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Gong / Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-1975 / 13-disc box

50th anniversary box • 12CD+DVD • Surround sound • Remastered

Curated by Steve Hillage and released with the full involvement of original members, legendary psychedelic surrealists Gong are the subject of a new box set with the release of Love From Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75.

This 13-disc package includes the band’s first four Virgin studio albums, with bonus tracks; previously unreleased, multi-tracked full gigs, the complete John Peel Sessions from 1973 and 1974; previously unreleased quad Pye and Westlake mixes of 1974’s You (re-formatted to 5.1 surround-sound), and artwork including rare and previously unseen work by the late Daevid Allen.

Audio is re-mastered by original engineer Simon Heyworth and while live recordings are mixed by Gong Bassist Mike Howlett. This set comes with a 64-page illustrated lyric booklet that includes Angel’s Egg’s famously quirky and informative ‘Blue Book’ and a new companion to Flying Teapot ‘Green Book’.

Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75 will be released on 27 September 2019. This set is available to pre-order via the SDE shop.

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CD 1 / Flying Teapot
1.     Radio Gnome Invisible – Remastered 2018
2.     Flying Teapot – Remastered 2018
3.     The Pothead Pixies – Remastered 2018
4.     The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine – Remastered 2018
5.     Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell – Remastered 2018
6.     Witches Song / I Am Your Pussy – Remastered 2018
7.     Radio Gnome Invisible – Rough Mix
8.     Radio Gnome Premix – Story Narration
9.     Flying Teapot – Mix 21
10.   The Pothead Pixies – Second To Last Mix
11.   Flying Teapot – Rough Mix

CD 2 / Angel’s Egg
1.     Other Side Of The Sky
2.     Sold To The Highest Buddha
3.     Castle In The Clouds
4.     Prostitute Poem
5.     Givin’ My Luv To You
6.     Selene
7.     Flute Salad
8.     Oily Way
9.     Outer Temple
10.   Inner Temple
11.   Percolations
12.   Love Is How Y Make It
13.   I Never Glid Before
14.   Eat That Phone Book Coda
15.   Other Side Of The Sky
16.   Ooby-Scooby Doomsday Or The D-Day DJ’s Got The D.D.T. Blues
17.   Love Is How Y Make It
18.   Eat That Phone Book Coda

CD 3 / You
1.     Thoughts For Naught
2.     A P.H.P.’s Advice
3.     Magick Mother Invocation
4.     Master Builder
5.     A Sprinkling Of Clouds
6.     Perfect Mystery
7.     The Isle Of Everywhere
8.     You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever
9.     A P.H.P.’s Advice
10.   Where Have All The Flowers Gone

CD 4 / Shamal
1.     Wingful Of Eyes
2.     Chandra
3.     Bambooji
4.     Cat In Clark’s Shoes
5.     Mandrake
6.     Shamal
7.     Bambooji
8.     Chandra
9.     Wingful Of Eyes

CD 5 / BBC Radio 1 Sessions And Edinburgh Live
1.     You Can’t Kill Me
2.     Radio Gnome Direct Broadcast
3.     Other Side Of The Sky
4.     Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell
5.     Flute Salad
6.     Oily Way
7.     Outer Temple
8.     Inner Temple
9.     Castle In The Clouds
10.   6/8 Tune
11.   Radio Gnome Invisible
12.   Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell
13.   Flying Teapot

CD 6 / Paris Bataclan Live, 20th May 1973, Pt.1
1.     Other Side Of The Sky
2.     Dynamite / I Am Your Animal
3.     6/8 Tune
4.     I Never Glid Before
5.     Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell
6.     Ooby-Scooby Doomsday Or The D-Day DJ’s Got The D.D.T. Blues
7.     Est-ce Que Je Suis?
8.     I’ve Bin Stone Before
9.     Mr Longshanks / Oh Mother
10.   I Am Your Fantasy
11.   You Can’t Kill Me

CD 7 / Paris Bataclan Live, 20th May 1973, Pt.2
1.     Flute Salad
2.     Oily Way
3.     Outer Temple
4.     Flying Teapot
5.     Dynamite
6.     You Can’t Kill Me
7.     I Never Glid Before

CD 8 / Roanne – Club Arc En Ciel Live, 17th Aug 1973, Pt.1
1.     Other Side Of The Sky
2.     Dynamite / I Am Your Animal
3.     6/8 Tune
4.     I Never Glid Before
5.     Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell
6.     I Am Your Pussy

CD 9 / Roanne – Club Arc En Ciel Live, 17th Aug 1973, Pt.2
1.     I Am Your Pussy
2.     You Can’t Kill Me
3.     Ooby-Scooby Doomsday Or The D-Day DJ’s Got The D.D.T. Blues
4.     Flute Salad
5.     Oily Way
6.     Outer Temple
7.     Inner Temple
8.     Radio Gnome Invisible

CD 10 / London – Hyde Park Live, 28th June 1974
1.     A Sprinkling Of Clouds
2.     I Never Glid Before
3.     I’ve Bin Stone Before
4.     Mr Longshanks / Oh Mother
5.     The Isle Of Everywhere
6.     I Am Your Fantasy
7.     Master Builder

CD 11 / London – The Marquee Club Live, 9th & 10th Sept 1975, Pt.1
1.     Aftaglid
2.     Flute Salad
3.     Oily Way
4.     6/8 Tune
5.     Solar Musick Suite
6.     Bambooji

CD 12 / London – The Marquee Club Live, 9th & 10th Sept 1975, Pt.2
1.     Bambooji
2.     The Isle Of Everywhere
3.     Wingful Of Eyes
4.     The Salmon Song
5.     Master Builder
6.     Drum Solo
7.     Flying Teapot
8.     I Never Glid Before

DVD / You Quad Surround Sound
1.     Thoughts For Naught
2.     A P.H.P.’s Advice
3.     Magick Mother Invocation
4.     Master Builder
5.     A Sprinkling Of Clouds
6.     Thoughts For Naught
7.     A P.H.P.’s Advice
8.     Magick Mother Invocation
9.     Master Builder
10.   A Sprinkling Of Clouds
11.   Perfect Mystery
12.   The Isle Of Everywhere
13.   You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever

35 responses to Gong / Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-1975 / 13-disc box

  1. Brian McNeill says:

    This really is the Motherlode! It sounds brain fryingly superb on the Quad mixes and the normal stereo albums, and lots of extra goodies as well, in a lush box and with a really informative book as well, I’m well chuffed with this purchase, this is without a doubt the superlative Gong archive release. All that and I have mushrooms to gather now in my garden to enjoy with this. Have a cuppa tea and have another one! Universal have certainly bene doing some fantastic box sets of the early Virgin canon recently what with this and the Tangerine Dream Box!

  2. Clive Smith says:

    A cracking set of discs.. for the 1st time they’ve managed to track down and use the original masters, making a stunning difference to the sound quality.. so much so, it was like listening to these albums for the 1st time… all accompanied with in-depth booklets, of period notes and adverts for these albums.. so I give it a 10/10 xxxxx

  3. JAVIER says:

    And no ORIGINAL COVERS i’m afraid … i’m wrong?

  4. Davey Sussex says:

    Great set of material except Shamal. Totally out of place in this box. Camembert Electric would have fitted in so well. Hopefully they’ll be a box of Daevid’s solo work not far behind.

  5. Highlander says:

    I pre-ordered this set the first day I could. I’ve been waiting for the You quad mix for decades! Plus, I’ve always enjoyed the Allen era, just as much as the Shamal/Moerlen years that followed. Value wise, I think this box set is fair. However, the new Pink Floyd Later Years isn’t. I now await my You 5.1 mix to set forth on Planet GONG again. :-)

  6. Quatrmass says:

    Been looking forward to this for such a long time, and now it’s with us… meh.

    “Remastered” versions of the trilogy? Just play the vinyl originals. Or buy them (if you don’t have them) – they’d be cheaper than this.

    “Shamal”? Once Daevid and Gilli left, it became a completely different band. Like buying a Roxy Music box and finding the Explorers album inside.

    Live? As someone else noted, Gong were hit and miss in concert, and (though the quality probably isn’t as good), there are recordings already out there of several of these shows, and they’re patchy.

    The “You” quad mix? Okay, I am curious.

    When I first heard a Gong box was coming, I imagined some kind of definitive rounding up of all the albums/projects up through “You,” and a well-curated gathering of all the odds and ends that have appeared over the years on collections like “The History & Mystery,” “Camembert Eclectique” and so on.

    Yes, it would involve the co-operation of a few different labels/owners, but that was not an obstacle with the same parent company’s Alex Harvey box, and a lot of other megaboxes besides. This, on the other hand, is just a lazy “grab the albums, throw in some live stuff, they’ll be happy” con job.

    I’d happily have paid a hundred quid (or more) for a set whose contents actually told the Gong story, because that’s what the band deserves. This, on the other hand, offers nothing. Apart from that “You” quad mix. Grrr.

  7. christian says:

    Come on fellow hippies, get typing, Gong is currently lagging behind Leo Sayer in the race for the most comments.

  8. Uncle Meat says:

    This is it! It is the Daevid Allen era that matters with Gong. When he left, Gong lost their heart and all the fun.

    Great box sets coming out these days. Tangerine Dream, Gong, Ramones…

  9. adam shaw says:

    Pre ordered as soon as I saw it . At last properly remastered Gong . There’s been so many crap cd released over the years , I think Allen put the licensing all over the place so maybe since his death someone has got control ( Steve Hillage ?) and hopefully done a better job .

  10. Scott Meze says:

    Gong needs newbies. This box is certainly not going to help with that. Even long term Gong fans like myself have the majority of these recordings already. The 2004 CD remasters made “Angel’s Egg” and “You” sound terrific. We don’t need another sonic upgrade of those.

    Also, this is not a full overview. It is a collection only of Steve Hillage’s material with the group — essentially the missing disks in “Searching For The Spark,” which skipped over his Gong years. Daevid Allen’s artwork may be a selling point, but there’s an album here (“Shamal”) on which Allen doesn’t appear, as well as some post-Allen live recordings.

    Happily, there is a very good release of the trilogy for the curious to buy — it’s the 2015 box “Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy” on Charly. That box looked fantastic (it also included the “blue book,” as well as other booklets and full reproductions of the original covers, some great photos, and yes, Allen artwork), sounded amazing, and was cheap enough for the uncommitted. If you want a place to start, go right there.

    Sadly the 2015 box was the subject of a disgraceful flame war by the band itself. Hillage told fans to boycott the work because the band did not get royalties from it. (Actually, he wanted to squash the competition for this box you’re looking at now.) In reality, there are two major reasons the band didn’t get paid: firstly, Allen made a highly dubious deal with Virgin even though Gong was already signed to BYG. And secondly, the trilogy simply never sold enough copies to recoup its advances and costs. Oh, and the Charly=bad, Virgin=good argument is hilarious to anybody who had to deal with Richard Branson at the time. The consequence was that the 2015 box became damaged by the poor reviews of existing fans who merely recycled the Hillage boycott.

    The continuing sticking point with Gong is “Flying Teapot.” The superior Virgin LP mix has never been released on CD. Every CD to date has used an awful BYG/Charly mix of the title track. Every one. That’s true of the 2015 box too, but it did include the Virgin mix of the title track as one of the bonus tracks. (It called it “Flying Teapot Alternate Mix.”) Has this new box FINALLY fixed the problem? I’m not betting 115 quid on the chance. Two alternative mixes of the title track are included, “Mix 21” and “Rough Mix” and who’s to say if one of these is not the original Virgin mix, or if the Virgin mix has been placed into the LP proper and the BYG/Charly mix is one of these two. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

    But fear not. A 2CD “Deluxe edition” of “Flying Teapot” will be released at the same time as the box. This reproduces the first disk of this box along with a one-disk set of highlights from Bataclan. So for existing (non-hardcore) fans who just want “Teapot” in the best possible sonic quality, hopefully with the Virgin LP mix, that’s the better buy. 2CD Deluxe editions of “Angel’s Egg” (with highlights of the Roanne concert on the second disk), “You” (with the Hyde Park concert on the second disk), and “Shamal” (with highlights of the Marquee concert on the second disk) will also be available. Total price for the four of them, about 55 quid, half the price you’ll pay here. But of course you don’t get the book and all the kipple.

    • johneffay says:

      Steve Hillage, eh? What a bastard promoting a version of his & his colleagues’ work that they’ll actually get paid for rather than one that they won’t. Anybody would think the guy’s a professional musician, or something!

      • Scott Meze says:

        Sure, I absolutely agree. Hillage has every right to sell his back catalogue to ensure the relevant parties get some money, regardless of the bad deals Allen made. But the boycott never made sense — GAS could have sold the 2015 box on its website just as it sold all the other Gong releases that didn’t pay royalties, hence ensuring at least a little revenue trickled through to them. And this box is targeted at existing fans, who are surely going to buy it no matter what. I have the 2015 box and I’m certain to buy this.

        The annoyance is that the 2015 box, which looked good, sounded good, and was made with great care and respect, could have attracted new fans, and this one most definitely will not. Once you’ve got the new fans, they’ll spend on new releases, come to your shows, trawl the back catalog, and so on. The 2015 box wasn’t even a loss leader. It was a foot in the door. God knows, given all the tawdry Gong compilations out there, the band needed it.

        However, as I mention, the 2CD sets might be a way in. Let’s hope there’s a proper Allen period box in the works, though this box makes it less likely. Certainly we’re unlikely to see another newbie-friendly trilogy release in the near future. I would like to believe somebody will curate a good early Allen compilation (Princess Moonflower to Camembert Electrique) sometime soon, but I guess that somebody is not going to bg Steve.

        • johneffay says:

          I’m not sure that getting into the trilogy will necessarily attract many new listeners to the band as they are now, which is a very different beast.

          Personally, I was pleased that they put out the message about the Charly box; mainly because it stopped me buying it. Like yourself, I imagine, I have all the vinyl; the 2004 remasters; I’ve even got several of the cheap compilations, despite owning every track on them elsewhere. The only reason I didn’t buy the Charly box was because a superior one was promised, & it has (finally!) come to pass. I like Shamal, & I particularly like the 1975 live stuff. Musically, they’re playing the trilogy material better than they ever did before. There’s also precedent for releasing it like this because ‘Live etc.’ had part of the Marquee gig on side 4.

          I agree with you that a Daevid Allen box would be good, but I can’t see there being a market for it- A lot of it makes Gong sound commercial!

    • Casey says:

      To Scott,

      I curious about the details of your comments, ” firstly, Allen made a highly dubious deal with Virgin even though Gong was already signed to BYG.”?

      I would especially like to know where you heard these “inflamatory” accusations about the band?

    • Tim says:

      Scott, regardless of whatever deals Daevid Allen may or may not have made with Virgin, the fact remains that BYG had effectively disappeared as a label by 1972. That’s a year before Flying Teapot was released.

  11. Steve A says:

    Gong were the first band i ever saw live 1974 Liverpool Stadium. Everybody at school bought a Gong album released that year which isn’t in this box ! Of course most bought Camembert Electrique because it only cost 49p at the time. I thought it was on Virgin but must be mistaken. i certainly bought it from a Virgin shop back when such things existed. Happy Days. Won’t be buying this though , far too expensive.

  12. Robert Laversuch says:

    Nice one – after the sublime Tangerine Dream set the next must have! Awesome band. Bagged it.

  13. Martyn Alner says:

    Having seen Steve Hillage last Saturday night in Southampton, playing in his System 7 guise, I’m going to have to try getting into Gong…

    • Alan Tate says:

      Saw them a lot in the early-mid 70’s. Bit hit and miss live, but when they clicked-wow! Enjoy :-)

    • Willy says:

      My entry points, in 1985, were Angel’s Egg and You… I was blown away (still am) and highly recommend starting there. Just the first four studio albums with the box and book would have been a no-brainer for me. Astonishing stuff!!

  14. Og says:

    Ozric Tentacles warrant 5.1 mixes.
    If no else can be arsed – I’ll do it.
    X

  15. Schu says:

    I think this has been in the works for at least three years. Not sure how many classic era band members are still with us to provide input to the package but it sure looks nice.

  16. Chris Squires says:

    Gong was an avenue that I didn’t really go down. I was (and still am) a massive Oldfield fan so was well aware of the contribution that Pierre made to Mike’s work, both in the studio and in the live arena and have seen him play percussion etc. for Mike on numerous occasions back in the day. The question is how much input did Mike have to Gong’s recorded work? I have the name “Downwind” lurking at the back of my mind (I think it was from an advert in the Platinum tour program) but have the feeling it will be on the later albums rather than 73 – 75. But these musicians were so incestuous at this time of the Manor’s heyday that I was wondering if there were other early recordings with Mike on. Any Gong fans have a definitive view on this? Did Mike do anything for Gong in this era or slightly after?

  17. Tom says:

    For a Gong fan of 40 years, this is great. What a shame that I’ll never get to hear it, not having a spare hundred quid…

  18. Sucinaken says:

    Not my favourites, but I know people who would kill for this ( if they weren’t hippies that is).

  19. Andrea says:

    God this is a nice, comprehensive set… I really wish I liked them ;)
    Shifting the subject to actual, great music: not a word about the Stray Cats’ box of their first 3 albums, mastered from the actual tapes plus rarities as it seems?

  20. Myndforest says:

    Great to see this project come to fruition… Lots of unreleased stuff to enjoy. The long overdue remaster of Flying Teapot – from which they will apparently receive royalties for the first time in decades!
    This is the one to get and the book, though I have yet to see it, has been put together in co-ordination with Jonny Greene – Long time Gong devotee – and after a conversation I had with him when this was in it’s embryonic stage I knew that he wasn’t going to settle for any old thrown together, standard format package. Anyone who owns the Hillage box set will know that this is going to be a quality product. Great to see some of the unpublished artwork from Daevid Allen too – just a shame he wasn’t around to be involved but Heyworth, Hillage & Howlett I’m sure have done an amazing job between them. It hasn’t just been ‘put-out’ by a record company – everyone that could be involved got to make sure this did the music and the whole vibe justice…
    As a fan of Gong and the RGI Trilogy especially I’m looking forward to hearing it all again and immersing myself in the Planet Gong.

    • Fishingfred says:

      I have the Steve hillage box set. What a beauty. I can see no reason why the gong release will be any less than wonderful. 100 quid seems cheep, really, considering the the quality of the printed material, plus of course, 13cd’s/dvd’s….

  21. Andre Denis says:

    This year I am getting spoiled with this fantastic Gong set and the recent Tangerine Dream box set In Search Of Hades.
    And also I get The Beatles Abbey Road. What a fantastic year for box sets so far ………..
    Who knows what is coming up next ;)
    And I know I am not the only spoiled child here on SDE

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