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DAEVID ALLEN

Canterbury Scene • Australia


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Daevid Allen biography
Daevid Allen (born Christopher David Allen, January 13th, 1938 in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian poet, guitarist, singer, composer and performance artist best known as co-founder of the psychedelic rock bands Soft Machine (in the UK, 1966) and Gong (in France, 1970). He is sometimes credited as "Divided Alien".

In 1960, inspired by the Beat Generation writers he had discovered whilst working in a Melbourne bookshop, Daevid Allen travelled to Paris where he stayed at the Beat Hotel, moving into a room that had recently been vacated by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. While selling the International Herald Tribune around Le Chat qui Peche and the Latin Quarter, he met Terry Riley and also gained free access to the jazz clubs in the area. After meeting up with Willaim S. Burroughs and inspired by philosophies of Sun Ra, he formed a free jazz outfit, the Daevid Allen Trio, and performed at Burroughs' theatre pieces based on Burroughs' novel "The Ticket That Exploded".
Allen travelled to England, renting a room in Canterbury where he met his landlord's son, 16 year old Robert Wyatt.. They formed the band Soft Machine in 1966 with Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge. Ayers and Wyatt had previously played in Wilde Flowers.

Following a tour of Europe, Allen was refused re-entry to the UK due to overstaying his visa on a prior visit. He settled in Paris where, in May 1968, he took part in the protests which swept the city. He handed out teddy bears to the police and recited poetry in pidgin French, and now admits that he was scorned by the other protesters for being a beatnik.

Fleeing the police, he made his way to Deya, Majorca, with his partner Gilli Smyth. It was here that he recorded the first album under the name Gong, titled Magick Brother (released on BYG Actuel in 1969). They were joined by flautist and saxophonist Didier Malherbe, who they claimed to have found living in a cave on Robert Graves' estate.

In 1971 Gong released Camembert Electrrique. They became somewhat of an anarchist commune in rural France between 1973 and 1974. They were joined by Steve Hillage to record the Radio Gnome Trilogy after signing with Virgin, consisting of Flying Teapot, Angel's Egg and You.

Allen left this incarnation of Gong and recorded two solo albums, Good Morning and Now Is the Happiest Time of Your Life. In 1977 he performed and recorded as Planet Gong and rejoined the early-70s version of the group for a one-off show at th...
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Banana MoonBanana Moon
Import
Decal
Audio CD$32.98 (used)
Good MorningGood Morning
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2007
Audio CD$10.07
$9.93 (used)
Now Is Happiest Time of Your LifeNow Is Happiest Time of Your Life
Import
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$31.52
$14.79 (used)
N'Existe Pas!N'Existe Pas!
Import
Jvc Japan/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$21.99
Divided AlienDivided Alien
Import
Imports 2005
Audio CD$2.76
$3.00 (used)
Going On Acid 1972Going On Acid 1972
Bananamoon Obscura 2011
Audio CD$15.99
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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Daevid Allen with The Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet/Gong: Tried so hard 7" USD $9.10 [0 bids]
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DAEVID ALLEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DAEVID ALLEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 46 ratings
Bananamoon
1975
3.73 | 39 ratings
Good Morning!
1976
3.26 | 35 ratings
Now is the happiest time of your life
1977
3.33 | 15 ratings
N' Existe Pas!
1979
3.78 | 9 ratings
Divided Alien Playbax 80
1982
3.67 | 6 ratings
Who's Afraid? ( with Kramer )
1992
2.50 | 2 ratings
Twelve Selves
1993
3.07 | 11 ratings
Dreamin' A Dream
1995
3.00 | 3 ratings
Hit Men (with Kramer)
1995
3.00 | 6 ratings
Eat Me Baby I'm A Jelly Bean
1998
3.79 | 10 ratings
Stroking The Tail Of The Bird Parts 1 & 2
1999
2.33 | 3 ratings
Twenty Two Meanings (The Art Of Glissando Guitar Vol. 1) (with Harry Williamson)
1999
4.17 | 6 ratings
Australia Aquaria
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soundbites 4 Tha ReVelation
2012

DAEVID ALLEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Live Spring 88
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Divided Alien Clockwork Band
1997

DAEVID ALLEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAEVID ALLEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAEVID ALLEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 6 ratings
The Death Of Rock & Other Entrances
1982
3.20 | 5 ratings
Alien in New York
1983
3.75 | 4 ratings
Don't Stop / Stop/Don't
1984

DAEVID ALLEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Now is the happiest time of your life by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.26 | 35 ratings

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Now is the happiest time of your life
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by sl75

4 stars This continues in a similar direction to the preceding album, Good Morning, using some of the same musicians (though not the full ensemble), with similar European folk influences, and still avoiding drumkit for the most part, although there is a greater role for percussion. The Planet Gong mythology returns here, though still mixed with the more direct moral language of Good Morning. There is also the incorporation of performance poetry, I rather enjoyed "Poet For Sale", and though I see it's divided reviewers here, I rather liked the inclusion of Daevid's children on "Tally & Orlando Meet The Cockpot Pixie". There is no standout highlight this time (like "Wise Man In Your Heart" on the last album), and a couple of slightly jarring moments (like "See You On The Moontower" which almost turns into conventional rock n roll), but generally I think anyone who enjoyed Good Morning should like this almost as much. A low four stars (probably more 3.5).

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 Good Morning! by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.73 | 39 ratings

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Good Morning!
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by sl75

4 stars How does one describe this music? There are almost no drums. Other than Allen's own glissando guitar, most of the guitars (and mandolins etc) are acoustic. There are electric keyboards, which (along with the glissando guitar) are mostly used to create a spacey, trancelike effect. One or two of the songs have something approaching a standard song form, but others are completely through-composed, almost stream-of-consciousness affairs The opening track "Children of the New World" is one of the more conventionally structured songs - it almost sounds like one of Genesis' more pastoral moments (similar guitar picking, similar harmonic sense and melodic approach though obviously lower in the vocal register). "Good Morning" sounds like it is going the same way, but veers off in multiple directions, in several places completely unhinged vocally - particularly when Ana Camps takes over towards the end. "Spirit" largely eschews rhythmic drive in favour of floaty vocals. Partway through, fast strummed guitars and a somewhat menacing narration takes over, then stops abruptly, and the floaty vocals return, supported by keyboards and glissando guitar. "Song of Satisfaction" is a delicate song accompanied by piano only. "Have You Seen My Friend" is a whimsical song, folk-flavoured, the mandolin comes out here, but so does the Moog with some more typically proggy lines, and in the middle we even get a brief quote from Greensleeves. "French Secret Garden" has similar folky elements, but when the electric guitar comes in it sounds more like a throwback to the early psych-rock of the 60s (but still no drums). For the lengthy "Wise Man In Your Heart", Allen is joined by former Gong colleagues Pierre Moerlen and Mike Howlett, who provide a distinctively Gong-like trance groove, with plenty of tuned percussion, with washy keyboards and guitar in the background, and eventually Gilli Smyth's distinctive space whisper adding to the trancey feel. Take away the arrangement, and the melody sounds like a celtic folk song. It was a highlight for me on first listen, and seems to be for other reviewers, but I wonder if that's because it's Gong-like qualities give it a stylistic familiarity to hold on to, compared to the rest of the album? "She Doesn't She" is another whimsical folk-like piece, this time in a waltz rhythm, with prominent saxophone (? no one is credited with playing any such instrument), and what sounds like an accordion. Although musically the album often wanders off in obscure directions, lyrically it is a far more direct statement than Allen's previous work with Gong, eschewing talk of pothead pixies and flying teapots in favour of direct meditations on the way we treat each other. A strange album, but a beautiful one.

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 Dreamin' A Dream by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.07 | 11 ratings

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Dreamin' A Dream
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album of singer-songwriter material from Daevid Allen isn't as wildly psychedelic as some of his solo albums, but it's both competently performed and well-produced and is a reasonable enough collection of New Age-tinged folky songs. This time around, Allen seems primarily concerned with putting across his thoughts on a range of interrelated topics - feminism, male privilege, all that kind of thing - which is the sort of thing he's regularly expressed an interest in over the years but has rarely approached with the seriousness evident this time around. Whilst it isn't entirely my cup of tea, I think Allen fans could do a lot worse than giving this one a try.

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 Stroking The Tail Of The Bird Parts 1 & 2 by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.79 | 10 ratings

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Stroking The Tail Of The Bird Parts 1 & 2
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an intriguing collection of a number of ambient and New Age experiments made by Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth and Harry Williamson over the years. In fact, of the three performers it's actually Harry who dominates this time around, with each track built to a large extent around his synthesisers and Daevid and Gilli contributing guitar and ethereal vocals respectively in a sparse, minimalistic manner. At its best, this combination is really quite excellent; the latter sections of Stroking the Tail of the Bird Part 1 remind me in some respects of the similar sonic territories explored by Dead Can Dance. Not an album that was ever going to set the ambient world on fire, but a very credible contribution to the genre nonetheless.

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 Now is the happiest time of your life by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.26 | 35 ratings

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Now is the happiest time of your life
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Daevid Allen's followup to Good Morning! is a much less ambitious affair. Dispensing with the services of the Gong guest stars and the unique sound of Euterpe from the previous album, the album is more acoustic focused, and suffers from being weighed down with muddled, substandard material. I suspect many listeners will switch off at Tally & Orlando Meet The Cockpot Pixie, an overlong and tedious track in which (to a repetitive and dull musical backing) Allen tries to explain the story of Radio Gnome Invisible to his son Orlando (who was but a small child at the time this came out). The overall impression given is of listening in to a touching family moment which didn't really need to be shared with the wider world.

The rest of the album sees Allen grinding on with his usual lyrical preoccupations with New Age spirituality and trying to convince people to be less cruel to each other, only the wit of the Gong days and the wisdom of the better lyrics on Good Morning! (such as Wise Man In Your Heart) appear absent. And with the musical backing as limp as it is, there's very little reason left to bother with this one.

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 Good Morning! by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.73 | 39 ratings

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Good Morning!
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Daevid Allen's first solo album after his resignation from Gong after You is a collaboration with Euterpe, a mainly acoustic group of Spanish musicians. The album is a bit more cohesive than his previous solo effort, Bananamoon, and finds Allen in a contemplative mood. His famed sense of humour and whimsy is still present, of course, but this time around there's heavy doses of reflection and ponderings on the way people hurt each other and the struggle not to repeat the mistakes of the past - topics which are of great interest to Allen, but which had only been communicated through whimsical comedy in his previous work.

Euterpe are a fine backing group for Allen's musings, Gilli Smyth is of course on hand to add Gong-esque space whispers, and the album comes to a peak with The Wise Man In Your Heart, on which fellow Gong veterans Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen guest, and which in its swirling futuristic-psychedelic rhythms seems to provide a precedent for the dance music of a couple of decades later. On the whole, Allen couldn't have judged this one better - the album not only reassures fans that he's still the mischievous wizard of times past, but also has a distinctly different sound from his work with Gong, proving that there's more to Allen than pothead pixies.

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 Bananamoon by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.19 | 46 ratings

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Bananamoon
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Daevid Allen's first solo album comes across to me like a collection of odds and sods, scraps of songs from here and there which for one reason or another didn't fit in with Gong (which was just getting up to speed at around this time) and so was recorded in a series of sessions with various musical pals (including allies from Gong and old Soft Machine bandmate Robert Wyatt). As a result, it's a bit of a mixed bag, directionless, diverse, often interesting but never quite crossing the line into being *fascinating*.

Ranging from straightforward-ish rock and roll on the opening track to avant-garde playfulness in the closing I Am a Bowl, the album visits every musical space in between. The best song on it is probably the cover version of Hugh Hopper's Memories, sung by Robert Wyatt, but it's essentially an inferior version of the song to the one on Jet-Propelled Photographs (the Allen- era Soft Machine's 1967 demo album). At the end of the day, the album seems to have been thrown together for the sake of a bit of fun, and that's the best spirit to take it in. It's OK, I suppose, but it's absolutely not the first Allen album I'd recommend to a newcomer to the man's work.

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 Divided Alien Playbax 80 by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.78 | 9 ratings

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Divided Alien Playbax 80
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by dwhamster

4 stars Using tape loops from the sessions for New York Gong's "About Time", Daevid Allen toured the states performing this and other material. I believe that this is a document of that material, though I can't find information on the web. I can say that this contains some of his best singing and has a very rough DIY edge that fits very nicely with the contemporary cassette underground culture. They aren't "songs", more like snapshots of feelings and attitudes. His gnarly guitar tone permeates, and the lo-fi loops keep it placed in its specific time. This, and the EP "Don't/Stop" with David Tolley, exemplify his vocal skills. Does anyone have more information about this era of Daevid Allen? Please post!

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 Twenty Two Meanings (The Art Of Glissando Guitar Vol. 1) (with Harry Williamson) by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.33 | 3 ratings

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Twenty Two Meanings (The Art Of Glissando Guitar Vol. 1) (with Harry Williamson)
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by raggleman

2 stars It does what it says on the tin really. Your enjoyment of this album will be dependent on how much you look forward to the (often lengthy) passages of Glissando guitarwork to be found on sundry Gong and Daevid Allen albums.

Personally, my enjoyment of Gong related more to the whimsical wordsmithery, and the liquid lead lines of Steve Hillage and to a certain extent on Didier Malherbes sax and the space whispers of Gilli Smyth. Glissando was not my thing.........which is why 'You' is my least favourite Gong album as it contains lots of it.

So, how does '22 Meanings' sound? Well, it's one continuous 46.30 minute 'piece' of Gliss backed and interspersed with various nomadic beats, avant garde tape collages and gentle drummings and strummings. Let me quote from the album sleeve......'A composition of one 50 minute collage of deep ambient trance, cut with smatterings of drum'n'bass, body percussion and small elements of avant garde strangeness'.

I have a problem though. I was hoping to immerse myself in an aural warm bath and float on the glissando wave that would carry me into reveries and peaceful pastures.........and so it does, but then for example at around the 8 minute mark a passing salvation army band, trying to master Schoenberg after several rounds at the Frog & Whistle, pass by the sleepy meadow and ruin everything.

Back to quiet blissy gliss then and lulled once more............actually, this is rather beautiful. I'm 27 minutes in and there's some gorgeous guitar interplay between Daevid and Harry putting me more in mind of a languid Pink Floyd than anything broadcast by Radio Gnome.

I'm reviewing this CD while listening to it and it's actually getting better and better.32 minutes in now and the guitar work is sublime creating a real mood, ambience if you will. Ooooh, this is good.............then at 34 minutes some tinny drums and a repeated guitar arpeggio (which isn't as bad as it souns).

I think I'm going to give this album a 2 but there are passages within which warrant a 3 or 4. It's obviously a 'piece' for Daevid Allen completists and those who appreciate his glissando experiments. Me? I'm going back to my New York Gong album, Now Is The Happiest Time Of Your Life and Angels Egg.

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 Bananamoon by ALLEN, DAEVID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.19 | 46 ratings

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Bananamoon
Daevid Allen Canterbury Scene

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Daevid Allen's, great Australian beatnik and Soft Machine and Gong musician's debut solo album is a strange thing. Strange not in a sense of Canterbury sound, whenever you're waiting for that. No.

It is strange because there are not too much of this Canterbury sound, what every listener could expect from such album. Possibly it is just my very personal opinion, but I found there on this album heavily psychedelic version of something, what reminded me mostly Captain Beefheart's works. Less bluesy and with more complex music, but kind of avant-proto-prog. Some rock'n'rollin' guitars, shouting vocals, plenty of distorted instrumental sounds. Quite minimalistic music. Many traces of early psychedelic rock, very few - from something, what could be named jazz-rock. Almost no connection with classic Allen's Gong (Trilogy period), possibly some moments, reminding early Gong albums.

For me, it's difficult to valuate this album from Canterbury scene position. Easier to name it original and freaky psychedelic work, with some extended solos and few jazzy inclusions. Not for everyone taste for sure. But raw and fresh example for Daevid Allen fans.

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Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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