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Planet Gong - Live Floating Anarchy 1977

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Customer Reviews

A Rediscovered Gem

I bumped into this album on iTunes, it being one of those that I bought on vinyl years years back and never listen to. I really had forgotten how good this one is, it loses much of the loose freeforn hippy stuff for a harder edged punk approach with dashes of the political funk Heaven 17 and the like played a few years later. I often struggled with a lot of Gong stuff as it was aimless, this isnt, its much more focussed and shows the how close hippies and punks were politically at times. It loose, its shambolic, its Gong.

An unholy union of hippy prog rock and Thatcherite punk

This was actually a collaboration between Gong front-man Daevid Allen (Daevid el alien) and little known London boys Here and Now. It has the early thrashings of Allen's post punk New York Gong recordings mixed with Here and Now's Stonehenge free radical "What you see is what you are" (do not pay more than £1.75 for this album) punky anarchy. Yet the whole thing points towards the later hippy/reggae feel of Here and Now's live jams (never properly captured on disc) and of Gong's tighter albums like You or Angel's Egg. It begins with typical Gong like New Age meandering complete with Gilli Smyth's space whispers but quickly smashes into the punk-pop of Floating Anarchy and Stone Innoc Frankenstein before tripping out again into New Age Transformation with Steffy Sharpstrings gliss guitar and screeching solos possibly even surpassing his spiritual mentor Steve Hillage. Keith da Missile's bass is as thunderous as it is tight and Gavin da Blitz gives his own take on Tim Blakes synthesisers with whooping VCS3 oscillators in abundance. The only studio recording here is Opium for the People a pop mantra for the Thatcher era which might have been a big hit but for the druggy lyrics. In my view this is definitely Here and Now's best album, although live they were never less than spectacular, and it is probably Daevid Allen's best work as well. If you want edgy gong get this album. If you want Here and Now how they should be heard get this album. If you want Daevid Allen teetering on the edge between French trippy-hippy absurdity and New York arthouse cut up punk then this is it. It's da time of da banana moon again and as it says on the cover "Don't pay more than 17F £2.25 $3.50 for this album. But better to rip it off if you can!"

Biography

Formed: 1968

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Gong slowly came together in the late '60s when Australian guitarist Daevid Allen (ex-Soft Machine) began making music with his wife, singer Gilli Smyth, along with a shifting lineup of supporting musicians. Albums from this period include Magick Brother, Mystic Sister (1969) and the impromptu jam session Bananamoon (1971) featuring Robert Wyatt from Soft Machine, Gary Wright from Spooky Tooth, and Maggie Bell. A steady lineup featuring Frenchman Didier Malherbe (sax and reeds), Christian Tritsch...
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