Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GONG

Canterbury Scene • Multi-National


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gong picture
Gong biography
Formed in Paris, France in 1968 - Disbanded in 1976 - Reformed intermittently since 1990

GONG is a Space/Canterbury Rock group formed by Australian guitarist (formerly of SOFT MACHINE) Daevid Allen. 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 Allen (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:
- DASHIELL HEDAYATT "Obsolete"
- Mother Gong

Discography:
With original year of issue and format.
Basic, incomplete, GONG-named band discography.
A more advanced, far-reaching, super-hyperlinked and...
read more

GONG Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all GONG videos (5) | Search and add more videos to GONG

Buy GONG Music


Flying TeapotFlying Teapot
SNAPPER MUSIC LTD. 2007
$8.93
$6.98 (used)
Angels EggAngels Egg
Remastered · Extra tracks
Virgin 2005
$5.63
$4.03 (used)
Other Side of the SkyOther Side of the Sky
Recall Records Uk 1999
$8.59
$14.30 (used)
The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy ( 4 CD Book )The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy ( 4 CD Book )
SNAPPER MUSIC LTD. 2017
$37.37
Gazeuse!Gazeuse!
Virgin
$399.99
$64.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Gong: Espresso II Arista AB 4204 lp prog rock USD $4.99 [0 bids]
Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong [White Vinyl] [Limited] by Gong (Vinyl, Jun-2017,... USD $29.04 Buy It Now
Gong: 2032 How To Stay Japan Promo DVD (not mini-lp daevid allen steve hillage Q USD $110.00 Buy It Now
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - BLACK MAN REDEMPTION.TUFF GONG JAMAICAN PRESS USD $1.99 [0 bids]
5m 12s
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - COMIN IN FROM THE COLD / DUBBIN IN TUFF GONG JA PRESS USD $1.99 [0 bids]
5m 36s
RICHIE STEPHENS - WILD FLOWER / T.V.TRACK VERSION.POT OF GOLD TUFF GONG JA PRESS USD $1.99 [0 bids]
5m 50s
NEW 7" Sena - Natural Woman / Tuff Gong All Stars - Version USD $14.99 Buy It Now 13m 1s
Robert Wyatt MID-EIGHTIES Soft Machine KEVIN AYERS Gong STEVE HILLAGE Matching M USD $7.98 Buy It Now 38m 53s
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS, SURVIVAL, TUFF GONG, 12 INCH LP, PORTUGAL, VG, LOOK USD $15.00 [0 bids]
USD $25.50 Buy It Now
1h 16m
Virgin Sound Japan Promo only Vinyl LP w Book Oldfield Gong Slapp Happy Faust USD $199.99 Buy It Now 2h 18m
GONG - REJOICE! I'M DEAD! * NEW CD USD $37.21 Buy It Now 3h
Christian Boule PHOTO MUSIK rare CD NEW - GONG, TIM BLAKE, CLEARLIGHT, HILLAGE USD $38.25 Buy It Now 3h 43m
Rejoice I'm Dead - Gong Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $17.66 Buy It Now 3h 45m
I See You - Gong Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $18.56 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Gong - Shapeshifter CD - Original release USD $5.50 Buy It Now 4h 36m
Gong Rejoice! I'm Dead! - Sealed UK 3-disc CD/DVD Set SMABX1049 MADFISH Sealed USD $87.36 Buy It Now 4h 50m
Live in Amsterdam Gong Audio CD USD $13.93 Buy It Now 5h 3m
Bob Marley Interviews CD (Made in Jamaica;Jamaican) Tuff Gong Intl USD $8.00 [0 bids]
5h 9m
2017 TIM BLAKE Gong JAPAN 2 MINI LP Blu-spec CD + PROMO CD SINGLE Japan USD $39.23 Buy It Now 5h 20m
Gazeuse! by Gong: New USD $13.54 Buy It Now 8h 10m
Gong Magick Brother Decal 1986 Charly UK CD USD $15.84 Buy It Now 8h 12m
Gong - Camembert Eclectique - Demos 70's cd Daevid Allen Gilli Smyth Paragong USD $52.52 Buy It Now 8h 14m
Angels Egg - Gong Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $13.34 Buy It Now 8h 18m
ANNIE LENNOX - COLD + LITTLE BIRD / LOVE GONG FOR A VAMPIRE 2 X CD USD $3.94 Buy It Now 8h 47m
Gong - Other Side of the Sky (A Collection, 1999) CD USD $11.86 Buy It Now 11h 20m
Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Full Circle Live 88 [New CD] USD $15.23 Buy It Now 11h 47m
Laraaji-Sun Gong VINYL NEW USD $28.17 Buy It Now 12h 31m
Gong - Live in Tokyo [New CD] UK - Import USD $9.68 Buy It Now 12h 38m
BOB MARLEY & the Wailers confrontation Tuff Gong label USD $34.73 Buy It Now 13h
Sunday Times Music Collection - Mind Games - Hawkwind / Gong / Spooky Tooth USD $2.64 [0 bids]
14h 27m
Bob Marley Survival UK poster promo POSTER TUFF GONG 1979 USD $405.81 Buy It Now 14h 51m
"The Moon's A Gong, Hung in the Wild" CD Songs by JAKE HEGGIE (CD, 2015, Avie) USD $5.55 Buy It Now 14h 52m
Magma Can Gong Tangerine Dream Encyclopedia article USD $15.52 Buy It Now 15h 30m
T. REX GET IT ON (Bang a gong) 1971 UK EX+ COPY USD $3.94 [0 bids]
15h 30m
Planet Gong - Live Floating Anarchy 1977 GER LP 1978 /3* USD $24.99 Buy It Now 15h 46m
GONG Opium for the People Picture sleeve USD $13.99 Buy It Now 15h 49m
Gong Magick Brother Lp USD $38.00 Buy It Now 16h 15m
Downwind by Pierre Moerlen's Gong CD Japanese pressing with OBI USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 45m
Pierre Moerlen's Gong Time Is The Key CD Japanese pressing with OBI USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 47m
PLANET GONG Live Floating Anarchy JAPAN mini lp CD Daevid Allen SEALED USD $33.99 Buy It Now 17h 41m
BOB MARLEY & WAILERS: Concrete Jungle TUFF GONG JA ORIG NM- Unplayed HEAR! USD $275.00 Buy It Now 17h 50m
Gong Daevid Allen a retrospective Article USD $15.52 Buy It Now 17h 53m
Floppy SOUND DISK for ROLAND W-30 - Indian Wind & Thai Gong 1 USD $4.22 [0 bids]
18h 16m
PROG ROCKS (BRAND NEW & SEALED DOUBLE CD) GONG / HAWKWIND / JETHRO TULL ETC USD $3.94 [0 bids]
18h 21m
THE WAILERS - BURNIN'.BOB MARLEY, PETER TOSH.TUFF GONG / ISLAND 1980 PRESSING USD $7.00 [4 bids]
18h 28m
Gong - Shamal [New CD] USD $8.72 Buy It Now 18h 47m
GONG: MAGIC BROTHER (CD) USD $21.88 Buy It Now 18h 54m
Howie B - Another Late Night - ALNCD02 CD Album Curtis Mayfield Gong Santana USD $10.55 [0 bids]
19h
Full Circle Live '88 - Pierre Gong Moerlens (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.65 Buy It Now 19h 12m
Bali: Gamelan Gong Kebyar 3, Various Artists, Good USD $62.25 Buy It Now 19h 18m
Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Full Circle Live 88 [New CD] USD $18.65 Buy It Now 19h 37m
Pierre Moerlens Gong/ Downwind tcart1080 paper label 1979 Tape Ex USD $6.58 [0 bids]
19h 50m
Steve Hillage (Gong ) Deeply Vale large gig banner beautiful and trippy USD $118.70 Buy It Now 19h 59m
YUSEF LATEEF gong ( jazz ) 2lp RVG USD $19.99 Buy It Now 20h 21m
GONG - ANGEL'S EGG (RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE, PT. 2) [EMI] [REMASTER] USED - VERY G USD $7.66 Buy It Now 20h 27m
PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG - TIME IS THE KEY USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $14.44 Buy It Now 20h 31m
Yes Hawkwind Fairies Gong Bolan Bowie Glastonbury LP advert 1972 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 20h 40m
GONG - YOU (ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED) CD 9 TRACKS PROGRESSIVE ART ROCK NEW+ USD $16.09 Buy It Now 20h 48m
ROBERT WOOD - TOMBAC VIBE ? UK FRENCH PROG LP ? CANADIAN TRAFIC LABEL MINT GONG USD $20.00 Buy It Now 21h 9m
GONG Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1) JAPAN CD VICP-61172 2000 OBI USD $54.82 Buy It Now 21h 17m
CD - Gong : Angels Egg CHARLY 1996 USD $1.31 [1 bids]
21h 23m
Steve Hillage Gong Interview UK ZigZag Clipping 1976 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 21h 24m
Arthur Brown Kingdom Come Gong Andy Roberts Rainbow Theatre UK show Advert 1973 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 21h 39m
Damien Marley Jr.gong Halfway Tree USD $8.99 Buy It Now 21h 43m
Camel Henry Cow Gong Global Village UK LP Advert 1974 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 21h 54m
Camel Henry Cow Gong Global Village Greasy Truckers LP Advert MM-YUIO USD $15.52 Buy It Now 21h 54m
T. Rex Bang A Gong Reprise 45 Original Rare Glam Rock Pop USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 58m
Alarm - Strength 1985 Japan cd Mike Peters Seventeen Stiff Little Fingers Gong USD $24.76 Buy It Now 21h 59m
Daevid Allen Soft Machine Gong UK show advert 1976 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 22h 3m
Daevid Allen Good Morning Euterpe Gong New Victoria LP show advert 1976 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 22h 3m
Daevid Allen Gong Fred Frith UK London show advert 1976 MM-ASDRT USD $15.52 Buy It Now 22h 3m
GONG - ANGELS EGG CD NEW+ USD $16.55 Buy It Now 22h 9m
GONG - Expresso 1977 LP USD $16.00 Buy It Now 22h 16m
KINK GONG - DIAN L 2 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $51.54 Buy It Now 23h 2m
Bob Marley and The Wailers Survival LP 1979 Island tgllp8 tuff gong remaster uk! USD $85.00 Buy It Now 23h 19m
Neptune - Gong Lake Vinyl LP Alternative Rock NEW+ USD $31.63 Buy It Now 23h 28m
DAMIAN JR.GONG MARLEY - STONY HILL CD NEW+ USD $19.67 Buy It Now 1 day
Mother Gong Fairy Tales SHM MINI LP CD JAPAN VICP-70082 Gilli Smyth USD $27.29 Buy It Now 1 day
Planet Gong Live Floating Anarchy 1977 MINI LP CD JAPAN VICP-61175 USD $27.29 Buy It Now 1 day
Kink Gong - Tibetan Buddhism Trip [New CD] USD $17.77 Buy It Now 1 day
DAEVID ALLEN N'Existe Pas LP Charly 1979 w/ Lyrics Insert UK Pressing GONG USD $19.95 [0 bids]
1 day
DAEVID ALLEN Now Is The Happiest Time Of Your Life LP Tapioca 1977 France GONG USD $7.95 [0 bids]
1 day
DAEVID ALLEN Banana Moon LP Caroline 1971/1975 Reissue UK Pressing GONG USD $19.95 [0 bids]
1 day
Gong - You - Vinyl LP Record Album (UK import) USD $11.00 [3 bids]
1 day
HUDSON,KEITH-TUFF GONG ENCOUNTER JAMMYS DUB ENCOUNTER (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $12.62 Buy It Now 1 day
Keith Hudson-Tuff Gong Encounter (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $15.59 Buy It Now 1 day
GLASTONBURY FAYRE 1972 3X LP - DAVID BOWIE GONG PINK FARIES HAWKWIND MARC BOLAN USD $70.84 Buy It Now 1 day
ZIGGY MARLEY - LOVE IS MY RELIGION LP - TUFF GONG TGW 001 ORIGINAL 2007 PRESS USD $56.70 Buy It Now 1 day
Music Lesson Wailers Band UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) TG12001 TUFF GONG USD $15.75 Buy It Now 1 day
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS CONFRONTATION CASSETTE 1983 TUFF GONG RECORDS RARE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STEVE HILLAGE "OPEN" 1979 UK PROG ROCK GONG HAWKWIND REMASTERED EDITION IMPORT USD $3.99 [0 bids]
1 day
GONG "MAGICK BROTHER" CANTERBURY PROG SPACE ROCK 1969 DAEVID ALLEN GILLI SMYTH USD $7.99 [0 bids]
1 day
GONG "CONTINENTAL CIRCUS" CANTERBURY PROG SPACE ROCK DAEVID ALLEN 1971 RARE HTF USD $7.99 [0 bids]
1 day
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY "SAME" SYMPHONIC SPACEY PROG MASTERPIECE 1973 HILLAGE GONG USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG "BATACLAN 1976" LIVE CANTERBURY PROG ROCK USD $7.99 [0 bids]
1 day
New York Gong - About Time Japan SHM-CD Mini LP OBI Brand New VICP-70076 USD $17.59 Buy It Now 1 day
Keith Hudson-Tuff Gong Encounter (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $17.17 Buy It Now 1 day
Gong Lake [VINYL] Neptune Vinyl USD $25.27 Buy It Now 1 day
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS Kaya 40 2x LP NEW VINYL Tuff Gong Stephen Marley USD $38.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gong - Angels Egg (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.49 Buy It Now 1 day

More places to buy GONG music online Buy GONG & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

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)

3.44 | 166 ratings
Magick Brother
1969
3.80 | 369 ratings
Camembert Electrique
1971
3.13 | 148 ratings
Continental Circus
1971
3.93 | 512 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 - Flying Teapot
1973
4.13 | 628 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg
1973
4.25 | 944 ratings
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
1974
3.82 | 343 ratings
Shamal
1975
3.93 | 382 ratings
Gazeuse!
1976
3.71 | 262 ratings
Expresso II
1978
3.49 | 166 ratings
Downwind
1979
2.92 | 113 ratings
Time Is The Key
1979
3.28 | 69 ratings
New York Gong: About Time
1979
3.00 | 63 ratings
Leave It Open
1981
2.52 | 48 ratings
Breakthrough
1986
2.53 | 47 ratings
Second Wind
1988
2.77 | 37 ratings
Gongmaison: Gongmaison
1989
3.52 | 74 ratings
Shapeshifter
1992
2.24 | 34 ratings
Camembert Eclectique
1995
3.50 | 102 ratings
Zero To Infinity
2000
3.78 | 83 ratings
Acid Motherhood
2003
2.95 | 53 ratings
Pentanine
2004
3.14 | 130 ratings
2032
2009
3.94 | 168 ratings
I See You
2014
3.88 | 143 ratings
Rejoice! I'm Dead
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Universe Also Collapses
2019

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

3.64 | 83 ratings
Gong Live, Etc
1977
3.66 | 66 ratings
Gong Est Mort? Vive Gong!
1978
3.74 | 67 ratings
Live Floating Anarchy 1977
1978
3.27 | 33 ratings
Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live
1980
2.21 | 20 ratings
Live At Sheffield '74
1990
4.42 | 29 ratings
Live au Bataclan 1973
1990
2.65 | 12 ratings
Live On T.V. 1990
1993
2.98 | 17 ratings
25th Birthday Party
1995
4.00 | 5 ratings
Live Floating Anarchy 1991
1995
3.93 | 30 ratings
The Peel Sessions 1971/1974
1995
3.80 | 13 ratings
Full Circle - Live 1988
1998
3.48 | 13 ratings
Live 2 Infinitea
2000
3.61 | 6 ratings
Glastonbury Fayre 1971
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
OK Friends
2002
3.65 | 21 ratings
Live In Sherwood Forest '75
2005
3.85 | 9 ratings
In the '70s
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Sheffield City Hall 1976
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Paris Bataclan 1976
2013

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

3.28 | 19 ratings
High Above the Subterania Club 2000
2000
3.94 | 16 ratings
Classic Rock Legends
2000
2.90 | 12 ratings
Montserrat 1973 and Other Stories
2006
4.17 | 12 ratings
Live In Brazil: 20th November 2007
2007
3.80 | 5 ratings
Live At The Family Unconventional Gathering
2008
3.93 | 9 ratings
On French TV 1971 - 1973
2012

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

3.56 | 19 ratings
Wingful of Eyes
1986
3.02 | 10 ratings
The History and Mystery of the Planet Gong
1989
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Gong
1995
4.33 | 3 ratings
Radio Gnome Trilogy
1995
2.40 | 6 ratings
Family Jewels
1998
3.60 | 15 ratings
The Other Side Of The Sky (A Collection)
1999
3.27 | 11 ratings
The Best of Gong
2000
3.74 | 6 ratings
The World Of Daevid Allen and Gong
2003
4.08 | 3 ratings
Opium for the People (Compilation)
2006
2.00 | 1 ratings
Gong On Acid
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
Sixty Minutes With Gong
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soundcheck Preserves
2009

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

3.33 | 6 ratings
Est-Ce-Que Je Suis / Hip Hypnotize You
1969
3.00 | 2 ratings
Shamal
1976
3.08 | 4 ratings
Opium for the People
1978
2.00 | 3 ratings
Downwind
1979
3.00 | 1 ratings
A Sprinkling Of Clouds
1997

GONG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.13 | 628 ratings

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

Review by mariorockprog

5 stars is the fifth album by gong and his second album in his trilogy Radio Gnome. I considered it a really good album, the best of this band in fact, in contains a lot of passages of space rock, jazz, psychedelia and carterbury combination. Including more vocals that the third chapter, adding more variability, in fact that is the reason that mos of the members left after the following album. however the lyrics are not so deep and you are not going to find something meaningful, only a fictional history or maybe based in acid trips?. generally the quality maintains all over the album, and mainly the space rocks passages with the keyboards feels better made, the sounds are not monotone as in some part of their third one. A masterpiece of prog music and a must have album.
 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.25 | 944 ratings

BUY
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by mariorockprog

5 stars 4.5: the third album of the trilogy Radio Gnome, and their most acclaimed album, the last one where the founder Daevid Allen appears before reappearing 1992. A very space, jazz, Canterbury combination and in sometimes it feels like avant garde that at the end delivers a excellent results. It contains the classic comedy style of a canterbury band mixed with a lot of space passages. I really liked, because it is not repetitive, it has a lot of good moments and it continues to evolve with every song. The space rock passages are well done including mostly keyboard atmosphere and very variable combination of sounds that make it hypnotic. A excellent addition to any prog collection and without doubts a masterpiece of Canterbury music.
 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.25 | 944 ratings

BUY
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Even if you don't like Gong that much you've got to love them for the music they created back in the day. The progressive folly of the band is such a delight that it is hard not to smile. On the other hand, do not be mistaken. The folly is not all madness and laughter. There is a serious intent behind it all and the musicianship is not to be taken lightly. The sprawling and fanciful genius of Daevid Allen & Co. is breathtaking and to me the brilliance is at it's absolute peak on the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy. It is definately one of the great concept albums of the whole era and delicious to partake in.

While the first installment of the trilogy sounds a bit primitive recording wise (the sound is not pristine) it is the album I like the most. It marks the beginning and if you listen to the whole trilogy you will find that there is a clear progression in how the music is shaped and performed. While the first part is somewhat goofy the third part is more "serious" prog, if that makes sense. The second part of the story lies somewhere in between.

The third part starts off in familiar Gong-ish fashion with Allens chant-like singing on "Thoughts for naught". With a middle eastern flavor it kicks off the album and the rolling R:s of the vocal bit reminds me somewhat of the zeuhl of Magma. Anyway... The second track is whimsical but great and leads into "Magick mother invocation" which really is the intro to the first really great song of the album, "Master builder". That song, which really is a spacey jam with a hypnotic groove, builds in intensity throughout its duration. Lovely.

One thing about this album that differs from the other two in the trilogy is the way jamming seems to have been used as a means for cosmic awareness. (Really?) Sounds, bleeps and boinks that lead you in to the very depths of the universe. Listen to "A sprinkling of clouds", for instance. Such a hypnotic and amazing track. It is a great example of the very thing I just talked about.

The spaciness of "A sprinkling of clouds" is put on hold with "Perfect mystery". Enter goofy Gong. It is a brilliant track. Askew and very british sounding it does indicate that spaceship Gong has landed. No, no, no. We're still up there. My favorite of the album is the really groovy "Isle of Everywhere". A great bassline accompanied by percussion and space whispering that leads into a really mezmerising jam. Listen to this with headphones on and you will find yourself floating away in the galaxies. It all ends with "You never blow your trip forever". It has a real punky feeling to it but it encapsulates everything that is Gong. Just listen as the waltz away into the universe.

It may be a challenge to get it right, listening to Gong. There is alot of trickyness and sprawling ideas on their albums and while they at first may seem severely disjointed you'll soon find out just how to connect the dots. It is brilliant, it is goofy, it is exciting and the very blend of it all makes this (and the other two parts) quite the essential listen. Obviously Gong stands with one foot in the Canterbury tradition (as is evident on the first track) but there is also this completely unique paradise of Gong that defies defenition. It has to be heard to be believed. And while the trilogy as a whole is a five star experience I award this particular album with its spacy fusion four glowing and pulsating stars.

 I See You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.94 | 168 ratings

BUY
I See You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Though my dips into previous attempts to delve back into the Radio Gnome mythology by latter-day Gong lineups - Shapeshifter and Zero to Infinity - had left me a bit cold, I was much more impressed with this release, which proved to be the final Gong release that Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth would be credited with in their lifetimes.

Indeed, Gilli is credited as a guest rather than a full band member, suggesting that she may have already been unwell enough to hamper her capacity to contribute fully. It's notable also that Orlando Allen, Daevid and Gilli's son, is sat on the drum stool for this one and also joins his dad at the producer's console. Orlando had popped up on some Allen solo releases as a child - there's a track on 1977's Now Is the Happiest Time of Your Life which has Allen trying to explain the Radio Gnome mythology to Orlando and his sister - and there's something comforting in the fact that he was able to help his parents bring this last major creative project to fruition.

If this album is a passing on of the torch, however, it isn't Orlando who's ended up holding it in the long term - on the more recent Rejoice! I'm Dead! he's absent, having gone back to concentrating on his own musical projects. Instead, the core of the next Gong generation is the creative unit of Kavus Torabi and Fabio Golfettio on guitar, Ian East blowing away on saxophones, flutes, and whistles, and Dave Sturt on bass and computer sampling.

Sturt joins the father-and-son Allen team on production duties here, and it's perhaps in the production where the magic truly happens. Sturt's expertise in sampling is put to work, weaving in elements of classic Gong albums into a brand new context even as the more traditional performances work a new psychedelic magic. The psychedelic agenda of classic Gong remains very much present, but now advanced with modern electronic and ambient techniques worked into the repertoire seamlessly, and with a bit of a more overtly angry political tone coming in here and there too. The Gong sense of humour is still there, but the new unit is clearly unafraid to get serious.

On the whole, this manages to work in a healthy appreciation for Gong's past legacy whilst still keeping an eye on the future and not descending into nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. More importantly, the expertise of the new lineup allows the music to sound like it is actively participating in the sounds of today, rather than scrambling to keep up with current trends. It's about as solid a foundation for a new incarnation of the band as could be found.

 Shapeshifter by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.52 | 74 ratings

BUY
Shapeshifter
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars GONG has always been about keeping it weird and in any possible way imaginable. GONG was the lovechild of the fertile minds and straight out of the 60s hippies named Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth. Together they crafted their idiosyncratic take on psychedelic rock that borrowed a thing or two from Allen's stint as a founder of The Wilde Flowers, a group that pretty birthed another phenomenon, namely England's quirky Canterbury jazz-rock scene. The duo set out to hone their craft and attracted all the right musicians to make their tangerine dreams come to fruition. After the successful grand finale of 'The Radio Gnome Invisible' trilogy that would wind up with 1974's jazz-fusion meets space rock masterpiece 'You,' both parents needed a vacation from their loving children and packed their bags and moved on.

Despite the founders' untimely departure, GONG was still obligated to Virgin Records to record three more albums. Enter Pierre Moerlin, and to the rescue he crafted a new GONG but kept the name the same at least until such annoying legalities were settled but then something even weirder than the music itself started to kick in. The band GONG suddenly became a family tree. Yep, the roots and trunk of the true that GONG had built up and out to brilliantly nurture and sprout new branches. The new GONG itself would eventually adopt the Pierre Mourlen's Gong moniker while other past members would splinter even further with bands such as Mother Gong, Gongzilla, Gongmaison, Paragong and even Planet Gong. Oh the excitement Allen and Smyth must've felt watching their pixie fueled vision morph into so many offspring.

But when such a project so wickedly cool and so utterly unique lays dormant for nearly two decades, something about the original GONG was space whispering in Allen's ear and ever so adept at tuning into the cosmic messages, felt the urge to reunite as much of the classic 70s lineup as humanly possible. Classic lineup is probably a hard nut to crack because even within the 'Radio Gnome' trilogy, there were many members who came and went and i do not believe that one single GONG album has ever seen the same lineup as the previous. And so the process began. Round up the old team to see if the boys (and girl) could still muster up some mind blowing pixie jazz rock magic that could capture the zeitgeist of the past while remaining contemporary for a more fickle alternative rock 90s crowd.

After all was said and done, Allen was quite successful in stacking up some of the greats of the past for the 9th album under the GONG moniker. SHAPESHIFTER would resurrect the zany GONG mythology with the main character Zero The Hero meeting an urban shaman who agrees to take Zero to the next level of consciousness but only if Zero spends nine months on an airplane where he could travel anywhere in the world but could spend money and under the condition that he only eat airplane food. Of course after all this, Zero dies at the end in Australia under mysterious circumstances. Oh my! The TRUE GONG is back and it's never been as absurd or ridiculously surreal since the 70s heyday! The album was released with two covers over the years and there have been variations in tracks as well. Can't anything be easy?

And so it was. GONG picks right up where 'You' left off with Didier Malherebe returning on bass, sax, keyboards, piccolo and flutes. Mike Howlett on bass. Graham Clark from the Pierre Moerlon phase on violins and even Pip Pyle from the wayback machine joins in on drums. Expectedly, everyone else on board is new to the GONG scene providing bass, keys, a crap load of Indian percussive instruments and even an African kora. So let the zaniness begin! There's lots of catching up to do.

As expected, despite being the fourth chapter of the GONG mythology, SHAPESHIFTER doesn't repeat what came before. Instead it's more like a collage effect of everything that came before. Jazz-fusion space rock? Check. Allen's whimsical charismatic presence with ridiculousness galore? Check. Space rock with glissando guitar, Allen's bread and butter? Check. The band take a cue from 'Angels Egg' and lolling through a diverse palette of musical flavors ranging from sizzling violin fueled progressive jazz-rock to silly hippie dippy drugged out silliness with healthy doses of short Indian percussion pieces and narrated silliness. This one is a long affair clocking in at 66 minutes but for the most part it's a wild ride that doesn't get stale. If i have any complaints it's that Allen's voice hasn't held up as well as i'd prefer and some of the tracks are substandard in quality compared to the greats of the past. While Steve Hillage declined the invitation, Steffi Sharpstrings does stellar job in tacking the guitar parts but SHAPESHIFTER is not a very guitar oriented album for the most part. There's even a techno track ('Dog-o-Matic')

SHAPESHIFTER was actually my very first exposure to the whacky wild antics of GONG so it does have a special place in my heart for being my gateway drug into an alternative pixie fueled universe that i had no idea existed. After my initial exposure however, i kind of moved on to the 70s stuff and haven't really returned to this one for quite some time. Having been impressed by my initial listening session, i do have to admit that it doesn't hold up quite as well after the impressive parade of stellar sui generis psych rock / jazz-fusion that is unmistakably GONG. While SHAPESHIFTER does fall short in a few arenas compared to the past, namely it's not quite as funny, it's not quite as brilliantly laid out and the tracks aren't as amazingly perfect in terms of compositional flair. However, the album flows nicely and the musicians are on the top of their game. This is an album that needed to be made but i do wish that was made better. The album should've been cut down by ten minutes. The tracks needed more attention paid to the hooks and earworms and all but overall this is a decent album.

3.5 stars but i'm rounding up since this was the magical album that got me into GONG.

 Expresso II by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.71 | 262 ratings

BUY
Expresso II
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Continuing the post David Allen era of GONG, Pierre Moerlen took on the role as band leader and steered the band in a completely new direction, namely a vibraphone rich jazz-fusion smorgasbord that borrowed from past greats and added new updated sensibilities brought to the work table by the myriad musicians who came and went. Three albums in past the "Radio Gnome Invisible" found the transition from the whimsical psychedelic rock tinged Canterbury jazz to the more earnest entirely instrumental guitar fueled fusion workouts, GONG found yet another cast of musical members departing and a whole new crew joining the ranks which at this point seems like a rotating cast.

While top dog Pierre Moerlen led the way once again, on GONG's ninth album EXPRESSO II, he not only continued his role as percussionist in chief with yet more stellar workouts on drums, glockenpiel, xylophone, tubular bells, tympani and the divine vibraphone but expanded their roles. While "Gazeuse!" was already a percussion rich paradise of intrigue polyrhythms, EXPRESSO II takes all the prior album's cues and adds even more as both fellow percussionists Mirielle Bauer and Benoît Moerlen return adding even more of the same percussive instruments to give one their percussive drive money's worth. As if that wasn't enough hammering and pounding, Françoise Causse joins in on congas. Another album, another bassist. This time Hansford Rowe takes the reins from a recently departed Francis Moze, who unfortunately took his fretless bass work along with him.

EXPRESSO II is named such because the previous album "Gazeuse!" was released in the US as "Expresso," which explains the mystery for those of us who didn't know that all this time. This was the last album for VIrgin Records who demanded the GONG brand fulfill its contract hence the band carrying on under Moerlen's helm under the GONG moniker despite it being a completely new project. Starting with the following "Downwind," the band would be called PIERE MOERLEN'S GONG and signed on Arista Records. The old Daevid Allen GONG would be resurrected but not until 1992's "Shapeshifter." In the meantime the GONG universe splintered into myriad forms producing a dizzying wealth of GONGdom: Mother Gong, Gongzilla, Planet Gong, Gongmaison.

While "Gazeuse!" went full-on jazz fusion mode that somewhat resided in between the tender soft airy style of Weather Report and the more rambunctious freneticism of Mahavishnu Orchestra (especially in the violin parts), EXPRESSO II takes a noticeably more jazzed up funky groove approach. Without Moze's stellar slinky fretless bass slides, Rowe takes the completely different approach by offering up an incessant supply of crisp chunky funk riffs that provide a sinewy zest that allows the spruced up percussion have a heyday as it whizzes around the main groove. While Allan Holdsworth didn't entirely stick around for the sequel, he did contribute his guitar work to four of the six tracks. The other two shared by Bon Lozaga and the introductory track "Heavy Tune" showcasing the Rolling Stones' own Mick Taylor providing the most rock oriented track on the album.

While EXPRESSO II is a decent enough album, for me its a step down in terms of the jazz-fusion qualities. While "Gazeuse!" delivered stellar time signature changes and jazzy chops from the divine, EXPRESSO II tends to chug along in funky groove territory for much of the time and exhibits a much more accessible and dare i even say commercial approach that tames the wild aspects while retaining the percussion and other instrumental accoutrements including the occasional violin which has been relegated to a mere two track by Darryl Way. It seems many find the EXPRESSO II era to be the strongest of the Moerlen led GONG years but personally i find this one a major step down from "Gazeuse!" in just about every way. While this one is a decent listen with more rock elements included, i miss the sheer intricacy that created the magic on "Gazeuse." "The tracks "Sleepy" and "Boring" do have a little truth in advertising as this one becomes monotonous at times whereas "Gazeuse! remained an enigmatic jazz-fusionistic tour de force. Still though, this one's not bad.

3.5 rounded down

 Gazeuse! by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.93 | 382 ratings

BUY
Gazeuse!
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars It was a sad day for GONG fans when Daevild Allen departed as he packed up and left and took his favorite space whisperer Gilli Smyth with him. It seemed inconceivable that the band could continue without him, but due to contractual obligations the band name had to go on although it would be under the helm of Pierre Moerlin, who would gently nudge the band's sound more into the jazz-fusion side of the GONG equation, only with less Canterbury influence and gradually a complete elimination of the whimsical space rock that had become Allen's signature. "Shamal" saw the first attempts at this new fangled jazz-fusion outfit but fell somewhere in between the psychedelic realms of "You" and the fully fueled jazz-fusion workouts that debut on GONG's seventh album GAZEUSE! (French for "sparkling, fizzy or effervescent").

The album title GAZEUSE! was the official title in Europe and elsewhere but for whatever reason the album was released as "Expresso" in the US which explains the mystery for most collectors of why the following album is titled "Expresso II" when no "Expresso I" can be found as modern day releases. The opening track, however is titled "Expresso" on both versions and begins the new journey in a Daevid Allen-free rendition of the new GONG. While the band would release GAZEUSE! and "Expresso II" under the GONG moniker, this version of the band would officially change to PIERRE MOERLON'S GONG thereafter and release several more albums. The original GONG would be resurrected but not until 1992's "Shapeshifter." This also marked the period where GONG bands were splintering off left and right and members from the past were embarking on stealthy solo careers.

Unlike every GONG album of the past including "Shamal," GAZEUSE! is a completely instrumental album that displays Morelon's firm control of jazz-fusion workouts on six tracks. While some stalwart band members such as Didier Malherbe (sax, flute) and Mireille Bauer (vibes, marimba, glockenspiel, toms) were still on board no matter what changes were in line, GAZEUSE! pretty much finds a whole new cast of musicians that gives this album a completely different sound than anything put out under the GONG moniker that preceded it. The legendary guitarist / violinist Allan Hodsworth who had played with Nucleus, Tempest and Soft Machine joined the band to replace the seemingly irreplaceable Steve Hillage. Francis Moze replaced Mike Howlett and brought an outstanding command of the fretless bass to the mix.

Also new to the scene was percussionist Mino Cinelu who would eventually go on to play with Weather Report and Miles Davis. Returning to the cast was Benoît Morelen who sat "Shamal" out after participating on "You," and back on vibraphones and on GAZEUSE! he gets to shine like never before. With all these changes, GAZEUSE! took on a completely new life of its own. While most hardcore GONG fans who couldn't imagine the band without Allen's zany antics at the helm left the band to dry, jazz-fusion fans had a very exquisitely designed album to sink their teeth into. With the virtuosic dexterity of Holdsworth, the slithery slinking fretless bass onslaughts of Moze and a plan of attack with the heavy malletted effects of the vibes, miramba and glockenspiel, GAZEUSE! finds itself in a sublimely meditative zone that runs the gamut of tender Weather Report inspired gentleness as well as Mahavishnu Orchestra frenzied outbursts, but mostly falls in between.

Overall GAZEUSE! is a stellar mix of jazz-fusion techniques with robust percussive drive, exciting delivery of multiple vibraphone parts and a unique fretless bass aspect that sets it apart from almost any other jazz-fusion album of the period that i can think of. Holdsworth's signature guitar style sets the jazzy tone that finds the other members falling into. While stylistically the album may harken back to early 70s greats such as Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra, the idiosyncratic touches give it its own unique spin on past greats. One of the most unique of the tracks on board is the exquisite "Percolations Parts 1 and 2," one of the most magnanimous displays of vibraphone fueled jazz accompanied by hefty pummeling percussion and tantalizing toms. GAZEUSE! simply delivers all the jazz-fusion goods without missing a beat. There are no bad songs on this one and my love of vibraphones makes it an absolute pleasure to listen to and proof that GONG could carry on without Daevid Allen at the helm.

 Shamal by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.82 | 343 ratings

BUY
Shamal
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After the "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy GONG would undergo one of its greatest transitions of all and that would be the departure of founder and main creative director Daevid Allen and along with him everyone's favorite space whisperer Gilli Smyth. Serving somewhat as a transition album between the Allen years and the next phase known as Pierre Moerlen's GONG, the sixth album SHAMAL sort of hovers in between the spacey Canterbury jazz of "You" and the full-fledged instrumental jazz-fusion workouts of "Gazeuse!" Also departing would be Moog and synthesizer player Tim Blake. The rest of the band which included Mike Howlett on bass, Didier Malherebe on sax, flute and gongs and the percussion, vibe, xylophone and glockenspiel combo pack of Mireille Bauer would stick around for the new game in play while new band leader Pierre Moerlen would take the helm and steer GONG into ever jazzier frontiers.

Given this was somewhat of a transition album, although Allen had departed, some of his soulful and playful energies had stuck around. SHAMAL has many vocal tracks that imitate his vocal style if not matching his unique quirky whimsical approach. Steve Hillage would pretty much take off for a solo career but stuck around to provide guitar parts on a couple tracks. Patrice Lemoine would join in on keyboards as well as Jorge Pinchevsky on violin which provided a completely new sound to the mix. While Allen was fresh out of the band, SHAMAL got a big boost of production by none other than Nick Mason, drummer of Pink Floyd. Despite the presence of a great deal of the old team, SHAMAL takes a noticeable step into the jazzy rock fusion that would define the next chapter of GONG for a few albums before yet another shift.

SHAMAL has six tracks that vary quite greatly in not only style but running time. They are a mix of vocal oriented tracks and completely instrumental and often sound completely unrelated. "A Wingful Of Eyes" begins with a vocal performance and ties the new sound with Allen's eccentric past, "Chandra" takes on the role of pointing the fans to the future of the GONG universe with a direct no nonsense jazz-fusion workout. "Bambooji" on the other hand exudes a strong oriental flavor with Japanese styled flute playing while "Cat In Clark's Shoes" looks to classic Mothers of Invention albums such as "Hot Rats" for the jazz-fusion workouts. Despite the jazz oriented tracks, the space rock effect is still in full swing throughout with thick atmospheres surrounding the overall scheme of things.

While many of the fans were turned off by this changing of the tides, i for one find a lot to love on SHAMAL and prefer to think of this as a different band rather than get hung up on the identical moniker that graced the preceding run of albums that found their way in the hearts of true space rock meets Canterbury jazz fans. GONG had always had two different styles sitting side by side with each other. Allen's quirky Canterbury jazz sitting side by side with the more psychedelic space rock effects was the nectar of the gods in terms of variation and keeping the albums springing with life and pixies of course. While jazz-fusion bands were a dime a dozen during the 1975 timeline, SHAMAL shines in that it add little touches such as healthy vibraphone workouts as well as other fun sounding instruments such as tubular bells, glockenspiels, marimba, xylophone and of course even a GONG!

While i wouldn't call SHAMAL my favorite GONG album by any means, neither can i say that i don't enjoy the heck out of this roster of rowdy characters playing their souls out. SHAMAL carries more dynamically fast tempos than ever before and the extra touches that include a violin give it an idiosyncratic identity that immediately sets itself apart from the Allen years. Unfortunately i believe the worst tracks are the opening ones which find substandard vocal performances but the album only gets better as it proceeds and by the time the album ends with the nine minute title track, i feel as mesmerized by the peaceful tranquil vibe of the tracks like i've been watching a sand dune shift in the Sahara for countless hours. Musically intriguing and exquisitely performed, SHAMAL is a great step for a great band in the middle of shifting gears.

 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.25 | 944 ratings

BUY
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
Gong Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars GONG's legendary RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy was like a giant three album party. On the first installment "Flying Teapot," it was like founding member Daevid Allen, the host of this event, decided to invite a few guests over early to set everything up and in the process tested out the new "tea" which they would serve to the guests. Turns out that it was really good stuff and the connection between dimensions was a successful endeavor. "Angels Egg" was the point where all the guests arrived. Upon getting to know each other, the "tea" that everyone sipped was really, really strong and when it started to kick in, everyone totally friggin' freaked out! No one knew what to play or where so they just did what the playful pixies told them to. Despite a seeming train wreck, these were musically adept pixies who knew how to throw the perfect jam party. All went spectacularly and tripper's paradise was established.

On the third installment of this trilogy, YOU, everyone sobered up a little and all gathered into the jam room for some "proper" space rock that would be more acceptable in human terms. This is the album where all of the members started to find a foothold in the overall scheme of things. While Allen's zany antics are still to be found in abundance, the other band members were starting to strut their stuff and in the process, YOU is the most band oriented album within the entire RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy as it finds a focal point to gather around and allow each gifted musician to add their idiosyncratic playing styles around the proverbial musical campfire that Allen lit almost a decade prior. Think of this as the progressively psychedelic version of the Grateful Dead albeit in a much more majestic and wildly weird fashion.

The "sobered up" version of GONG that is displayed on YOU is a testament to the perfect marriage of Daevid Allen's strong Canterbury jazz-rock whimsy, Steve Hillage's heightened contributions in the form of excellent psychedelic guitar workouts and the complexified percussive accouterments that find their ways in the hands of Pierre Moerlen, Mireille Bauer and Benoit Moelen (brother of Pierre) which unbeknownst at the time would signify the next chapter of GONG beyond this trilogy. Gone are the nebulous chapters of freakdom and in are new waves of psychedelic rock jam freeform jamming. Steve Hillage is one of the stars here as his guitar presence is noticeably stronger than on "Angels Egg" with more soloing, more echoey riffing and paves the way for his debut solo album "Fish Rising" which would come out the following year that would exercise his unifying field of psych, rock and Canterbury jazz-rock.

On a more symbolic scale of things, YOU signified a waning of the hippie mentality that had taken root in the mid-60s and prevailed for nearly a decade. YOU was a mature album, so to speak that offered a glimpse into the possibilities of taking music seriously and not just finding random inspiration by arcane spiritual forces. YOU really sounds like a group of musicians who woke up from the party and discovered that their true gifts of nature were in using their noggins to decipher more interesting methods of putting out their message. By no means would this mean that the humorous whimsy would be put to rest. Au contraire. YOU exemplifies a more sophisticated approach that allows the musicians involved to add their own personal touches. In a way, this album represents a torch of democracy, a form of governance that only really works if all the participants are at an equal playing field. For YOU, it represents one of the best space rock albums of the entire 70s.

GONG was very much always a work in progress and Daevid Allen knew that he wasn't the only game in town as far as talent was involved. A truly stable genius is one who know that s/he is only a part of a larger ensemble of creativity. Allen's decision to allow others to add their idiosyncratic elements was the perfect "letting go" of control so that the GONG project could evolve far beyond the original intents of his philosophies. And with this philosophy, it was also wise of Allen to realize that his contributions to the GONG universe had come full circle and that it was time to complete the journey with the fulfillment of this grand finale. The lesson? Well, by attending the Radio Gnome University, one can become the Angels Egg which is in effect YOU, me and everyone who dares venture into these arenas of spiritual growth.

The RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy was always meant to be experienced as a three-pronged experience. How it developed was probably unforeseen even by the participants but in the course of history, this three album experience is the ultimate sui generis psychedelic rock meets Canterbury jazz fusion that can be found. YOU is the logical conclusion as it perfectly embeds the message of UNITY that follows the initial trademark rock embodiments of self-expression, complete discombobulation and ultimately casting aside of the human ego in favor of something the transcends the individual experience. I cannot think of an album more sublime than YOU in that message if taken on a deeper level. Taken on a first impression, YOU still shines as a stellar space rock journey into a strange new world of pixie driven humor that found its way into the ultimate cosmic law of the universe. Now that is FREEKIN' trippy.

 Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg by GONG album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.13 | 628 ratings

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

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars With the intergalactic space whispers emerging from somewhere way out there or perhaps somewhere from a place well within, the seductive vocals of Shakti Yoni aka Gill Smyth in our dimension ushers in the next chapter of a mysterious green planet that is invisible to most but known to host Octave Doctors, magical pixies and the undetectable radio station that ultimately guides cast members such as Zero The Hero into mind-blowing, mind expansive musical journeys. Welcome to planet GONG! Magic is in the absurd and the mystery apparently is in the sax appeal and enchanting reverb.

The GONG mythology humorously continues its crazy cast of characters on the second installment of the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy with Volume 2 - ANGELS EGG (note that the apostrophe did not exist upon first release.) Having grown ever more accustomed to the newly created universe where mythological creatures frolic in broad daylight and musical free form enlightenment has blossomed like a happy cookie expanding its tentacles into the mind's eye and making strawberry pie from those fields forever.

The star studded cast of Dingo Allen (Daevid Allen / vocals, guitar), Shakti Yoni (Gilli Smyth / vocals), Sub. Catp. Hillage (Steve Hillage / lewd guitars), Hi T. Moonweed (Tim Blake / VCS3 synth, lady voice), Bloomdido Bad De Grasse (Didier Malherbe / tenor & soprano saxes, flute, backing vocals), T. Being esq. (Mike Howlett / bass profundo), Pierre de Strasbourg (Pierre Moerlen / bread & batteur drums, vibes, marimba) and last but not least Mirielle de Strasbourg (Mireille Bauer / glockenspiel) conjures up new sonic realities with escapist vision and successfully ratchets up the trilogy a few notches beyond Planet GONG and into ultimate surreality.

ANGELS EGG was recorded at the Manor Mobile studio where GONG resided communally near Pavillon du Hay, Voisine, France surrounded by the wilds of a large forest where the flora and fauna offered their spiritual wisdom for the inspiration cast their way, all completely royalty free but with the castigating disapproval of the boar's head hanging from the wall. The residence was cleverly wired so each and every member's room was connected to the larger picture and when inspiration hit, it was recorded and sorted out later. A scheme that created one of progressive rock's most wickedly surreal and diverse albums that's not a Frank Zappa record!

International in scope, Allen brings his Aussie sensibilities to the table via the jazz-rock involvement of England's Canterbury scene whereas Hillage takes his psychedelic touches gleaned from Arzachel and Khan to freshly glisten the procedure with ample guitar echos and sonic vibes to eternity. Joining the crazy crew was Pierre Moerlen with his assemblage of percussion, vibraphones and marimbas, a feat so utterly divine that he would become the new leader once Allen decided to pack it up and shack up with some seductive female gnome he met during one of the many tea sipping parties. French elegance and Middle Eastern rhythms slink in and out and elf music joins the cast for a raucous jolly good time.

While the ANGELS EGG has not yet hatched, this crazy crew of musicians take turns incubating her with the warmth of a diverse roster of tracks that range from truly outside of reality psychedelic sound effects to French chansons, drinking songs, crazy jazzy fueled rock sessions and beyond. The second part of the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE trilogy hops, skips and jumps randomly as if the dial to the station had somehow got set to search and on each stop, new cosmic wisdom is gleaned for later use in the eternal life journey like a magic backpack that carries with it all the essentials for true everlasting peace and hippiness.

To say ANGELS EGG is a trip would be an understatement. Psychedelic rock rarely goes to the lengths that the GONG universe unleashed onto an unsuspecting world. The original album actually contained an extensive booklet that defined the GONG mythology with lyrics, glossary of terms, profiles of characters and enchanting stories about band members. This is more like the soundtrack to "Alice In Wonderland" where after taking a puff with Chester and that caterpillar dude, you are somehow transported into an alternative reality where the unexpected lurks in forms of quirky off-kilter rhythms, zany lyrical escapades and jazzified trippiness magnified into a murky nebulous haze of philosophical nonsense that defies logic but somehow makes sense.

Everybody has their favorite episode of this trilogy and mine is without a doubt the nutter whack job nonconcentric oddball ANGELS EGG which sounds like an embryo hallucinating in a mushroom pixie patch. This album is tripper's paradise. An album so out of sync with just about every other musical paradigm before, during and after that it literally defies all rational explanation. A true album beamed down via the gnomes, unicorns and ETs or perhaps just a whispered through space channeling of lucid dreams. Let the tea be free as it pours into me but i can't imagine a better way to waste my day then listen to this one on perpetual replay because every time i take it for a spin it sounds like a different album to me. Indescribably brilliant. Masterpiece and "Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-day DJ's Got the D.D.T. Blues." Yeah that.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives