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Recommended Recordings of GONG

by Unlimited Staff April 27, 2017

We love Gongs! So of course we love the band GONG!

The band known as GONG was a Franco-British prog rock band. Started by Australian musician, Daevid Allen, in 1967, the band's focus was to create psychedelic music. He chose musicians well-versed in both music and psychedelics and the rest is history, fantasy, and even mystery!

Their debut album, Magick Brother, was firmly rooted in the psychedelic genre of the time. The sound of the band began to change throughout their next albums, ranging from psychedelic pop to avant garde progressive rock . Their well-known third, fourth, and fifth albums were released as a trilogy: The Radio Gnome Invisible, featuring the adventures of Zero the Hero, the Good Witch Yoni and the Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong (green pixies with propellers on their heads who fly around in teapots, of course!).

In 1976 Daevid Allen left the band, and it went in different directions, but he returned in 1991 to lead GONG and created four more albums.


Magick Brother 

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"In 1970, the world got its first taste of the original pothead pixie, Daevid Allen's Gong, as Magick Brother was released in France on the BYG label. Allen's wife, Gilli Smyth, penned all the tunes on the album, and Allen's now-classic "Ph.P." drawing style graces the inside of the gatefold. Leaning a little toward the pop end of the spectrum, Magick Brother is a fairly light album, devoid of the blatant psychedelic/hippie qualities which shine through so brilliantly on the later Camembert Electrique. Smyth's "space whispering" makes its debut on the opening track, though the album is not as spacy as it is ethereal."(allmusic)


Camembert Electrique

"This is a classic, the epitome of the band's early Daevid Allen phase with Ph.P.'s (pothead pixies) in full, blazing glory. In its infancy, Gong was a unique prog rock band that branched out in all directions at once while most other prog bands chose simply one path or another. Camembert Electrique is a testament to that."(allmusic)


Flying Teapot-Radio Gnome Invisible, Part. 1

"Produced by Giorgio Gomelsky, notable for his work with the Yardbirds, Brian Auger, and Magma, this relatively early Gong project is a great representation of the Daevid Allen-era Gong. Though not as intricate as its follow-up companion piece, Angel's Egg, The Flying Teapot is more of a true prog/space rock outing, where hippie-trippy lyrics and space whispering abound, as evidenced in the opening track, "Radio Gnome Invisible." "(allmusic)


Radio Gnome Invisible Part II - Angel's Egg

"The companion piece to The Flying Teapot, Angel's Egg is not your usual progressive rock album. Very quirky, with many, mostly brief compositions, the album is a tad less spacy than Teapot, with just a few psychedelic-inspired lyrics, and it's very technically adept. Angel's Egg opens with a true space rock cut (one of the few on the album), filled with the usual Gilli Smyth space whispering and Daevid Allen voicings, then leads into the cleverly titled "Sold to the Highest Buddha," with Steve Hillage and Didier Malherbe prominent figures."(allmusic)


You (Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt. 3)

"You is the fifth studio album by the progressive rock band Gong, released by Virgin Records in October 1974. Recorded at Virgin's Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, England, side 1 was mixed at Pye Studios, Marble Arch, London, while side 2 was mixed at The Manor. It was produced by Simon Heyworth and Gong "under the universal influence of C.O.I.T., the Compagnie d'Opera Invisible de Thibet", and also engineered by Heyworth. You is the third of the "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy of albums, following Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg. The trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. The structure of the album mixes short narrative pieces with long, jazzy instrumentals (such as "Master Builder", "A Sprinkling of Clouds" and "Isle of Everywhere"), building to a climax/conclusion with "You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever"."(wiki)



"Between Daevid Allen's departure from the band and Pierre Moerlen's official takeover of the band, there is Shamal. This transitional album contains none of the Allen-inspired psychedelia, but also very little of Moerlen's jazz influence."(allmusic)



"For their first album of new material in over 20 years, the original Gong (i.e., one led by Daevid Allen and containing a number of players from the classic '60s-'70s period) offer -- well, much of what made them so popular in the first place."(allmusic)


Zero To Infinity

"Gong is back in action with Zero to Infinity, one of the strongest releases ever by the "Daevid Allen" version of the band. Zero to Infinity is part five of Gong's "Radio Gnome" saga, a whimsical tale about the adventures of protagonist "Zero the Hero" and the many cosmic characters he encounters on mystical journeys through space and time."(allmusic)


Acid Motherhood

"Acid Motherhood. Gong's lineup is here completely rehauled and consists actually of a merger between latter-day Gong, University of Errors (guitarist Josh Pollock, incredible), and Acid Mothers Temple (Makoto Kawabata and Cotton Casino). The resulting sound is heavier, wilder, and noisier than anything else Gong has previously released, but if you had to stamp only one band name on the cover, it would have to be Gong, without the slightest doubt."(allmusic)



"With Gong now standing as less of a band than a constantly revolving way of life, into which the composite parts rise and fall depending upon who actually wants to be involved, 2032 is nevertheless one of the precious few albums that really can be aligned with the "classic" Gong era -- that is, the days of Flying Teapots and Pothead Pixies, glissando guitars and spooky space whispers."(allmusic)


I See You


Unlimited Staff
Unlimited Staff


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