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GONG

Canterbury Scene • Multi-National


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Gong biography
GONG is a Space/Canterbury Rock group formed by Australian guitarist (formerly of SOFT MACHINE) Daevid Allan in Paris, France in 1968. He did not do it alone though, he & his wife, Gilli Smyth are the whole nucleus of that band with numerous band line-ups. "Magick Brother, Mystic Sister" is GONG's first release & the line up consists of: Didier Malherbe (sax), Christian Tritsch (guitar), Pip Pyle (drums) & of course, Daevid Allan (guitar & lead vocals) while his wife Gilli performed the spacey vocals. GONG's second release: "Camembert Electrique" is the beginning of Allan's ideas of Pot Head pixies, Radio Gnome's, & Octave Doctor's featured on later albums of "The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy" along with the Protagonist Zero The Hero, which consisted of "Flying Teapot" (1972), "Angel's Egg" (1973) & "You" (1974). After "Camembert Electrique" release also saw a new line-up & a steady one. The line-up consisted of: Didier Malherbe (sax) Mike Howlett (bass), Pierre Moerlen (drums), Steve Hillage (guitar), Tim Blake (synthesizers) & of course, Daevid (vocals & guitar) & Gilli (space vocals). This line-up would last until "You". When Allen, Smyth, & Blake departed due to dissatisfaction of being an instrumental band this led Pierre to be the leader & released "Shamal" in 1976. Hillage lost faith in the group & departed as well.

All of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" albums & "Camembert Electrique" are great places to start for anyone interesting in GONG. "Magick Brother, Mystic Sister" is very raw, & not as technical or jam worthy as later GONG, but the Canterbury humor is still there. "Shamal" is the beginning of their Fusion sound that would be later presented on later albums. "Gong Live" features a good compilation of tracks performed live would also be good starter album.

: : : Alexander Vogel : : :

See also:
- Mother Gong

Discography:
With original year of issue and format.
Basic, incomplete, GONG-named band discography.
A more advanced, far-reaching, super-hyperlinked and inaccurate version will be made eventually....

Studio albums, live albums and singles:
1969 - Magick Brother-Gong BYG LP
1970 - Est-ce-que je suis-Gong BYG 7"
1971 - Camembert Electrique-Gong BYG LP
1971 - Continental Circus-Gong Phillips LP
1972 - Glastonbury Fayre Revelation 3LP-1 side live Gong...
read more

Gong official website

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GONG Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy GONG Music


YouYou
Extra tracks · Remastered
Caroline 2004
Audio CD$6.51
$5.23 (used)
Flying TeapotFlying Teapot
Snapper UK 2007
Audio CD$6.72
$11.46 (used)
Angels EggAngels Egg
Remastered · Extra tracks · Import
Virgin 2005
Audio CD$5.18
$3.98 (used)
Angel's EggAngel's Egg
Import
Imports 2013
Vinyl$22.49
$29.53 (used)
GazeuseGazeuse
Import
EMI Europe Generic 1990
Audio CD$5.25
$8.00 (used)
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More places to buy GONG music online Buy GONG & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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GONG shows & tickets


  • Gong at Reading 3, Tel Aviv on 7 Jul 2014
  • GONG on 12 Jul 2014
  • H2Ö on 18 Jul 2014
  • H2Ö on 18 Jul 2014
  • Gong at Le Trabendo, Paris on 15 Oct 2014
  • Gong at L'Etage, Rennes on 17 Oct 2014
  • Gong at The Assembly, Leamington Spa on 22 Oct 2014
  • GONG live at Whelans on 31 Oct 2014
  • Gong at Academy 3, Manchester on 2 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on 3 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Gagarin 205, Athens on 7 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Rockefeller, Oslo on 8 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Transbordeur, Villeurbanne on 12 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Lucerna Music Bar, Praha on 24 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Das Bett, Frankfurt am Main on 27 Nov 2014
  • Gong at Lido, Berlin on 28 Nov 2014
  • Gong + Cosmic Trip Machine at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 1 Dec 2014
  • Gong at Boerderij, Zoetermeer on 3 Dec 2014
  • Gong at Le Splendid, Lille on 4 Dec 2014

GONG discography


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

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

3.33 | 105 ratings
Magick Brother
1969
3.70 | 229 ratings
Camembert Electrique
1971
2.93 | 88 ratings
Continental Circus
1971
3.89 | 340 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot
1973
4.10 | 428 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg
1973
4.27 | 622 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
1974
3.82 | 228 ratings
Shamal
1976
3.92 | 249 ratings
Gazeuse
1976
3.79 | 166 ratings
Expresso II
1978
3.48 | 102 ratings
Downwind
1979
2.87 | 66 ratings
Time Is The Key
1979
3.54 | 37 ratings
New York Gong - About Time
1979
2.99 | 36 ratings
Leave It Open
1981
2.50 | 25 ratings
Breakthrough
1986
2.56 | 24 ratings
Second Wind
1988
2.77 | 16 ratings
Gongmaison: Gongmaison
1989
3.49 | 43 ratings
Shapeshifter
1992
2.01 | 14 ratings
Camembert Eclectique
1995
3.52 | 64 ratings
Zero to Infinity
2000
3.89 | 39 ratings
Acid Motherhood
2003
2.93 | 25 ratings
Pentanine
2004
3.11 | 83 ratings
2032
2009

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

3.60 | 57 ratings
Gong Live, Etc
1977
3.58 | 44 ratings
Gong Est Mort? Vive Gong!
1978
3.73 | 39 ratings
Live Floating Anarchy 1977
1978
3.33 | 20 ratings
Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live
1980
2.08 | 12 ratings
Live At Sheffield '74
1990
4.45 | 13 ratings
Live au Bataclan 1973
1990
2.65 | 9 ratings
Live On T.V. 1990
1993
2.85 | 12 ratings
25th Birthday Party
1995
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live Floating Anarchy 1991
1995
3.95 | 20 ratings
The Peel Sessions 1971/1974
1995
3.67 | 9 ratings
Full Circle - Live 1988
1998
3.44 | 8 ratings
Live 2 Infinitea
2000
3.63 | 5 ratings
Glastonbury Fayre 1971
2002
3.65 | 16 ratings
Live In Sherwood Forest '75
2005
3.83 | 6 ratings
In the '70s
2006

GONG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.22 | 12 ratings
High Above the Subterania Club 2000
2000
4.07 | 16 ratings
Classic Rock Legends
2000
2.98 | 5 ratings
Montserrat 1973 and Other Stories
2006
4.71 | 7 ratings
Live In Brazil: 20th November 2007
2007
4.05 | 2 ratings
On French TV 1971 - 1973
2012

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

3.52 | 13 ratings
Wingful of Eyes
1986
3.00 | 9 ratings
The History and Mystery of the Planet Gong
1989
2.38 | 4 ratings
Family Jewels
1998
3.58 | 13 ratings
The Other Side Of The Sky (A Collection)
1999
3.19 | 8 ratings
The Best of Gong
2000
3.73 | 5 ratings
The World Of Daevid Allen and Gong
2003
4.08 | 3 ratings
Opium for the People (Compilation)
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sixty Minutes With Gong
2007

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

3.29 | 5 ratings
Est-Ce-Que Je Suis / Hip Hypnotize You
1969
3.08 | 4 ratings
Opium for the People
1978
1.50 | 2 ratings
Downwind
1979

GONG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Leave It Open by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.99 | 36 ratings

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Leave It Open
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

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 elements of those, nevertheless.

The musicianship is excellent, tight drums, great "angelic" vibraphones, good guitar bits and the surprise contribution by eminent Jazz veteran Charlie Mariano (saxes) fail to achieve a lasting impression. Just how is that possible?

There is nothing wrong with the music. I can only assume that the sonic qualities of the mix are perhaps too slick and rather thin, something that my old vinyl LP also displays. A real pity as it appears that the dynamics had been badly compromised in order to produce a crisp and overly transparent end product .

I like this work very much, but a thoughtful remaster would make it much more enjoyable. 4 stars as it is.

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.10 | 428 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The second part of the Radio Gnome trilogy sees Gong moving to France and recording it during August 73' at the Manor Mobile at Pavillon du Hay, but the album was finally mixed at the Manor Studios in Oxford.The basic line-up of the group welcomes some new entries.Drummer Laurie Allan parted ways with Gong and more or less quit from music at the start of the 80's, Christian Tritsch also left Gong, the same occurs also with Francis Moze, who would rejoin them a couple of years later.Their replacements were crazy drummer Pierre Moerlen, Australian bassist Mike Howlett and female percussionist Mireille Bauer.Under the title 'Angel's Egg '', Virgin released the album at the fall of 1973, both for the French and English market.

The sound of Gong on this album is a bit more cohesive, eclectic and versatile compared to ''Flying teapot'', although the general style hasn't changed much.The album is divided into 13 short pieces, which flow from one to the other as a constant work, alternating between the established Space-Fusion trademark sound of Gong and more psychedelic parts with a bit of a dated sound.Nevertheless to combine with comfort so many different styles was some sort of an achievement and Gong did this pretty well, offering often extended instrumental parts with jazzy saxes and solid drumming by Moerlen, while Hillage's spacey guitar chops take the sound to another level.Malherbe's sax work seems to have been slightly inspired by the French enviroment during the time of the recordings, as there are some strong 60's influences in his work, which can be both romantic and angular.Lots of spacey underlines around are definitely a good thing with some obscure synthesizers delivered by Tim Blake and Hillage's guitar work always being consistent.Even some sparse flute passages by Moerlen are nicely executed and well within the bizarre, genuine atmosphere of the album.The most lyrical textures and the sporadic touches of a psychedelic past seem the hardest to get into moments, sounding rather unrelated to the intricate mood of the rest of the album.Some of Gilli Smyth's vocal parts though remain absolutely great and quite personal.

This Radio Gnome sequel is certainly an improvement over the first, uneven part.Spacey Psych/Prog with impressive jazzy influences, a style well-established by Gong on this delicate and strongly recommended work...3.5 stars.

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.27 | 622 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's something about the planet Gong experience that reminds me (in a non-musical way) of The Grateful Dead, or maybe Rush: an entire cult surrounds the band and its music, making a newcomer feel like an intruder in an exclusive club with an unwritten charter discouraging trespassers.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. It may take a little effort to go with the flow and get into the whole Pothead Pixie cosmology. But the band's high-flying hippie idealism offers an open invitation to everyone, giving intrepid listeners the chance to negotiate a thrilling rite of passage across one of the more colorful and eclectic intersections along the Progressive Rock highway.

All of Gong's conflicting musical impulses found their perfect balance in the closing chapter of the RGI album trilogy, notably also the final effort of the classic Gong line-up before the first of many confusing fragmentations. Even a veteran Proghead would be challenged to name another group able to shift so effortlessly between silliness and sobriety, with so much as a hiccup. From the giddy kindergarten melody of "A P.H.P.'s Advice" (longstanding acolytes won't need help deciphering the acronym) to the awesome Tibetan mantra of "Magick Mother Invocation" to the killer spacer jams heard in "Master Builder" and beyond, this is truly exciting stuff, arranged and played with a fluency uncommon even for its time.

The ongoing saga of Zero the hero reads like a psychedelic catalogue of Flower Child philosophies, albeit told with enough tongue-in-cheek detail to suggest a metaphysical parody. The humor keeps the album fresh after forty years, but the music itself was even more ahead (while still a part) of its time, revealing the missing link between Jazz Rock fusion and Space Rock exploration, with the saxophone acting as a sort of glue between them. The longer, more dynamic instrumental passages even anticipate the cosmic Arabian ragas of Ozric Tentacles (and other modern Proggers) by several decades.

The only reason the album doesn't crack the five-star plateau is because it sounds even better when heard in the context of the full trilogy. Otherwise, it's a quintessential slice of the '70s counterculture, but one that transcends the nostalgia value of its age.

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.10 | 428 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm not sure why I never discovered the music of Gong in the first blush of my Prog Rock adolescence. Maybe the band was too openly druggy for my less tolerant teenage doppelgänger. Or perhaps the band's playful embrace of Buddhist philosophy was simply foreign to a sheltered young soul who hadn't yet shed his Episcopal blinders (I recall also having difficulties with John McLaughlin's MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, for similar reasons...)

Further evidence, if any more was needed, that youth is sometimes wasted on the young. Gong in its mid-seventies prime made some of the most contrary but playful music ever catalogued under the larger umbrella of Progressive Rock. And the middle album of the celebrated RGI album trilogy was where the band really hit its stride.

The sequel to 'Flying Teapot', relating the further adventures of Zero the hero and the Pothead Pixies, is more obviously musical than its predecessor, with the band performing more like real musicians instead of a hippie vaudeville act. Despite the shorter tracks the flow is smoother, and the fusions better fused. But the album is still eclectic beyond belief, able to turn on a whim from the Berlin cabaret melody of 'Prostitute Poem', with its shadows or Marlene Dietrich and Sally Bowles, to an unexpected interlude of Arabian harmonics (in the middle of the same song), and from there to something not unlike an English wartime pub sing-a-long.

In these pages the Gong collective flies a Multi-National flag of convenience, but the 'Radio Gnome' albums were always English to their psychedelic core, finding Ultimate Truth and Inner Wisdom at the bottom of a cup of tea. Head Gongster Daevid Allen was earlier a founding member of the original SOFT MACHINE, and the two bands shared a similar deadpan attitude of musical sedition. But in albums like 'Angel's Egg' Gong took the comic irreverence of the best Canterbury bands to a new level...nay, to another planet altogether.

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot  by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 340 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Listening to Gong's "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy of albums is like watching a tightrope walker dancing over the Grand Canyon: you have to admire the dexterity of the performance, but underneath all the fancy footwork it's a lot deeper than you think. And so it goes with the pothead pixies from Planet Gong. Their music and mythology is totally benign and (mostly) harmless, and yet it contains all the ingredients necessary for driving your parents to anxious distraction: a little sex, some mind- expanding drugs, and a facsimile of rock 'n' roll played on crystal machines and orgone boxes.

Never mind that the proportions of each element are so lightly measured. And don't judge the band by Daevid Allen's earlier association with SOFT MACHINE. The Canterbury tag is just a convenient label for music that can't be easily defined by any readymade geographic or stylistic comparison. At this stage of their scrambled-egg evolution, Gong had already polished a unique blend of Jazz Rock Fusion, klezmer cabaret songs, and playful Space (or is it Spaced?) Rock.

Not being able (or willing) to follow the convoluted narrative only makes the music even more attractively weird (or weirdly attractive, if you prefer). Ditto the oddball cast of characters: octave doctors; extraterrestrial gurus; a hero named Zero; and a good witch named Yoni (nudge, nudge), disguised here as a cat while singing "I am your Pussy" (wink, wink). It probably could only have worked in the exploratory days of the early 1970s, when the mantra "I Am / You Are / We Are / Crazy" was still something to be proud of.

The album ends a little abruptly, but it's only the first part of a trilogy, so the cliff-hanger is forgivable. The music would become richer as the saga continued, in the albums "Angel's Egg" and "You". But this first chapter proved it was possible, even under the influence of too much dope, for a motivated group of counterculture misfits to create some truly eclectic and challenging music, with their collective tongues locked firmly (but not entirely) in cheek.

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 Acid Motherhood by GONG album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.89 | 39 ratings

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Acid Motherhood
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Zeuhl Glikowski II

4 stars the Canterbury-Space fusion of GONG, the first album that i heard of GONG was "Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You", that was like 3 years ago, when i was starting my journey with prog rock, i didn't knew that GONG was a Canterbury Scene band, because they sounds very Space Rock. then i heard some other albums, the last was "Acid Motherhood" i heard this album only one week ago, and i had to say: it blows my mind!! in this album participate members of other of my favourite prog rock bands ever: ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE (Psychedelic/Space Rock), Kawabata Makoto and Cotton Casino, the fusion of this bands give to the album a new flavor, very mixed and full of weird songs. with the classic Canterbury style of GONG or the DAEVID ALLEN solo albums, but with the space rock style of the 70's albums of GONG and AMT. Daevid Allen (guitar and vocals) and his wife Gilli Smith (vocals in "Supercotton"), and now with their son Orlando Allen (drums), the members of ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE Kawabata Makoto (guitar) and Cotton Casino (synthetizer and vocals) and Josh Pollock (guitar), Dharmawan Bradbridge (drums) and Greg Sheerman (percussions in "Monstah!"). all of this fabulous and multi-nacional musicians, offer an excelent album, that is a masterpicece of Canterbury-Space rock. i totally recomend this album, and all the other albums of GONG.

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 High Above the Subterania Club 2000 by GONG album cover DVD/Video, 2000
3.22 | 12 ratings

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High Above the Subterania Club 2000
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars As the title suggests this DVD captures the gig at The Subterania Club in 2000, but there is also a superb interview with Daevid Allen where he manages to totally lose the French interviewer where he starts talking about the holes in his memory being the most interesting part. Sadly the interview isn't very long, but to make up for it there is over ninety minutes of the concert. The club is small, but the crowd are very appreciative of the band. Even after all these years early members such as Gilli Smyth and Didier Malherbe are still involved, as well as Mike Howlett who has had quite a lot of the intervening time off for good behaviour.

Listening to the crowd reaction and cheers during "Outer Temple Gliss" it is as if time has rolled away. There aren't many musicians who can lay claim to being active over such a long period of time, and Daevid was in his Sixties already when this was recorded, and showing no sign at all of slowing down.

This isn't a high tech recording, but it wasn't a high tech event and the result is a warm entry into a small club where the Gong family are present and it is a privilege to watch them at play, albeit at a distance.

Originally appeared in Feedback #72, Feb 03

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.27 | 622 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars This was a very interesting album to receive and review. First of all I am sure I like their sound ond their skillfull playing. What I hear here is both Canterbury, Space rock and Avant-garde. The result of this mixture is interesting. Remember this is my first listening to this record and band. I wouldn't be surprised if my experience of them will grow. It uses to do that in prog. This is the mostly french band Gongs sixth record so sure they have hade time to perfect their style a lot.

There is a lot of great stuff on this record: beautiful flutes, saxophones, guitars and even song on a few tracks. Some tracks are worth four stars of five: "APHP Advice" with excellent song, "Master Builder" with a dominant feeling, "Perfect Mystery" with its fun and eventful melody and "The Isle och Everywhere" with gives a feeling of perfection.

What makes this album not a record totally in my taste is the space-feeling. I think to few things happen in this music. If they had had more vocals or more melodies, this would almost have been perfect but now it's to vague and psychedelic. Something peculiar is the sound of fairytale characters you can hear sometimes. I really thought this was interesting and I won't stop listen to You or Gong.

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 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.27 | 622 ratings

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Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by IneitaBongtoke

5 stars After hearing the likes of Steve Hillage From the Khan Album, I knew i had to check out this album in pursuit of getting my fix.

At first, the spacey atmosphere was almost too alien, but when you settle in and let this album take you away, you'll find yourself transcending into a trance-like euphoric state. The beginning 3 tracks almost seem...conventional, for the bands time. Easily associated with English based tunes, the first three tracks are somewhat bright and cheery; and as stated before, very English. But then comes track 4, Master Builder. Ahh.... The amount of serotonin released in my brain when this track begins is indescribable. The vocals enchant you with their siren like chants, alluring you into a fantasy land somewhere between time and space; and then the song picks up. driven with absolutely great bass and drum lines, the song begins its voyage into the ethereal realm and slowly develops into one of the best space jams I've ever had the joy of hearing. The album then continues with this great theme of in-distinctive chants and great solo trade offs between the sax and guitar. Truly an experience that must be heard in its entirety.

I personally feel a very "zen" sense of self enlightenment when I listen to this album, which is why I speak so highly of it. This album does a great job of capturing the free spirit vibe that was going around in the 70's. This album is perfect for people who want to escape from the busy everyday world. I personally love walking through my local parks, wandering in the forest like scenery with this album playing as my soundtrack.

With sexy bass lines, amazing vocal accompaniment from the female vocalist (not sure on the name), absolutely fantastic guitar solos, this album is an ESSENTIAL gem for anyone into space rock, Canterbury, or just prog in itself. A great masterpiece. 10/10

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 2032 by GONG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.11 | 83 ratings

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2032
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by The Mystical

3 stars 2032 is another charming release from the kings of crazy, Gong. This release is yet another instalment of the infamous "Radio Gnome Trilogy". Here we find out that in the year 2032 the Pot Head Pixies will make contact with planet earth and teach human beings "How to survive without killing the planet". The album is jam-packed with the sweetness of Daevid and co, but the sound is slightly grating and over compressed.

I have very much enjoyed this album. It is very fun to listen to. There are quite a few excellent tracks, for example "How To Stay Alive", "Escape Control Delete" and "Guitar Zero". There are also some pretty bad tracks as well, such as "Yoni Poem", though even these are charming.

This release is a fun listen, but certainly non-essential. I recommend to fans of "Angel's Egg", as there are many musical similarities here.

P.S. I do not think I have listened to any song as much as I have listened to "How To Stay Alive". I have had this track on constant repeat. It is very funky and listenable. All my friends sing along when I put this one on.

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