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Gong Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You album cover
4.26 | 1149 ratings | 72 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Thoughts for Naught (1:30)
2. A P.H.P.'s Advice (1:37)
3. Magick Mother Invocation (2:11)
4. Master Builder (6:09)
5. A Sprinkling of Clouds (8:42)
6. Perfect Mystery (2:25)
7. The Isle of Everywhere (10:21)
8. You Never Blow Your Trip Forever (11:24)

Total Time 44:19

Bonus track on 2004 Virgin remaster:
9. A PHP's Advice (alternate version) (1:47)

Line-up / Musicians

- Daevid Allen / vocals, guitar
- Gilli Smyth / vocals
- Steve Hillage / lead guitar
- Tim Blake / Moog & EMS synths, Mellotron, vocals
- Didier Malherbe / saxes, flute, vocals
- Mike Howlett / bass
- Pierre Moerlen / drums, percussion
- Benoît Moerlen / percussion
- Mireille Bauer / percussion
- Miquette Giraudy / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Barved Zumizion with Brigitte and Tim Blake

LP Virgin ‎- V 2019 (1974, UK)
LP Virgin - VR 13-113 (1974, US)

CD Virgin ‎- CDV 2019 (1990, UK)
CD Decal - CD LIK 76 (1991, UK) Different cover art
CD Charly Records ‎- CDCRH 120 (1996, UK) Remastered
CD Virgin ‎- 7243 8 66552 2 6 (2004, Europe) Remastered by Paschal Byrne w/ 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GONG Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You ratings distribution

(1149 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GONG Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars With You , GonG ends this fabulous trilogy where the Pothead Pixies find Tolkien's trilogy and rip it apart , laughing at this sombre history , much preferring the silliness of their own story , The Planet GonG Mythology.

I think that this is the only time GonG had a stable line-up that lasted two albums , but it won't last long as Daevid and his now wife Gilly will leave at the end of this album (maybe even before the release of it - I'm not sure). After this album , the Gong world will lose the silly and absurd link to Planet Gong: From GonG , they will become Gong heading in a much jazzier direction and further albums can easily be identified as Fusion or Canterbury albums.

Two relatively short and trivial tracks start on side1 but soon comes the Invocation and the trip start on a cosmic level throughout Master Builder and Sprinkling of Clouds to end in such heavenly manner some 17min later. Rarely has such repetitive rhythms been so captivating but the better is yet to come.

Side 2 starts with another short track but again the cosmic trip takes off this time for some 22 minutes of pure paradise, superb interplay between Hillage , Malherbe and keenly underlined by Tim Blake's ethereal synthetic layers. This superb and stunning artwork is perfectly suited to match and evoke the music developed on the disc.

Of all the early GonG albums, this is the only one that was relatively well respected in its sleeve artwork (also the only one that was not a gatefold sleeve) but nevertheless Charly Records released a mini-lp (on Victor label cat#61174) not only respecting the artwork but also reproducing the lyrics and explanations of the end of Radio gnome Invisible's emission of Planet GonG's message of peace, love and fun. Stunning, stupendous , mirific , flabbergasting.

Review by loserboy
4 stars "You" is the third and final instalment of the "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy set and IMHO is GONG's best work. Anyone out there who love space rock or fusionish jams will definitely love this album. Mostly gone from "You " is the classic GONG silliness that embodies most of their albums and stands out as their characteristic watermark. Fans of England's OZRIC TENTACLES should definitely check out this album as it obviously had an influence on their sound. One of the most intriguing aspects of this album is GONG's ability to shift abruptly from harmless, sunny-day pop music a la The BEATLES (the opening two tracks) to an ominous, mystical fury a la MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA ("Master Builder," and the band's masterpiece, "A Sprinkling of Clouds"). "You" is for me the perfect mix of Tim Blake's sea of synthesizers, Didier Malherbe's sax offset by Steve Hillage's wild guitar frenzies, Gilli Smythe's 'space whispers and the thunderous rhythm section of Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. At the helm remains the zainy yet inspired Daevid Allen who continues to paint his convoluted musical story of Zero the Hero, Octave Doctors, and the Pot-Head Pixies. This is by far GONG's most instrumental album in their Daevid Allen days, as there is tons of absolutely killer jams. "A Sprinkling of Clouds" is simply one of the best GONG songs I have ever heard, with tons of great, spacy synths, lots of guitar jams, and at the end, killer bamboo flutes. Wow... what else could you ask for ?
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My first experience with GONG started with "Gazeuse" and "Shamal". I liked a lot the fusion sound of that period but only read articles about the famous Gnome trilogy, so at one time I decided to give it a try by purchasing "You". It did not work that time. It was in mid-1980s and I remeber that I had put the LP record on my turntable only for 2-3 times. And I remained untouched. Recently I decided to refresh my collection with this famous Planet Gong artistry from "Camembert" to "Shamal" and it was a whole new experience for me, discovering the true treasure hidden in "You". And I am talking about the remastered issue by Virgin which includes a bonus alternate version of "PHP Advice" and a nice booklet with lyrics, photos and graphics. So, apart from "Thought for Nought", "PHP's Advice" and "Perfect Mystery", which are short, funny typical Daevid Allen songs reminiscent of their previous work, the rest of the album comprises of the long instrumental space-fusion jams where the band show their instrumental skills. These are worth naming because IMO it's the peak of "Space-rock" music in general: "Magic Mother Invocation", "Master Builder", "Sprinkling of Clouds", "Isle of Everywhere" and "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever". Wow what a music! It shows similarities with both jazz on one hand and kraut- rock on the other. Tim Blake's etherial, spacey synths, Steve Hillage's psych guitar, Malherbe's immaculate saxes and flutes, female whispers, energetic and relaxed rythm section of Howlett's bass and Moerlen's percussions are all perfect. So Allen probably felt that he had offered his final ideas up to here, closing the trilogy story, therefore left the band after this release, and they continued on into more jazzy territory. This album is concentration of all the best ideas each GONG member had to offer at the time, making thus a masterpiece worth including in any serious music collection.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The spacy province of Canterbury land was ruled by Daevid Allen-era Gong, and their "You" album is not only the definitive epitome of what Gong was all about, but also, IMHO, the absolute apex in their musical career. This album, which completes the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, encapsulates better than any other Gong record the perfect match between the band's ideology and spirit and the performers' sonic input. It is, to put it simply, their masterpiece. The ridiculously high-spirited lyrics about Zero's search for the ultimate key to mankind's freedom are perfectly complemented by the bizarre musical architecture that in "You" has found its more solid expression. The combination of avant-garde jazz's complexity, theatrical singing/chanting and electronic experimentation (synths, glissando guitars) have come to their ultimate fruition, something that can be easily noticeable thanks to the robust sound production and the sense of ordainment that seems to prevail in the album as a whole. Even though there's still lots of room for improvisation and expansion, it is clear that the anarchy and raw energy of their previous albums has been somewhat (not totally) subdued in favour of a bigger amount of cohesiveness in the band's functioning: it is clear that Allen and Mrs. Allen are the ideological captains of this ship, but it is also clear that their musical input has ceased to be a major asset in Gong's integral sound. Individually speaking, the most notable stuff is provided by lead guitarist Hillage, saxist/flutist Bloomdido, and the amazing rhythm section of Howlett and Moerlen. Hillage himself incarnates the mix of jazz and cosmic psychedelia that forms the core of Gong's instrumental facet (with his colleagues tending to trend toward one side or another); meanwhile Howlett and Moerlen have stopped being the "new kids on the block" and have already become a crucial part of the band's overall sound, serving as the main source of energy and bombast, especially during the jammed passages. Tim Blake's sonic provisions on synth and mellotron stand strongly on the most frontally cosmic side of things, serving as a powerful surrounding landscape for Hillage and Bloomdido's soloing excursions, touches of tuned percussion and male-and-female chanting. The album's segued repertoire kicks off with the funnily solemn brief intro 'Thoughts for Naught', followed by the Zappa- esque brief interlude 'A P.H.P.'s Advice'. Once 'Magick Mother Invocation'/'Master Builder' begins, we are faced against one of the most overtly classic moments of Gong's history. The thing starts with an eerie, disturbing inscrutable invocation, until the fade- in brings a Hindu-like motif structured in a jazz fusion scheme: the successive sax and guitar solos are incredibly excellent, and finally, the climax is explosively captivating. Things get a bit less intense and much more ethereal for the instrumental 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', mainly a showcase for Blake's ability to create soundscapes and ambiences as well as to use his electronic ideas as a medium of interaction with some of his partners' virtuosity. Up to this point, everything has been awesome, and things will continue that way. Another brief Zappa-esque short song comes, which is 'Perfect Symmetry'. The segued 'Isle of Everywhere' is a jam that kind of resumes the combined spirits of 'Master Builder' and 'Sprinkling' in a funky jazz context. Once again, Hillage and Bloomdido share alternately the spotlight for their respective solos: meanwhile, Mrs. Allen (a.k.a. Bambaloni Yoni) delivers her spectral humming. Then comes the epic closure, the stunning suite titled 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever', an effective, enthusiastic number that somehow recaptures the overall ambience displayed in the band's previous two albums (the other two of the Radio Gnome Trilogy). The spirit of joy that is constantly anticipated during the first 10 minutes is ultimately exposed along the final litany, in which the final truth is revealed and celebrated: "You are I or I am You". This manifestation of the urgent need to recognize that our fellow man is but a real image of our own selves is cleverly delivered in this line and its subsequent lyrical variations right until the fade-out: the Arabesque motif is simply mesmerizing. It's just unbelievable how well Gong manage to make good use of their unabashed Dadaist sense of humor in order to create a real connection with the listener: the ultimate truth of universal love is seen through the eyes of a child and sung in a carefree, easy-going manner, and we're all invited to see and sing it that way. Aaah. those sensual flute lines and those final guitar flourishes. a greatest closure for a true prog masterpiece.
Review by Bob Greece
4 stars I found out about this album from suggestions of other prog archives readers about bands similar to Ozric Tentacles. This album was a major influence to Ozric Tentacles. It contains long space jamming sessions including some great sax playing (that's something that the Ozrics never tried). There are some short strange little tracks too but the overall feel is of spaced-out jamming.

You have to be careful with Gong because their music is so varied that it passes through many categories. Their early work is a little strange thanks to Daevid Allen's big influence. By the time of the Radio Gong albums Steve Hillage's influence transformed the sound of the band. After this, both Allen and Hillage left the band and the sound is more jazz fusion.

If there are any fans of Ozric Tentacles out there that haven't heard this album then I would recommend you listen to it.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One has to be aware that Gong has 2 distinctive eras: the space/psychedelic progressive years and the fusion years; this album belongs to the space/psychedelic progressive era. They were really unique and they strongly inspired the progressive space rock band Ozric Tentacles. Even Steve Hillage's solo career has some elements of this Gong's style, given that he plays similar patterns on the record here.

Compared to their previous Angel's egg album, the keyboards are more omnipresent, spacy and cosmic here: they are closer to the Ozric Tentacles' atmospheres; The guitars effects also have a key role in the arrangements. There are some sax parts that give an obvious jazzy touch to the ensemble; the Canterburian elements are a bit less present than on the Angel's egg album. There are some excellent flute parts like on the relaxing track "Thoughts for naught", which contains zeuhl-esque voices. Pierre Moerlen uses some excellent percussions of the xylophone family: with Mireille Bauer, he uses those percussions a bit more than on the Angel's egg album, but less than on the Shamal & Expresso 2 albums.

"Magick mother invocation" is the worst track: it is a minimalist, spacy & hypnotic track that decreases a bit the artistic value of this record. "Master builder" and "A sprinkling of clouds" contain the very similar elements found on Ozric Tentacles' albums like Erpland: exotic flute, fast & complex drums, typical punchy bass and spacy & cosmic floating keyboards; it is also reminiscent of the Steve Hillage's Green album; there is even a cosmic moog solo very similar to the one on Camel's "Lunar sea" track, from the "Moonmadness" album. "The isle of everywhere" is a bit repetitive but the cosmic, spacy and slightly psychedelic ambience is quite pleasant, reminding again the Steve Hillage's Green album.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by fuxi
3 stars YOU is Gong at their trippiest. The album consists mainly of long space-rock jams, which give the likes of Steve Hillage and Bloomdido Bad de Grasse a chance to come up with exciting solos (on guitar and sax, respectively). Tim Blake isn't bad either: I love his synths in "A sprinkling of clouds".

The only problem is that Daevid Allen has now virtually disappeared from his own trilogy. We never really find out what happened to Zero the Hero and the Pot Head Pixies; the music only tells us that they reached some kind of high. YOU hardly bears any trace of the funny little ditties which made FLYING TEAPOT and ANGELS EGG so utterly delightful.

As I pointed out in my review of RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE's first volume, the trilogy as a whole definitely deserves five stars, as it's one of prog's happiest masterpieces. But about YOU on its own I have my doubts - let's award it three and a half stars.

Review by FruMp
5 stars This is the only GonG album I've heard and is easily the best spacey record I've heard too, This album is perfect for relaxing, passing time and sleeping (I mean that in the best possible way), it's so effective at tapping into that majestic, spiritual emotions I don't know how I ever lived without it.

'You' starts off innocuously enough with the opening track 'thoughts for naught' somewhat reminiscent of a lullaby and the silly 'a P.H.P.'s advice' before slowly drifting off into another world with 'magick mother invocation' which is pretty much just the introduction to the best song on the album 'master builder'. Master builder is in my view the perfect song for what it is a psychedelic fusion space jam of epic proportions, I couldn't love this song more or sing higher praises of it, easily one of my all time favourites. 'A sprinkling of clouds' is up next and is just as spacey and jamalicious as 'master builder' only in a different way, it starts off with a dreamy spacey synth building up into a nice jam with a synth soloing over the top.

Next we have the intermission song really another short and silly one in 'perfect mystery' before we wade out into the cool waters of space jamming in 'the isle of everywhere' with some bass driven funky space jam action before in the final song 'you never blow your trip forever' the sillier side of gong and the prolonged jamming side of gong are merged with somewhat mixed but ultimately positive results.

The musicians on this album are great my personal favourite is drummer Pierre Moerlen - he creates such amazing rich textures with his drumming, it's so frenetic and jazzy and always appropriate, it just adds so much to the music and fills a void I never knew drums could occupy, the drumming on 'master builder' is some of my favourite of all time. The bass is the main rhythmic component holding things together and is what your head will be swaying too more often than not, there are some seriously deep bass grooves on this album as there is in all good space rock jamming. The guitar is fairly subdued in this album but when it comes it it does so in force, there are some great solos and jamming moments here from the guitar. The synth is one of the greatest parts of this album, it's so varied and interesting it is primarily responsible for the feeling of spaciousness and it's odd because rarely does it occupy the foreground of the music. The introduction to 'A sprinkling of clouds' is one of my favourite uses of synth of all time (I'm saying that a lot aren't I? - with good reason) very spacey, never cheesy pretty much sums up the synth. The vocals are fairly hit and miss, you can live with them or without them they don't really have much bearing on the music overall. The saxophone is a great touch and adds that extra jazziness to the music when the jams are in full swing, there's nothing like a good sax wailing to get the blood rushing.

Overall 'You' is a fantastic album that should be owned by anyone serious about space/rock, fusion jamming and psychedelia. I've introduced about a dozen friends to this masterpiece now and every single one has shared the same opinion of it as me, the best thing about it is it's good for listening anytime and anywhere, if you want to go to sleep it will put your mind at ease, if you're on public transport then you'll zone out from what's going on around you, if you're on a road trip or a plane it will make the time pass quicker, if you're just sitting in bed by yourself with the lights off listening to it with headphones - it will satisfy you.

Review by el böthy
5 stars When talking about "trilogys" in music, or well, in prog, itīs hard not to think of Gongīs Radio Gnome right away; that is, of course, if you are not familiar with them... which you should! While Flying Teapot might have been the funniest of the three and Angelīs egg the best representation of Daevid Allenīs talent, You is the absolute peak of Gong as a band. Everyone in the band is at their best, most specially Pierre Moerlen behind the kit, and while this means that Allen might have taken a back step in terms of "frontman", itīs for the best, as it allows the rest of the band to keep up with him, so it no longer feels like Allen band, something most can disagree with, but I get the feeling when listening to their previous albums, this is really Gong working as a unity.

The album opens with the "quirky" Thoughts for naught, with Allen reciting Pixiesīs last adventures before fully diving in the music this album offers. Itīs really nothing more than a pleasure to the ears to hear how they move forward from song to song in such a natural way, this is, from Thought for naught to A P.H.P.'s advine, moving on to the trippy Magick mother invocation and finishing with Gong at itīs absolute best, Master builder. You might have heard from this song, as a couple of bald women in the forum wonīt shut up about it... and how right are not to do so! Moerlen is a god here! You can clearly hear when one song ends and the other begins, but had they let the first four tracks of the album as one long song, I doubt anyone would have had any complains. This is really one of the highlight of the Space rock scene, and this reviews personal favorite! The album continues with the spacy and "letīs smoke some weeds" hint (well, the whole album is pretty much a big hint) A sprinkling of clouds with Tim Blake providing some outstanding bubbling, atmospheric key work. Perfect mystery might have more to do with the previous two albums than it has with this one, but it still fits perfectly with the rest of the songs. The isle of everywhere is perhaps Youīs best representavie. If anyone asks me what You sound like I will probably make him listen to this song. Itīs basically one big, spaced out jam, where Jazz, Space rock and elevator music (in the best scense of the word) meat to make some of the trippiest sounds ever. You never blow yr trip forever startīs as the continuation of Isle, but it soon grows into a more fun, more Allenesque song. The perfect trippy closer to one trippy album!

An absolute classic of itīs genre, the peak of Gongīs musical carrier and a great pot-album! Hahahaha...

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'm not a very big fan of Canterbury School Prog in general. It's too light and silly for my taste. However, I love long, trippy space rock pieces by artists such as Tangerine Dream and Ozric Tentacles. So I am a little conflicted about this album. The long instrumentals are great. Really spacey and great to chill out to late at night with a drink. If the album consisted of only these pieces I would give it four or maybe even five stars. They are really an excellent example of the style.

On the other hand, the short vocal pieces strike me as REALLY annoying. They completely ruin the mood of the record for me. Now granted, I haven't heard the previous two installments of this trilogy, so maybe there are important story points I am missing. But from a purely musical standpoint, I hate the vocals and the melodies that the vocals are singing. The most glaring example of this is in the awful A P.H.P.'s Advice (included twice on the remaster! Yay.) I would be interested to hear some of Hillage's solo stuff, if it is in the same vein, but overall I have no desire to hear other Gong records based on this one. Sorry, Canterbury fans.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the final installment of the trilogy and in my opinion the best of the bunch. This is more spacey, jazzy and sophisticated than all their previous records. This is the peak of their most creative phase. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like this one. The silliness of the previous two albums is almost gone as they seem to focus more on the instrumental music.

"Thoughts For Naught" features spoken male and female vocals with a spacey background. Singing after a minute to the end with flute. "Ap Hp's Advise" is a silly vocal track. Vibes and percussion a minute in. "Magick Mother Invocation" has this spacey atmosphere with chants. It blends into "Master Builder" where drums eventually join in. It's getting intense. Sax comes in after 1 1/2 minutes. Great melody. It stops before 3 1/2 minutes as we can hear birds singing. It's back and Hillage starts to light it up on the guitar, especially before 5 minutes. Vocals come in to end it. "A Sprinkling Of Clouds" has this spacey soundscape not unlike what ASH RA TEMPEL used to do. Very hypnotic. A fuller sound before 4 1/2 minutes and it kicks into an even higher gear before 6 minutes as Hillage rips it up. Sax 7 minutes in and it ends with flute and mellotron.

"Perfect Mystery" is a silly song with both male and female vocals. "Isle Of Everywhere" is spacey with throbbing bass lines as these distant sounding female vocal melodies cry out. Sax after 3 1/2 minutes leads the way until guitar takes over 7 minutes in. Percussion late as it blends into "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever". This one opens with strange vocals and sounds that come and go. It gets spacey 2 minutes in with mellotron. Vocals come in. The tempo and sound picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. Guitar starts to get aggressive 7 minutes in. Spoken words 7 1/2 minutes in as it just meanders to the end.

If you want to check out one GONG album make it this one.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strange, yet somehow wonderful

Once upon a time before I know what prog rock was, I had a magazine which was a special edition about the history of progressive rock and its key players. In the back of said magazine was a list of the top 50 prog rock albums (according to them, anyways) - and there was one of the albums (I can't even remember where it placed anymore) which always caught my eye thanks to it's wonderfully weird title. The Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1: Flying Teapot. I never did get my hands on the album in the early days of my snooping around the progressive genre, being that despite having seen it on the shelves a number of times I never quite trusted my instinct to just buy it. It also doesn't help that in Canada, buying a new cd of that caliber can be quite costly for the frostbitten inhabitants of the country. One day, however, in my need to branch out and explore new frontiers of music (Canterbury, specifically) I entered a used music store and saw this album sitting on the shelves. Thank god for Prog Archives, otherwise I wouldn't have known that this was simply another album in the series that came after Flying Teapot, and it was for a good price. And so, holding my breath, I finally took the plunge... and then headed back down the street to attend the night's punk show (and may the prog-gods smite me for that).

Let's be honest with ourselves here - this is not normal music. If you're expecting to play it safe with this album you're waaay out of the woods. Even in the realm of Canterbury this one is quite unusual - and yet it sits pretty as the number one album of it's genre (at the time of writing this, anyways). Needless to say, this one may take a while to catch on. I can recall talking to other prog heads about this album and saying, ''I really just don't get it!''. But y'know what? This album has enough charm to it, even if you 'don't get it' that you'll want to come back for more... and more... and even more. There's just a certain something about the album. It's so spaced out that you'd think it was supposed to be put under the psych/space rock sub-genre, and yet at the same time it experiments with jazzy elements enough to stick in with Canterbury. Whether it be the mean bass riff and guitar from Master Builder, the quirk of the two opening songs (Thought For Naught and A PHP's Advice) or the spaceoutedness of the entire second side this one just mesmerizes.

But like I mentioned before, you'd better be ready for some quirk. If the cover and title of the first album in the series didn't give it away, this one can certainly get strange. This happens mostly in the shorter tracks such as Perfect Mystery, but also in the longer pieces, like the ending section of You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (''bye bye!'') - usually the parts that have vocals, because apparently the band just wanted to keep it weird - and kudos for that. A Sprinkling Of Clouds also features a lot of quirk in its keyboard playing - a long spaced out instrumental that simply bounces until about 5 minutes in when it explodes into motion, the wonderful bassline coming in again.

Someone who really needs a nod from this album (although he's gotten many, many by now) is Steve Hillage, lead guitar (in case you didn't know). Although the first listens reveal barely any guitar other than some subtle noodling thanks to the multitude of other instruments, peeling away the layers eventually shows a wonderful virtuoso whose talents really pick up the album (and all the Canterbury experts are reading this, smacking their heads and saying, ''duh!''). Of course where would we be without Mike Howlett on the bass. I've mentioned it already, but I have to say it again - the bass parts on this album are absolutely great!

Something happened with this album after I gave it more and more listens - originally it was only worth a 3 in my books, but with repeated listens this one is going to have to get a 4. Make that a 4.5. Really wonderful music - quirky and interesting with a touch of heaviness where need be. Highly recommended, although it might not be the place to start with the sub-genre if you're unsure about it.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is the sixth full-length studio album by psychadelic jazz/ rock act Gong and the third and last in the Radio Gnome Invisible triology. Itīs also the last of the Daevid Allen era Gong albums. I enjoyed the two predecessors in the Radio Gnome Invisible triology Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 1 - Flying Teapot (1973) and Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg (1973) but found neither of them truly excellent. So I was really hoping for something a bit more interesting with this last album in the triology. And I can say that Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is by far the best album out the three.

The music is still psychadelic/ spacy jazz/ rock with a weird humour in the lyric department. Sort of like Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention meets Hawkwind on a day when they decided to play jazz/ rock. Thereīs some really excellent sax and flute playing, a tight and powerful rythm section, lots of spacy synth sounds and some fitting stoned vocals. This description of the music would also have fitted the two predecessors but this time itīs like everything works much better. The compositions are generally much more focused than was the case on the rather incohesive predecessors.

The album kicks of with three short psychadelic tracks and I was beginning to get worried that Gong would continue for the rest of the album like this ( not that those songs are bad they just not excellent) when the fourth song Master Builder kicks in and takes my breath away. Wow what a powerful psychadelic jazz/ rock song. A sprinkling of clouds is next and itīs a 8:42 minute long song that builds to a climax. Perfect mystery is a nice little psychadelic pop tune with slight avant garde rock leanings not unlike what Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention could cook up sometimes. That song serves as a breather before the two ending songs The Isle of Everywhere and You Never Blow yr trip Forever which clocks in at 10:21 minutes and 11:24 minutes respectably. The two songs actually seque into each other to form a more than 20 minute long psychadelic jazz/ rock trip and I donīt hesitate to say that this part of the album is the highlight for me along with Master Builder. Powerful music to my ears. The silly lyrics are put a bit in the background on this final album in the triology and it suits the music very well that thereīs more focus on the instrumental parts instead of the vocal parts.

The musicianship is outstanding. Great guitar, flute, sax and synth soloing and that extremely powerful rythm section.

The production is really a success IMO. Warm yet edgy when that is needed.

From what I had read about this album before I listened to it, I was expecting it to be the best album by the Daevid Allen era Gong lineup and that is certainly true to these ears. Even if you wouldnīt ordinarily enjoy Gongīs rather original approach to music you should give this one a try. Itīs definitely worth it and thatīs spoken by someone who is not particularly a fanboy. A sure 4 star rating is warranted. An excellent album.

Review by friso
5 stars On the third volume of the 'Radio Gnome' trilogy Gong has undergone some major changes musically and production-wise. The comedy and the loose psychedelic song-writing is bogged down and now the more jazz rock influences space rock explorations are the favored form. On this recording the very steady drums of Pierre Moerlen became instrumental in reaching a new tight sound to carry all other ideas. The music sounds that much more professional for it, yet it gives in on some of that hippy psych charm in which Gong also thrived. The production sound is among the best of seventies and has aged very well. The spacey synths of Tim Blake are now present at all times and they sound just amazing. Guitar player Steve Hillage had contributed to Gong in a pleasant way, but on this album he regained a place like he had whilst playing in Kahn; playing some of the best echoed rock guitar in his career. Most tracks are space rock instrumentals with only minor vocal parts in which Deavid Allen adds the personality that is so often lacking on space rock albums. The rhythm-section of Moerlen and Howitt is now comparable to the best of the seventies fusion scene, which also makes the album a bit intense to listen to. To wrap things up; 'You' is an un-interrupted space rock trip that has every member performing at its best. It's also a definitive wave of goodbye to sixties hippi-culture and Gong's progressive extension of it. The cover artwork of this album is among my favorites ever made.

If you already like this album I recommend giving (ex-Hawkwind's) Nik Turner's 'Space Fusion Odyssey' a spin as well.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This, last of "Radio Gnome.." trilogy, album has highest rating of all Gong discography. Perfect example of space-psychedelic prog, for me it is not enough different ,enough energetic, enough jazzy to be named as masterpiece.

You will find there almost best Gong line-up ever, incl. Daevid Allen,Gilli Smyth, Pierre Moerlen,Steve Hillage,Didier Malherbe,Mike Howlett. Music is well balanced, best final product of early Canterbury Allen's Gong. Many separate pieces are excellent.

Possibly,it is a question of taste: I really prefer previous album (Angel's Egg) because of it's freshness,crazyness - all I like in early Gong music. "You" is more matured, better balanced, but missed for me some it's raw elements,fresh freaky energy.

In all cases, very good album. Strong 4,5.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gong took a step forward with each new album, especially in terms of consistency.

You still has some short ditties but all of them are quite good. It makes for a very diverse album, starting with two short playful oddities before heading for the morose electronic cosmos of Magick Mother Invocation, the following Master Builder is Gong's finest hour. Or is this my love for esoteric music that is speaking again? A Middle-Eastern rhythm and Arabian snake charming scales build up to an enthralling trip.

A Sprinkling of Clouds touches progressive electronic territories. Given this is from 1974, it's quite an astonishing accomplishment. Halfway in, they turn it into another fascinating jazz-rock space jam. Perfect Mystery is the goofy moment. It's actually a welcome rest point in between the gloomy extended trips that make up the bulk of this album. The Isle of Everywhere is another essential piece. Also the bad trip of You Never Blow Your Trip Forever delivers. Sometimes there's a bit of a punk vibe here, similar to Robert Calvert's rants on Hawkwind albums.

You is the greatest achievement of the space-era Gong. It's still very eclectic and some moments might make you turn away from it at first. But it's certainly worth the effort to let it grow on you. A solid 4 stars.

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars I might have considered YOU a masterpiece had I discovered it around the same time as the first two RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE albums. Instead, I got this almost a year after those two Gong albums; not good for the RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE continuity.

YOU is much more of an instrumental album than the two that came before it. Very little of this album other than the overall sound, the first two cuts and ''Perfect Mystery'' remind me of the ANGEL'S EGG album, and this is both good and bad in a way. Gong gets the chance to stretch out their psychadelic sounds into well developed jams that at times (like on ''Isle of Everywhere'') sound like precursors to hip-hop. The downside is that tracks like ''A Sprinkling of Clouds'' take quite a bit of time to build up before the payoff theme comes in.

''You Never Blow Your Trip Forever'' deserves a special mention as it is THE piece of the album (possibly the trilogy, but I can't definitively say so to avoid hyperbole). It picks up right where ''Isle of Everywhere'' leaves off with a funky riff until the band needs to space out. This doesn't last long as the band comes back in at blistering volume with one of Howlett's best lines underpinning everything beautifully. This leads into a jazzy thing that keeps building in intensity until Daevid announces the close of the trilogy, and the piece dissolves gradually then.

Get this alongside the other two RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE parts to hear how all three match up. This has plenty of spacey instrumental passages for those that are interested, but general goofiness that originally attracted me to the group is not as prevalent here, and I'm marginally disappointed by that.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Slap Happy Silly Proto-Space Rock

While Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy is part of the prog canon for many listeners, I only acquired part 3, YOU, a few months ago. I was already a huge fan of Steve Hillage, and this seemed to be the recommendation as the prototype Gong album with the classic lineup. Despite going in with no expectations, I don't think anything can prepare the Gong naïve listener to what is coming their way. One part Canterbury whimsy, two parts Hillage delay-laden spaciness, a pinch of Zappa-style composition, and generous application of Daevid Allen's unique drug-induced daffiness all get stirred up in a big pot to make a delicious psychedelic stew that stands as a cosmic lamp-post on the other side of the wardrobe door. (Whew that was a long sentence, but accurate.)

I have since also picked up part 2, Angel's Egg, and YOU is clearly the better of the two. The massive challenge of getting these parts to meld into a cohesive whole is better achieved on part 3, and the transitions are much less jolting. By the time we get to the beginning of track 4, "Master Builder" which is based around Hillages longtime theme "The Glorious Om Riff," the band has already spanned massive musical territory. Lest we think we are on a Hillage solo record, midway through the song there is an abrupt brake for Allen to sing the riff in a sputter that must have surely influenced Mike Patton's vocal work. Quickly, we're back to the outer planetoids with frenetic drums and bass driving the trip just as much as the guitars.

While Daevid Allen's quirkiness may not please me musically as much as Hillage's work, his vision adds breadth and storyline to the atmospherics. It really turns the space-rock into more conceptual prog proper. Theater has always been a big part of the best prog, and Allen makes Gong one of the most theatrically entertaining in the history of the genre. Despite the absurdity of the whole Pot-Head Pixies persona and storyline, it is this added mystique that makes Gong a much more interesting entity than Eloy or Ash Ra Tempel (at least for me.) At the same time, it would be difficult to rate as masterpiece an album that has repeated refrains of "Cops at the door, no cops at the door" recited in druggy slur.

Certainly from its position on PA, one would assume that YOU should be a part of any complete prog library. This is absolutely the case. Gong is a singular band and this is their prime album. For me this is a solid 4 star album, nosing toward higher. Grab some aromatic flowers, sit back, and enjoy the trip.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars You have to get Gong's 'You''

I have been wanting to get hold of this much esteemed, highly revered album in the weird world of prog for a long time; Gong's final part of the Radio Gnome Flying Teapot trilogy. After hearing the other two parts of the strange tale, 'You' hammers the final nail in the coffin for pot head pixies, octave doctor's, Zero the Hero and pussy witches everywhere. What were they on? From the very outset the album transports you into this drugged psychedelic universe where we land on planet Gong and experience dramatic shifts from accomplished musicianship to passionate flights into fantasy, where hallucinogenic drugs seem to take over.

'A PHP's advice' is simply weird, but it gets you in the right frame of mind and fires the imagination. "In case you don't remember this is what you do, get up out of bed... If you are a believer, what do you believe, why do you believe it.... let the Pot Head Pixies show them what to do.... if you've got a problem....remember you are me, I am you..." The lyrics are as quirky as ever, and almost non incidental, though inseparable from the musical ambience.

Gilli's space whispering is here again, on "Magick Mother Invocation" and those bizarre sound effects merge from the trees, and of course Daevid's idiosyncratic vocals that are pure Gong. The chanting Gregorian monks are unsettling but what more can any Gong addict ask for? Perhaps these aforementioned tracks are too peculiar or highly eccentric to be standouts on this album.

There are highlights here which have become part of Gong mythological folklore. These include 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', a lengthy but wonderful ambient mental instrumental, that is beautiful and haunting. A multi phased synthesizer pulsates and throbs along as spaced out effects echo. This is a bit like a vamped up version of Tangerine Dream in a sense. A very different approach from Gong, heavily reliant on keyboards, and fully instrumental. The icy glacial soundscapes transport us to another world with very effective ambient textures. Eventually a guitar lick locks in and a bass line that drives the track to its conclusion.

Also there is the compelling 'Master Builder'. This was segued from 'Magick..." and is like an alien tribal chant; a strange combination reminiscent of Magma meets Hawkwind. The spacey swooshes and piercing trills are off-kilter, and there is a pipe in their somewhere and a scorching saxophone solo. Glorious instrumental virtuosity with a wonderful bass line and off beat drumming keeping it all together. Then it stops and the birds are heard twittering in the trees as the track stops and starts, till it locks into a chant and phased guitar fret runs. The spacey effects are overkill at this point but its effective enough. Nonsensical lyrics propel it along and the sax builds to a climax.

But for any Gong Pot Head Pixie the quintessential tracks are 'The Isle of Everywhere' and the epic 'You Never blow Yr Trip Forever'. Both these tracks are arguably the best of Gong with spacey guitars and ethereal soundscapes that only Gong could create in their own inimitable style. 'The Isle of Everywhere' is quintessential Gong and is featured on all the best Gongompilations. 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' features Daevid's wild jabbering and a quirky time sig and musical effects that sound childishly playful but like all Gong there is a dark undertone prevalent throughout, like a little innocent sweet girl in pigtails wielding a knife behind her back. This is as bizarre as you like Gong to be, beautiful flute and an ethereal keyboard create a feeling of morbid dread. The track plunges into an atonal shift into psychedelia "the more you know the more you don't know..." Daevid muses, and we are reintroduced to Zero the Hero, and the lyrics chatter about "the hole in the morning, dawning, ....around and round and round and round, ..maybe you like and maybe you won't and it's all the same it's all in the name... but you don't have to give up hope..." After this infantile but highly amusing section, we hear a narrative voice ending this bizarre trilogy, "Well there goes Zero The Hero turning around, and meanwhile all the characters of Planet Gong have to leave you now," they are farewelled, each one, and then Daevid asks the simple question and his farewell speech is basically "why don't you, why don't you, why don't you try, why don't you try, to try, oh why don't you tr-y-y-y-y-y-iyayiyi, why, why, don't you try". But there are no answers; the trilogy is over.

OK, It is not for all tastes certainly, perhaps too strange, off beat and downright unsettling, according to how jaded your sensibilities are, but if you allow it, Gong have an ability to captivate and finally entrance like no other. 'You' remains perhaps Gong's finest achievement along with the enthralling 'Angel's Egg' and mesmirising 'Flying Teapot'. Together they are the infamous and indispensable Flying Teapot Radio Gnome Invisible saga that every prog fan should experience at least once. A solid 5 stars. *****

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The final part of the The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy shows a completely re-invented Gong. The band seems to be much more focused which also reflects in the compositions that sound a lot more serious in their tone. This stylistic shift makes it easier for new audience to get into this music, even thought once you start to uncover the details it becomes clear that Daevid Allen hasn't lost his comedic tone completely.

Unlike the previous albums, Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You is split into one side with shorter tracks and one with two 10+ minute compositions. This is also the first time I can't really complain about neither of the sides since they work really well and achieve their goals without any difficulty. The music on this release has lost most of Gong's psychedelic tone and instead the music consists mainly of well executed space rock material and jam sections. This style might not have much resemblance to the Canterbury sound but I still get the feeling that it's here in spirit.

My favorite section of the album begins with the first part of Master Builder, which unfortunately shifts its direction halfway through. A Sprinkling Of Clouds, on the other hand, is where the band really sweeps me of my feet and sends my mind to 9 minutes of pure synth heaven! The composition begins almost like something written by Tangerine Dream but the perception changes once the bass guitar comes in and adds its sound into mix. Eventually drums, guitar and saxophone sounds gently shift the course of the music into a band sounding environment and the flute playing, towards the very end, is just glazing on the cake!

The two longer jams on the second side of the album have quite a few interesting moments as well but they don't reach the majestic bar that was set by A Sprinkling Of Clouds. I've never been a big fan of prolonged sax-solos followed and there are a few of those moments featured here. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever seems to try and add a closure to the trilogy but I'm not sure I understand the lyrics. Maybe this was the intention since the last 5 minutes of the track sounds like a long trip.

In conclusion, Vol.3 of the trilogy ends the '70s Daevid Allen Gong- legacy on a high note. Unfortunately the fans would have to wait until the 1992 album Shapeshifter for another proper piece of the Gong mythology and after Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You I really don't blame them for waiting with excitement for the new '90s material. This is definitely an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection no matter if you're a fan of the genre or not!

***** star songs: A Sprinkling Of Clouds (8:58)

**** star songs: Thoughts For Naught (1:33) A P.H.P.'s Advice (1:45) Magick Mother Invocation (1:57) Master Builder (6:20) Perfect Mystery (2:29) The Isle Of Everywhere (10:22) You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (11:32)

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars For the longest time, Gong made me wonder why they could rock out so well and simultaneously leave large breaks in their albums consisting of gibberish, nonsense, and half-baked ideas.

Then I stopped caring and only listened to the parts I liked, which is when things got much better for me in all things Gong.

What I like: Master Builder, A Sprinkling of Clouds, Isle of Everywhere. These are great songs--no doubt about it. Regarding Master Builder, I still can't figure out what time it is in, because it just cooks along and it's hard to spend time counting when there are great jams to be heard! Sprinkling took some time to grow on me, but it is a fantastic build to a totally unrestrained jam from Hillage and plenty of dissonant choir ooohs and mellotron. Isle is the ultimate chill jam, with subtle time variations in 4, 6 and 7, but progressing ever so noticeably. I sometimes find myself having trouble waiting for the part toward the end where Hillage lets it rip, but then I always remember the great sax I'm missing along the way.

These songs have a great restrained, yet crazy feel, with a wonderfully unique combination of synth dones, flutters, choirs and other effects, all set to excellent percussion and a nice mix of horns and winds--even some xylophone in there I think! Great, creative stuff!

The other songs are more goofy, and I have little good to say about them.

1974. Consider how good and unique this all sounds, all without today's fancy equipment. This sound took a big roster of players, and it was worth it. Maybe they simply didn't have enough energy to fill a whole album of great music. Regardless, You is a keeper for the highlights, and also a non-masterpiece for the rest.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album is called Gong by the band You. At least that is what you(ha) would think if you(ha) had the CD and didn't know who Gong were. I am also informed that "Gong is one and one is you". Well, you learn something new everyday. I'm not as big a fan of the mythology of planet Gong as I am of the music, and this album is the most instrumental of the Radio Gnome Trilogy. A bonus to me, although I like Gilli's 'space whispering'. Tim Blake also seems to be more prominent on this album than the previous two. You hear his synths and Mellotron all over the place, but he never really solos just creates lots of atmosphere. The rhythm section of Moerlen and Howlett just gels here as it does on the follow-up Shamal. Of course Daevid Allen plays guitar on here, but it's Steve Hillage who steals the show most of the time. It's funny that I love what Hillage does with Gong but I could never really get into his solo stuff.

My favourite Gong song of all-time is here: A Sprinkling Of Clouds. Ozric Tentacles seem to have based their whole style on this song. Such a buildup, such a climax. I really wish Gong had more songs similar to this. The bassline on "Master Builder" just gives me orgasm of the ears. The part where Allen and Hillage trade solos is really nice. This song features the famous Om Riff that Hillage would use later in his solo work. The best thing about the three shorter, vocal-oriented songs is that they are so short that they never outstay their welcome. "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever" has 'samples' of songs from the previous two trilogy albums about halfway thru. A nice touch. There is even some meaningful lyrics on this one like: "But cha don't have to give up hope/and ya don't have to give up dope".

The most consistent thing to ever be made under the 'Gong' moniker(including Mother Gong, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Planet Gong, New York Gong). My biggest complaint is that the bonus song on my CD, "A PHP's Advice(Alternate Version)", is completely pointless. It just sounds like a demo of the album version. Surely they had better bonus stuff to add than that, like Blake tuning his synths or something. Anyway, You is both the best Gong album and also a good place to start with these guys. About the only bad thing I can really say about this album is that "The Isle Of Everywhere" is maybe a tad bit repetitive. Other than that this is a 5 star album all the way.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is definitely a space/psychedlia album which only begins to sound somewhat Canterbury-ish with the middle of the fourth song, "Master Builder" (8/10) Still, the space/psychedelic element, IMHO, far eclipse the Canterburyness of the album. I love the synth and effects uses throughout this album. The vocals are fair; the hippie lyrics make me smile.

"A Sprinkling of Clouds" (9/10) is where the album really starts to stand up and shine. Part TANGERINE DREAM, part Indian raga, part CSN&Y/JESSE COULTER YOUNG, until it morphs into a driving groove by the 4:30 mark and then into a more Canturbury sound with the electric guitar and sax soli soon thereafter.

"Perfect Mystery" is only notable for its percussion.

The next long song, "The Isle of Everywhere" (9/10) is another pleasant space groove with GILLI SMYTH's ethereal vocals floating all around us, giving way to some very nice, subdued sax work around the 3:30 mark. Steve Hillage solos next?playing out to the song's fade out (the master fade makes it sound like the jam went on for quite some time longer).

You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (6/10) starts like the precursor to NEWCLEUS's Ewok voices in Jam On It before it shifts to a very laid back jazz piece. Odd vocals and lyrics return. The song is just a little too surreal, silly, and . . . well, pointless for my tastes.

Overall, the guitars, drums, vocals, lyrics, and saxes fail to impress. The synths, percussion, and mix/engineering are the real stars of this album. I could never call this an essential masterpiece of music, but it is a very interesting experience that I am glad to have had. 3.5 stars, really.

Review by Warthur
5 stars This album marks the point that the Gong project ran completely out of Daevid Allen's control - and afterwards the band would never be the same, splintering into a dazzling range of successors, side projects and solo careers (though unlike other groups in a similar situation the different members of the Gong family have remained remarkably friendly towards each other). Musically speaking the band almost entirely sideline the plot of Radio Gnome Invisible, especially once the long, drawn-out space rock tracks kick off, Allen only reasserting himself at the end to say goodbye to the audience. But oh, the music! Both existing at the cutting edge of space rock and prefiguring the trance/dance music of future decades, it's a swirling mass of keyboards and percussions over which Steve Hillage's guitar solos and superb sax playing by Didier Malherbe take the lead and everyone else pushes themselves to the limit to keep up. Easily the best of the band's career, and well worth repeated listens.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars By the time this album by Gong was released, my musical taste could not digest the kind of music this album offered where the music was too psychedelic for my ears, actually. "You" is the third of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" of albums, following Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg. The Trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. Only a decade later I came to realize how great the music crafted by Gong through this seminal album. My first impression was when the first time enjoying the album using a headphone where I was amazed with how fabulous the sonic production quality of this album. Thanks to Simon Heyworth and Gong who jointly produced this album. The other impression was on the cohesiveness of its overall album composition where I played the album from start of the track and never got noticed that I was already at track 5 'A Sprinkling of Clouds'. From track 1 right through track 5 I was so engrossed with the music so that I was not aware that the track has changed from one to another.

I think this album is a masterpiece in a way that it thought ahead of time when it was released in 1974 and the music is still an enjoyable one until now ' sonically as well as musically. I came to realize that this album influenced in many ways to the development of Canterbury scene even until now. Look at the track that has male and female vocal 'Perfect Mystery' ' it influenced in some ways to the music of Bill Bruford ' especially on 'Feels Good To Me' album. The two concluding tracks 'The Isle of Everywhere' and 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' are really great and unique. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ' GW

Review by Neu!mann
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.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The end of the Radio Gnome Invisible concept and practically the dissolution of the classic Gong line-up comes in 1974 with the third part of the trilogy ''You''.Pierre Moerlen's younger brother Benoit joined the band on percussion and Daevid Allen decided that this would be more of a team effort.He recalls: ''...I was contributing a lot of the material, that it was too much my original creation. It was time we created something completely together, so we booked up a cottage in England...we connected so strongly together out of the improvisations, we just improvised and recorded it...''.The album was recorded at the Manor Studios in London in July 1974 and was released on Virgin in October.Simon Heyworth, who had collaborated with Mike Oldfield and Clearlight, was the producer of the album.

This was denitely the most intense of all Gong albums, extremely dense in sounds and sights and an amalgam of jazzy improvisations, spaced out experiments and psychedelic weirdness.Tim Blake offers some of his best synthesizer work to be delivered in a Gong album, very cosmic and cinematic with some nice guitar parts by Hillage and the occasional jazzy tastes as proposed by Didier Malherbe's elegant flute lines and powerful sax assaults.''Master builder'' is a masterpiece of the style with great sax work over the guitar and synth moves, while ''A sprinkling of clouds'' may sound a bit hypnotic with its extended synth soundscapes, but ends up to be another Gong weirdness with a full jazzy background and the flute/sax prevailing in the second half.Additionally the sweet vocal parts and the light interplays connect the band for the first time with the delicacy of the Canterbury scene.''The Isle of everywhere'' and ''You never blow yr trip forever'' are the two long cuts (over 10 minutes each) dominating the flipside of the original LP.You cannot blame Daevid Allen for carrying ''...some wonderful acid and we took this acid together as a group...'' back at the time, the result was a pair of cosmic, trippy and deeply psychedelic Jazz-oriented pieces with narcotic rhythms, some funky injections and excellent guitar work by Hillage, while the second cut contains some of the most complex themes executed by Gong in a combination of Heavy/Psych Rock, Fusion and Space Rock with ethereal female voices, flute-led soloing and intricate guitar/sax moves.

Epitomizing what Space Fusion is all about (along with Clearlight).Propably the best part of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, the team effort had done good to the final result, which contains all of the Gong familiar elements: Psychedelic colors, jazzy interventions, poppy vocals and spacious landscapes.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
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.

Review by GruvanDahlman
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.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
5 stars The cheerful silliness of this band has held me captive enjoying their one-of-a-kind musical expressionism ever since I first discovered Gong. And this album stands high on the ladder of quirky, odd, but overly enjoyable music created by this multi-national cohort of 'pothead pixies'.

'You' is the last entry in their Radio Gnome Trilogy, and this phenomenal album consists of intertwining shorter narrative pieces and longer acid jazz and psych-prog mostly instrumental pieces. This happens to be last album for a long time to be released by Daevid Allen's version of the band. Alongside him, on 'You' the listener gets to hear Gilly Smyth's space whisper, Didier Malherbe handling the wind instruments, Tim Blake on keys, Steve Hillage and Mike Howlett on lead and bass guitar respectively, then Pierre Moerlen on drums, with Mireille Bauer and Benoit Moerlen on percussion, and Miquette Giraudy on additional vocals, listed as 'wee voices and chourousings'.

So, a 10-piece band, one would really expect something grandiose, trippy, and gay. And the Gong addict would get exactly this. Opening up the album is the silly 'Thought for Naught', followed by another short song 'A P.H.P.'s Advice' which transitions into the 'Magick Mother Invocation' - a 2-minute space whisper recording that introduces the first big song on the album, the unforgettable 'Master Builder', which is one of the absolutely legendary composition in the band's catalogue. After it, comes the 9-minute psychedelic acid fest 'A Sprinkling of Clouds', closing side one.

'Perfect Mystery' is among the shorter narrative pieces on 'You' and flows into the big 'The Isle of Everywhere' - a surreal psychedelic jazzy song that really takes the listener on another planet... quite likely on Planet Gong! Then comes the final and longest track 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever'. This is the album culmination, and also a grandiose showcase in all of Gong's flavors.

'You' is a masterpiece of progressive and psychedelic rock without a doubt, the spacy atmosphere is sharply penetrated by the haunting wind instruments of Malherbe, the slide and gliss guitars pervade the imagination, and the space whisper is gently spread all over this fabulous trippy soup that is Gong!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #96! I have never liked Gong. I have never liked 'You'. But something went off in my brain while giving this album another listen that made me finally like it. This is the third installment in a trilogy of concept albums Gong has put out entitled 'Radio Gnome Invisible'. I have nev ... (read more)

Report this review (#2921292) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Tuesday, May 2, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars IMO This Gongīs phase is paradigmatic of the Progressive Rock Genre itself. Ethereal Loops that grows in crescendo around some unknown dimension. The first 3 minutes are the premise of the entire album concept, they might sound silly for a first listener, but this kind of records are supposed ... (read more)

Report this review (#2654759) | Posted by CabezaDePRog | Wednesday, December 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The definitive "Gong" Gong album (and by that I mean the album that is most akin to the Gong lifestyle and all that comes with it). This is one of the few albums out of many that I can give a perfect score. If you're into complex psychedelic music, you will appreciate this album from the first liste ... (read more)

Report this review (#2245382) | Posted by hugo1995 | Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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 conta ... (read more)

Report this review (#2150865) | Posted by mariorockprog | Friday, March 1, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Awesome Conclusion to the Trilogy. Focussing a lot more on the music, this album cranks up the complexity factor, while also extending the jams considerably. Perhaps the band decided to end the trilogy with a musical bang, and to de-emphasize the story a bit, but there are fewer vocal tracks here ... (read more)

Report this review (#1697068) | Posted by Walkscore | Sunday, February 26, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In order to first get the appropriate amount of appreciation for this album, it's highly recommended that whoever listens to Gong starts with the first of the RGI trilogy. Only once you've traversed through "Flying Teapot" and "Angel's Egg" can the ending of this album really hit home. "Thoughts ... (read more)

Report this review (#1133217) | Posted by ebil0505 | Monday, February 17, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#951193) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Sunday, April 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#950159) | Posted by IneitaBongtoke | Friday, April 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Before I bought this album I had only heard small parts of it, and to be honest I didn't understand it at all. I decided to take a chance and buy this album. After the first three tracks I wasn't impressed, but when the band kicked in on "Master Builder" I was hooked. This era of Gong had ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#800880) | Posted by Eria Tarka | Sunday, August 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Great space-rock with strong hints of jazz, along with some novelty-sounding songs that don't suit the rest of the material. Essentially a space rock album with jazz leanings, Gong produce some fascinating moments and some top notch space-rock spiced with great sax and guitar solos. Elsewhere, ... (read more)

Report this review (#714313) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Saturday, April 7, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 90% spacerock and 10% Canterbury. The combination of a Mayan temple and space is a nice thought. The mayan people became quiet popular because of their hallucinatory drugs like wheet. Mayan shamans could have used it to communicate with god, which was the center of the milky way. Therefor ast ... (read more)

Report this review (#667396) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Masterpiece. I love this album. I love Gong. I love the perfect humor that comes through in this album. Pretty much perfect in every way, this album deserves a place in any collection. It definitely makes its way into my top 5 albums of all time, among the ranks of Thick as a Brick, Wish You Were ... (read more)

Report this review (#625397) | Posted by Apollo2112 | Thursday, February 2, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The third of the teapot trilogy from Gong. And a trippy one too. I am not so sure if this is my cup of tea though. Gong mixes Daevid Allen's children rhymes and avant-garde drone bits with long spaced out jazzy trips into outer space on this album. The opening tracks are all about this teapot ... (read more)

Report this review (#571173) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, You, ''Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3'' is really, really, really, some [%*!#]-top music. If you like space/psychedelic jams with a touch of crazyness and non-sense, here's the group you looked for. Forget the catchy chorus or the famous power-chords, this album (and also this band) is another ... (read more)

Report this review (#304672) | Posted by Ogilla | Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Patchy, but great You by Gong is, of course, an odd album. This is pretty much the last album of Gong's space-rock era. It has it's silly moments, like any Canterbury album, and some amazing instrumental moments. Overall, I am happy I bought this. A description of the music: "Thoughts ... (read more)

Report this review (#301710) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Gong is simply one of the weirdest bands ever- ultra-silly acid space jazz? Who cares, all we know is that it's great. There are two kinds of tracks here- short, silly, psychedelic rock songs, and long, spacey jazz freakouts- not unlike early Pink Floyd, except with much more of a Canterbury Scen ... (read more)

Report this review (#261025) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was first introduced to Gong's music, quite a few years back, with ANGEL'S EGG--the second installment in the Radio Gnome Trilogy. Their music seemed way too goofy for my tastes and, to be honest, I still don't appreciate most of Daevid Allen's Gong's music (although I dig the jazz-fusion of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#222537) | Posted by volta3 | Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There is no downside to this album. It is pure magic. The drum and bass work so well together creating a solid centre allowing the other elements to float and dance around. It feels like there is less singing and more instrumental work on this album than than the previous two parts of the trilog ... (read more)

Report this review (#202756) | Posted by Peachy | Saturday, February 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You finally culiminates the Radio Gnome Invisible series, and is definitely Gong's masterpiece. This is perhaps one of the most original works of progressive music I have heard in my entire life. It defies the boundaries of post-psychedelia with its numerous fusion jams and originality towards s ... (read more)

Report this review (#178023) | Posted by Col.Nuke | Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The famous Gong trilogy is really a masterpiece that should be listened by every prog enthusiast. The album You is the perfect closure for it. The blend of psychedelic and jazz in songs like Master Builder and the long compositions toward the end of the album create the perfect atmosphere to sit ... (read more)

Report this review (#171100) | Posted by Astrodomine | Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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