Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Canterbury Scene

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gong Leave It Open album cover
3.05 | 74 ratings | 6 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy GONG Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Leave It Open (17:19)
2. How Much Better It Has Become (3:23)
3. I Woke Up That Morning Felt Like Playing Guitar (3:33)
4. It's About Time (6:06)
5. Stok Stok Stok Sto-Gak (4:09)
6. Adrien (3:45)

Total Time: 38:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Bon Lozaga / guitar (1,3,5)
- Hansford Rowe / bass, rhythm guitar & vocals (4)
- Pierre Moerlen / drums, vibes (1,2,6), polymoog (1,2), keyboards (3-6), synth bass & rhythm guitar (3), gong (6), concert tom (1), producer
- Francois Causse / congas (1,4), timbales (1), drums & percussion (4 - not confirmed marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone)

- Brian Holloway / rhythm guitar (2)
- Charlie Mariano / soprano sax (1,3,4)
- Demelza Val Baker / congas (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Albion Studios with Broullio (concept)

LP Arista 202 955 (1981, Germany)

CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2250 (2011, UK) Remastered by Paschal Byrne

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GONG Leave It Open Music

More places to buy GONG music online

GONG Leave It Open ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

GONG Leave It Open reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by friso
3 stars Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Leave it Open

Warning: This is by no means Canterbury prog, it is pure jazz rock/fusion. Pierre Moerlen had taken the lead of his version of the Gong tradition and continued to explore the possibilities of percussion instruments, mainly using the xylophone. This course was set on the famous Gazeuse/Expresso album.

The jazzrock presented by Gong is relaxing, with xylophone themes that seem to flow endlessly. The drums of Moelen are great as usual. The guitar solos of Bon Lozaga are good, but I kind of miss Allan Holdsworth here. The long opening section is a progression of melodies played on xylophones with some guitar backup. The bass lines aren't of the most important here, which is a pity. It might have made it a bid more adventurous. The keyboards used have an eighties feel, but for the time being they are acceptable. Only on How much better it has become the keys sound quite annoyingly eighties-like.

The best way to describe this record is as a flowing sound-scape. The music processes, some solo's are played, but nothing unexpected happens. Still this is a very nice record for the fusion fanatics among us. When the music is played loud a lot of it's hidden treasure is revealed! Details, great recording techniques and the best of percussions. The meditative approach on jazz is great and I always get relaxed when I listen to this album.

Conclusion. A nice record for those who are interested in fusion and/or great percussive arrangements. I will give it three stars, it's good but not essential for the normal progressive rock collection. You can add one star yourself if you are interested in Jazz!

Review by fuxi
1 stars I feel somewhat ambivalent about this album. On one hand, merely hearing Pierre Moerlen's clean and steady beat gives me pleasure. Through overdubbing, Moerlen puts acoustic and electric vibes on top, and those, too, sound very pure. The problem is: you keep waiting for exciting developments in his band's music, but there are virtually none. Okay, there are tiny little guitar solos here and there, and a few brief but riveting moments on what sounds like xylophone, but when you compare LEAVE IT OPEN to GAZEUSE or ESPRESSO II (where there's so much going on you can hardly follow!) it just seems a sad, sad story. I wonder if Moerlen had been touring a little too much with Mike Oldfield. From INCANTATIONS onwards, Oldfield's minimalist-derived themes were getting more and more insipid, and now it turns out that Gong started suffering from the same disease. Some critics have called LEAVE IT OPEN meditative and relaxing, but I find it discourgaging and enervating, particularly when there's some sort of dreamy little keyboard humming in the background and Charlie Mariano plays insipid little sax solos. (Shame on you, Charlie, we KNOW you could do much better!) Do you really want to call this chill-out music (avant- la-lettre)? Surely only if you're in a second-rate shopping mall elevator, with the air conditioning going crazy! Conclusion: all those who enjoy inventive jazz-rock (Bruford, Mahavishnu, Metheny) and/or great percussive arrangements (Gary Burton, Joe Locke), stay away! If you absolutely need to buy this, you could get it as part of an inexpensive 2-disc set entitled THE ARISTA YEARS, which also includes the equally dire TIME IS THE KEY and the far better PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG LIVE (which at least has decent guest spots from the likes of Mike Oldfield and Didier Malherbe). To his credit, Pierre Moerlen actually regained some chops in 2002, when his version of Gong made a triumphant (if short-lived) comeback with PENTANINE.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The ugly duck of the pond? Perhaps not, but this album appears to be rather unloved in comparison with Pierre Moerlen's other works. Sure, in many places it's a lot more laid-back, almost meditative and different to masterpieces like "Gaseuse!", "Expresso II", or "Downwind", whilst retaining e ... (read more)

Report this review (#1157345) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Friday, April 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars `Leave It Open' marks the end of Pierre Moerlen's stint as band-leader and follows on from where Time Is The Key left off. Once again here is the readily identifiable Pierre Moerlen sound, bright Vibes and Marimbas (from Francois Causse) playing against chattering drum patterns, augmented by t ... (read more)

Report this review (#512266) | Posted by beebfader | Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's a funny old world. When I first began my journey into non-Allen GONG, I picked an album at random from this PA page, and found it in an old friend's extensive GONG collection. That album was LEAVE IT OPEN. The most obvious thing to say is that this is miles away from Daevid Allen's GONG. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#298817) | Posted by MaxerJ | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ah, the days when musicians strove to be innovative, original and eclectic. This magnificent album is one that must be heard on a hi-end audio system. The subtleties of sound on the title track, "Leave It Open", such as Pierre Moerlen's light percussive taps and cymbal resonances, Hansford Row ... (read more)

Report this review (#54816) | Posted by | Saturday, November 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of GONG "Leave It Open"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.