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4.5 out of 5 stars20
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2013
Some reviews of this album seem to get a little hysterical but don't worry too much. To the best of my knowledge there are two versions of "Flying Teapot" - the Original Virgin Records Vinyl from 1973 and a second version from 1976 licenced by BYG. All CD versions come from the 1976 version. The area of difference is track 2 - the 11+ minutes of the title track 'Flying Teapot'- it is a different mix but I can't say it's better or worse, it's just different. The best CD version I've come across so far is the Japanese mini LP type CD version - Cleaner crisper recording but can be pricy. In some ways it has better seperation and wider 'soundscape' even than the original Vinyl. Of course if the Vinyl version is burnt into your brain from obsessive listening under the influence of 'whatever' hoping to find the doorway to ultimate reality then the CD mix of track 2 might come as a bit of a jolt (not neccessarily a bad thing perhaps???)

There are some rather muddy CD versions out there so it is worth finding the Japanese import - but whatever you listen to "Flying Teapot" is a lovely album in the Gong discography. After all it's not like all the earlier stuff is neccessarily super-sonic Hi-Fi....ever listened to Bananamoon? It would be good to have the Virgin version on CD like the other 2 albums in the Trilogy and I much prefer the Original Cover of Daevid Allen's paintings and inside drawings. But what's available is certainly better than it not being available atall!

Recently I got the Vinyl put on to CD and listened to all versions on CD -- Any way you hear it it's a lovely album so all the anguish of different versions is a wee bit of a storm in a teapot? perhaps? Remember that Gong have never been a super slick hi-tech band anyway - It's a major part of their charm and Daevid Allen's creative whatchamacallit?
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on 29 December 2009
I have a different perspective than the other guys posting here, so maybe this'll help. I got the CD as like most, I don't have a turntable, and it's a brilliant album. I've also listened through the old LP as a couple of (less rabid) mates have it and yeah, it's better and noticeably different.

The ethics of messing with old recordings aside (yeah, I agree, never do it - remastering old stuff to suit modern sensibility is a pretty stupid move to say the least - at least leave the original mastering on the disc as a bonus so that it can be reprogrammed eh!) it's still fantastic and obviously, a necessary listen if you're new to Gong and want to hear the trilogy through in sequence.

I've had this CD a year, so why the review? Gong have recently toured and released an outrageously good new album, so if ever people are going to be digging around the classic period stuff it'll be now. It's all very well giving it 1 star (!!!) in a publication more suited to fiercely critical listeners, say Wire or Julian Cope's Head Heritage, but here on Amazon, the other reviews here are simply going to stop most people getting into Gong at all. Unless they're expected to buy vinyl playing equipment simply to get it right!

Enjoy a great album and if you really enjoy it, go get some nicked decks from Cash Converters and stroke that beard to yer hearts content.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2006
I can't say whether this is the best album Gong ever made because I haven't heard the majority of them, but in my opinion this is one of the less-heralded full-on classics of the 1970s. It has that characteristic feature of all classic albums, a soundworld of its own, one which is removed from any other album. Its sequel, "Angel's Egg", is regarded by some as a better album and I'd agree that it's very good but it has a feel that's a little closer to mainstream rock. "Flying Teapot" is more anarchic in nature and that is an important part of its appeal.

From the buzzing, burbling voices that surface at the beginning you sense that you've entered a realm that has its own culture. Indeed, if you can uncover it, this album is full of Daevid Allen's philosophy. The rules are that there are no rules to tie us down but there is a strategy, a vision that enables Planet Gong to steer its own wobbly course. The great thing about "Flying Teapot" is therefore that it is experimental but accessible, unique yet endearing. There is so much good humour and cheer in the proceedings that you can't help thinking that this is how Madness might have sounded had they been hippies, though they would have needed rather more musical talent. This isn't prog, it's a happy riot.

The first half of the album is not as free in form as the second half but the false endings are characteristically teasing. The breathy female intonations of the final track are wonderfully outrageous for their era. I don't imagine that there was much chance of it being given regular airplay on the BBC in those days.

It's tempting to make the obvious pun that the album would not be everybody's cup of tea, but why? It's fun.
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on 6 March 2013
I still think that this is Gong at their best, I know it's not vinyl, but it's difficult to find the record know and a lot cheaper. I have been a fan of the pothead pixies for many years and it never ceases to amaze me that it still sounds so good today as it did back then.
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on 9 September 2014
Excellent album. Had this on vinyl years ago and finally got round to getting in on CD. Ignore the reviews claiming the title track has been "ruined" - it hasn't, at least on the version I received it sounded pretty much the same as on the original vinyl lp.
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on 29 October 2012
Worry ye not, fellow Pixies! This is the MP version of the Original and best Flying Teapot and the start of our magic trip with the PHP's and Zero the Hero. The playing is simply superb and I think that the Sax playing of the Good Count Bloomdido Bad de Grass himself is up there with jazz's greatest. If you love silliness or you love great music, then this album is worth every penny. Enjoy.
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on 26 January 2013
I love this album, great music about quite silly things. Hey Ho wherever you go listen to Gong now, the pothead pixies are offering you a ride to Planet Gong. It's worth the trip. Forget rock "Let's Glid!"
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on 15 February 2014
This is a classic album and probably the best place to start your er... trip with Gong. But be warned: if you like this quirky blend of ambient psychedelic jazz rock, you will probably end up with the rest of the trilogy and Camembert Electrique.
Don't be put off this 2005 reissue (SNAP 025 CD) by comparisons with the original vinyl. The overall sound may be brighter/harsher but it is also clearer, which is good if you like to hear the details.
After an A/B comparison with headphones, I think only title track has actually been remixed. Everything seems to be there still, albeit with slightly different balance and panning. Daevid Allen pioneered the wonderful technique of Glissando Guitar and this track is a good early example, especially the ambient soundscape intro, which in the original mix is improved further by a lush stereo echo/reverb. Nevertheless, the track still sounds great on its own and in context of the rest of the CD album.
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on 3 July 2009
Not much to say. This insult to prog is best avoided. Wait until someone has the sense to re-issue it in its original form, and you will discover what an excellent album it really is. In the meantime seek out an old LP. My crackly old copy is still light years ahead of the CD. Sorry pixies!
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on 10 March 2013
You can trawl the web and find an explanation to the origin and inspiration for this album, so I will not attempt to explain here when music is really what the individual perceives of it. Suffice to say that this album should be taken with the other two in the trilogy (Angel's Egg & You: these being the second and third respectively) once you are able. Fantasic musicianship and production, and it is out there waiting for reception. Tune in!
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