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Gong - Continental Circus CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.13 | 145 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The same band of counterculture bohemians better known at the time for an album with a namesake track titled "Mystic Sister/Magick Brother" may not have been the best choice to score a film about the rough-and-tumble world of competitive motorcycle racing. But a job's a job, and even the most dedicated hippies have to pay the rent.

The obvious highlight here is the twin bookend "Blues for Findlay", and not only because it takes up 60% of the finished LP. The tune kicks into gear using a little old-school rock 'n' roll energy (surprising for 1971, when Jazz and Classical were the fusions du jour), lots of exciting psychedelic guitar work courtesy of the inimitable Daevid Allen, and even a homeopathic dose of girlfriend Gille Smyth's patented 'space whispers'.

Too bad the song itself is often lame enough to make you cringe ("Hey, mister factory man, biding my time"...etc), making the separate instrumental version a welcome addition to the disc. Elsewhere, the punchy "What Do You Want?" fills the gap between the two "Findlays" with some attractive and suitably groovy Space Rock. But the title track is nothing more than a collage of movie sound effects, thus effectively turning an already abbreviated album into little more than a two-song EP.

Strictly speaking, the album was always a throwaway effort for Gong completists only. But let's be generous and award it a second star for discriminating collectors of Euro-Prog esoterica. Otherwise, file this one away as an earthbound detour from a band better suited to songs about extraterrestrial pothead pixies buzzing around in teacup UFOs.

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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