Gong: Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy

Quintessential trilogy buffed, bolstered and boxed. Hare Hare Supermarket!

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Ah, the Planet Gong, The Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet, Octave Doctors, Pot Head Pixies and a Flying Teapot – in the detailed and delirious mythos spun around Daevid Allen’s eccentric collective, this is their holy grail, uncarved block and philosopher’s stone rolled into one.

Space precludes any decent explication of the narrative, mind you, so would a double page spread. Though that’s hardly the point. If ever a triumvirate of “gnomaphonic” heavy-gram vinyl needed accompanying instructions, ‘just go with it’ would be the most apposite here.

Gloriously remastered, cut pure-analogue to lacquers, boxed-up and bundled with four facsimiles of Allen’s original booklets plus sleeve notes of such depth they double as definitive biography, it’s a veritable camembert-heavy cheese board of delights.

Musically, it beautifully illustrates the band’s journey from angular and punky outsiders to mellifluous jazz-soaked spaceniks over six sides of some of the strangest and genre-blurring perfection ever committed to the medium. Such were the telepathic heights often attained – A Sprinkling Of Clouds (You), Other Side Of The Sky (Angel’s Egg), Flying Teapot (Flying Teapot), to toss a mere three into the ether – live versions never came close to recreating these one-off moments of magical intuition.

An entirely apt legacy and testament to Allen’s myriad merits, it’s an essential trinity for anyone even occasionally cosmically inclined, presented at last, as they should be, together. As the man said: ‘Have a cup of tea. Have another one’. Enjoy.



Various Artists: *Brown Acid – The First Trip*

Limited to just 100 copies in clear vinyl or 300 in red, Brown Acid – The First Trip collects together a number of long-lost proto-metal bands who sound like Blue Cheer, Sabbath and Zeppelin - lots of scuzzy riffs and overdriven valves - but clearly never made it much beyond their garage doors.

The Sonics: *50*

Seattle’s most savage quintet receive the Black Friday treatment with this limited edition three-disc box set featuring a 36-page book and poster. All the information you’ll ever need is contained within the included 5,000-word oral history of the band, while the third disc is packed with rarities.

Joan Jett And The Blackhearts: *Greatest Hits*

There are only 500 copies of this red double-vinyl beauty in the entire world, which works out at one per 14,744,541 members of the human population. How scarce is that? Very scarce indeed. Includes the Runaways classic Cherry Bomb and the No.1 solo smash I Love Rock And Roll.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.