Gong
You


4.5
superb

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (86 Reviews)
December 14th, 2012 | 75 replies | 3,612 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The third instalment in Gong's "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy marks the end of their psychedelic progressive rock period and stands as possibly their best album.

Pot Head Pixies, Flying Teapots, Radio Gnomes, Octave Doctors and Zero The Hero ; mention those phrases to any fan of the early 70's Canterbury Scene and they will undoubtedly recognise them as themes and characters from the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy by Gong. The band seemed to have an ever changing line-up throughout their history but, for once, the core personnel remained identical to that which created the previous album Angel's Egg for this third and final instalment in the trilogy. The eccentric humour which dominated the previous two releases is still evident on here but the music has become more performance oriented with lead guitarist Steve Hillage, in particular, taking centre stage to display his considerable talents.

In contrast to the two previous albums in the trilogy the structure on here tends more towards extended instrumental jams rather than the more concise Daevid Allen inspired flights of fancy. The keyboard sounds are noticeably more prevalent and take on a space rock atmosphere while the guitar sounds also have a stronger role in the arrangements. The quirkiness and creativity displayed on previous works is still present in abundance but the band function in a more cohesive fashion, as is demonstrated superbly on the masterful space-rock tinged "Magick Mother Invocation/Master Builder". This piece of music is undoubtedly one of the band's finest moments and starts with an ominous chant across a layer of swirling cosmic keyboard sounds setting the scene for what is to come. The chanting develops with an Indian motif while mesmerising flute sounds float across the aural landscape and Didier Malherbe's saxophone takes over the spotlight with some jazzy soloing. Twittering birds briefly interrupt the flow of the music before an organic bass line and off-beat drumming propels it forward into a glorious morass of otherwordly sounds and textures which builds and builds to an intense conclusion. Another highlight is "A Sprinkling of Clouds" which brings the listener back down to earth with some soothing keyboard passages and serves to maintain the cosmic aural landscape. A hypnotic underlying rhythm section courtesy of Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen snakes in to anchor the ensuing jam with Steve Hillage's lead guitar interspersed with Malherbe's trilling flute.

Elsewhere on the album the typically whimsical Daevid Allen dominated escapades such as "Perfect Mystery" and "A P.H.P.'s Advice" serve to break up the more substantial pieces of music with doses of the inimitable Gong humour. These shorter excursions recall their earlier work but it is definitely the extended pieces which escalate this album above that which came before in the trilogy. "The Isle of Everywhere" is an extended trippy jam with an inexorable funky bass-line meandering beneath spacey keyboard trills, smooth jazzy sax and the sighing vocal effects of Gilli Smyth. Album closer "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever" continues with the style and themes expressed on "The Isle of Everywhere" and also features samples from the whole trilogy in an attempt to bring a conclusion to the story.

This album encapsulates better than any other Gong record the near perfect match between the band's philosophy and boldness and the performers' musical sensibilities. The most obvious contributions are provided by lead guitarist Steve Hillage, saxophonist/flautist Didier Malherbe (often referred to as Bloomdido Bad de Grass), and the adventurous rhythm section of Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. However, the band's cohesiveness as a whole, due in some part to the continuation of the same line-up from the previous release, goes a long way in contributing to the integrity of the album. Gong's approach would change on subsequent releases whereupon they would veer more towards the jazz-fusion end of the progressive spectrum. But as a lucid and entertaining representation of their Canterbury Scene period, this release stands as possibly their best work.



Recent reviews by this author
Synaesthesia (UK) SynaesthesiaCamel A Live Record
IQ The WakePervy Perkin Ink
Soft Machine SoftsIQ The Road of Bones
user ratings (71)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Master Builder - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKfTKNp_yUI
A Sprinkling of Clouds - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEgZeZgZ248

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

KILL
December 14th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

omfgheu9gw3ui9ut9234346

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

didn't have any sort of review so i honoured your request KILL

demigod!
December 14th 2012



43891 Comments


people keep hyping this band around here, might have to check em out

good review mena

Digging: Black Flag - My War

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is a good place to start demigod

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



19475 Comments


cool review sounds pretty interesting

Digging: The Who - Tommy

KILL
December 14th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

awesome review dude band is so fucking overlooked, bitches whoring out ozric testicles when they could be jammin the band they ripped off hard

ThroneOfAgony
December 14th 2012



3485 Comments


sounds good will check

KILL
December 14th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

get angels egg and flying teapot too

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

impossible to listen to Flying Teapot without laughing at the burbly gurgly voices.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



20018 Comments


Rules.

Good review, pos'd.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2012



20018 Comments


Ozrics rule but I prefer Gong overall.

NightmareCinema16
December 14th 2012



2016 Comments


Nice review for a not so well known prog rock band. POS.

KILL
December 14th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

gong is king dude

NightmareCinema16
December 14th 2012



2016 Comments


yea.

Chortles
December 14th 2012



17909 Comments


i need to check these guys out, sweet review as per usual mena pos'd hard

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

SirArthur6
December 14th 2012



176 Comments


Good review, pos'd. I keep hearing about these guys, will probably check them out soon.

wacknizzle
December 14th 2012



12639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah Menawati, sweet album. Good review, pos'd.

Digging: Systems - Ghost Medicine

KILL
December 14th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

IAO ZA-I ZA-O
MA-I MA-O
TA-I TA-O NOW

tommygun
December 14th 2012



23615 Comments


great review as usual mate, pos

gotta hear this

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy