Band members Related acts
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- Daevid Allen (RIP 2015) -- vocals, guitar
- Mike Howlett -- bass
- Pierre Morelen -- percussion
- Gilli Smyth -- space whisper & licks
- Toni Ares -- contrabass
- Ana Camps - vocals
- Toni Tree Fernandez -- guitar
- Pepe Milan -- guitar, mandolin, charango, glockenspiel
- Tony Pascual -- synthesizers, keyboards, guitar
- Acid Mothers Gong
- The Banana Moon Man
- Daevid Allen Trio
- Daevid Allen Quartet
- Daevid Allen's University of Errors
- Brainville 3
- The Glissando Guitar Orchestra
- Gone Global Family
- Guru & Zero
- Mr Head
- The Invisible Opera Company of Oz
- The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet
- The Magick Brothers
- Mother Gong
- Planet Gong
- New York Gong
- The Soft Parade
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Good Morning
Country/State: Melbourne, Australia
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 31226
Stretching over some five decades, the late Daevid Allen had a remarkable career. His recording catalog would choke a horse. I'll admit that I've been exposed to little of his catalog and while Gong and Soft Machine albums are in my collection, they're not exactly my go-to bands.
Having been the longstanding point man for Gong, 1976 saw Allen opt for a solo career. Recorded at his Majorca studio using a four track reel-to-reel tape machine, "Good Morning" was actually Allen's second solo release, following on the heels of 1971's "Banana Moon". Technically I guess it wasn't a solo turn as if was credited as a collaboration with the Spanish folk group Euterpe (Toni Ares, Ana Camps, Toni Tree Fernandez, Pepe Milan and Tony Pascual). With Allen responsible for penning all eight tracks, the collection featured a mixture of musical styles united by a quiet, reflective vibe. At least to my ears the album didn't sound much like a Gong album. Far more acoustic than your typical Gong outting, there weren't even any drums. The one exception was the eleven minute plus 'Wise Man In Your Heart' which served as kind of a mini-Gong reunion with bassist Mike Howlett and percussionist Pierre Morelen providing support. Allen's dry, singsing voice was in good shape throughout and while flashes of hi's patented sense of humor were scattered throughout the set, exemplified by material like the opener 'Children of the World' and 'Song of Satisfaction' Allen seemed reflective and contemplative throughout. It's certainly one of those albums that has grown on me -the perfect musical accompaniment for a rainy, depressing Sunday morning.
Morning" track listing:
1.) Children of the New World (Daevid Allen) - 3:40 rating: *** stars
The couple of times I heard 'Children of the New World' I was less than overwhelmed. It was a pretty enough tune, but the combination of Allen's dry, speak-sing voice and the hippy-dippy lyrics ("Tell me why we argue like we do. We rob and rape and kill and still don't understand. We only rob ourselves" just seemed dated and naieve. And unexpectedly one day it dawned on me what a great tune this was.
2.) Good Morning (Daevid Allen) - 5:10 rating: ** stars
Geez, was Ana Camps actually singing on the same song as Allen and the rest of the band?
3.) Spirit (Daevid Allen) - 4:56
4.) Song of Satisfaction (Daevid Allen) - 2:00 rating: *** stars
'Song of Satisfaction' was a stark ballad; just Allen and Tony Pascual on keyboards. Pretty and the lyrics were interested. How could you not be impressive by a couplet like "fish to fry, now I must fly"? ...
5.) Have You Seen My Friend (Daevid Allen) - 3:32 rating: *** stars
Opening up with some pretty strumming acoustic guitars, 'Have You Seen My Friend' initially sounded like Allen had discovered Spanish folk music. About a minute in, when the vocals kicked in the song shifted into a more typical Allen composition complete with mildly progressive flavor, some of his funny lyrics and Gilli Smyth's unique harmonies. Not sure why there was a nod to 'Greensleeves' embedded in the tune. Not my favorite performance, but I have to admit I've found myself humming this one.
1.) French Garden (Daevid Allen) - 3:19 rating: **** stars
Lovely and not what you initially expected ... I've seldom heard a song that so effortlessly bounces between pastoral to out-and-out rock tune. Not exactly sure how Allen pulled it off, but he did.
2.) Wise Man In Your Heart (Daevid Allen) - 11:36 rating: **** stars
Maybe I'm alone, but every time I hear the world music flavors of 'Wise Man In Your Heart' and in particular Mike Howlett's bubbling bass line, it makes me think of David Byrne and Talking Heads circa 'Remain In Light'. Slinky, propulsive and thought provoking ... wonder if Byrne and company were influenced by this one? You also got to hear some of Allen's famed glissando guitar. Can't say I was as thrilled by the song when it went off the rails focusing on Gilli Smyth's bizarre "space whispers".
3.) She Doesn't She (Daevid Allen) - 2:30 rating: ** stars
The opening was a little discordant and from their it morphed into a strange sax powered waltz.
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