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Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg CD (album) cover

RADIO GNOME INVISIBLE VOL. 2 - ANGEL'S EGG

Gong

Canterbury Scene


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5 stars The second part of the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, Angel's Egg is one of the few best by Gong, and some would argue it as number one. Tight, well recorded, and to my ears one of the classics of progressive rock. The mythology underlying the cryptic lyrics is best understood through a study via the band's web site www.planetgong.co.uk, detailing the significance of pot head pixies, the Oily Way, and Radio Gnome. Very fun, and highly recommended.
Report this review (#27610)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
5 stars In this chapter of the greatest trilogy ever written, one finds Zero The Hero looking for ways to spread the good words taught to him from Planet GonG through this Radio Gnome Invisible, and he meets all sorts in that quest.

Angel's Egg sees two new members replacing Frenchmen Trisch and Moze: Pierre Moerlen and Mike Howlett and now the classic GonG line-up is present. However, unlike the previous Flying Teapot and the following You, the tracks here are fairly short (except for the opening track that clocks in at 8 min) barely exceeding 5 min at best.

Side 1 starts with a rare but superb almost-instrumental that is proof , if need be, that Gong is materful in all area including jazz-rock Canterbury style. All other numbers are very typical GonG athmospheres and climaxing in the Prostitute Poem where Malherbe answers so greatly to Gilly Smyth - delightful and dare I say Orgasmic. Only the drunken pub tune Givin My Luv sticks a bit out but it is short and can be easily skipped.

Side 2 starts with the real treasure of this album: it is the Flute Salad - Inner/Outer Temple suite only to be followed by concert fave Oily Way. Malherbe shows that he also masters the flute and the climaxes created is not only orgasmic but cosmic. Moerlen gives us a peak on future Gong music by putting in his great vibraphone playing in one of the last track. Many different facets of GonG are present in this album making probably their most impressive one ever.

Again for years the superb artwork sleeve had not been sufficiently respected, often suppressing most of the heavenly blue innerfold of the album. Charly Records via their subsidiary Victor label again released a mini-lp reissue (cat# 61173 , pricey but superb and essential for the understanding of this epic) and adjoining for the first time a booklet explainig the story and lyrics. However the extra track of previous reissues is absent, but it was not really adapted to the album.

Report this review (#27612)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To my mind, this is their best as it is more eclectic than the other releases. Lots of ethereal passages alterning with jazz and rock elements. Didier's sax and flute playing is perfect. Along with 'You', this album deserves to be known by every prog lover.
Report this review (#27613)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I haven't tried to understand why this group makes a mix of so very different songs at one album. I just listened to it very often. And I liked it from the first moment. It's crazy. Sometimes this reminds me of the first Pink Floyd album, sometimes it's more the seventies-PF. It contains some Beatlesque songs (especially from their Indian psychedelic period). It even gets very jazzy. Sometimes you can touch this music. Sometimes it's far away. Don't hesitate. Listen to it.
Report this review (#27614)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars what can I say? this is the album through which I got in contact with the magic green planet, many years ago. it was a great revelation to me, and it still is a cave full of precious gems and enchanted lamps. you know, before listening to it, to me spacey music was pink floyd, ummagumma period, but when other side of the sky started....well, it was as if sliding to a parallel universe. then the flippant genius of a three-odd minute song like "sold to the highest buddha came", complete with a jazzy coda for good measure.....floating guitar solo....a France-scented waltz that suddenly turned Arabia-wards (prostitute poem)....a sorta aline pub song.....and with a placid, mantric invocation to Selene the goddess the first side ended. second side.....oily way and its double coda (outer and inner temple), Pierre Moerlen's marimbas on Love is how you make it, mr. Stevie Hillage at his best on a "must know" space rock track, and finally mr. Malherbe pixieish jazz coda. wonderful........... can I give more that five stars, please?

ps. the magic atmosphere on planet gong is so strong that I came to know of it via a football mag! (those were the days!)

bye bye

Report this review (#27608)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Angel's Egg", the second part of Gnome trilogy is probably the peak of GONG career, but for some reason I prefer "You". Virgin remastered edition of 2004 has a superb sound and a reprint of a booklet with all the story and characters of the Planet Gong mythology. In addition to 14 original songs there is inclusion of 4 bonus tracks out of which only "Ooby Scooby Doomsday..." is worth paying attention. Although it is definitely a masterpiece of prog/psych music I would rate it just bit below 5 because for me "You" is better.
Report this review (#27619)
Posted Monday, March 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Angel's Egg" is a pure musical poem created by musicians with a really free mind. Gong was established in France. Paris, in these years, was a very creative town where it was possible to listen to very different kind of music ( jazz, rock, but also world music and especially african ). This very stimultating environment certainly had a great influence on Aellen, Hillage and Co.

"Angel's Egg" is one of the most ambitious record I ever heard and at the same time one of the less pretentious. Songs are short, but they are more ideas in each one than in most of the epic pieces often overrated by prog listeners. This music is described by some reviewers as weird. That's right. Angel's egg express some very unusual emotions in music and can be from one song to another or in the same song ironic, humoristic, poetic, provocative, sensitive, agressive, sensual.

5 stars : a masterpiece of music ( not just of progressive music ).

Report this review (#27620)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Being the second part of the Radio Gnome trilogie, the storie needs no real introduction, some teapot flying pothead pixies radiate radio gnome waves into the ether, in an attempt to spread the good word, while doing so, they encounter all sorts of people and the music explores different aspects of space progressive rock, with a high Canterbury caliber.

Does humour belongs in music? well Gong uses it a lot, and the answer to the question is in this case, it not only belongs in music, but when done intelligently and with regards to the music, in the right amount it can be an intricate part of the music. Humour seems to be a big part in Canterbury music, if only in the song titles, but also in the lyrics and the fun way the music is played. Blending Space progressive Canterbury music, with world-music influences, and some Jazz, Gong has established themselves as a highly original, skillful, fun band to listen to.

The music is fairly soft and gentle, with soft delicate drum and bass, with the melodies played by saxophone, guitar and flutes, some piano and very important the vocals. It's Night, it's not night, I'm happy, I'm not happy, I'm sad, I'm not sad, these lyrics combined with an alternating french versus Arabian tune, make up Prostitute Poem, one of my favourite songs, with a very sexy vocal from Gilli Smyth, it displays the double faced prostitute happy on the outside, but sad on the inside great song.

I could go through the motion and say something about each song, but whatever I say, the best way to understand and like this music, is to listen to it yourself. Oily Way, Prostitute poem, I never Glid Before are my favourite songs, but all songs have some unique quality.

Do yourself a favour, if you've never heard this before, go out and get it. Believe me it's worth it. Five stars with a huge recommendation, and while your at it, complete the Radio Gnome Trillogie, for all three albums are great.

PEACE OUT

Report this review (#40271)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The fourth release in 1973 "Radio Gnome Invisible Part II-Angel's Egg". It is the second work of nonsense three space story work "Radio Gnome Invisible". The maximum feature of GONG is "Pleasant ".It is wonderful relaxation music. Oriental feeling is good. Vorcal of Daevid Allen is also very attractive. I feel Frank Zappa's influence. "Oily Way" is one of the most important works of GONG.
Report this review (#43872)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an absolute masterpiece which can only reminds me of genius like Zappa, even though the space/canterbury style makes it quite different. Every track gets you into a diverse musical esperience, better if you listen to it in total darkness. I just bought it yesterday, and I´m crazy about it, I´m listening to it right now, it´s also cheap.

A must for every prog fan who wants something different than the regular Genesis, ELP, Yes, PF stuff.

Report this review (#51010)
Posted Sunday, October 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the second Gong album I ever heard. I liked it then, and still do now. My 13 year old son loves it - a next generation Gong fan. Here comes my only complaint, because of this - I wish it wasn't so rude and totally taken with drugs. Some may moan about the silly bits, but my silly son loves these the best (a great intro to Gong!). I'm still not sure about the space whispers, but when it finally builds up to the guitar freak-out in 'I Never Glid Before' (my favorite Gong track), then you are truly in space. By the way, why is this 'Canterbury Scene' - what's that supposed to mean - this is truly in space (just listen to Other Side of the Sky - you can't go wrong!). I'm going for 5 stars because every prog rock fan should know about the Pot head pixies, octave doctors and zero the hero - who could not know about these? Oily Way is a great track for a good summary of these. This is a great album to introduce the younger generation to progressive music, because it (and Flying Teapot) are so funny. I've had a number of 13 to 18 year olds drawing the Flying Teapot on the beach - along with the Pyramid from Dark Side of the Moon (need I say more?)
Report this review (#60210)
Posted Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

The keyboards are not omnipresent: they mostly consist in spacy, psychedelic, echoed & high frequency VCS3 arrangements including a few bubble sounds; the miscellaneous interesting guitar effects are more prominent than the keyboards themselves. There are omnipresent sax parts that give an obvious jazzy touch to the ensemble, even flirting with the realm of the Canterbury style. There are some excellent flute parts like on the excellent track "Oily way". There are some use of around 500 ms delays, which increase the effect of the spacy elements. The style of the tracks are really varied, and they are often funny, like the fair ambience on "Ooby-scooby doomsday" and on "Givin my luv to you" or like the crazy voices on "Percolations". "Prostitute poem" contains some crazy & weird psychedelic parts, sometimes very disturbing & confusing, and the lady sings both in French & English. There are some excellent Middle Eastern voices on "Other side of the sky". Pierre Moerlen does not use very much his excellent percussions of the xylophone family: he uses them a little on "Selene" and much more on "Love is how you make it"; Moerlen rather focuses on his drums.

Report this review (#78137)
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Zero the Hero seeks ways to spread what he has learned from Planet Gong and Radio Gnome Invisible. What a theme for an album! This is outstandingly good spacey jazzy rock with fun goofy lyrics, like no other band or artist has ever made, to my knowledge. Excellent jams! Or, to quote an old college roommate, it's "stonerific!" Warning - don't bother with this album if joking about drugs and dopers is offensive to you; go back to your Barry Manilow records.

Recorded by the classic Gong lineup including Shakti Yoni's space whisper, Zero on vocals, Steve Hillage on guitar, Pierre Moerlen on percussion, and Bloomdido (Didier Malherbe) on flutes and saxes. Hillage's licks and Moerlen's contributions are excellent throughout, and the workings of Bloomdido are especially fabulous on Flute Salad. If you fancy spacey jazzy prog rock, this scores perfectly.

The one odd track of the original album, Givin My Love to You, is very different stylistically, but oddly fits in with the flow of the tracks of the album. The CD reissue contains a "bonus" track, Ooby Scooby Doomsday" that was probably recorded much later, and truly does not fit with the other tracks. I prefer the vinyl recording that captures the cohesiveness of the original work without additional clutter.

Together with the third album You, the latter 2/3 of the Gong trilogy rank among my all time favorites, and have for over 30 years - great entertainment from start to finish.

Peace.

Report this review (#80560)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definetly a masterpiece, this album is good from the opening to the end, even if there is some place in the album that may sound weird, it as to be there to make the album and the story a complete whole.

"Other side of the sky" stars up the album with a very good space intro, including the famous space wisper by Gilli Smyth. This song is one of the best of the album. The bass groove in that song + the percussion and the electric piano, you know your gonna listen a masterpiece album.

"Sold To The Highest Buddha" is the first song in the album with the basic verse, chorus. «Hang on to your head» sing Deavid Allen, he is right because the album is a very good psychedelic, progressive trip ;)

"Castle In The Clouds" is the first musical bridge in the album.

"Prostitute Poem" is a Gilli Smyth song mostly sang in french.

"Givin My Luv To You" is the second bridge of the album, this time it's all the band singing like they are in a pud.

"Selene" is mellow song, very atmospheric, i like the feeling.

"Flute Salad" is a flute solo by Didier Mahlerbe and the intro to "Oily Way" so, the third bridge of the album.

"Oily Way" wow !!! what a song, this is one of my favorite song by Gong, a must, it really feels like your inside the tea pot flying into space.

"Outer Temple" this one as a arabic feels to it, another good one.

"Inner Temple" another classic on the album. It contain a very good sax melody and the famous glissando guitar played by Deavid Allen.

"Percolations" is the fourth bridge of the album lots of percussions.

"Love Is How Y Make It" is another masterpiece, it contain a very good melody sang by Deavid Allen that switch gadually in more complexe piece musically, lots of vibraphone.

"I Never Glid Before" may be my all time favorite song by Gong. The groove + the melody + an incedebly good chorus. You can't go wrong with this addition ;)

"Eat That Phone Book Coda" a very good ending to a masterpiece.

5 stars, nothing less !!!

The new remaster release in 2004 have 4 bonus tracks, "Other Side Of The Sky" (Single Version), "Ooby Scooby Doomsday...", "Love Is How Y Make It" (1973 Vocal Mix) & "Eat That Phone Book Coda" (Early Version)

Report this review (#80669)
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
The Wizard
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is what happens when you give some freaks who happen to incredibly musically talented some instruments and a studio, along with too much creative freedom. What you get is this, Gong and their most insane, Angels Egg. It's so spacey your head will be in the clouds and beyond, and it's so wacky that you'll question the sanity of yourself and the musicians. But Gong are more than just some hippies goofing off. There are some serious musical ideas here, like jazz and pioneering electronics.

This is the wackiest of the Gong trilogy albums. The lyrics are just plain crazy at times. "These guys are out of their minds!" you'll think. And it's very fun at the same time. Catchy and lovable are these lyrics, just as much are they a product of lysergic madness. And the great thing is they strive to tell a story, and a screwed one at that.

This album is part two in the Gong trilogy, which starts where Zero the Hero, having been seduced by the evil witch, is floating in outer space. The story actually strives to have meaning though. Many philosophical ideas like anarchy and such are expressed here. I can see why some punks liked this band.

Under all the lysergic lunacy is some incredible musicianship. All kinds of tasty ethnic percussion, acid tinged guitars, jazzy drumming, wailing sax, and cosmic synths never fail to entertain. The sax plays most of the riffs and melodies while the Steve Hillage plays in the background with Tim Blake to produce cosmic atmosphere's, with Hillage coming in for a solo every once and a while. Hillage doesnt do much to show off his talent, but that's for the better. The musician ship isn't at Gongs best, which is found in You. The focus of this album is more in the songs and the psychedelic atmosphere.

And this album sure is trippy. The melodies here seem to come strait from outer space. Lush passages layered in flute, bubbling synths, atmospheric guitars, ethnic percussion, and space whispered make this album a psychedelic treat. As far as melodies go, this album is the strongest. The melodies are the best in this album of the three in the trilogy.

I'll reward this album 4 stars. It's an amazing effort full of cosmic delights for proggers to indulge in. I don't give it five because I don't think of any of the trilogy albums as a masterpiece. I thinks Gong's masterpiece is the entire Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, not an individual album. All three of the albums go together as one. Highly recommended, along with Flying Teapot and You.

Report this review (#80951)
Posted Sunday, June 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I bought this album recently, after hearing Oily Way on this website. I then downloaded Oily Way and that was it. I was hooked.

I needed to know what the rest of the album was like. It was weird, I'd never gotten that from listening to one song, but thats what this album is like. Absolutely amazingly addictive.

Honestly though, I was dissapointed after listening to it the first time. I thought "Oh, I guess it was pretty good but..." But then I listened to it again, and again, and again and I realized "wait, this is possibly one of the greatest albums i've ever listened to!" (I had the same response to "Lizard" by King Crimson)

None of the tracks on the album are weak. Sure, there are definately stronger songs and weaker songs, but no out of place or bad songs. My favourite songs are Eat That Phone Book Coda, and Oily Way, but not by much. Every other song is tied for second place in my mind.

All in all this is a purely classic, essential, incredible album that NO ONE, no matter what should be without. period. So go! BUY IT NOW! Give it a few listens and you'll see. You'll see that every penny you spent on the album was worth it.

PS. I would recommend buying the remastered version just for the song "Ooby Scooby Doomsday or The D-day DJ's got the DDT Blues" that is included as a bonus track.

Report this review (#81026)
Posted Monday, June 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ok you know that usually I'm not so much involved in such a complex space rock with some hints of jazz rock; but in this particular case - which for me is like rediscover a small treasure of the past, dated 1973 - the present re-mastered music opera ( the second chapter of the triology) is an exception!! The classic line-up, composing and arranging this remarkable work, is composed by clever musicians, including Tim Blake at the moog synthesizers and VCS3, Pierre Moerlen on drums; Daevid Allen on guitar and vocals; Didier Maherbe playing the woodwinds; Mike Howlett as a bass player; finally - last but not least- the hidden leader Mr Steve Hillage, playing the guitar, helped by Gilli Smyth and Didier Maherbe, which complete the line up.

The work of Tim Blake is the lead "wire" of the whole opera, not only for his atmospheric sinths, being due to his typical and reasonable music approach, but also for a sort of cohesive job along with Gilli Smyth's space whisper and his intelligent use of some echoes...the compactness and its versatility as well, regarding the present essential Canterburian work, it's the best way to be closer to such a different type of prog-genre, usually quite far away from the spirit of the so called "Romantic" progressive rock.

This music stream is equal to "Dada" in literature, even though the lyrics are similar but more humor- oriented, in comparison to the true dadaistic lyrics of such European Literary Mainstream of '900... never mind, cause the final output is excellent... for instance the plot of "Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or the D-Day got the D.D.T. blues" is very interesting and it has been explaned in a good manner by the liner notes of the CD remastered version (see also the topics): the Planet Gong is well represented within the booklet (think of "Octave Doctors" or "Master of the Spheres" for example), explaining every detail of the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, exceedingly!!

At the end you can discover some other remarkable albums such as "Flying Teapot" or "You", but probably " Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg" is the most meaningful of the whole Canterburian Mainstream... so this Vol.2 is well worth checking out!!

Report this review (#82423)
Posted Sunday, July 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the least of the three trilogy Lps. The sound is muddy and cluttered and many of the tracks are silly. Howerver it remains a classic of its type. Who ever thought adding the final track on the lp was a fool.Ooby-scooby doomsday or the D-Day got the D.D.T. blues sounds out of place which indeed it is. I was never as keen on this album as YOU which reamins a classic. Hillages solo on "never glid before" would make this LP essential on its own. Buy this recording its worth the admission price who knows you might even like it !
Report this review (#91320)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars How do you classify an album like this ? It's Psychedelic, Canterbury, Space and Jazz with a lot of humour. A lot of weird and silly songs (i'm sure they all have their purpose) in this second installment of the trilogy. This is certainly a diverse album, more of a focus on the songs then on the longer instrumentals like the follow up "You".

Steve Hillage seems to have his hands tied, that is until he breaks loose on "I Never Glid Before" which is amazing ! The opener "The Other Side Of The Sky" is a great jamming, spacey song, a perfect way to start. "Flute Salade" and "Oily Way" go great together, another highlight. "Inner Temple" features some amazing sax playing.

If you want to check out the legendary GONG you can't go wrong in checking out any of the Trilogy albums.

Report this review (#93649)
Posted Friday, October 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Difficult experience with this one for me. I first heard "Oily Way" here on this site, and I loved it. Months later and I finally got the whole album, which I found mediocre compared to the Oily Way track. It turned out to be one of those abums that take several boring listens to get used to the album, and after those 15-20 plays it was just excellent. I was hooked on GonG!

The sound is a rich mix of Psychedelic Canterybury, very spacey, flowing very freely with even mixes of coherent song structered peices and pure free willed spacey irregularity.

Daevid Allen handles most of the songwriting, his best being the free spirited "Love Is How You Make It". Hillage's guitar is prominent, distorted to his signature treble heavy sound, used to great affect on his masterpeice "I Never Glid Before" Pierre Moerlen is in excellent form, contributing great tight drumming on tracks like "Inner Temple" and "Oily Way".

The best tracks are in the instances where the band tried to use the tighter song form in their writing. The spacey tracks: Other side of the sky,Castle in the clouds,Prostitute poem,Selene,Flute salad,Outer temple & Inner temple.

The best tracks, the ones which single-handedly would make the album a 5 Star: Sold to the highest buddha, Castle in the clouds, Oily way, Inner temple, Love is how you make it, I never glid before & Eat that phonebook coda.

That's where the album falters to me, the aimless tracks like "The Other Side of the Sky" and "Prostitute Poem" that knock the album down a star for me. (Although both contain some great sections) I just find myself bored in some of the passages in those songs.

A good introduction to Gong, and one of the essential Canterbury albums. Be sure to pick up the other two albums in the trilogy if you find yourself likig this one!

Report this review (#108082)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Angel's Egg is part two of the greatest musical trilogy every created (the greatest trilogy ever, of any style of entertainment?), a magical set of three albums by space rock masters Gong (before they turned jazz-fusion), but it is my least favorite part (relatively speaking). The debut of the trilogy (but not the band's debut), Flying Teapot, is a fantastic album full of spacey jazz-rock compositions that slice through the mind as if were butter. The closing chapter, You, is absolutely amazing and is one of my favorite albums ever. In between those two albums is Angel's Egg, a third masterpiece, but a very different one. It's amazing that a band could create three amazing albums in a row, but Gong succeeded marvelously (indeed, the only stronger set of three consecutive studio albums I can think of is CAN's Tago Mago - Ege Bamyasi - Future Days set with Damo Suzuki).

Several factors contribute to this success, such as amazing musicianship, amazing compositional skills, and amazing just about everything else, and indeed these are all present in great quantities on this album, but they are not the real reason I love this album so much (just look at Spock's Beard, a band with good musicians that I despise). No, the reason this album (and the other two Radio Gnome Invisible albums) is so wonderful is the band's sense of fun. You can tell they had fun every step of the way writing and recording this album, and the result is that you know you are allowed to have fun listening to it. That liberty is what makes this album so great. In fact, it's nearly impossible not to crack up just looking at the song titles, which include such witty names as Sold to the Highest Buddha, Givin My Luv to You, Flute Salad, Oily Way, I Never Glid Before, and Eat That Phonebook Coda. Thankfully, things get even better and more fun as we actually put the album on and hear the music. Right from the opening line of Other Side of the Sky, "she is the mother of everything, and you are her egg," we can tell we are in for a fun trip, and it only gets better as we delve further into the adventures of Zero the Hero. Listen in particular to the song Givin My Luv to You. Monty Python could have written that song.

In addition to all that, this album just happens to be one of the best examples of both Canterbury music and space rock, a stunning combination. There are spacey studio effects and musical passages combined with fun and symphonic jazz. This musical grouping is what makes Gong more potent than the supposed masters of space rock, Pink Floyd (much as I love them, which is quite a bit), and thus they are easily my favorite space rock band (at least, during their space rock period). There are hints and snatches of avant-garde in here that only add to the effect as well. Also, this album must have been incredibly influential, because I can here parts of it in post Phil Shulman (post Octopus, in other words) Gentle Giant. When you influence one of prog's most important bands, you must be doing something right, and indeed they were doing something right. More than something, really, though. They were doing everything right.

I have recently changed my reviewing style, and so I no longer do track by track analyses of albums, because I feel that such in depth analysis burdens the reviews. On this review, however, there is one track in particular I want to discuss in more detail, simply because it's good enough that it's earned it. It's hard to imagine, on an album so perfect as this, composed only of perfect songs, that one song could rise above the others as "more" perfect, and yet that's exactly what the penultimate song, I Never Glid Before, does. Everything I love in Gong can be found in a six-minute, bite sized portion here. There's great drumming, especially in the introduction, giving it a strong start. You're engaged from the first seconds, and it never lets go. What follows are dreamy vocals and a great sax "riff," as good as any guitar riff you care to name (especially when the vocalist starts doing a "duet" with this "riff"). The lyrics are silly and fun and altogether perfect (who can resist such lines as, "I didn't glid before"). And that guitar solo. just. wow! I'm still left speechless each time I here it. It's emotive and expressive beyond all belief. Perhaps my favorite guitar solo ever. And finally, the energy. This song has more energy than the entire output of most bands. Even when it threatens to go slow and ballad-y, the band pull out of it majestically, making it all fit as they enter one of the greatest song climaxes I know. This song is absolutely incredible, and it is this type of song that makes Gong so incredible. Other songs, like Sold to the Highest Buddha, Prostitute Poem, Flute Salad, Oily Way, and Eat That Phonebook Coda all reach heights close to this one, and the remaining songs aren't far behind.

This album is one of the very best in my collection, an upbeat and uplifting album that cements Gong as space rock legends, and part two of the greatest trilogy ever written. That's quite an accomplishment, but Gong make it seem like no big deal, because to them, writing an album of this caliber really isn't a big deal. For them, it's just another day of business as usual. This album is a must in any prog music collection, no matter what style of prog you prefer. It's funny that the one album of the trilogy composed only of short songs (the other two mainly contained middle length to long songs) is the best, given that it's progressive rock we're talking about, but nevertheless, that is the case. Gong were the best of two worlds, Canterbury and space rock, and were one of progressive rock's most important bands. Angel's Egg is a masterpiece through and through, and a must have for your collection. Enjoy! And remember, "don't come thinking through the door," just let this album wash over you and get deep within your every pore. Hold no preconceptions, just be prepared for one of the greatest aural experiences of your life.

Report this review (#115865)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars As a Christmas gift, I recieved this album, like six months ago, as an introduction to this crazy band GonG and the Canterbury Scene. Then, I decided to take this disc with me on holidays, and hear it on the beach, park, etc etc. Since then, I started to like this album more and more until I love it, and after a listening tonight I decided to make a review.

Gong was a completely unknown band to me until I saw occasionally a video of the band on a bizarre TV comic show. I was impressed by the weirdness of their sound, so I heard an mp3 on this site and then got this album, and, yes, what an introduction! What makes me love this disc is the bizarre it is: weird voices, some of them comical; very psychedelic sounds and moments, like the intro with no shape "Other Side Of The Sky"; a song that seems a group of guys singing drunk on a bar; as well as some strange, if not childy ("Love Is How You Make It"), melodies. In addition to that, the base is very, very good, with excellent drumming (specially on "Oily Way") and that low, atmosphere bass, that contributes very much to that unique 'Gong' ambience, with the occassional but great guitar solos by Hillage. Having said this, I can't find any other band that sounds like Gong, they're an unique experience on my CD collection and that makes me want to hear more from them. Since to me it's not easy to describe very well their music, you have to hear to believe! But I'll say what are the standouts here: "Sold To The Highest Buddha" drives me completely crazy and, as a very good opener, blows my mand with that "Hang on to your head" chorus, great moment!; I love the voice of Gilli Smith on "The Prostitute Poem" as well as the main melody with very mellow and sweet sax; "Flute Salad" serves as an introduction to the great "Oily Way" (which is possible to hear on this site), that COMPLETELY blows my mind, crazy, catchy, amazing!; the last two and the bonus track, that features a very strange title, are incredibly good, heavier and catchy. To summarize, here you've from quiet, psych songs, to more, I don't know if 'rocker' is the correct term, but heavier fits well with the description of 'the other side' of this album.

Overall, an album (and band) that shouldn't be missed in your collection. I'm looking forward to more albums from Gong. Crazy and nice music, specially for those who are looking for something different into the Prog Rock genre. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.1/5

Report this review (#123857)
Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1.Other Side Of The Sky::::::::::::::Starts off as a real spacy atmosphere with Smyth providing the space whispers, then come the horns and synthesizers becomming more and more active, then comes the soothing sound that gong is known for, like a electronic bath it feels like, it sounds way ahead of it's time (1973). As the song goes on more and more structure is presented and the band goes into a trippy little trance like jam, with some good guitaring from Steve Hillage.

2. Sold To The Highest Buddha::::::::::::::Is a weird rock song, with the sax almost imitating Deavid Allen's voice at the very start. Lots of sythesizer layers and background effects, good guitar once again from Hillage, great lyrics, and a easy feel good sing along chorus.

3. Castle In The Clouds:::::::::::::Extremely Jazzy, free jazz with electronics colouring the background.

4. Prostitute Poem::::::::::::::::A real good intro, next comes the heart of the song; bass and Smyth taking over lead vocals. This song remindes me of Roxy Music's A Song For Europe. Prostitute Poem also includes a very beautiful saxophone parts, and the lyrics are hallucinated. Strange parts and beautiful parts is how you describe this song.

5.Givin' My Luv To You::::::::::::::::Givin' My Love To You is a short song that sounds like something everybody in a pub would drunkenely sing. It also sounds alot like Bershire Poppies from Traffic's first album Mr. Fantasy.

6. Selene::::::::::::::::Compared to the previous songs, this is the most "normal sounding" song on the album so far, reminds me of early Pink Floyd, strong bass and vocal presentation make this song stand out.

7. Flute Salad:::::::::::::::This one sounds like an ancient india flute song, at first, then it progresses and sounds more and more psychedelic and even has song synthesizer to help out.

8. Oily Way:::::::::::::: Starts with the ancient sounding flute again...then come the interesting drum beats, and the jazzy/acid feeling. Very obscure lyrics drive this song, making reference to the pot head pixies again. "It's not the Milky Way, it's not the only way, it's not the English way" sounds like a prime example of "hippie music".

9. Outer Temple::::::::::::::Maybe the most strange song that starts out with a creepy/humourous voice saying "good evening", and makes direct references to tea, this song is short and blends into...

10. Inner Temple::::::::::::::: Another space rock song with strong jazzy overtones that are presented in the drums, bass, and of course the sax, you play that sax Malherbe!

11. Percolations:::::::::::::::: Simply trippy short space filler that sets up...

12. Love Is How Y Make It:::::::::::::::::The best song on the album, starts off with an oreintal feeling starting soft with all sorts of relaxing percussions with pretty lyrics, then suddenly the drums kick in and you realize this song is great, it sounds really good and has a great beat and messege.

13. I Never Glid Before::::::::::::::::::Starts off with with strong guitars, sax, and unreconized instuments at times. Possibly the most accessible and rockish songs with a red hot guitar solo from Hillage.

14. Eat That Phone Book Coda:::::::::::::::::::::Free Jazzy once again, a good relaxed feel good song that leaves a good feeling inside your head as the great album comes to a close. I especially enjoy the end of this song.

Report this review (#127232)
Posted Sunday, July 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars well, something exquisite for your head! a very mellow trip performed by D.Allens GonG. a little bit hilarious in some passages but this is a sign of a craziness that is accepted all way through the album...i understand them... the sax is played like describing the musical anatomy of a hot mdmoiselle..good combination along with the anxious female voice from David Allens partner, gilli. surely as the music goes on you feel that ionosphere, lytosphere etc are passing behind and into outer sapce, until finally you hit earth like waking up early morning..dude that was long...can i have more?
Report this review (#127491)
Posted Wednesday, July 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Pt. 2 of the Radio Gnome Trilogy starts unpromisingly (yes, it's that dratted space whisper again...) but sax, synths and percussion soon lay down an enticing rhythm, and when Steve Hillage's lead guitar comes in, the effect is overpowering. The very moment 'Sold to the highest Buddha' begins, you realise this is the first official Gong album featuring Pierre Moerlen, and yes sir, the master's style is already recognisable! I must admit I find the second half of the original A-side sleep-inducing (apart from the gorgeous 43-second 'Giving my luv to you') but the B-side is a triumph from start to finish. Undoubtedly the freshest sequence of pure songs Gong ever put to record! It's hard to explain why this side works so well; it must be that near-perfect combination of jazzy sax riffs, spacy bass riffs, happy songs with whacky lyrics, superb drumming, gorgeous flute and guitar solos, plus 'percolations' on vibraphone...

At the end of the irresistible 'Eat that Phonebook', when Daevid Allen sings: 'Here's your angels egg for breakfast in the morning (bye bye!)', I always feel I want to hug him - and I'm NOT a sentimental guy.

Report this review (#130074)
Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Make sure you have the booklet when listening!

"Angels egg" is the second part of the trilogy of albums covered by the "Radio gnome invisible" title. The first thing that strikes you when approaching the album is the glorious artwork. The back cover especially has a wonderful track by track chart which offers diagrammatic views of the songs, plus brief descriptions of the ongoing story. The story itself is suitably warped: "Zero loses his head which flies away up through the quim of the moon and out the other side into seventh heaven where is perpetual orgasm..". As if this was not enough, we also find an accompanying booklet with the full story and lyrics. With this plethora of amusement, it is quite easy to forget that there is actually an album to be heard lurking inside the sleeve.

To the music we must though, and this is where things start to deteriorate a bit. The spacy opener "Other side of the sky" offers an intriguingly understated appetiser, but all too soon we are into the repetitively dull "Sold to the highest Buddah". Steve Hillage tries to stir things up a bit with his "lewd" guitar on the brief "Castle in the cloud". As Zero encounters a prostitute, who appears to be French, things turn decidedly weird when she recites her "Poem" backed by what sounds like a Parissienne bar band. This in turn becomes a brief barroom sing-a-long, good fun in the context of the album, but a complete waste of space otherwise.

Things pick up here though, with the almost Beatles like "Selene", a hymn to the moon goddess of that name. The two part "Flute salad/oily way" which opens the second side sets out in decidedly spacy fashion, Didier Mahlerbe's wispy flute playing leading into a semi-spoken song with a girlie refrain.

As we enter the temple, first outer then inner, the music becomes more relaxed and soothing, and indeed more melodic. A couple of more orthodox songs then materialise, "Love is how Y make it" being a light almost pop (or as near as Gong come to pop!) number. Steve Hillage's "I never did glid before" is one of the few longer tracks on the album, running to almost 5 minutes. As the song develops, hints of Hillage's solo works become apparent. The album closes with the oddly titled "Eat that phone book coda".

"Angels egg", and indeed its two sister albums, is in reality very reliant on the concept to pull it through. Heard in isolation, it is a mishmash of sounds and styles which fit rather awkwardly together. If reference is made to the booklet which explains the events of the associated story, a significant new dimension is added to the experience. This will never rank for me among the albums I rank highly. It is however a finely crafted work which when assessed as an overall package, has much to recommend it.

Report this review (#130343)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I always had mixed feelings about this album. Ok, this is a real classic with some exciting and memorable tunes.

An original work in its nature, being the second chapter of the Radio Gnome saga. Original musically, blending typical Canterbury refined sound with more spacey and dreamy territories as in the opener "Other Side of the Sky".

For all this reasons, it is certainly an excellent addition to any prog music collection and, maybe, a masterwork of its genre.

Notwithstanding, the most part of it isn't what I would call exactly favourite item. It features some of the best flute playing I've heard in years, different from what you're used to listen in Tull. "Oily Way" is a stunning piece, I admit it. And it's not the only one. In fact it's matched by "Sold to the Highest Buddha". Excellent also the vocal parts and the sax playing.

On the other hand, it seems to lack in cohesion somehow. Ok, some of the remaining tracks can be suggestive and curious (there's a lot of humour that I cannot fully understand). Just listen, for example, to "Prostitute Poem" or to "Eat that Phone Book Coda". They generally fail to impress me, though. Sometimes are even boring , a little bit.

All in all this may be called an excellent album. For my taste it really has a pair of memorable moments. The remaining part is good which is not enough for a complete four stars rating.

3,5 from me.

Report this review (#130716)
Posted Sunday, July 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

Ok now we have hit the real cheese. Gong is at their peak here and with YOU. The band has Pieere Moerlen on drums, Hillage on Guitar, Blake on keys, Howlitt pounding amazing bass riffs, Didiere shredding the sax as always, and Gilli Smyth in fairly limited doses = perfection. (it's not that I don't like Gilli, I love the space whispers I think they work great, but I cannot stand her singing lead sometimes, it just does not fit with Gong as it should!)...Just about every track on here is perfected awesomeness, or enjoyable at least, even Prostitute Poem which you can assume right off the bat is a Gilli Smyth feast.

Angel's Egg comes with so much greatness that it even gives you chills at how awesome some musicianship can be. Daevid is crazy as always and writes some magnificant lyrics for Gong, the music backing all of this, as always but even BETTER, is just incredible. You have to buy this album if you enjoy anything Gong, it could be their best, it is a very close call between this and YOU...greatness, enjoy!

Report this review (#147244)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Well this is the big tomalley.

I remember for my 11+ (soon to be discontinued) the question: as Farewell to Kings is to Rush so is _ _ _ _ _'_ _ _ _ to Gong. I smiled and filled in Angel's Egg, handed the paper to the invigilator who smiled, turned into a lamp and flew out the window ... or maybe that was a dream.

This is an absolute die hard essential gotta have album for all the space rock cadets out there. Please listen intently to the new adventures of our hero Zero and the pot head pixies. I'll wager that Tea has never played such a central part of any album.

This album has it all: a little smidgeon of funky Zappa, interspersed with that quintessential Canterbury light self-effacing humour, and sprinkled with the power and drive of Deep Purple. All of this is saturated in oceans of mind altering pots of herbal tea. (Ed: who writes this stuff???)

To be serious ... nah what's the point? This is far too much fun to be serious about. I'm not a huge Gong fan, but this album never fails to guide me through a wonderful, vision of spaced out bliss.

Simply put this is one of the very best prog albums. I reckon it's a class leader in Canterbury and spacerock. It's also tips its hat to jazz and is just a wee bit funky.

There's so much to say that it's probably better to shut up and thoroughly recommend it for your listening pleasure. ... enjoy

Report this review (#164971)
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Angel's Egg encapsulates the high strangeness that we know and love about Gong. This is definitely one of their best albums and notably features some of the weirdest tracks of the band's repertoire. Gong are eternally surreal cosmic adventurers who always strive to produce the wackiest spaced out music on the planet. They accomplished it here.

They have notably been referred to 'an invisible ideological empire' more than a band and it is easy to see why. The concept of this album takes on the same themes as Flying Teapot. The pot head pixies are back as is Zero the Hero, and the jazz fusion and Eastern influences abound. It is all rather absurd and you have to be in the right mood and the music works better listening to it as a whole album rather than individual tracks.

This album is the second in the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, and it is the best. We are transported to Planet Gong, via a Flying Teapot, and the allegorical tale of life and the idiocy of our heroes quest begins: a quest that is never ending but nevertheless essential in finding the meaning of that perfect life. Steve Hillage is excellent as guitar extraodinaire and he is complimented with Allen, Malherbe, Blake, Howlett and Moerlen. A special mention must be made of the sultry vocals of Gilli Smyth as she croons 'Prostitute Poem', a nice break from all the lunacy and mayhem. Gong recorded this by hanging microphones from trees and the atmospehere is present throughout. Highlights include 'Other Side of the Sky', 'Flute Salad', showcasing Malherbe's incredible flute, and 'Oily Way', 'Inner Temple' 'Love is How Y Make It' and the rocker, 'I Never Glid Before'.

The album was voted as Gong's best by Mojo readers and it is easy to see why. Coming in at Second was Camembert Electrique and You, though I have a soft spot for Live Etc, that polled number 7 in the votes. In any case Angel's Egg is quintessential Gong and one of the best albums of 1973.

Report this review (#177852)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hare hare supermarket ! Hare hare hare supermarket ! Hare hare London bus ! Sometimes Spacey, Always Trippy, Sometimes Jazzy, Always Interesting. It took a few spins for this quirky album to click, but I am pretty much fully converted now. This has similarities with the other Canterbury bands like The Soft Machine, Hatfield & the North, etc. etc. But, Gong is definitely not imitating anyone. They are out in the lead and other bands may hope to follow, but they probably won't be able to. If you are looking for something off the beaten track, Here's a kool band to check out.
Report this review (#182115)
Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg is the fifth full-length studio album by psychadelic jazz/ rock act Gong and the second album in the Radio Gnome triology. Gong is one of those bands that are hard to catagorize as they could fit into both a psychadelic rock catagory as well as a jazz/ rock ditto and most people find them an aquired taste. I felt the first album in the Radio Gnome triology Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 1 - Flying Teapot (1973) had some great moments but I´m not sure if I enjoy the silly psychadelic elements in their music as much as I had expected to. Normally I´m not that much of a jazz/ rock fan but I find myself liking Gong´s jazz/ rock elements more than their psychadelic ditto and that´s quite the surprise for me.

The music on Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg pretty much takes off where Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 1 - Flying Teapot ended. We have the powerful jamming jazz/ rock parts with Didier Malherbe sax playing taking the lead role but we also get lots of psychadelic parts ( where the same Didier Malherbe also gets to shine on flute) both with and without the male and female ( mostly spoken female vocals) vocals by Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth. There are a couple of structured psychadelic rock songs but many of the 14 ( 15 if you have the CD version with the bonus track Ooby-scooby doomsday or the D-Day got the D.D.T. blues) tracks seem like they were made while jamming in the studio. Some rather stoned material if you ask me. That´s not neccesarely a bad thing but it doesn´t work wonders for me in this case.

The musicianship is good and like his predecessor Rachid Houari, Pierre Moerlen has to be mentioned for his great jazz/ fusion drumming style. A great drummer that one. The rest of the band are also well playing and the stoned vocals and strange lyrics from Daevid Allen gives the music its special identity.

The production is a bit warmer than the sound on the predecessor and it suits the music well.

Out of the two first Radio Gnome albums I prefer the first one as Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg seems a bit unfocused to my ears but it´s still a pretty good album deserving a 3 star rating. Like all the Daevid Allen era Gong albums it´s an aquired taste if you can enjoy the weird psychadelic humour but it´s definitely an album you have to have heard.

Report this review (#208414)
Posted Monday, March 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars ANGEL'S EGG is the most song-oriented of the three RGI albums, yet it's one of their most enjoyable works to sit through. Yes, the extended instrumental interplay is subdued on this album compared to others, but at the same time, there's a certain charm ANGEL'S EGG has that keeps me spinning it.

There are a few extended instrumental breaks, notably the opening track's spacey grooves. There are others like the ''Inner Temple/Outer Temple'' space/jazz interlude that keep the interest. ANGEL'S EGG is mostly lyrically whimsical with many unusual moments that make you go, ''Wait a minute...WHAT?'' followed by a few chuckles. The music backs up the humour moments quite well, particularly with Hillage, Blake and new rhythm section of Mike Howlett/Pierre Moerlen taking instrumental duties and Didier Malberbe's soaring woodwinds.

Highlights are ''Sold to the Highest Buddha'' with its sudden yet fluid shifts of metre, the closing ''Eat That Phonebook Coda'', the strange hard rocking ''I Never Glid Before'', the groovy ''Oily Way'' and the marimba infested ''Love Is How Y Make It''. On certain versions, the bonus ''Ooby Scooby Doomsday'' is worth a good laugh. The whole album is worth a spot in your prog collection as ANGEL'S EGG is full of progressive little tunes that never take themselves seriously.

Report this review (#228477)
Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent french group that goes with angel's egg confirmed if his music as psychedelic technically superb, very delirium, Steve Hillage guitar is at the top of his art, the keyboard also tim blake. Daevid Allen Australia is literally at balalde singing with Gilli Smith, still very beautiful voice delirious. Pierre Moerlen this fantastic french drummer and Didier Malherbe great saxophonist flutist. This was not the best album of Gong but there is much to this great training, not to mention Mike Howlett, excellent bass. 'Oily Way' is a title which shows that Gong is a group home in delirium, easy to play titles not easily accessible. The music is very melodic and pleasant, and quiet bele, battery Pierre Moerlen époustoufflante is like all the breaks that are all prepared and Migot with the knowledge of Gong. Inner Temple offers a wide space, very relaxing. The humor is very present on the album and delirium also.
Report this review (#228504)
Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a first gong album I got ( some years ago). I new the name, but never heard the music.So, when I started to listen, it was a surprise.

First of all the album's structure was ... strange. Some chaotic mix of different style and rhythms songs, kind of psychodelic dream. But all music had it ... MAGIC. In my head I understood, that it is some "strange brew", without logic, crazy mix of jazzy psychodelic pieces with LCD lyrics, kind of mirror-of-its-time. But some golden melodies, some nuances, some perfect musical technique had strong attraction.

After some listenings nothing became more logic, or I can't say, that I understood this album better, but I started like it even more.

OK, years are gone from that time, I regularly returning back to listen that album. What can I say? I didn't understand it better, no chance. But I like it till now, most really because of it's strange magic. Gong's Magic...

I didn't listen all Gong's albums, but from some of them I had I think this one is the best.

"You" ( I own it as well) is at similar level, but less strange, less atmospheric, less crazy. It means ( in Gong's case) -less Magic. So I prefer Angel's Egg.

I think there are big circle of music fans, who can find Angel's Egg perfect. Starting from jazz/fusion guys, who will find plenty of their beloved improvisations there to progheads,who will be attracted by album's experimental and beautiful mix of everything.

Report this review (#236528)
Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Win? Win.

Angel's Egg, the second volume of Radio Gnome Invisible, is the definition of Gong and all things around it. Steve Hillage's fuzz guitar sound combined with Daevid Allen's drugged up vocals, with Didier Malherbe's atonal trumpet playing, and on top of that, Pierre Moerlen insane drum parts ARE THIS ALBUM! Each song has a creepy and weird sense of psychedelia to it, sort of Magma-ish, in a fun sort of way. This album is one of the little albums that feature the classic Gong line-up which is Allen, Hillage, Moerlen, Malherbe, female vocalist Gilly Smyth, keyboard player Tim Blake, and bassist Mike Howlett.

Starting with the line, "you are an egg", the album begins with the 8-minute long, instrumental, Other Side of the Sky. You, the listener, is stuck in a world of random motions, waves, and sounds, moving slowly, and slower, and slower. The looping keyboard part slowly hypnotizes you and drags you into a world where everything is colorful, funny, and exciting. The pixies are green and the land is too, the buildings are colorful, and everything goes by with a smile. You see a sign as you go in this mysterious land, and that sign says, "welcome to planet gong". You are still captivated by these mysterious sounds and waves, and are slowly dragged further and further into the mysterious planet. You pass by flying teapots and pot head pixies as you make your way further into the center of the planet, until you suddenly stop, and cue:

Gong once, gong twice, sorry, I mean, going once, going twice, and SOLD, to the highest buddah! You spot a few pixies playing a song, and you come closer to realize what this celestial music is. You hear Hillage's fantastic fuzzy guitar solos, Moerlen's insane drum fills, Allen's strange chants, and Malherbe's odd atonal trumpet parts. The lead pixie tells you to "hang on to your head", while you keep moving on, and encounter a strange, castle,

Castle in the clouds. The mysterious fog surrounding the place just makes you want to go inside, and then, you go inside, and find out there is no way back. Inside the castle, you see an odd pixie talking to what seems to be a prostitute. You want to see what's going on and why they are talking but then again you are afraid to interrupt the

Prostitute's Poem. You look at the pixie and notice he is looking funny, and you then reminisce of what the leading pixie told you, "hang to your head". Malherbe's trumpet sublimes you into a drug-induced joruney. You feel like anything is posssible in your dream, but you are now trapped in the body of somebody called Zero the Hero, who is apparently the "pixie" you ahve been looking at. Malherbe's trumpet keeps guiding you, and the further you go, you understand you have been sucked into a planet and have become obsessed with a certain pixie, called the Cock Pot Pixie. You find out that the reason the "pixie" you see, which is actually you, looks drugged, is because he was drugged by a cat which was really, in the end, a witch. You find planet gong under the influence of the drugs, and meet a moon goddess called

Selene, a great song. It features a great chord sequence, and no matter how cheesy love lyrics are, these are wonderful and fun. When listening to this song you feel like everything is yours to be found and nothing can possibly go wrong. You feel like you're in a surreliastic kingdom with a boombox playing godly music while you jump on your bouncy castle, laughing all the way through.

"You know what then? Where is it?" Oh, the smart words of wisdom coming out of Allen's mouth are the start of a fantastic, or should I say, flute-tastic track based on only 2 instruments, which are the flute and the synthesizer. Creepy psychedelia is what the theme of this track is, until a wonderful flute riff starts and we go down the

Oily Way is a rhythmic, drug-influenced song. Zero the Hero is heavily drugged and is now going down the oily way, with all those pot head pixies, riding out on their teapot taxies. Moerlen is essential in terms of "ESSENTIAL", on this track. Gong would have never been the same without the power trio of Malherbe/Moerlen/Hillage. Down the oily way we go until we reach the

Outer Temple, a short mystical song, with the funny vocals Gong is infamous for. "Would you like some tea?", says the templar of Planet Gong's temple. Zero goes inside and reaches the

Inner Temple, a song similar to Outer Temple in terms of tempo. Malherbe's trumpet solo is used to emphasize Zero's wonderous mind as he enters the inner temple and discovers the hidden treasures which lie within. Near the end of the song, there is a gong, and as the end of the song is near, the drumming on the can is what you will hear.

I never, never glid before! Glidding: How the flying teapots fly. Amazing track that is the definition of gong, and should be linked to on nay site referencing Gong as the band, or as the instrument. Catchiest Gong track I have yet to have heard, and boy is it awesome. If you want to get the overall feel of Gong this album along with Flying Teapot, listen to this track.

"What you gonna do? Eat that phone book" Even though Allen did not eat that phone book, Eat That Phone Book Coda is the final stand. Moerlen takes the lead on this track with insane drum fills, while Allen's nasal tone fills the remaining space. "At the end, of the day, when there's nothing left to play"...you turn off your speakers and go to bed, knowing, Gong is a band that will live in your mind forever.

5/5, best Gong album yet!

Report this review (#238104)
Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Gong's RGI vol.2: Angel's Egg

Stange, weird, Gong..

I loved Gong's Flying Teapot (RGI vol.1) at first spin, but Angel's Egg is another story. It is more eclectic, covering more music genre's, it's abstract, spacey and puzlling. The weird Daevid Allen vocals are present, but less catchy then on the Teapot. Ofcourse there is the storyline about Zero the Hero who by now enter's the strange world of planet Gong inside his mind.

Gong's sound is constructed with the great drums of Pierle Moerlen, nice jazzy basslines, spaceguitar by Captain Hillage, hippi vocals by Deadvid Allen and lot's of synthesizors and ofcourse jazzy saxes and other wind instruments.

The first eight minutes consist of spacy, ambient soundscapes with strange vocals. Sold to the Highest Buddha (great title!) is the first song. A great opener with an strange catchy chorus. Castle in the Clouds is a atmospheric multilayer guitar-with-echos part of mister Hillage. Prostitute Poem takes us to some dark French Cafe in which Gilli Smith tries to confuse us with her strange vocals and lyrics "I'm eating your mind". Strange atmospheres, hard to discribe. Givin my luv to you is a bar-song in again a cafe setting with drunk men singing it. The next song Selene takes us back to the progressive Gong sound just in time. A nice atmospheric progressive song that's sticks to my mind. Just lovely!

On side two Flute Salad and Oily Way are great songs with nice lyrics about the Pot Head Pixy way of life. After these songs I kind of loose grip again on this record. The temple parts are strange, but beatifull. I niver Glid Before is again a way back to the classic Gong sound and the final song Eat that phonebook Coda is also in the Gong tradition.

What to say about this? I listened to it eight times now and I don't think I like it as much as the Flying Teapot. Some parts of the record make me loose the connection to the music, for they are so eclectic. Still these parts are great, but they stay confusing. The latter thing isn't unexpected for a classic Gong era record. The Canterbury sound appears more on this album then on RGI part one and the great drums of Pierle Moerlen are a blessing for my ears. It could have been listed as spacerock. If you are planning to explore the world of Gong this is a bad place to start, but a great experience to complete your journey! For now I will give it four stars.

Try it if you dare!

Report this review (#239142)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars On Gong's 4th album, the music is still as psychotic and schizophrenic as your state of mind will be after too much weed. In order to fully appreciate Gong, the two have to go together I guess: drugs and a bemused mindset.

Gong got a lot more coherent though, and kick off the album with one of their typical mesmerizing space-jazz jams. It flows into the more rocking Sold to the Highest Buddah, a groovy take on one of their obvious sources for inspiration: Syd Barrett. With 14 tracks for 45 minutes, there are many short interludes here. The jazz-rock jingle Castle In The Clouds is one of the best, very concise and to the point. Only a good minute long but still trippy. Also some of the longer songs are very fragmented. The 6 minutes of Prostitute Poem starts with a one minute of guitar and sound effects before it turns into a smoky jazz song with Middle-Eastern flavours. By the end of it we've had 18 minutes of coherent Gong material. That hadn't happened before.

After a bit of fun with Givin' My Love To You, the album has a bit of trouble to find its momentum back. Selene is quite charming but hardly essential. Flute Salad is a more interesting experiment but is sure to have you searching through all your drawers to find that last stash of grass. This music could serve as an excellent substitute to put you in higher states though. Oily Way is a pleasant psychedelic song that belongs to another era. Outer Temple / Inner Temple are way more convincing. Timeless space-jazz here and one of my most loved Gong moments.

The remainder of the album is ok but doesn't add much. With 20 minutes of passable jumble and 25 of essential material, 4 stars would be too flattering still, but it comes close.

Report this review (#261210)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I distinctly recall the initial attraction I had towards Gong (a time period when experimentation was EVERYTHING!) and its pseudo-hippy-trippy progressive rock that had so many followers then and today. A tribe of British /Australian exiles living on a commune in France and creating loose insanity within jazz-rock magnificence.

When your line-up reads as follows in the booklet: 1- Ten/Sop sax floot & bi-focal vocal: Bloomdido Bad de Grasse (Malherbe) 2- Space whisper & loin cackle: Shakti Yoni (Smyth) 3- basso profundo: T.being esq (Moze) 4- Lewd guitar: Sub Capt Hillage 5- Cynthia "Size A" & lady voice : Hi T Moonweed (Blake) 6- Bread & Batteur drums, vibes and marimba: Pierre de Strasbourg (Moerlen) 7- Glockenspiel: Mireille de Strasbourg (Bauer) 8- Local vocals, aluminum croon & Glissando guitar: Dingo Virgin (Allen)

Well, you just know it's going to be one hell of a loopy ride, introducing Pot Head Pixies and Octave Doctors to a new fangled über-rock philosophy that was silliness incarnate wrapped around a spaced out chinchilla, a floating anarchy of social disobedience. Gong was certainly not impressed by right wing dynamics or even the more prevalent left ?wing stuff; they were flat out anti-government in whatever shape it came in. The first part of the trilogy is the rather spontaneous but trippy "Flying Teapot" and "Angel's Egg" is the masterblaster follow up. "You" will come soon later. The arrival of Hillage is highly significant as it gave the humor an electric fizz that appealed immediately to the "rock' crowd, hungry for new sonic adventures. Also noteworthy are Blake's insidiously bubbling synths that seem to attack from the opening "Other Side of the Sky", enveloping the listener in a coating of sweeping sound, hypnotizing sequencers blending with steady blasts of saxy sex (did I get it backwards?, its okay, I am bi-lingual) , an archetypical space jam that careens delightfully in bemused zaniness (goofy mumblings about Hurdy-hurdy supermarkets ?) and the first volume-pedal induced forays from Captain Hillfish with the legendary Moerlen bashing away like a true percussionaire. The curtly zany "Sold to the Highest Buddha" is a brief vocal intro of main protagonist Zero the Hero, lewd guitar glissandos (now, would that be slide gee-tar by any chance?) hanging on to your hair and oddball blowing from Malherbe morph into "Castles in the Clouds" which in turn passes the torch to the scrumptiously erotic and very French "Prostitute Poem", a sultry sonic striptease full of giggling irony ("sad not sad, chalant and nonchalant") , very red light district Pigalle ("hey there , ya wanna?"), croaking orgasmic complaints that swim in electronic agony and carnal confusion. I guess its kind of a "kinky-prog" anthem, composed at a time when censorship of sexual themes was the rigid norm. The classic Brit pub sing-along adds more weirdness to the deal, after which the brief "Selene" enters the orbital path of Planet Gong and being a Moon goddess, well you can guess the rest! The next series of pieces are the most remarkable, creating a splendid space-rock suite that stands the test of time, "Noisette, where is it?" kicks off the spectral "Flute Salad", a warbling quiver of slippery sounds and streaming synths, blending into the lubricious "Oily Way", a thrilling slice of voice-led psychedelia featuring sing along choruses, amazing drumming and raunchy sax ("it's not the English way"), Allen delivering his finest oral obsession with some of the oddest lyrics ever. Both "Inner" and "Outer Temple" delve into the galactic exploration for which Gong is famous for, Moze putting down a simple bass riff, the Blake synths swirling around like an opaque mist and the good Count caressing his brass instrument with utter glee. All is said through Hillage's screaming lead on the brilliant "I Never Glid Before", a substantial slab of guitar solo genius is on display here as his first dozen heavy notes kick in , propelled by the manic drums, certainly one of my fave Gong tracks (and prog axe solos) ever. "Eat that Phonebook Coda" sounds almost like Pink-Panther Inspector Clouseau outtake (think about it, a recurring Gong analogy with the rather disturbed Peter Sellers style of humor). While still preferring "You", this is a tremendous lesson in serious silliness that needs respect. 4.5 loin cackles (whatever that means)

Report this review (#272019)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars The title Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 2 - Angel's Egg makes it clear that this album is the second part of the Gong's The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy. The band has expanded their roster by adding such key players like Mike Howlett on bass guitar and Pierre Moerlen on drums. This lineup will also be featured on Vol.3 of the trilogy.

Musically Vol.2 is a great improvement over the first one. Although I, in my previous review, mentioned that Gong couldn't make any really interesting short compositions and that they should stick to the longer material, the band basically did exactly the opposite and made it work here! Vol.2 doesn't feature a single track over 8 minutes mark where the opener, titled Other Side Of The Sky, is the only longer composition that reaches that truly space/psychedelic style that I enjoyed on Vol.1. Still there are quite a few lighter psychedelic moments well worth experiencing.

Prostitute Poem has a beautiful acoustic guitar featured underneath the layers of synth and Gilli Smyth's vocals that truly enhances the experience and turn the performance into another pleasant highlight. What I really like about the second part of the album is how nicely the compositions shift between one another maintaining an almost hypnotic style of the general atmosphere. There are a few minor disturbances of this flow with the short Percolations but otherwise its a great ride all the way to I Never Glid Before. The last two tracks is where the album goes back to the rock territory and feel very appropriate for the ending.

The production of this recording marks a great improvement and I rarely feel irritated by any minor sound inconveniences like I did on the band's previous albums. Unfortunately for Vol.2 it still fades in comparison to the next release and have it not been for that then I would have most probably given it a slightly higher rating.

**** star songs: Other Side Of The Sky (7:39) Castle In The Clouds (1:12) Prostitute Poem (4:54) Selene (3:43) Flute Salad (2:10) Oily Way (3:38) Outer Temple (1:09) Inner Temple (2:34) Percolations (0:46) Love Is How Y Make It (3:27) I Never Glid Before (5:38) Eat That Phone Book Coda (3:14)

*** star songs: Sold To The Highest Buddha (4:28) Givin' My Luv To You (0:47)

Report this review (#278991)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Of the three albums that make up the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, Angel's Egg is the most inconsistent and has the least interesting moments. Both Flying Teapot and You are much stronger albums. Although this is part two of the trilogy, the band went through some changes with this one. First of all, they switched labels and signed to Virgin. Second of all, this album introduces drummer Pierre Moerlen, bassist Mike Howlett and guitarist Steve Hillage. At this point Hillage was mainly known for being a part of the short lived Khan.

The production is a step up from Flying Teapot, but there is a lot more filler material here. The two standout songs are "Sold To The Highest Buddah" and "I Never Glid Before". "Buddah" has guitar mimicing Allen's vocals at the start. Good drumming in this song. A little bit of piano. I don't know if Blake plays piano or not but this is possibly the only Allen-era album to feature any piano. "Never Glid" has great rolling drums at the beginning. Good sax/guitar riff. Jazzy vocals with guitar mimicing the words. Great chorus. An awesome guitar solo by Hillage. After a while it calms down. Then a mini-bass solo. Tempo increases near the end, gets almost punk sounding.

"Other Side Of The Sky" is the longest but also most boring song. It begins with spacey noises and effects. Gilli whispers and Daevid gives a speech. Then he does a mantra. Electric piano and drums appear. Then guitar. At the end Daevid says "hare" to everything including "hare, hare supermarket". "Prostitute Poem" features Gilli playing the part of a prostitute with waltz style backing music. "Selene" is a ballad with no drums except a little bit of cymbals. I like the call and response guitars near the start.

There is a melody at the end of "Flute Salad" which gets reprised during "Oily Way". "Love Is How You Make It" starts with marimba and other mallet percussion. Then Daevid begins to sing. Before 2 minutes drums kick in. Drums stop after awhile and then a melody on mallet percussion. This is followed by drums and Daevid singing.

With the presence of Moerlen there is a stronger jazz influence than what came previously. Hillage seems to take the spotlight in the guitar department. Although Angel's Egg has Moerlen, Howlett and Hillage, the three don't quite gel like they do on You. All three will remain until Shamal. A good album overall, but you are better off hearing the other two volumes of the RGI first. 3 stars.

Report this review (#345255)
Posted Monday, December 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A very frustrating experience.

Far better persons than me has reviewed it already so I will be brief and just add my own experiences with this album.

This is the second instalment in this radio gnome trilogy and the best one of them, according to many. It is therefore a frustration for me because I simply does not "get it". Yes, there are some good melody lines and ideas thrown around this album. But the ideas seems scattered around not put into good use with any form of precission. This is a bit of a Gong trade mark, I am afraid. On some albums, this recipe of childish like rhymes mixed with some jazz and avant-garde stuff works. On some, it doesn't. This in the latter category. There are some good stuff her. Lots of it, in my view. But the overall feel is that this is not a great album. But it is not to be underestimated though. A good Gong album and that's it.

3 stars

Report this review (#370199)
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Of all of Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy of albums, Angel's Egg is probably my least favourite, focusing as it does on shorter songs replete with Daevid Allen's unique sense of humour. Whilst this approach was perfectly fine on Camembert Electrique, this time around the material doesn't seem quite as strong, so it ends up wearing on me and I find myself impatient for the album to finish.

It's not completely without appeal - the extended, spacey tracks that appeared on Radio Gnome Invisible and would come to dominate You are still just about present, with album opener Other Side of the Sky being a particularly strong example of this strand of Gong's songwriting. But it is a step down to merely being kind of fun and vaguely entertaining, and is a much less compelling listen than the other two albums in the sequence.

Report this review (#508352)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm not sure why I never discovered the music of Gong in the first blush of my Prog Rock adolescence. Maybe the band was too openly druggy for my less tolerant teenage doppelgänger. Or perhaps the band's playful embrace of Buddhist philosophy was simply foreign to a sheltered young soul who hadn't yet shed his Episcopal blinders (I recall also having difficulties with John McLaughlin's MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, for similar reasons...)

Further evidence, if any more was needed, that youth is sometimes wasted on the young. Gong in its mid-seventies prime made some of the most contrary but playful music ever catalogued under the larger umbrella of Progressive Rock. And the middle album of the celebrated RGI album trilogy was where the band really hit its stride.

The sequel to 'Flying Teapot', relating the further adventures of Zero the hero and the Pothead Pixies, is more obviously musical than its predecessor, with the band performing more like real musicians instead of a hippie vaudeville act. Despite the shorter tracks the flow is smoother, and the fusions better fused. But the album is still eclectic beyond belief, able to turn on a whim from the Berlin cabaret melody of 'Prostitute Poem', with its shadows or Marlene Dietrich and Sally Bowles, to an unexpected interlude of Arabian harmonics (in the middle of the same song), and from there to something not unlike an English wartime pub sing-a-long.

In these pages the Gong collective flies a Multi-National flag of convenience, but the 'Radio Gnome' albums were always English to their psychedelic core, finding Ultimate Truth and Inner Wisdom at the bottom of a cup of tea. Head Gongster Daevid Allen was earlier a founding member of the original SOFT MACHINE, and the two bands shared a similar deadpan attitude of musical sedition. But in albums like 'Angel's Egg' Gong took the comic irreverence of the best Canterbury bands to a new level...nay, to another planet altogether.

Report this review (#1088974)
Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second part of the Radio Gnome trilogy sees Gong moving to France and recording it during August 73' at the Manor Mobile at Pavillon du Hay, but the album was finally mixed at the Manor Studios in Oxford.The basic line-up of the group welcomes some new entries.Drummer Laurie Allan parted ways with Gong and more or less quit from music at the start of the 80's, Christian Tritsch also left Gong, the same occurs also with Francis Moze, who would rejoin them a couple of years later.Their replacements were crazy drummer Pierre Moerlen, Australian bassist Mike Howlett and female percussionist Mireille Bauer.Under the title 'Angel's Egg '', Virgin released the album at the fall of 1973, both for the French and English market.

The sound of Gong on this album is a bit more cohesive, eclectic and versatile compared to ''Flying teapot'', although the general style hasn't changed much.The album is divided into 13 short pieces, which flow from one to the other as a constant work, alternating between the established Space-Fusion trademark sound of Gong and more psychedelic parts with a bit of a dated sound.Nevertheless to combine with comfort so many different styles was some sort of an achievement and Gong did this pretty well, offering often extended instrumental parts with jazzy saxes and solid drumming by Moerlen, while Hillage's spacey guitar chops take the sound to another level.Malherbe's sax work seems to have been slightly inspired by the French enviroment during the time of the recordings, as there are some strong 60's influences in his work, which can be both romantic and angular.Lots of spacey underlines around are definitely a good thing with some obscure synthesizers delivered by Tim Blake and Hillage's guitar work always being consistent.Even some sparse flute passages by Moerlen are nicely executed and well within the bizarre, genuine atmosphere of the album.The most lyrical textures and the sporadic touches of a psychedelic past seem the hardest to get into moments, sounding rather unrelated to the intricate mood of the rest of the album.Some of Gilli Smyth's vocal parts though remain absolutely great and quite personal.

This Radio Gnome sequel is certainly an improvement over the first, uneven part.Spacey Psych/Prog with impressive jazzy influences, a style well-established by Gong on this delicate and strongly recommended work...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1128298)
Posted Friday, February 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Zany follow-up to Flying Teapot.

Things get complex on this second instalment of the Radio Gnome trilogy, both in terms of storyline and music. Overall, the musicianship and the recording quality are better here than on Flying Teapot (or previous albums), and the band is tight and clear. Songs like Oily Way and (Malherbe's) Flute Salad, and the many improvs (inner/outer temple, other side of the sky, etc) are wonderful. Like many middle instalments of trilogies, however (think The Empire Strikes Back), this one essentially ends with 'to be continued': the story by this time is meant to continue over into the third instalment. In general, the story takes precedence over the music here - the tunes are shorter, there are more vocals, and more short snippets meant to complete the story, which means there are more minutes here which are less musical than are found on either Flying Teapot or You. Still some great music, mind you, and of course, this is totally completely original, largely the brainchild of Daevid Allen. But while excellent, and obviously necessary to complete the trilogy, it is not quite at the level of five stars. I give this 8.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Report this review (#1697067)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2017 | Review Permalink

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