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Gong Rejoice! I'm Dead album cover
3.94 | 185 ratings | 5 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Thing That Should Be (03:34)
2. Rejoice! (10:17)
3. Kaptial (3:21)
4. Model Village (6:43)
5. Beatrix (2:54)
6. Visions (4:29)
7. The Unspeakable Stands Revealed (11:49)
8. Through Restless Seas I Come (6:58)
9. Insert Yr Own Prophecy (9:36)

Total time 59:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Daevid Allen / vocals (5)
- Kavus Torabi (Cardiacs, Knifeworld) / vocals, guitar
- Fabio Golfetti / guitar, vocals
- Ian East / soprano, sopranino, baritone & tenor saxes, flute, whistles, bells, shaker
- Dave Sturt (Jade Warrior) / bass, acoustic bass (5), EBow bass (5,6,9), keyboards (4,8), percussion (4), vocals (1,2,4,7)
- Cheb Nettles / drums, percussion (8), vocals (1,2,7,9)

- Graham Clark / violin (1)
- Steve Hillage / guitar solo (2)
- Didier Malherbe / duduk (4,8)
- Chris Ellis / piano (5)

Releases information

Artwork: That Girl (?)

2xLP Madfish ‎- SMALP1049 (2016, Europe)

CD Madfish ‎- SMACD1049 (2016, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GONG Rejoice! I'm Dead ratings distribution

(185 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

GONG Rejoice! I'm Dead reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
5 stars A wonderful; gift was at my door today. Long live Gong! My first encounter was Expresso, then Shamal, then Time Is The Key. All incarnations are great in their wonderful way. My last encounter was Pwntanune. Daevid had nothing but respect for the uncarnatuins he wasn't in on and U think he'd totally enjoy this incarnatuin. I know there will no doubt be some fans of Daevid and Gillis' Gong but please listen to this with an open mind. Daevid left us in March of last year but he is still with us. He brought wonderful weirdness to music. While Kavus has carried on the legacy, He and Gilllie will be sorely misses. So long and thanks for all the tunes.
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars It's always a crying shame when a prominent member of a classic rock band passes away after decades of divine musical service but even more so when two of the founders pass on within a year of each other. Of course i speak of Christopher David Allen or better known as Daevid Allen who passed on in 2015 after having founded the sounds-like-no-other band GONG all the way back in 1967 only to be joined shortly thereafter by the unparalleled space whisperer Gilli Smith the following year. It seems like their bond was strong as they traveled the space ways together and even death could not separate them. With their passing so too does the entire identity of GONG as a new chapter unfolds without two of the most unique personalities in all of rock history. After 2015's "I See You," which saw the duo laying down their last earthly performance together, the rest of the crew was given the green light with blessings to continue one of progressive rock's most recognizable Canterbury jazz infused space bands. While many fans may find this of poor taste, it certainly isn't the first time that Allen parted ways only leaving the band name to showcase other talents. The only difference now is that he won't be coming back.

REJOICE! I'M DEAD is officially the 14th studio album released by GONG only two years after the last Allen contributions and the following year after his passing however despite Allen having reached the proggy pearly gates, his resonant vocals from the past appear on the tracks "Model Village" and "Beatrix." Officially at the helm is newbie to the band Kavus Torabi of former Cardiacs and Knifefield fame on on vocals and guitar but the rest of the band remains steady since the previous release giving GONG a somewhat stable lineup despite the loss of two founding members. There are two versions of this album. The regular nine track version and another special 2-CD version with a bonus DVD. The second disc on this version has a couple extra tracks, a few demos as well as some rehearsal recordings. The DVD is an audio disc with 24/96 PCM stereo and DTS 96/24 5.1 digital surround mixes.

The album is somewhat of a serious salute to the mastermind and whimsical hippie who started the whole thing back in the 60s as is apparent by the title and soundwise the band pretty much traces the footsteps of the past and straddles through the Canterbury tinged psychedelic rock that they have been famous for since the Radio Gnome Trilogy in the mid-70s. REJOICE! I'M DEAD sees a lot of different new flavors as well as Torabi brings a lot of his post-punk sensibilities to the table most notably on the new wave guitar sounds heard on the title track. However they do become engulfed by the special guest star appearance of Steve Hillage who cranks out some retro sounding space guitar most remanent of his "Fish Rising" period and with an extended journey into the psychedel-o- sphere, GONG prove that they have what it takes to carry on the jazzed out space ways of planet GONG's most tripped out jam sessions.

The track "Kapitial" is particular rough around the edges with a frenetic heavy guitar although it's pacified by the jazzy sax outbursts of Ian East. Likewise the vocals are heavily fortified with an echoey space syrup that in tandem creates one of my favorite tracks of the album. "Model Village" offers a last of an Allen performance and one that borrows right from the Radio Gnome days with subdued space rock and jazzy brass sequences embraced by Allen's poetic prowess and another surprise appearance by off and on again member Didier Malherbe offering his most respectable duduk performance which sounds like a magic eulogy and celebration of life for his long time friend of the ages. Unfortunately the duduk does not stick around and leaves the party way too soon.

"Beatrix" is some sort of short French chanson performed by Allen by would have been much better with Gilli Smith as it sounds like something right out of the "Angel's Egg" playbook. "Visions" is a true space cadet journey into an ambient stream of synthesized sounds accompanied by a lazy sax that slowly oozes out sultry notes as the electronica slinks by with tripped out vocals joining in intermittently and serves sort of as a long extended intro to the near twelve minute "The Unspeakable Stands Revealed" which continues the tripped out space effect only the jazz-rock instrumentation tags along for the ride and thus ups the tempo. This is one of those ratcheting up effect tracks that slowly builds on itself and adds progressive electric guitar riffs, vocals chants as well as those clever Canterbury sax phrasings. The track adds a sprinkling of vocals after several minutes and becomes a heavy post-punk type of track swimming in the psychedelic sea of Canterbury jazz!

Both ending tracks "Through Restless Seas I Come" and "Insert Yr Own Prophecy" offer more of the same heavy guitar induced psychedelic space rock juiced up with jazz and flute. REJOICE! I'M DEAD is overall a fairly decent album as it carries the torch with dignity and gusto and ushers GONG into the post-Allen era well into it's fifth decade of existence as a band that turned a greater rotation of talents sort of ensemble. While this is indeed an excellent album it does lack some of my favorite GONG characteristics provided by the irreplaceable team of Allen and Smith. Perhaps my biggest complaint about this one is the poor vocal skills of Torabi as he is the weakest vocalist in the GONG history books. While getting the job done, he doesn't have that unique flair and offers no humor to the mix. That's another thing i miss tremendously is Allen's zany silliness that popped out when least expected.

REJOICE! I'M DEAD is a serious affair much in the vein of Pierre Moerlen phase despite the sound being different and tainted with vocals. Admittedly i had an instant negative reaction to this one as it was substandard to my ears compared to the great "I See You," but many listens in it began to unleash it's magic. One of the most noticeable differences is the most pumped up rock guitar with much more bravado than on previous albums. Also noticeably lacking is any attempt to replace Allen's zany antics and idiosyncratic silliness that permeates every release he had his hand in. Sadly missing as well are the Gilli Smith space whispers that add a cosmic feminine divinity to the mix. This is a pure boys club now and it really sounds like it. Not a classic but an excellent array of jazzy space rock in true GONG spirit. Allen is obviously overseeing from his unknown whereabouts. Miss the duduk's ubiquitous sound as well.

Review by Warthur
4 stars In his final years, Daevid Allen sought to secure the future of Gong by putting together a new lineup, primarily focusing on younger musicians who could carry the torch into the future. I See You saw this new grouping given a test run, with Allen still very much unboard; this album, finds the lineup of Dave Sturt, Kavus Torabi, Fabio Golfetti, Ian East, and Cheb Nettles face the truly major test which is "Can we make something authentically Gong-like away from Daevid's supervision?"

The answer is an emphatic "yes". Allen is not wholly absent here - some vocals are used on Beatrix, some lyrics of his make it in - but these contributions are thin scraps, Allen passing through as a ghost at the gig rather than being a full participant in the album's creation. The end result is very much the product of the current lineup.

The obvious question is "Does the classic Gong sense of humour survive?" and the answer is "Not really, but that might be for the best." The fact of the matter is that the humourous side of Gong was very much an expression of Allen's personality; in pretty much every Gong lineup and off-shoot that hasn't involved Allen, it's not been present. That isn't to say that all such projects are po-faced and humourless - Steve Hillage's solo work certainly has its lighter moments - but it is the case that Daevid was such a unique and characterful presence in any of the Gong incarnations he was involved in that once he's gone, it just ain't the same.

That being the case, a forced attempt to mimic Allen's comic-mystic persona would be doomed to failure - it would be wrong for Sturt and company to try and do that, just as it would have been wrong for Gong in the 1970s to do it when they were making Shamal, the first Dave-less Gong effort. Instead of trying to do a limp impersonation of Allen's humour, the current Gong concentrate on being worthy successors to the Gong musical heritage - and that means jazzy, psychedelic Canterbury prog, cut through with some of the more modern post-punk influences also found in Torabi's other projects such as Guapo or Cardiacs. (This, too, is appropriate - what were Planet Gong or New York Gong if not Allen's bid to embrace a somewhat more punkish/new wave ethos back in the day?)

If you're the sort of Gong listener who politely sat through Daevid's whimsy for the sake of getting to the proggy musical workouts, you'll probably love this; if you're the sort of Gong listener for whom without Daevid's humour the band has nothing to offer you, you probably won't like this, though you were probably expecting that what with him being too dead to take a full part in the recording process. If you're the sort of listener who digs both sides of Gong's music, you'll probably realise that things have shifted here - but you probably also have broad enough tastes to realise why that's a good thing.

Latest members reviews

5 stars With the onset of their new release ?The Universe Also Collapses" (awaiting eagerly to listen to it) I'd like to return to their previous album, which in my opinion deserves more attention here at PA. Since passing of Daevid Allen, the remaining members of the band took - with Allen's own bless ... (read more)

Report this review (#2216163) | Posted by stewe | Monday, May 27, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The current iteration of Gong is thoroughly interesting. The band has ZERO (meaning 0, not the hero) original members since the passing of Divided Alien so it's like that philosophy question about the ship i.e., when all parts of the ship have been replaced is it still the same ship? And if not, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2054503) | Posted by animal_laminate_2 | Saturday, November 10, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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