|The History and The Mystery of Planet Gong|
|Produced by Daevid Allen, Harry Williamson|
|Released on 1989|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
|PILTO 67 cover
[high resolution scan]
W hat are we doing this far out in the nether regions of Gong? Well, you see, they were selling this for eight bucks in Strawberries, and so... Little bits of paper, hard candy shavings and a few small coins from the pockets of Daevid Allen. The History lesson is best left to you studious Gong sorts, since the sonic fidelity is often terrible. Submarine (sub-boot) terrible. And the recordings appear in historical order, so you’ll need to stay the rocky pocket course until the middle before hitting paydirt (a live version of “Pot Head Pixies” that doesn’t sound like it was recorded on the fringe of the festival in a portable toilet). From there, the recording quality improves dramatically, inviting us to wipe our feet before stepping off the dusty archival trail. The troubling thing is, if you stumbled upon this in the dark (or in Strawberries for eight dollars), the history of Gong would read like this: pretentious, psychedelic band stumbles through the sixties and early ‘70s, then releases music derivative of Pink Floyd (“Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”) and Hawkwind (“Opium For The People”) mixed with Firesign Theatre performances (“Future”). The real story, of course, starts with Soft Machine, curdled into Camembert and mushroomed with the radio gnome invisible trilogy. So, if you can abide any mystery in your life, best to leave this back on planet gong. Which is where the story would normally end, except that NMC re-released this in 2000 with Daevid Allen/Mothergong’s The Owl And The Tree as a bonus disc. (It was originally released in 1990, and I’ll get around to grouping this gonglia some day.) The release is split into two halves: the first by Gilli’s Mothergong offshoot (the tree half), the second by Daevid Allen (the owl half). The Mothergong half is poetry/jazz, soothing and surprisingly good (“I Am A Tree,” “La Dea Madri”), the kind of thing critics usually call frothy (I’m not nearly comfortable enough in my manhood to use the word “frothy,” for fear of the free beret that comes with it). Daevid’s side starts with the lovely lullaby “The Owl Song” (the best thing about the whole history and mystery adventure so far), eclipses it with the long-winded “I Am My Own Lover” and the arboreal ending, “Tudor Love Poem.” I expected both Allen and Smyth to be acid casualties by 1990, and The Owl and The Tree to be a vanity release. I was wrong on both counts; this is music that stimulates the imagination. So, in conclusion: History + Mystery = old news, Owl + Tree = wise perches.
|PILTO 67 gatefold sleeve||PILTO 67 back sleeve|
Compiled by: Robin (Healing) Ayling with thanks to Danielle Barnett
Ed Ozric -- engineer
Dave Anderson -- engineer
Christian Thompson -- external & centrespread & illustration
Babs Kirk -- liner notes
return to GONG discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|ITA||Get Back||2LP||GET-577||gatefold cover|
|US||2000||NMC Music||2CD||PILTO 67||edited w. bonus disc|
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