You is my favourite of the classic Flying Teapot trilogy and marks the exact halfway point in the band's evolutionary arc between an anarcho-buddhist comedy collective and a seriously groundbreaking jazz-rock outfit. As such, this album, in a certain sense, is the best Gong album, being the best of both Gongs.
I haven't owned this for about 25 years, and when my copy arrived the other day the memories immediately came back of lying on my back, unable to move and being 10,000 miles long and made out of electric watercress, this amazing music bouncing off the walls. Life's never been the same since really.
The mystical idealism is still a major ingredient, courtesy of Daevid Allen, but the musicianship and production have blossomed into something extremely accomplished. Steve Hillage has always been a fine guitarist with an extremely melodic and structured approach, but this is somehow melded with a wild, fierce, chaotic quality that never turned up again on his studio albums (It was there in the big First Glastonbury triple album). Pierre Moerlin on Drums and Mike Howlett's bass are very tight. Tim Blake's keyboards/synths were quite unique at this time but have left a huge legacy in the dance era. Beautifully crafted sax and flute solos from Didier Malherbe, glocks and zylers from Mirielle Bauer, plus the myriads of tiny vocal details provided by Gilli Smythe and Miquette Giraudy peeping out from under the flowerpots.
If the journey of Zero the Hero through the Isle of Everywhere, populated by Pot-Head Pixies, Radio Gnomes and Octave Doctors sounds a mite silly to you, then you will probably find this album a bit embarassing. But if you find this world just not quite silly enough (in the nice sort of way) then come in and join us :- Aum