Exposé Online banner

Mother Gong — The Best of Mother Gong
(Purple Pyramid CLP 9983-2, 1997, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-11-01

The Best of Mother Gong Cover art

I suppose there's a large segment of the record-buying public (not many Exposé readers among them) for whom the concept of The Best of Mother Gong would be a strange one: that there should be a band called Mother Gong, let alone a set of music which could be called their best. Well, Mother Gong does exist, and have in fact existed since 1978, releasing 16 albums of material on a variety of labels. Mother Gong is a sort of collective centered around vocalist Gilli Smith, and consisting of a variety of musicians (13 incarnations of the band are featured on this collection). Making appearances here are Robert Calvert, Guy Evans, Didier Malherbe, Mike Howlett, Steve Hillage, and many others. And the music? If you've heard Mother Gong you know what to expect. If not, you're in for the prime exponents of spaced-out pagan Goddess-worshipping goofy hippie music in the world. Gilli Smith's trippy voice is the centerpiece, breathily reciting her stream-of-consciousness poetry about Mother Earth, love, and religion. The background music, largely improvised, tends toward the jazzy, with violin or sax solos over spacey grooves. From time to time the band will come together for a tight composed section, but the general feel is quite loose. I'm not sure if it's possible for most people to take Gilli Smith seriously, but even if you don't, there's some good music here.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Didier Malherbe, Nik Turner, Gilli Smyth / Mother Gong, Steve Hillage / System 7

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kollektiv - Kollektiv – Kollektiv, an obscure Krautrock band, released their self-titled album in 1973. Three months later they recorded an hour-long session for SWF radio in Baden-Baden. Long Hair released this session in...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues