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Mother Gong

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Mother Gong Robot Woman album cover
3.18 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A:
1. Disco At The End Of The World
2. Robot Woman
3. Machine Song
4. The Sea (Live *)
5. Searching The Airwaves

Side B:
6. Billli Bunker's Blues
7. Military Procession (Live *)
8. Customs Man - Rapist
9. Fire (Live *)
10. Red Alert
11. Stars
12. Australia

* Recorded at the 1981 Glastonbury Festival

Line-up / Musicians

- Gilli Smyth / vocals, synth (2)
- Harry Williamson / acoustic, rhythm & glissando guitars, synth (1,2,5), piano (3), vocals, producer
- Yan Emeric Vagh / acoustic, rhythm, lead & slide guitars, scat (6)
- Didier Malherbe / saxophone, piccolo & bamboo flutes
- Dane Kronenberg / bass
- Guy Evans / drums, percussion (11)

- 'Big Al' Mitchell / vocals (10)
- John Newsham / backing vocals (12)
- Steve Hillage / guitar (3)
- Mo Vicarage / synth (5)
- Nicholas Turner / flute & sax (3)
- Mike Howlett / bass (3)
- Hugh Hopper / bass (8,11)
- Steve Broughton / drums (3)
- Dave Sawyer / paper drum (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Christine Sawyer

LP Butt ‎- BUTT 003 (1981, UK)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOTHER GONG Robot Woman ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (36%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

MOTHER GONG Robot Woman reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BaldFriede
4 stars This is the first and best album of Mother Gong's Robot Woman trilogy. It features Guy Evans of Van der Graaf Generator on drums and Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine as guest musician on some tracks. It is about the adventures of Beta the robot woman, who wants to become a real woman. Itstarts with an unusually funky track, Disco at the End of the World. However funky it is though, this is not disco music at all. Yan Emeric adds some good guitar licks to the funky bass of Dane Cronenberg, and Didier Malherbe is just his usual self, which means excellent. The second track Robot Woman has something zappaesque to it and, although musically excellent, is definitely on the funny side too; you can almost hear Malherbe laughing on his sax. Machine Song features Steve Hillage of Gong and Nik Turner of Hawkwind and has a lot of Gilli's trademark space whisper (she never sighed that erotically before, in my opinion). Good guitar solo of Hillage too in that song. It floats into The Sea, which is more space whisper over drones, and then continues into Searching the Airwaves, which again is quite funky with some great sax by Didier Malherbe. Side two starts with Billy Bunker's Blues; think of the cowboy from Dr. Strangelove riding on the atomic bomb to earth singing a country song about the importance of his mission, and you get the impression. Good guitar picking by Yan Emeric. Military Procession is exactly that: marching drums and piccolo flute, with Gilly Smythe ranting about the stupidity of the arm's race until she gets grabbed by the crocodile-faced Customs Man. This leads into a number of that title, the middle of which is an instrumental freak out which lends the musical background to a monologue of the Customs Man, during which he rapes Beta. The song concludes with a great guitar solo by Yan Emeric which is among my top ten guitar solos of all time. The shamed and enraged Beta sets fire to the town in the next song, which is another monologue over instrumental freak-out. It leads into Red Alert; Billy Bunker seems to have launched his rockets. However, in Stars the world and all the rockets are frozen and turned into ice cream, and the world is given a second chance. The final song Australia is a satirical dub reggae in which Australia is praised for its safety of nuclear bombs. While the album is not as coherent as the predecessor Fairy Tales and has a few little downs the overall material is excellent, and I have to give it 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

2 stars The best of the three Robot woman Lps and as always with mother gong busting over with great musicians. This makes the resulting dross even more irritating to endure. When Gilli is confined to space-whispering she really is a great vocalist however she seems to approach Mother Gong as a soapb ... (read more)

Report this review (#92989) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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