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Mother Gong

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Mother Gong Fairy Tales album cover
4.01 | 51 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Wassilissa (22:28) :
1. Three Riders (2:55)
2. The Baba-Yaga's Cottage (4:06)
3. The Forbidden Room (2:38)
4. Time Machine (1:35)
5. Flying (4:26)
6. Wassilissa Returns Home (3:05)
7. Through the Machine Again (1:03)
8. The Baba Yaga (2:40)
- The Three Tongues (12:41) :
9. The Shoemaker's Son (2:13)
10. Land of Dogs (2:20)
11. The Frog (0:50)
12. An Irish Inn in Rome (1:32)
13. The Arena (0:56)
14. Turtles (1:31)
15. Birds (1:05)
16. The Feast (2:14)
- The Pied Piper (14:38) :
17. Hamelin (1:03)
18. Rats Amok (0:59)
19. An Angry Crowd (2:20)
20. Rat Rock (2:16)
21. A Thousand Guilders? (1:58)
22. Children! (2:33)
23. Magic Land (3:29)

Total Time: 50:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Gilli Smyth / vocals
- Harry Williamson / guitar
- Mo Vicarage / keyboards
- Didier Malherbe / woodwind, reeds
- Trevor Darks / bass
- Ermano Ghisio Erba / percussion, drums

- Eduardo Niebla / guitar
- Ronnie Walthen / Uilleann pipes
- Marianne Oberasher / harp
- Nicholas Turner / muzma, oboe
- Corrina ? / voices

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Turnbull

LP Charly Records ‎- CRL 5018 (1979, UK)
LP Charly Records ‎- CRL 5018 (2004, France)

CD Spalax Music ‎- CD 14813 (1994, France)

Thanks to BaldJean for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MOTHER GONG Fairy Tales Music

MOTHER GONG Fairy Tales ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

MOTHER GONG Fairy Tales reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BaldJean
5 stars This is one of the very best albums of all time and in my personal top three. Vocalist Gilli Smyth, she of the space whisper from Gong, tells three fairy tales, and the band supplies the necessary moods to these tales with their music. Everything about it is just right - the way Gilly Smyth tells the tales, the way the band follows every twist of the tales and makes the images appear before your eyes, and above all an almost supernatural Didier Malherbe on flutes and saxes. Whether he illustrates the tunes the Pied Piper plays on his flute (you would have followed him too!), imitates the sounds of rats, lets a frog croak, dogs bark, or sends Wassilissa flying over a landscape - he is always perfect. Not that the rest of the band are slouches, but Didier Malherbe just outshines them all. Oh, and this album is also the very best if you want to get your little kids interested in prog. It is the favorite album of our kids Dorothy and Alice (both age 5). Don't hesitate, buy it now!
Review by hdfisch
5 stars Well, not much I could add to BaldJean's excellent review, just left to say: A very exceptional record! Three fairy tales with some nice educational messages accompanied with high-class Canterbury style music blending perfectly jazz, rock, folk and classical music. The music fits very well and emphasizes the told stories. Really just awesome and both the concept and the composition of the music to fit perfectly to the tales are really well-done. I've to agree that Didier Malherbe shines absolutely over the rest of musicians although those are definitely excellent as well. The only tiny critisism I'm able to put is in fact that the voice of evil Baba Yaga sounds a tap too much hilarious but that's really marginal.

A definite must-have for everybody loving this kind of music AND fairy tales, and suitable for BOTH kids and grown-ups! A real MASTERPIECE - and this did not happen often during the end of the seventies!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This album is unlike anything i've ever heard before in my life. Gilli Smyth from GONG and Harry Williamson have created something very special here.Three Fairy Tales are told with samples, affects and most importantly with some incredible music. Nik Turner (HAWKWIND) plays aboe, Didier Mahlerbe (GONG) adds woodwinds and reeds, Eduardo Niebla (ATILA) guitar plus there are many other guests. It's difficult to describe what's going on here because I won't do it justice. Gilli is simply perfect as the narrator for these three stories. And while I pretend to be an adult I am completely taken in by these stories. Who doesn't love hearing a good story right ? And as I mentioned the music is fantastic as we get guitars, drums, uilleann pipes, woodwinds, bass, harp and keyboards. Everything is done so extremely well i'm a little bit at a loss to know what to say here. I just wish I had this when my kids were younger, but you know what I still think they'd like this.

This is a one of kind album in my collection that is done perfectly.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Mother Gong - Gilli Smyth's own branch of the extended Gong family - started off humbly, offering up this triptych of fairy tales narrated by Gilli as a range of Gong and Hawkwind alumni jam away in the background in a broadly thematically and tonally appropriately manner. It's decent enough for what it is, though what it is is a collection of children's stories set to psychedelic music, and in some respects the formula trips itself up - the music distracts from the stories and at points overwhelms Gilli's narration, whilst Gilli's narration often obscures some of the more interesting things the band are doing.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Spoken fairy tales with musical accompaniment: Isn't this the perfect match for progressive rock artists? I think so! The music created to support Gilli's accomplished and very professional rendering of three fairy tales is the best Gong music I've ever heard! The recording and engineering is almost perfect, with only a few issues between the voice track levels and those of the instruments, otherwise this is just a delightful album of melodies, musicianship, and creativity, with the bonus that it's all in support of these wonderful, meaningful stories.

1. "Wassalisa" (22:28) is musically my favorite thing Gong (in any of its incarnations and offsprings) has ever done. It's just mesmerizing! While Gilli's story is wonderful and theatric, there are times when the vocal track is mixed too low (or Gilli's voice modulates into lower volumes) so that her story gets lost in the music. This is acceptable mostly because the music is SO amazing, so engaging. In my third listen through I'm still having a terrible time trying to focus on the story because I am so in love with the music. It's like listening to Anthony Phillips' "Geese and the Ghost" for the first time (only with better sound production). Didier Malherbe is wonderful, but then so are the rest of the musicians. Great art! (9.5/10)

2. "The Three Tongues" (12:43) is a nice story with a good moral that is much better mixed with its musical accompaniment. The music here draws quite a bit from classical traditions with many sections featuring single instruments carrying the melody or weight of the theatric support--classical guitar, piano, steel-stringed guitars, oboe, Uilleann pipes, harp, keyboards, and, of course, plenty of woodwinds. The theatric incidentals used for sound effects and accents (including crowd noises) are amazing and add a great deal to the rendering. (10/10)

3. "The Pied Piper" (14:38) is sonically the most well-balanced song as well as the most confidently rendered story from the storyteller. The GENTLE GIANT/GRYPHON/circus-like music is my least favorite, least engaging, but is perfectly performed and makes the best theatric companion to Gilli's story. (Could they be partially improvised?) How much fun these professionals must have had making this album! (9.5/10)

Whether this music and album were created as a vehicle for children stories or Wagnerian-like operas, this is brilliant, masterful music; an album to hear, to fall in love with.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This Lp was presumably meant to be played to our children whilst we lay around in a gong and bong induced coma. If there was no lyrics it might be a fairly ordinary LP as it is the spoken lyrics are not really bad but do not really fit in with the music. The moment the Witch arrives on the sce ... (read more)

Report this review (#92992) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is mother gong`s first album, which is basicly gilly telling fairytales with incredible gong music over it, sounds refreshing, and could be a gong album if daevid allen had sung some on it, the first story is about Wassilissa who must enter the forest to get some wood, there she meets a w ... (read more)

Report this review (#84285) | Posted by zebehnn | Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, Im not really an expert in prog music, but I used to listen to some bands when I was younger. Nowadays I mainly listen to classical music (from Bach to Stockhausen), but I still love bands like the early Pink Floyd and Van der Graaf Generator. I think "Fairy tales" is a lovely album. So ... (read more)

Report this review (#70031) | Posted by | Monday, February 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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