Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Gong
Angels Egg


Released 1973 on Virgin CDV 2007
Reviewed by Squid Tempest, 12/08/2000ce


When I was about 12 or 13 I used to hang out after school in the local record shop, and pester the assistants to play records for me to listen to on the (only) set of headphones in the store. One of the assistants was a bloke with very long hair, who used to suggest all these weird and wonderful obscurities to listen to, as opposed to the other assistants who used to tell me to clear off.

The hairy assistant (I was pretty hairy then too - now I’m bald -curses) recommended Angels Egg, the 2nd album in Gong’s Radio Gnome Trilogy. iI looked at the cardboard gatefold sleeve ...with the stickers with eggs on with the legend "Rip Me Off". When you pealed back the stickers they revealed..ooerr...the mother herself??... and a bloke lying on the ground having consumed some kind of magic potion, with his spirit floating up from his trousers (or something…). I was intrigued.

"She is the Mother of everything…and you are her egg.." drones into a typical Didier Malherbe warbly sax bit while strange voices waft and echo around…

the inside cover had a mad rainbow mandala surrounded by the green planet that was Gong, surrounded by flying teapots and other odd bits…by this time I was hooked.

"Hurry Hurry Supermarket, hurry hurry London bus..."

*aside* I love Camembert Electric and You, and even the (not quite so exciting to my mind) Flying Teapot, but somehow this Gong artifact is the one I return to…*/aside*

mad squealing synths, free jazz sounding sax (Bloomdido Bad de Grasse again), strange little interludes…(basso profundo T.Being esq.)…wild synth sequences spiralling around the stereo field…(Hi T Moonweed) ..stoned whispers…orgazmic gasps…(Shakti Yoni)…the a honky tonk piano singalong in bar…"you’ve got nothing to lose but the failure to choose" …"meet the wizard of the keys/he’ll reveal the mysteries"…hooray! Captain Submarine who told a tale of pixies green…love is how y make it…I never glid before…(lewd guitar - Sub. Cat Hillage, bread and batteur drums Pierre de Strasbourg)…eat that phonebook…that’s another story, nows the time to go and have a cup of tea see?

Selene drifting and serene…queen of my dream machine…

Unfortunately, the CD didn’t come with the peal-off stickers, but some 30 years on from this first life changing exposure I still surrender to the charms of the Angel’s Egg. It still charms and bewitches me.

See also Fish Rising by Steve Hillage and Happy Dog Potatohead’s review of Magick Brother by Gong


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