonderfully simple bass riff starts the track and evolves as the other instruments are introduced and jam over the riff for 10 amazing minutes of music. For me this was the creative peak for Gong and when I saw them live last year for their reunion gig, it was the tracks from this album that shone.
Report this review (#202756)
Posted Saturday, February 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is the sixth full-length studio album by psychadelic jazz/ rock act Gong and the third and last in the Radio Gnome Invisible triology. It´s also the last of the Daevid Allen era Gong albums. I enjoyed the two predecessors in the Radio Gnome Invisible triology Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 1 - Flying Teapot (1973) and Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg (1973) but found neither of them truly excellent. So I was really hoping for something a bit more interesting with this last album in the triology. And I can say that Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is by far the best album out the three.

The music is still psychadelic/ spacy jazz/ rock with a weird humour in the lyric department. Sort of like Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention meets Hawkwind on a day when they decided to play jazz/ rock. There´s some really excellent sax and flute playing, a tight and powerful rythm section, lots of spacy synth sounds and some fitting stoned vocals. This description of the music would also have fitted the two predecessors but this time it´s like everything works much better. The compositions are generally much more focused than was the case on the rather incohesive predecessors.

The album kicks of with three short psychadelic tracks and I was beginning to get worried that Gong would continue for the rest of the album like this ( not that those songs are bad they just not excellent) when the fourth song Master Builder kicks in and takes my breath away. Wow what a powerful psychadelic jazz/ rock song. A sprinkling of clouds is next and it´s a 8:42 minute long song that builds to a climax. Perfect mystery is a nice little psychadelic pop tune with slight avant garde rock leanings not unlike what Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention could cook up sometimes. That song serves as a breather before the two ending songs The Isle of Everywhere and You Never Blow yr trip Forever which clocks in at 10:21 minutes and 11:24 minutes respectably. The two songs actually seque into each other to form a more than 20 minute long psychadelic jazz/ rock trip and I don´t hesitate to say that this part of the album is the highlight for me along with Master Builder. Powerful music to my ears. The silly lyrics are put a bit in the background on this final album in the triology and it suits the music very well that there´s more focus on the instrumental parts instead of the vocal parts.

The musicianship is outstanding. Great guitar, flute, sax and synth soloing and that extremely powerful rythm section.

The production is really a success IMO. Warm yet edgy when that is needed.

From what I had read about this album before I listened to it, I was expecting it to be the best album by the Daevid Allen era Gong lineup and that is certainly true to these ears. Even if you wouldn´t ordinarily enjoy Gong´s rather original approach to music you should give this one a try. It´s definitely worth it and that´s spoken by someone who is not particularly a fanboy. A sure 4 star rating is warranted. An excellent album.

Report this review (#208714)
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was first introduced to Gong's music, quite a few years back, with ANGEL'S EGG--the second installment in the Radio Gnome Trilogy. Their music seemed way too goofy for my tastes and, to be honest, I still don't appreciate most of Daevid Allen's Gong's music (although I dig the jazz-fusion of the Pierre Moerlen's Gong, especially EXPRESSO II). After recently listening to PM's Gong, I thought it my be worth another shot at the Daevid Allen stuff. I don't enjoy YOU as much as post-Daevid Allen Gong albums, but I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with the quality and performance of the music on this record. YOU may be filled with instrumental jams, but these performances are still captivating and don't seem to meander as most improvised rock does. The first three tracks "Thoughts for Naughts," "A PHP's Advice," and "Magick Mother Invocation" are the kind of whacked-out space-rock ditties that turned me off to Gong in the first place--although I admit the klezmer influences on "A PHP's Advice" really add to the playfulness of the tune. Then comes tracks four and five, "Master Builder" and "A Sprinkling of Clouds," and the record suddenly turns to space-prog jams that are full of down-to-business-no-funny-stuff jazz-rock musicianship and void of Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth's *annoying* vocals and lyrics. Daevid Allen then manages to squeeze one last goof-ball song, "Perfect Mystery," in before the magnificent "Isle of Everywhere," a really funky jazz-rock jam featuring a blistering solo by guitarist Steve Hillage. The final track "You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever," also holds together pretty well, although it is NOT a *superb* closer. In general, I'd say that YOU is the greatest Daevid Allen-led Gong album and certainly the best installment in the Radio Gnome Trilogy. Highlights include: "Master Builder," "A Sprinkling of Clouds" and "Isle of Everywhere." Recommended if you like Soft Machine, Ozric Tentacles, or Pierre Moerlen's Gong. GRADE: B- (82%)
Report this review (#222537)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gong's Radio Gnome Invisisble vol.3: YOU

Somehow I don't know what to say about this record. Some consider it Gong's canterbury period masterpiece and they might be right. Though less eclectic than vol 1 & 2 it is one of the most intensive progrecords I own. If you love those long Canterbury/jazzy space jams this your heaven. The cover of this record always made me shiver... it's so spooky, so intelligent, so supersticious.. I love it! The best artwork I own. It serves the music well.

Both sides start with a few minutes of strange Daevid Allen kind of songs. After that the long space jams begin. Soloinstruments are wind, guitars, senthisizors and again the great drums of Pierre Moerlen. Some very inspiring lyrics are sung by Allen on Master Builder (inspired by Erik von Daniker's Chariot of the Gods?) and You will never blow yr trip forever.

If you want some magic in you house and you have a mindset that can accept the fact that you have to let the music be what it is, you might enjoy this endlessly. Someone said the record was not to be understood and he might have been right.

Five stars for this strangly perfect record!

Report this review (#239143)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This, last of "Radio Gnome.." trilogy, album has highest rating of all Gong discography. Perfect example of space-psychedelic prog, for me it is not enough different ,enough energetic, enough jazzy to be named as masterpiece.

You will find there almost best Gong line-up ever, incl. Daevid Allen,Gilli Smyth, Pierre Moerlen,Steve Hillage,Didier Malherbe,Mike Howlett. Music is well balanced, best final product of early Canterbury Allen's Gong. Many separate pieces are excellent.

Possibly,it is a question of taste: I really prefer previous album (Angel's Egg) because of it's freshness,crazyness - all I like in early Gong music. "You" is more matured, better balanced, but missed for me some it's raw elements,fresh freaky energy.

In all cases, very good album. Strong 4,5.

Report this review (#252609)
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Gong is simply one of the weirdest bands ever- ultra-silly acid space jazz? Who cares, all we know is that it's great. There are two kinds of tracks here- short, silly, psychedelic rock songs, and long, spacey jazz freakouts- not unlike early Pink Floyd, except with much more of a Canterbury Scene feel.

Thoughts for Naught and AP HP's Advice seem to exist mainly to show us that the guys in Gong as some crazy dudes- it's a mix of instrumental randomness and wacky lyrics, which manages to be quite enjoyable. Magick Mother Invocation is a prelude to Master Builder, which begins the reign of the extended song with a bang- an ominous, freaky song, which seems to twist through the little piece of psychotic weirdness in all of us. A Sprinkling of Clouds is a journey through the cosmos, with some really good synthing from Blake. Perfect Mystery is a kind of interlude, in the realm of the first two songs. After that is The Isle of Everywhere, the bustling, trippy masterpiece that I'd call the best song here. And, to finish things, You never Blow Yr Trip Forever, which takes the long, trippy format and combines the elements of the short, silly song, making an interesting fusion of styles that ends the record nicely. Gong is the weirdest, wackiest bands that most people have never heard of- excellent, but probably not a masterpiece and all that- so, four well-earned stars for You.

Report this review (#261025)
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Gong took a step forward with each new album, especially in terms of consistency.

You still has some short ditties but all of them are quite good. It makes for a very diverse album, starting with two short playful oddities before heading for the morose electronic cosmos of Magick Mother Invocation, the following Master Builder is Gong's finest hour. Or is this my love for esoteric music that is speaking again? A Middle-Eastern rhythm and Arabian snake charming scales build up to an enthralling trip.

A Sprinkling of Clouds touches progressive electronic territories. Given this is from 1974, it's quite an astonishing accomplishment. Halfway in, they turn it into another fascinating jazz-rock space jam. Perfect Mystery is the goofy moment. It's actually a welcome rest point in between the gloomy extended trips that make up the bulk of this album. The Isle of Everywhere is another essential piece. Also the bad trip of You Never Blow Your Trip Forever delivers. Sometimes there's a bit of a punk vibe here, similar to Robert Calvert's rants on Hawkwind albums.

You is the greatest achievement of the space-era Gong. It's still very eclectic and some moments might make you turn away from it at first. But it's certainly worth the effort to let it grow on you. A solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#261209)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I might have considered YOU a masterpiece had I discovered it around the same time as the first two RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE albums. Instead, I got this almost a year after those two Gong albums; not good for the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE continuity.

YOU is much more of an instrumental album than the two that came before it. Very little of this album other than the overall sound, the first two cuts and ''Perfect Mystery'' remind me of the ANGEL'S EGG album, and this is both good and bad in a way. Gong gets the chance to stretch out their psychadelic sounds into well developed jams that at times (like on ''Isle of Everywhere'') sound like precursors to hip-hop. The downside is that tracks like ''A Sprinkling of Clouds'' take quite a bit of time to build up before the payoff theme comes in.

''You Never Blow Your Trip Forever'' deserves a special mention as it is THE piece of the album (possibly the trilogy, but I can't definitively say so to avoid hyperbole). It picks up right where ''Isle of Everywhere'' leaves off with a funky riff until the band needs to space out. This doesn't last long as the band comes back in at blistering volume with one of Howlett's best lines underpinning everything beautifully. This leads into a jazzy thing that keeps building in intensity until Daevid announces the close of the trilogy, and the piece dissolves gradually then.

Get this alongside the other two RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE parts to hear how all three match up. This has plenty of spacey instrumental passages for those that are interested, but general goofiness that originally attracted me to the group is not as prevalent here, and I'm marginally disappointed by that.

Report this review (#264694)
Posted Saturday, February 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Slap Happy Silly Proto-Space Rock

While Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy is part of the prog canon for many listeners, I only acquired part 3, YOU, a few months ago. I was already a huge fan of Steve Hillage, and this seemed to be the recommendation as the prototype Gong album with the classic lineup. Despite going in with no expectations, I don't think anything can prepare the Gong naďve listener to what is coming their way. One part Canterbury whimsy, two parts Hillage delay-laden spaciness, a pinch of Zappa-style composition, and generous application of Daevid Allen's unique drug-induced daffiness all get stirred up in a big pot to make a delicious psychedelic stew that stands as a cosmic lamp-post on the other side of the wardrobe door. (Whew that was a long sentence, but accurate.)

I have since also picked up part 2, Angel's Egg, and YOU is clearly the better of the two. The massive challenge of getting these parts to meld into a cohesive whole is better achieved on part 3, and the transitions are much less jolting. By the time we get to the beginning of track 4, "Master Builder" which is based around Hillages longtime theme "The Glorious Om Riff," the band has already spanned massive musical territory. Lest we think we are on a Hillage solo record, midway through the song there is an abrupt brake for Allen to sing the riff in a sputter that must have surely influenced Mike Patton's vocal work. Quickly, we're back to the outer planetoids with frenetic drums and bass driving the trip just as much as the guitars.

While Daevid Allen's quirkiness may not please me musically as much as Hillage's work, his vision adds breadth and storyline to the atmospherics. It really turns the space-rock into more conceptual prog proper. Theater has always been a big part of the best prog, and Allen makes Gong one of the most theatrically entertaining in the history of the genre. Despite the absurdity of the whole Pot-Head Pixies persona and storyline, it is this added mystique that makes Gong a much more interesting entity than Eloy or Ash Ra Tempel (at least for me.) At the same time, it would be difficult to rate as masterpiece an album that has repeated refrains of "Cops at the door, no cops at the door" recited in druggy slur.

Certainly from its position on PA, one would assume that YOU should be a part of any complete prog library. This is absolutely the case. Gong is a singular band and this is their prime album. For me this is a solid 4 star album, nosing toward higher. Grab some aromatic flowers, sit back, and enjoy the trip.

Report this review (#271552)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars You have to get Gong's 'You''

I have been wanting to get hold of this much esteemed, highly revered album in the weird world of prog for a long time; Gong's final part of the Radio Gnome Flying Teapot trilogy. After hearing the other two parts of the strange tale, 'You' hammers the final nail in the coffin for pot head pixies, octave doctor's, Zero the Hero and pussy witches everywhere. What were they on? From the very outset the album transports you into this drugged psychedelic universe where we land on planet Gong and experience dramatic shifts from accomplished musicianship to passionate flights into fantasy, where hallucinogenic drugs seem to take over.

'A PHP's advice' is simply weird, but it gets you in the right frame of mind and fires the imagination. "In case you don't remember this is what you do, get up out of bed... If you are a believer, what do you believe, why do you believe it.... let the Pot Head Pixies show them what to do.... if you've got a problem....remember you are me, I am you..." The lyrics are as quirky as ever, and almost non incidental, though inseparable from the musical ambience.

Gilli's space whispering is here again, on "Magick Mother Invocation" and those bizarre sound effects merge from the trees, and of course Daevid's idiosyncratic vocals that are pure Gong. The chanting Gregorian monks are unsettling but what more can any Gong addict ask for? Perhaps these aforementioned tracks are too peculiar or highly eccentric to be standouts on this album.

There are highlights here which have become part of Gong mythological folklore. These include 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', a lengthy but wonderful ambient mental instrumental, that is beautiful and haunting. A multi phased synthesizer pulsates and throbs along as spaced out effects echo. This is a bit like a vamped up version of Tangerine Dream in a sense. A very different approach from Gong, heavily reliant on keyboards, and fully instrumental. The icy glacial soundscapes transport us to another world with very effective ambient textures. Eventually a guitar lick locks in and a bass line that drives the track to its conclusion.

Also there is the compelling 'Master Builder'. This was segued from 'Magick..." and is like an alien tribal chant; a strange combination reminiscent of Magma meets Hawkwind. The spacey swooshes and piercing trills are off-kilter, and there is a pipe in their somewhere and a scorching saxophone solo. Glorious instrumental virtuosity with a wonderful bass line and off beat drumming keeping it all together. Then it stops and the birds are heard twittering in the trees as the track stops and starts, till it locks into a chant and phased guitar fret runs. The spacey effects are overkill at this point but its effective enough. Nonsensical lyrics propel it along and the sax builds to a climax.

But for any Gong Pot Head Pixie the quintessential tracks are 'The Isle of Everywhere' and the epic 'You Never blow Yr Trip Forever'. Both these tracks are arguably the best of Gong with spacey guitars and ethereal soundscapes that only Gong could create in their own inimitable style. 'The Isle of Everywhere' is quintessential Gong and is featured on all the best Gongompilations. 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' features Daevid's wild jabbering and a quirky time sig and musical effects that sound childishly playful but like all Gong there is a dark undertone prevalent throughout, like a little innocent sweet girl in pigtails wielding a knife behind her back. This is as bizarre as you like Gong to be, beautiful flute and an ethereal keyboard create a feeling of morbid dread. The track plunges into an atonal shift into psychedelia "the more you know the more you don't know..." Daevid muses, and we are reintroduced to Zero the Hero, and the lyrics chatter about "the hole in the morning, dawning, ....around and round and round and round, ..maybe you like and maybe you won't and it's all the same it's all in the name... but you don't have to give up hope..." After this infantile but highly amusing section, we hear a narrative voice ending this bizarre trilogy, "Well there goes Zero The Hero turning around, and meanwhile all the characters of Planet Gong have to leave you now," they are farewelled, each one, and then Daevid asks the simple question and his farewell speech is basically "why don't you, why don't you, why don't you try, why don't you try, to try, oh why don't you tr-y-y-y-y-y-iyayiyi, why, why, don't you try". But there are no answers; the trilogy is over.

OK, It is not for all tastes certainly, perhaps too strange, off beat and downright unsettling, according to how jaded your sensibilities are, but if you allow it, Gong have an ability to captivate and finally entrance like no other. 'You' remains perhaps Gong's finest achievement along with the enthralling 'Angel's Egg' and mesmirising 'Flying Teapot'. Together they are the infamous and indispensable Flying Teapot Radio Gnome Invisible saga that every prog fan should experience at least once. A solid 5 stars. *****

Report this review (#272681)
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The final part of the The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy shows a completely re-invented Gong. The band seems to be much more focused which also reflects in the compositions that sound a lot more serious in their tone. This stylistic shift makes it easier for new audience to get into this music, even thought once you start to uncover the details it becomes clear that Daevid Allen hasn't lost his comedic tone completely.

Unlike the previous albums, Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is split into one side with shorter tracks and one with two 10+ minute compositions. This is also the first time I can't really complain about neither of the sides since they work really well and achieve their goals without any difficulty. The music on this release has lost most of Gong's psychedelic tone and instead the music consists mainly of well executed space rock material and jam sections. This style might not have much resemblance to the Canterbury sound but I still get the feeling that it's here in spirit.

My favorite section of the album begins with the first part of Master Builder, which unfortunately shifts its direction halfway through. A Sprinkling Of Clouds, on the other hand, is where the band really sweeps me of my feet and sends my mind to 9 minutes of pure synth heaven! The composition begins almost like something written by Tangerine Dream but the perception changes once the bass guitar comes in and adds its sound into mix. Eventually drums, guitar and saxophone sounds gently shift the course of the music into a band sounding environment and the flute playing, towards the very end, is just glazing on the cake!

The two longer jams on the second side of the album have quite a few interesting moments as well but they don't reach the majestic bar that was set by A Sprinkling Of Clouds. I've never been a big fan of prolonged sax-solos followed and there are a few of those moments featured here. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever seems to try and add a closure to the trilogy but I'm not sure I understand the lyrics. Maybe this was the intention since the last 5 minutes of the track sounds like a long trip.

In conclusion, Vol.3 of the trilogy ends the '70s Daevid Allen Gong- legacy on a high note. Unfortunately the fans would have to wait until the 1992 album Shapeshifter for another proper piece of the Gong mythology and after Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You I really don't blame them for waiting with excitement for the new '90s material. This is definitely an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection no matter if you're a fan of the genre or not!

***** star songs: A Sprinkling Of Clouds (8:58)

**** star songs: Thoughts For Naught (1:33) A P.H.P.'s Advice (1:45) Magick Mother Invocation (1:57) Master Builder (6:20) Perfect Mystery (2:29) The Isle Of Everywhere (10:22) You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (11:32)

Report this review (#279090)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars For the longest time, Gong made me wonder why they could rock out so well and simultaneously leave large breaks in their albums consisting of gibberish, nonsense, and half-baked ideas.

Then I stopped caring and only listened to the parts I liked, which is when things got much better for me in all things Gong.

What I like: Master Builder, A Sprinkling of Clouds, Isle of Everywhere. These are great songs--no doubt about it. Regarding Master Builder, I still can't figure out what time it is in, because it just cooks along and it's hard to spend time counting when there are great jams to be heard! Sprinkling took some time to grow on me, but it is a fantastic build to a totally unrestrained jam from Hillage and plenty of dissonant choir ooohs and mellotron. Isle is the ultimate chill jam, with subtle time variations in 4, 6 and 7, but progressing ever so noticeably. I sometimes find myself having trouble waiting for the part toward the end where Hillage lets it rip, but then I always remember the great sax I'm missing along the way.

These songs have a great restrained, yet crazy feel, with a wonderfully unique combination of synth dones, flutters, choirs and other effects, all set to excellent percussion and a nice mix of horns and winds--even some xylophone in there I think! Great, creative stuff!

The other songs are more goofy, and I have little good to say about them.

1974. Consider how good and unique this all sounds, all without today's fancy equipment. This sound took a big roster of players, and it was worth it. Maybe they simply didn't have enough energy to fill a whole album of great music. Regardless, You is a keeper for the highlights, and also a non-masterpiece for the rest.

Report this review (#284269)
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Patchy, but great

You by Gong is, of course, an odd album. This is pretty much the last album of Gong's space-rock era. It has it's silly moments, like any Canterbury album, and some amazing instrumental moments. Overall, I am happy I bought this.

A description of the music: "Thoughts for Naught" is a short track that is pretty much just spacey singing with a little bit of flute. "A P.H.P.'s Advice" is a happy song with very silly lyrics. "Magick Mother Invocation" is a filler track with some psychedelic noises which flows directly into "Master Builder", the greatest track on the album. It features brilliant saxophone work and some of the greatest drumming I have ever heard. The next track is "A Sprinkling of Clouds" which is a slightly boring track full of keyboard noises. It moves at a very slow pace. "Perfect Mystery" is similar to "A P.H.P.'s Advice" in the sense that it is a short, happy, silly track. This one is incredibly enjoyable with some very interesting and creepy female vocals. "The Isle Of Everywhere" shows many flashes of instrumental brilliance, but drags on at moments. "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever" is a very fast-paced track that seems to go by in no time at all. It has many musical changes and never ceases to entertain.


Drumming: As said earlier, "Master Builder" features some of the greatest drumming of all time in my opinion. "The Isle Of Everywhere" also has great moments, but none can match up to "Master Builder".

Uniqueness: The unique sillyness of the Canterbury genre is always enjoyable. It may scare some people off, but if you've already accepted the Canterbury genre, you will almost surely enjoy this album.

Spaceyness: The spaceyness of some tracks are great, and relaxing to the ears. "A Sprinkling Clouds", although boring, is great to just relax too.


Patchyness: This album contains small patches of boringness which hurts it a bit.

Weirdness: A pro for some, and a con for those looking for a more serious approach to their music.

Vocals: The vocals are barely audible at times. The singers have a tendency to mumble their lyrics at times.

Song ratings: Thoughts for Naught: 6.5/10 A P.H.P.'s Advice: 7/10 Magick Mother Invocation: N/A Master Builder: 10/10 A Sprinkling of Clouds: 6/10 Perfect Mystery: 8.5/10 Isle Of Everywhere: 8/10 You Never Blow Your Trip Forever: 9/10

Recommended for: Space-rock fans. Nearly essential to anyones Canterbury collection.

My rating: 4 stars. Patchy, but overall a great album that is well worth the buy.

Report this review (#301710)
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars This album is called Gong by the band You. At least that is what you(ha) would think if you(ha) had the CD and didn't know who Gong were. I am also informed that "Gong is one and one is you". Well, you learn something new everyday. I'm not as big a fan of the mythology of planet Gong as I am of the music, and this album is the most instrumental of the Radio Gnome Trilogy. A bonus to me, although I like Gilli's 'space whispering'. Tim Blake also seems to be more prominent on this album than the previous two. You hear his synths and Mellotron all over the place, but he never really solos just creates lots of atmosphere. The rhythm section of Moerlen and Howlett just gels here as it does on the follow-up Shamal. Of course Daevid Allen plays guitar on here, but it's Steve Hillage who steals the show most of the time. It's funny that I love what Hillage does with Gong but I could never really get into his solo stuff.

My favourite Gong song of all-time is here: A Sprinkling Of Clouds. Ozric Tentacles seem to have based their whole style on this song. Such a buildup, such a climax. I really wish Gong had more songs similar to this. The bassline on "Master Builder" just gives me orgasm of the ears. The part where Allen and Hillage trade solos is really nice. This song features the famous Om Riff that Hillage would use later in his solo work. The best thing about the three shorter, vocal-oriented songs is that they are so short that they never outstay their welcome. "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever" has 'samples' of songs from the previous two trilogy albums about halfway thru. A nice touch. There is even some meaningful lyrics on this one like: "But cha don't have to give up hope/and ya don't have to give up dope".

The most consistent thing to ever be made under the 'Gong' moniker(including Mother Gong, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Planet Gong, New York Gong). My biggest complaint is that the bonus song on my CD, "A PHP's Advice(Alternate Version)", is completely pointless. It just sounds like a demo of the album version. Surely they had better bonus stuff to add than that, like Blake tuning his synths or something. Anyway, You is both the best Gong album and also a good place to start with these guys. About the only bad thing I can really say about this album is that "The Isle Of Everywhere" is maybe a tad bit repetitive. Other than that this is a 5 star album all the way.

Report this review (#304268)
Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, You, ''Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3'' is really, really, really, some [%*!#]-top music. If you like space/psychedelic jams with a touch of crazyness and non-sense, here's the group you looked for. Forget the catchy chorus or the famous power-chords, this album (and also this band) is another dimension. To me, Gong is to music what platypus are to animals. They are weird, quite unique, have characteristics you couldn't even categorize and still make sense at the time. With off-beat drum lines, chaotic saxophone solos, alien-like back vocals and whisperings, jazz-fusion related bass sections, hard-to-follow guitars, Gong definitly win the ''World weirdest band and album ever''. I couldn't rate this 5 stars, even if tortured, cause it's such a twisted peice of art, this is not to recommand to anyone, while in the same time, a great thing to look at. To me You, ''Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3'' is a funny and at some times good thing to listen and peel, but is not the kind of album you will want to put quite often on your cd player. If Progressive rock is about guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, flute and saxophone for you, than Gong is not for you. If you are about getting into the most unnacessible music possible, trying to listen hundreds of time to a cd you don't like till it becomes your favorite one, then go for Gong and have a fabulous time. Great musicians for sure (or whatever they are suppose to make (just kidding )).
Report this review (#304672)
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is definitely a space/psychedlia album which only begins to sound somewhat Canterbury-ish with the middle of the fourth song, "Master Builder" (8/10) Still, the space/psychedelic element, IMHO, far eclipse the Canterburyness of the album. I love the synth and effects uses throughout this album. The vocals are fair; the hippie lyrics make me smile.

"A Sprinkling of Clouds" (9/10) is where the album really starts to stand up and shine. Part TANGERINE DREAM, part Indian raga, part CSN&Y/JESSE COULTER YOUNG, until it morphs into a driving groove by the 4:30 mark and then into a more Canturbury sound with the electric guitar and sax soli soon thereafter.

"Perfect Mystery" is only notable for its percussion.

The next long song, "The Isle of Everywhere" (9/10) is another pleasant space groove with GILLI SMYTH's ethereal vocals floating all around us, giving way to some very nice, subdued sax work around the 3:30 mark. Steve Hillage solos next?playing out to the song's fade out (the master fade makes it sound like the jam went on for quite some time longer).

You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (6/10) starts like the precursor to NEWCLEUS's Ewok voices in Jam On It before it shifts to a very laid back jazz piece. Odd vocals and lyrics return. The song is just a little too surreal, silly, and . . . well, pointless for my tastes.

Overall, the guitars, drums, vocals, lyrics, and saxes fail to impress. The synths, percussion, and mix/engineering are the real stars of this album. I could never call this an essential masterpiece of music, but it is a very interesting experience that I am glad to have had. 3.5 stars, really.

Report this review (#460913)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album marks the point that the Gong project ran completely out of Daevid Allen's control - and afterwards the band would never be the same, splintering into a dazzling range of successors, side projects and solo careers (though unlike other groups in a similar situation the different members of the Gong family have remained remarkably friendly towards each other). Musically speaking the band almost entirely sideline the plot of Radio Gnome Invisible, especially once the long, drawn-out space rock tracks kick off, Allen only reasserting himself at the end to say goodbye to the audience. But oh, the music! Both existing at the cutting edge of space rock and prefiguring the trance/dance music of future decades, it's a swirling mass of keyboards and percussions over which Steve Hillage's guitar solos and superb sax playing by Didier Malherbe take the lead and everyone else pushes themselves to the limit to keep up. Easily the best of the band's career, and well worth repeated listens.
Report this review (#529529)
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars By the time this album by Gong was released, my musical taste could not digest the kind of music this album offered where the music was too psychedelic for my ears, actually. "You" is the third of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" of albums, following Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg. The Trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. Only a decade later I came to realize how great the music crafted by Gong through this seminal album. My first impression was when the first time enjoying the album using a headphone where I was amazed with how fabulous the sonic production quality of this album. Thanks to Simon Heyworth and Gong who jointly produced this album. The other impression was on the cohesiveness of its overall album composition where I played the album from start of the track and never got noticed that I was already at track 5 'A Sprinkling of Clouds'. From track 1 right through track 5 I was so engrossed with the music so that I was not aware that the track has changed from one to another.

I think this album is a masterpiece in a way that it thought ahead of time when it was released in 1974 and the music is still an enjoyable one until now ' sonically as well as musically. I came to realize that this album influenced in many ways to the development of Canterbury scene even until now. Look at the track that has male and female vocal 'Perfect Mystery' ' it influenced in some ways to the music of Bill Bruford ' especially on 'Feels Good To Me' album. The two concluding tracks 'The Isle of Everywhere' and 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' are really great and unique. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ' GW

Report this review (#569624)
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The third of the teapot trilogy from Gong. And a trippy one too. I am not so sure if this is my cup of tea though.

Gong mixes Daevid Allen's children rhymes and avant-garde drone bits with long spaced out jazzy trips into outer space on this album. The opening tracks are all about this teapot mythology which tells a story. I have never bought into this mythology so fast forward to the tasty bits starting with Master builder and some excellent keyboards and solos. A sprinkling of clouds follows and we are still in a good place. The best parts are at the end with songs like The isle of everywhere and You never blow your trip forever.

In short, the mercifully many spaced out jazz bits are truly superb and the main meal on this album. Gyla Smith also does a great job here on vocals. I am not a big fan of this album, but even I recognice this is an excellent additon to anyone's album collection.

4 stars

Report this review (#571173)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Masterpiece.

I love this album. I love Gong. I love the perfect humor that comes through in this album. Pretty much perfect in every way, this album deserves a place in any collection. It definitely makes its way into my top 5 albums of all time, among the ranks of Thick as a Brick, Wish You Were Here, and Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Highlights: Master Builder, Isle of Everywhere. Beautiful sax and guitar solos in both tracks.

Thoughts for Naught and A PHP's Advice also are worthy of mention: these short, spacy tracks make for a great opening to this album. Both feature interesting, deliciously sung lyrics and fun synthesizers. Another great track that is often overlooked is the extended closer: You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever. Fabulous, multi-part epic. It transitions through at least 5 sections before slowly fading out.

Let me finish by saying that Steve Hillage (guitar) is a master, third in my opinion only to David Gilmour and Andrew Latimer.

In short: get this album! It is not to be missed.

Report this review (#625397)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 90% spacerock and 10% Canterbury.

The combination of a Mayan temple and space is a nice thought. The mayan people became quiet popular because of their hallucinatory drugs like wheet. Mayan shamans could have used it to communicate with god, which was the center of the milky way. Therefor astrology was very developed by the Mayan people. Gong used this Mayan spacy, halucinatory image for this Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You. As should be expect from the front cover this is mainly a spacerock record with only short canterbury introductions on both sides.

The Canterbury parts are homouristic with it´s vocals accompanied by flutes, xylophones and keys and some spacy effects. Also the percussion plays an important role here. The spaceparts contain long saxophone solo´s and guitarsolo´s. Steve Hillage shows on the first side his spacy repeating guitarwork. The spacetrack on the second side is based on a funky bassline creating funkadelic spacerock.

This record is mainly instrumental with long echoing spaceparts. Most parts are nice, but only a few moments are brilliant. The spacerock never becomes dark or acidic, but stays in the psychedelic rock realm. A nice addition to a spacerock collection. Especially advised for spacerock lovers!

Report this review (#667396)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Great space-rock with strong hints of jazz, along with some novelty-sounding songs that don't suit the rest of the material.

Essentially a space rock album with jazz leanings, Gong produce some fascinating moments and some top notch space-rock spiced with great sax and guitar solos. Elsewhere, especially when the tracks are shorter, Allen and his large cast come up with some nonsensical songs that detract from the album's overall feel. Admittedly this is a thematic album, the closer of a trilogy and I have no other Gong albums yet, but the novelty songs simply aren't for me. It's not that they're recorded or performed poorly (and 'Thoughts for Naught' has some nice flute) but I find them less effective than the rest of the album.

Perhaps 'You' ought to have opened with the space-whisper-synth of 'Magick Mother Invocation' as it builds such anticipation, serving as an extended intro to the explosive 'Master Builder' with it's rock-ish saxophone solo and phased guitar riffs over a kind of speed-shuffle beat and percussion. It's outro features more soloing and a building vocal chant that that eventually rushes to a halt to usher in 'A Sprinkling of Clouds' that again features keys in a prominent role, maintaining atmosphere while the rhythm section charges ahead.

The mood established by this run of three fantastic space-rock pieces is shattered by the next song, 'Perfect Mystery' with its goofy pop and fairly embarrassing 'cops at the door' vocals. Once again, the short story sequences really blemish this album for me, which is otherwise is one of the better space-rock albums out there. 'Isle of Everywhere' restores some mystery with airy, wordless vocals drenched in reverb while drums and bass bring some funk. The album closes with 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' which has the vocal improvisation of Allen splayed across an jam that plays as bit of an experiment and later features something approaching conventional rock vocals. It's not a terrible number but isn't as successful as the other long pieces.

The novelty songs don't actually detract from the stand out space jams on this one, but they do drag the album down to three stars for me. And I really do enjoy the majority of 'You', and will definitely be buying more Gong but having said that, I suspect that this is essential Gong rather than an essential jazz/space rock album.

Report this review (#714313)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Before I bought this album I had only heard small parts of it, and to be honest I didn't understand it at all. I decided to take a chance and buy this album. After the first three tracks I wasn't impressed, but when the band kicked in on "Master Builder" I was hooked.

This era of Gong had very strong jazz influences, and their displayed perfectly on the tracks "Master Builder", "A Sprinkle of Clouds", "The Isle of Everywhere", and "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever". This record is very Spacey and Psychedeilc, but it manages to pull of tight Jazz instrumentals.

This album isn't for everyone but if you can get into it, it's very rewarding. My rating for Gong's "You" is a 4 out of 5. It's an excellent addition to any music collection.

Report this review (#800880)
Posted Sunday, August 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars After hearing the likes of Steve Hillage From the Khan Album, I knew i had to check out this album in pursuit of getting my fix.

At first, the spacey atmosphere was almost too alien, but when you settle in and let this album take you away, you'll find yourself transcending into a trance-like euphoric state. The beginning 3 tracks almost seem...conventional, for the bands time. Easily associated with English based tunes, the first three tracks are somewhat bright and cheery; and as stated before, very English. But then comes track 4, Master Builder. Ahh.... The amount of serotonin released in my brain when this track begins is indescribable. The vocals enchant you with their siren like chants, alluring you into a fantasy land somewhere between time and space; and then the song picks up. driven with absolutely great bass and drum lines, the song begins its voyage into the ethereal realm and slowly develops into one of the best space jams I've ever had the joy of hearing. The album then continues with this great theme of in-distinctive chants and great solo trade offs between the sax and guitar. Truly an experience that must be heard in its entirety.

I personally feel a very "zen" sense of self enlightenment when I listen to this album, which is why I speak so highly of it. This album does a great job of capturing the free spirit vibe that was going around in the 70's. This album is perfect for people who want to escape from the busy everyday world. I personally love walking through my local parks, wandering in the forest like scenery with this album playing as my soundtrack.

With sexy bass lines, amazing vocal accompaniment from the female vocalist (not sure on the name), absolutely fantastic guitar solos, this album is an ESSENTIAL gem for anyone into space rock, Canterbury, or just prog in itself. A great masterpiece. 10/10

Report this review (#950159)
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars This was a very interesting album to receive and review. First of all I am sure I like their sound ond their skillfull playing. What I hear here is both Canterbury, Space rock and Avant-garde. The result of this mixture is interesting. Remember this is my first listening to this record and band. I wouldn't be surprised if my experience of them will grow. It uses to do that in prog. This is the mostly french band Gongs sixth record so sure they have hade time to perfect their style a lot.

There is a lot of great stuff on this record: beautiful flutes, saxophones, guitars and even song on a few tracks. Some tracks are worth four stars of five: "APHP Advice" with excellent song, "Master Builder" with a dominant feeling, "Perfect Mystery" with its fun and eventful melody and "The Isle och Everywhere" with gives a feeling of perfection.

What makes this album not a record totally in my taste is the space-feeling. I think to few things happen in this music. If they had had more vocals or more melodies, this would almost have been perfect but now it's to vague and psychedelic. Something peculiar is the sound of fairytale characters you can hear sometimes. I really thought this was interesting and I won't stop listen to You or Gong.

Report this review (#951193)
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars There's something about the planet Gong experience that reminds me (in a non-musical way) of The Grateful Dead, or maybe Rush: an entire cult surrounds the band and its music, making a newcomer feel like an intruder in an exclusive club with an unwritten charter discouraging trespassers.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. It may take a little effort to go with the flow and get into the whole Pothead Pixie cosmology. But the band's high-flying hippie idealism offers an open invitation to everyone, giving intrepid listeners the chance to negotiate a thrilling rite of passage across one of the more colorful and eclectic intersections along the Progressive Rock highway.

All of Gong's conflicting musical impulses found their perfect balance in the closing chapter of the RGI album trilogy, notably also the final effort of the classic Gong line-up before the first of many confusing fragmentations. Even a veteran Proghead would be challenged to name another group able to shift so effortlessly between silliness and sobriety, with so much as a hiccup. From the giddy kindergarten melody of "A P.H.P.'s Advice" (longstanding acolytes won't need help deciphering the acronym) to the awesome Tibetan mantra of "Magick Mother Invocation" to the killer spacer jams heard in "Master Builder" and beyond, this is truly exciting stuff, arranged and played with a fluency uncommon even for its time.

The ongoing saga of Zero the hero reads like a psychedelic catalogue of Flower Child philosophies, albeit told with enough tongue-in-cheek detail to suggest a metaphysical parody. The humor keeps the album fresh after forty years, but the music itself was even more ahead (while still a part) of its time, revealing the missing link between Jazz Rock fusion and Space Rock exploration, with the saxophone acting as a sort of glue between them. The longer, more dynamic instrumental passages even anticipate the cosmic Arabian ragas of Ozric Tentacles (and other modern Proggers) by several decades.

The only reason the album doesn't crack the five-star plateau is because it sounds even better when heard in the context of the full trilogy. Otherwise, it's a quintessential slice of the '70s counterculture, but one that transcends the nostalgia value of its age.

Report this review (#1090491)
Posted Sunday, December 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars In order to first get the appropriate amount of appreciation for this album, it's highly recommended that whoever listens to Gong starts with the first of the RGI trilogy. Only once you've traversed through "Flying Teapot" and "Angel's Egg" can the ending of this album really hit home.

"Thoughts for Naught" is the blissfully meditative intro to the final chapter of Zero the Hero's journey. Here the sillyness and psychedelic music are toned down in a welcoming whisper that eases the listener into the right mindset for a Gong album. "A PHP's Advice" is reminiscent of the "Flying Teapot" album, with quirky saxophone and, of course, clear instructions on how to live, or something. The transition into "Magick Mother Invocation" is simply flawless, and completely teleports the listener right out of Earth and into the planet Gong. Here the spacious soundscapes that we've come to familiarize with this band come to life. "Master Builder" is where the real magick happens; the peak of these first four songs and one of Gong's best musical works. By now, there is no question that this is the ultimate Gong experience.

"A Sprinkling of Clouds" is the Tim Blake tour de force; witness the keyboardist come to life like never before in a soaring, ever-increasing, mind-bending, reality-forsaking synthesizer/keyboard hurricane. The clouds get sprinkled with every note, and the picture is clearly painted in the listener's mind. This is one prog song to never give up on.

"Perfect Mystery", like the "The Pot Head Pixies" and "Sold to the Highest Buddah"s before it, blend catchy rhythms with amusing song lyrics/singing styles. It is the short and enjoyable breather before the next plunge into psychedelic chaos and all-out jam seshing.

"The Isle of Everywhere" gets a lot more jazzy than one might expect, but that is not for the worse. Here a more serious song-writing emerges from Gong. Intended for us to set our minds adrift in the great sea of music that is this song, there is no shortage of pleasurable jamming melodies. All members of Gong perform at their utmost best here and before you even realize what's going on, you've segued into the magnum opus that is "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever".

The fondness for the characters of planet Gong are wrapped up in a perfect conclusion that, as some people might attest, resemble the experience of tripping rather accurately. Doused with several separate melodies, Gong spaces them out and delivers them with just the right intensity so it becomes the perfect balance of good song-writing and goofy storytelling all wrapped up in one big ending. The reprising of several other songs in the past two RGI albums towards the middle of the song is sure to give goosebumps to even the most timid of prog rock listeners.

All in all, this is an album everyone needs because it is simply too perfect to not ignore. Especially for pot-head pixies. 10/10

Report this review (#1133217)
Posted Monday, February 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The end of the Radio Gnome Invisible concept and practically the dissolution of the classic Gong line-up comes in 1974 with the third part of the trilogy ''You''.Pierre Moerlen's younger brother Benoit joined the band on percussion and Daevid Allen decided that this would be more of a team effort.He recalls: ''...I was contributing a lot of the material, that it was too much my original creation. It was time we created something completely together, so we booked up a cottage in England...we connected so strongly together out of the improvisations, we just improvised and recorded it...''.The album was recorded at the Manor Studios in London in July 1974 and was released on Virgin in October.Simon Heyworth, who had collaborated with Mike Oldfield and Clearlight, was the producer of the album.

This was denitely the most intense of all Gong albums, extremely dense in sounds and sights and an amalgam of jazzy improvisations, spaced out experiments and psychedelic weirdness.Tim Blake offers some of his best synthesizer work to be delivered in a Gong album, very cosmic and cinematic with some nice guitar parts by Hillage and the occasional jazzy tastes as proposed by Didier Malherbe's elegant flute lines and powerful sax assaults.''Master builder'' is a masterpiece of the style with great sax work over the guitar and synth moves, while ''A sprinkling of clouds'' may sound a bit hypnotic with its extended synth soundscapes, but ends up to be another Gong weirdness with a full jazzy background and the flute/sax prevailing in the second half.Additionally the sweet vocal parts and the light interplays connect the band for the first time with the delicacy of the Canterbury scene.''The Isle of everywhere'' and ''You never blow yr trip forever'' are the two long cuts (over 10 minutes each) dominating the flipside of the original LP.You cannot blame Daevid Allen for carrying ''...some wonderful acid and we took this acid together as a group...'' back at the time, the result was a pair of cosmic, trippy and deeply psychedelic Jazz-oriented pieces with narcotic rhythms, some funky injections and excellent guitar work by Hillage, while the second cut contains some of the most complex themes executed by Gong in a combination of Heavy/Psych Rock, Fusion and Space Rock with ethereal female voices, flute-led soloing and intricate guitar/sax moves.

Epitomizing what Space Fusion is all about (along with Clearlight).Propably the best part of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, the team effort had done good to the final result, which contains all of the Gong familiar elements: Psychedelic colors, jazzy interventions, poppy vocals and spacious landscapes.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1329389)
Posted Sunday, December 28, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Awesome Conclusion to the Trilogy.

Focussing a lot more on the music, this album cranks up the complexity factor, while also extending the jams considerably. Perhaps the band decided to end the trilogy with a musical bang, and to de-emphasize the story a bit, but there are fewer vocal tracks here, and much more instrumental music, all of high quality. This is psychedelic progressive rock to perfection, with complex time signatures, fantastic drumming (by Pierre Moerlen), crazy space effects (thanks to Tim Blake), humorous sax lines (Didier Malherbe), and wonderful trippy guitar solos (by Steve Hillage). The music here takes the time it needs to build, and stays around long enough for us to really get into it. Allen's vocals are great, of course, too, and quite funny at times. But they are not the focus, and only take up a small amount of space on the longer tracks, leaving the band to show its chops. The album builds on itself and flows very well, making the listening experience like a single long journey, and it is very satisfying. Musically, this is the best Gong album (while lyrically, I like Flying Teapot the best). Obviously essential. I give this 9.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 5 PA stars.

Report this review (#1697068)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2017 | Review Permalink

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