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Gong - Gong Live, Etc CD (album) cover

GONG LIVE, ETC

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

3.60 | 90 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is one of those archival releases which was a must-have back when it was first came out but whose star has somewhat faded next to subsequent archive releases. Back when it came out, there was a scarcity of officially-released live Gong material from the Radio Gnome Invisible period out there, plus the two studio tracks here (Ooby Scooby Doomsday and Where Have All the Flowers Gone?) were floating around without a particular home.

However, with the Love From the Planet Gong comprehensively hollowing out the Virgin vault, Live Etc. is now a bit redundant. In particular, that boxed set has the complete recordings available from the concerts this set is drawn on. That's particularly important because Gong concerts incorporated a large amount of improvisation tied closely to the mood the band was presently in and the atmosphere at the venue, so you get more out of listening to the live sets in the form they were originally delivered, rather than cherry-picking songs from a great swathe of live performances.

The fact is that Live Etc., drawing from as many sources as it does, ends up feeling a bit disjointed, an issue exacerbated by the fact that major lineup changes were happening all across the period covered. (Hell, Daevid Allen himself isn't on some of these tracks, hailing as they do from a 1975 Marquee appearance from after his exit.) If you just want a glimmer of what the band from this era were like live, it'll still do the job - but if you want a better idea of the live Gong experience, the Love From the Planet Gong boxed set (or, if you can't shell out for that, the bonus discs on the new deluxe editions of the albums from Flying Teapot to Shamal, which offer extracts from concerts from the era of the album in question) will do a substantially better job.

Warthur | 3/5 |

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