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Flying Teapot - Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt. 1

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iTunes Review

Gong's 1973 Flying Teapot is a landmark album of the era's European prog/space-rock scene, marking the band's shift from open-ended post-psychedelic journeys to more elaborately structured compositions. This was the opening salvo in their famed Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy; as such, it makes the most of mastermind Daevid Allen's wit and whimsy. With a quirky, lighthearted, Bertrand Russell–inspired narrative revolving around benevolent beings from outer space, Gong come off like a space-rock Monty Python. But for all the humor in Allen's loopy lyrics, the music that moves the story along is no joke. The band were just hitting their stride here, starting to blend elements of jazz fusion into their cosmic art-rock. Jazzy touches like the funky, syncopated groove on the title tune and Didier Malherbe's bebop-influenced sax riffing on "Zero the Hero and the Witches Spell" complement Tim Blake's swirling synthesizer textures and Gilli Smith's otherworldly "space whisper" wordless vocal technique, making for a trippy but trenchant sound.

Customer Reviews

Classic Gong - from the Planet Gong

This is your mainstream Gong, if there is such a thing! From Daevid's crazy lyrics from the Planet Gong to Bloomdido's amazing sax work and of course Gilli's "Space Whisper", this album has got it all. The first of the trilogy. Also check out the live albums like the 25th Birthday and Gong Live! where you can here these guys take these songs and stretch them to their limits. If you're into prog rock and haven't checked out Gong, you owe it to yourself - and this is a great first Gong album. I'm pretty sure this was my first Gong album (yes I'm talking about vinyl), which later became an obsession with me and I just could never get enough of it. Back then (the '70's) it was pretty rare stuff - but now it's available to the masses on iTunes!


This album is the start of the Radio Gnome Trilogy. In my opinion, the best songs are the two long ones (Flying Teapot and Zero The Hero And The Witch's Spell). They are amazing jams! For best results, get the other two parts of the trilogy (Angel's Egg and You).

Not Just Another Space Rock Record

Flying Teapot has fantastic buildups of tension which explode into intense and menacing sections. Closer in spirit to classic era Van der Graaf Generator and much better written than a band like Amon Duul.


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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