Gong are a psychedelic rock band that incorporates elements of jazz and space rock into their musical style. The group was formed in Paris in 1967 by Australian musician Daevid Allen and English vocalist Gilli Smyth. Band members have included Didier Malherbe, Pip Pyle, Steve Hillage, Mike Howlett, Tim Blake, Pierre Moerlen, Bill Laswell and Theo Travis. Others who have played on stage with Gong include Don Cherry, Chris Cutler, Bill Bruford, Brian Davison, Dave Stewart and Tatsuya Yoshida.
Gong’s 1970 debut album, Magick Brother, featured a psychedelic pop sound. By the following year, the second album, Camembert Electrique, featured the more psychedelic rock/space rock sound with which they would be most associated. Between 1973 and 1974, Gong released their best-known work, the allegorical Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, describing the adventures of Zero the Hero, the Good Witch Yoni and the Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong.
In 1975, Allen and Smyth left the band, which continued without them, releasing a series of jazz rock albums under the leadership of drummer Pierre Moerlen. This incarnation soon became known as Pierre Moerlen’s Gong. Meanwhile, Smyth formed Mother Gong while Allen initiated a series of spin-off groups, including Planet Gong, New York Gong and Gongmaison, before returning to lead Gong once again in 1990 until his death in 2015. With Allen’s encouragement, the band decided to continue, releasing the album Rejoice! I’m Dead! in September 2016 and The Universe Also Collapses in 2019. (wikipedia)
You is the fifth studio album by the progressive rock band Gong, released by Virgin Records in October 1974. It is the last album by Daevid Allen’s iteration of the group until 1992’s Shapeshifter. Recorded at Virgin’s Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, England, side 1 was mixed at Pye Studios, Marble Arch, London, while side 2 was mixed at The Manor. It was produced by Simon Heyworth and Gong “under the universal influence of C.O.I.T., the Compagnie d’Opera Invisible de Thibet”, and also engineered by Heyworth.
You is the third of the “Radio Gnome Invisible” trilogy of albums, following Flying Teapot and Angel’s Egg. The trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. The structure of the album mixes short narrative pieces with long, jazzy instrumentals (such as “Master Builder”, “A Sprinkling of Clouds” and “Isle of Everywhere”), building to a climax/conclusion with “You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever”.
Rolling Stone named You one of its “50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums Of All Time”.
Lead guitarist Steve Hillage remade “Master Builder” as “The Glorious Om Riff” on his 1978 album “Green”.
Japanese psych-rock band Acid Mothers Temple also frequently cover “Master Builder”, entitled “Om Riff”, and have released 2 full albums dedicated to album-length renditions of the song: 2005’s “IAO Chant From The Cosmic Inferno” and 2012’s “IAO Chant From The Melting Paraiso Underground Freak Out”. (wikipedia)
You is the final installment in Gong’s legendary Radio Gnome Trilogy, and it marks an important turning point for the band. By 1974, the psychedelic hippie/folk-rock element of the sound that was leader Daevid Allen’s most important contribution was beginning to disappear. In its place was a more sophisticated musical vision that owed as much to jazz-rock fusion as to fellow space rockers like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Ironically, this is Gong’s most “spacy” album, full of extended, ethereal passages that would inspire future generations of space rockers. The sound was equally defined however, by the jazzy flights of saxophonist Didier Malherbe and the sinuous rhythms of bassist Mike Howlett and drummer Pierre Moerlen (the band would eventually become the fusion-oriented Pierre Moerlen’s Gong). Allen’s songs still provide a crucial link to the rest of the trilogy, though the conceptual/mythological aspect is less crucial to You. (by Rovi Staff)
Daevid Allen (guitar, vocals)
Mireille Bauer (percussion)
Tim Blake (synthesizer, mellotron)
Miquette Giraudy (vocals)
Steve Hillage (guitar)
Mike Howlett (bass)
Didier Malherbe (wind, vocals)
Benoit Moerlen (percussion)
Pierre Moerlen (drums, percussion)
Gilli Smyth (vocals)
The Rolling Stone review in their list “50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums Of All Time”:
01. Thoughts For Naught (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P.Moerlen) 1.33
02. A P.H.P.’s Advice (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P.Moerlen) 1.46
03. Magick Mother Invocation (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P.Moerlen/Bauer/Giraudy/ B.Moerlen/Smyth) 1.57
04. Master Builder (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P.Moerlen/Bauer/Giraudy/ B.Moerlen/Smyth) 6.19
05. A Sprinkling Of Clouds (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P. Moerlen) 8.58
06. Perfect Mystery (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P. Moerlen) 2.28
07. The Isle Of Everywhere (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P. Moerlen) 10.22
08. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (Allen/Blake/Hillage/Howlett/Malherbe/P.Moerlen/ Bauer/Giraudy/ B.Moerlen/Smyth) 11.29
More from Gong:
The official website: