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Gong - Live at Sheffield '74 CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Great band, shame about the production...

Awful production does Gong no favours - although their live improvisational abilities are beyond question, and the album does have many highlights - especially Gilli Smyth's incredible Space Whispers. Very difficult album to listen to - unless you're in the "right" frame of mind - and even then uncomfortable. Allen's vocal psychotics are either guaranteed to make you laugh or reach for the off button.

Stick with the Radio Gnome Trilogy and Camemebert Electrique - although Shamal and Gazeuse are well worth a listen! There is another live album from the same period entitled "Live au Bataclan" which, if you can track down the vinyl, has a superb inner gatefold picture - which makes it a great collection filler, although really I would write an indentical review for that too. The "Sheffield" album was also released on Green vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve with wacky cartoons.

Report this review (#27735)
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars I have heard far better Gong live recordings issued by GAS, this is not well recorded and it begs the question of who exactly is releasing this rubbish under the Gong name ? If you have a decent graphic equaliser and a lot of time you might be able to salvage a little from this CD. Under the dreadful sound Gong sound like they are not on one of their better nights in any case. This sounds like a poor quality bootleg and should not have received a proper release in my opinion. If you are looking for a great Live gong set a gas tape called "you don't have to give up dope" is better in every respect. Otherwise this is one for the hard core fans and for the completists not recommended to anyone else.
Report this review (#91915)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not understanding the more negative reviews for this recording. My version is the RSD 2020 vinyl re-release, and the sound quality is surprisingly good. Further, the band just sounds fantastic. That classic mixture of Gong wonk--alternatively keening, jazzy, wacky, spacey, whimsical. A good bit of improvisation, too, as they do, assuring that while you will recognize the songs, still, they are indelible; you won't hear them played quite like this again. Didier Malherbe, on flutes and saxes, in particular layers improvisational sections throughout, giving this a particularly jazzy feel, even if it rocks and swings like crazy, too; and Daevid is always Prime Daevid in his DaevidHead. They use a little more repetition in some sections, too, although not many, that have real power, but also in a way that reminds me of ... Hawkwind. Interesting. Finally, the 4th side of my two-record set includes a side-long track live from 1989 at Glastonbury: interesting for comparison's sake, but very different from the 1974 performance. Overall, what other band can walk this odd line between totally loose and on-fire tight? The albums, of course, are great, especially from this period, absolute classics--but this live stuff is also really welcome. And, for me at least, really necessary, as it paints a fuller picture of Gong as a *working band*. Probably 4.5 stars, but I'll give it the 5.
Report this review (#2447426)
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2020 | Review Permalink

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