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Histories and Mysteries

Histories and Mysteries

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Gilli Smyth first came to the attention of the rock buying fraternity

through her work with her then husband Daevid Allen in Gong.

Gong came into being almost by accident in the late sixties

when Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Britain following

European dates with Soft Machine. Deciding to stay in Paris

Allen began working with Gilli Smyth and various musicians

on what would eventually be recognised as Gong. The first

recognised recordings from the band were Magick Brother,

Mystic Sister in 1970. Followed by albums such as

Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You.

The first three albums released followed the fortunes of Zero

The Hero and told the tale of the pothead pixies and was told

over the course of the next three albums and became the Radio

Gnome Invisible Trilogy. This mythological story was extremely

popular and the resultant albums sold exceptionally well

however following the departure of core members Daevid Allen,

Gilli Smyth and Steve Hillage citing the age old musical

differences reason for leaving the band Gong moved in a more

jazz oriented direction with the addition of Allan Holdsworth

alongside Pierre Moerlen and Didier Malherbe. Allen, Smyth

and Hillage have all recorded as solo artists and Smyth

subsequently formed the offshoot Mother Gong.

Mother Gong's first album Mother was released in 1978 and

the band found Gilli Smyth collaborating with many musicians

including Harry Williamson and various friends and family

including on this album Owl In The Tree from 1990, former

partner Daevid Allen. The album is split into two halves and both

Allen and Smyth work well within the limitations set out by vinyl

bearing in mind that the days of vinyl made for a more

convenient division, which is defined, by the individual styles

of both Allen and Smyth. The album is a mix of both styles

including Allen's blissed out space rocker style and Smyth's

more laid back fairy tale recitations and a smattering of typically

Gong like instrumental work.

As far as Gong fans are concerned many cite this album as

some of the most focussed work to come from both Smyth and

Allen. This re issue has been re mastered and Gong fans will

welcome the improvement in sound quality. 


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