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Gong Magick Brother album cover
3.43 | 144 ratings | 12 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Early Morning -
1. Mystic Sister / Magick Brother (4:44)
2. Change the World (aka Rational Anthem) (4:10)
3. Glad To Sad To Say (3:35)
4. Chainstore Chant / Pretty Miss Titty (4:38)
5. Fredfish / Hope You Feel OK (3:18)
- The Late Night -
6. Ego (3:55)
7. Gongsong (4:05)
8. Princess Dreaming (2:55)
9. 5 & 20 Schoolgirls (4:23)
10. Cos You Got Green Hair (4:58)

Total Time: 44:25


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Gilli Smyth / vocals & voice (space whisper)
- Daevid Allen / guitars, bass, vocals
- Didier Malherbe / flute, soprano saxophone
- Rachid Houari / drums, tabla

- Burton Greene / piano (6)
- Dieter Gewissler / contrabass (1,7)
- Barre Phillips / contrabass (2,8)
- Earl Freeman / contrabass (6), piano & pianoharp (7)
- Tasmin Smyth / voice (1,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Daevid Allen

LP Byg Records - 529 305 (1969, France)
LP Affinity - AFF 4 (1977, UK) Different cover art and tracks 2 & 3 switched order
LP Charly - CRL 5052 (1977, UK) As above

CD Decal ‎- CD CHARLY 31 (1987, France) As above
CD Charly - SNAP 199CD (2004, UK) Remastered; with initial cover art & track running order

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy GONG Magick Brother Music

Magick BrotherMagick Brother
Snapper UK 2004
Audio CD$5.52
$5.54 (used)
Gong Magick Brother Decal 1986 Charly UK ImportGong Magick Brother Decal 1986 Charly UK Import
Audio CD$4.98 (used)
Magick Brother [Vinyl]Magick Brother [Vinyl]
Get Back 2003
Vinyl$79.98 (used)
Magick Brother by GongMagick Brother by Gong
Snapper UK
Audio CD$28.69
Magick Brother by Snapper UKMagick Brother by Snapper UK
Snapper UK
Audio CD$30.98
Magick Brother Magick Sister by Gong (2001-01-16)Magick Brother Magick Sister by Gong (2001-01-16)
Jvc Japan
Audio CD$140.33
Magick Brother: Mystic SisterMagick Brother: Mystic Sister
Vinyl$38.00 (used)
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GONG Magick Brother ratings distribution

(144 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GONG Magick Brother reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars An absolutely strange UFO with very weird music well worthy of GonG but it is right now just Gong. Because if the zanyness is already present and makes for this album much of an interest , but it is not part of the Radio Gnome trilogy or linked to it. Only Malherbe , Allen and Smyth are on this album that will be present on the classic GonG.

But the main interest of the album is that I cannot think of one album that is more representative of hippydom, in fact it could epitomize it. As Daevid got thrown out of England (so called visa problems but as an Aussie and in the Commonwealth.....) , he went back to France and joined a hippy commune in Normandy and one can guess that he got those guys into this project . This album although structured reeks anarchy , but not in the same way that of Amon Djuul's first group. If this had been recorded in Germany , this would've had a chance to be classified as Polit-Rock alongside such as other left-wing activists as Kluster etc... Not that Daevid would be called left-wing but just an activist alone would fit him fine. Anyway , this album is very rough and raw to the bone (especially compared to Angel's Egg and You) but is much worth a spin but beware of your sanity. Doctor's prescription would say no more than one toke/poke a week to avoid addiction.

Review by soundsweird
4 stars More proof that Psychedelic Rock was a key component/forerunner of Progressive Rock. The search for new sounds, the desire for greater artistic freedom, and the willingness to throw in the stylistic kitchen sink are things that both genres have in common. As another reviewer mentioned, this album is Gong's "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"; quite different from their later work, but magical nonetheless. I'm sure there are those who like this album a lot, and hate everything that came afterwards, just like those Syd Barrett-philes. Some of it doesn't work, but that's why CD players have a 'program' feature. Also, the sound is a little iffy, but it goes with the territory.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My God what kind of drugs makes you write this kind of music ? This is really psychadelic S... and I must admit itīs a bit too strange for me ( and this is a Zappa fan speaking).

The sound quality is a bit muddy and raw which is not a problem and as this is from 1969 I donīt expect fine audio quality. The music is very laid back even though it kind of rocks and Daevid Allenīs voice is very stoned which kind of emphazises the laid back nature of the songs. The songs are basically simple sixties rock songs with very few exceptions. This is definitely prog rock but not of the symphonic sort, itīs way too strange for that. The only band I can compare them to are The Mothers of Invention, even though they donīt really sound like them, but they have some of the same strange choice of notes.

All in all this is a bit too strange and not my taste at all, but I canīt deny the quality of the songs and the musicians playing are also pretty good. It doesnīt reach excellent in my book though so 3 stars it will be.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut of a bizarre planet. Well, it didn't met my expectations -- it's nothing short of good, but certainly not as stellar as GONG trilogy will be. This is a shape of GONG to come, so to say. This hyper-dipper-ultra psychedelic music - Syd Barrett's influences are obvious. There are also a lot of tape manipulations, which is fine, but there lays the problem: there' are only a few conventional songs, the rest of the album are noodling. Which doesn't have to be bad, but in this case songs=ideas. There are melodies, passages, timbres, even lyrics that will be fully developed later. However, apart from three excellent tunes (one acid electric, one acoustic and one reggae) the rest is suffering from 'the debut syndrome': young people unable to construct the whole picture. But the pieces are fine too.

Production is even below 1969 standards, but I think these guys just didn't care for that. It's evident they were experimenting with different timbres, including heavy distortion, not only on guitar, but on the whole tape mixdown - that's why it's hissy at the moments. Moreover, amounts of phaser/flanger and similar swooshing effects is hilarious. But I like it.

This record will help you understand better the origins of GONG family - from the very Canterbury beginnings (it's the only GONG record that shows the hints of Canterbury sound IMHO) to the reggae approach in 1990's.

Review by Warthur
3 stars 1969 was a good year for ex-Soft Machine members kicking off new careers after leaving that band; along with Kevin Ayers recording his solo debut Joy of a Toy, Daevid Allen hooked up with Gilli Smyth and between them put this out this early proto-Gong album. I say proto-Gong because the Gong sound has not quite developed here yet. Several songs are psych-folk with lyrics alluding to the political hopes and dreams of the Summer of Love, but this typical hippy fair sits cheek by jowl with free jazz-like improv with Smyth's ethereal wailing getting an early workout. The different ingredients which make up Gong are all here but they've not yet mixed in together to make the rich broth which would appear on the later albums. Not a bad start, not a fantastic one either.
Review by octopus-4
4 stars I'm Happy, I'm not happy, I'm sad....I'm not sad.... I think a lot of people remembers "The Witch" spelling these words in "Angel's Egg". Before coming to this album I didn't know that they were already been used on "Pretty Miss Titty".

So while I was expecting what somebody has called "Proto-Gong", I've been pleasantly surprised to hear this, maybe sour, full Gong album.

Yes, it has pure psychedelic moments perfectly in line with the London's summer of love, ,with sounds that can even remind to the early Barrett with a hint of Beatles, but first of all the great inventive and the jazzy weirdness of Daevid Allen.

We pass from the acid guitar and violin of "Glad To Say To Say" with the vocal line reminding to Who, Beatles and Pink Floyd at the same time, to the fantastic closer "Cos You Got Green Hair" and its flute that contains already all the kind of goods that can be found across the Radio Gnome Trilogy.

So there are two keys to access this album: a prelude to Radio Gnome and a link between the 60s late psychedelia and the Canterbury genre. The genius of Daevid Allen has already started actually to transform the hippy-trippy psychedelic standards into something new and different.

An album very innovative, with noisy unstructured avantgarde tracks like "Little Sister" followed by a country/psych song like "Change The World". Even a Floyd fan like me would regret thinking that this Gong would have probably been more appropriate to comment Zabriskie Point, apart of C'mon Number 59, of course.

This album is full of ideas, some of them abandoned later, or not developed, but this is normal in a debut. I find it excellent and deserving 4 stars

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars After Daevid Allen left Soft Machine he spent a few years continuing his beatnik lifestyle traveling around Europe and getting into mischief before finally recording his first album under the GONG moniker. Despite the band name this is more of an Allen album with equal billing given to Gilly Smyth who makes her debut on this first GONG album as the trippy poet and space whisperer who graced not only the GONG albums of the Allen era but also many of the solo offerings from band's members. MAGICK BROTHER has also been released as MAGICK BROTHER, MYSTIC SISTER and was released early in 1970. The album is really an accumulation of musical ideas that had been with Allen since leaving Soft Machine and since those years took place in the tumultuous late 60s it is no surprise that this album has its sound firmly rooted in 60s psychedelia and the lyrics in that same idealist Utopian vision of the hippie movement.

This is in fact an interesting crossroads for Allen's career where he finally got to put to tape all of those latent ideas that didn't make it into Soft Machine that fully embraced the most psychedelic aspects that rock had to offer at that time and the more progressive ideas that were finding their way into the world. This album came out after all those groundbreaking releases of 1969 and the musical landscape was changing quickly but Allen was finding away to keep those space rock sounds going and evolving them into the next phase. On MAGICK BROTHER you can hear hippie peace protest songs "Rational Anthem" next to fully fueled freakouts that sound more like something on a Krautrock album and would make contemporary trippers like Pink Floyd proud. My guess is that many mind-altering substances were consumed in the making of this one. You think?!!

The album is divided into two sides. The first is "Early Morning" and the second is "Late Night" but to be honest I can't really tell any difference between the two as they both contain hippie folk type songs and freaked out bizarreness. This is one that I wasn't impressed with upon first listen coming to it after all the better releases that followed but it has grown on me and is in fact an interesting little album in its own right. I would not recommend skipping this one since it has a charm all its own and provides a glimpse of GONG's origins. The only problem I have is some of the folkier songs are a little lackluster and could have used a little more fine tuning but overall it doesn't diminish my listening experience. 3.5 rounded up

Latest members reviews

4 stars After touring Europe with Soft Machine in August 1967, Daevid Allen was rejected to enter the United Kingdom due to overstaying his visa on previous staying. Allen settled in Paris and together with his partner, Gilli Smyth, he formed a band called Gong along with a few other side projects such as ... (read more)

Report this review (#1579864) | Posted by ALotOfBottle | Saturday, June 18, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A big surprise, to say at least. I had absolute no expectations when I started to listen to this album. I thought this was going to be a pretty horrid experience. I was proven wrong. Remove all the hype and all the weirdness surrounding Gong. Put your headphones on and listen very carefull ... (read more)

Report this review (#251998) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8.5/10 Great "Magick Brother" is really an underrated album in my opinion, and carries with it some amazing Gong moments and is overall great. This is it, Gong has entered the scene and we are given some really innovative music, great melodies and ideas, and an overall breathe of fresh air ... (read more)

Report this review (#148459) | Posted by The Lost Chord | Thursday, November 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Not really a prog album unless you consider looking backward whilst falling forward progress. Way to much dope was consumed and no doubt far to much acid by this proto- gong line up, What a re we left with firstly this LP sounds as though it was recoded in a bathroom not a studio, it is a horri ... (read more)

Report this review (#92830) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Sunday, October 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Gongs first LP is quite simply a Psychedelic masterpiece rivaled only by Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn and White Noise's An Electric Storm. Allen's Gliss gutar was heavily influenced by Syd Barrets gutar work on Piper and like Syd, Allen is capable of taking you to musical dimensions others can ... (read more)

Report this review (#27577) | Posted by | Thursday, March 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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