Is Expresso II the best album by Gong? BestEverAlbums. com brings together thousands of 'greatest ever album' charts and calculates an overall ranking. This album At A Glance. Expresso II by Gong (1978) Overall rank: 44,857th.
Album · 1977 · 6 Songs. Drummer/composer Pierre Moerlen eventually assumed leadership of the group, steering Gong to the kind of full-on fusion sound featured on Expresso II. (FYI, there's no Expresso . While Hansford Rowe's biting guitar lines and percolating bass play a key role (especially in the wake of longtime saxophonist Didier Malherbe's departure), the album's most distinctive aspect is the percussive overlay at the core of several cuts. Including Moerlen, there are no less than four percussionists featured here.
Although the album was issued by Virgin Records under the "Gong" name for contractual reasons, and the name "Pierre Moerlen's Gong" would not be adopted for a few more months, the lineup.
Listen free to Gong – Expresso II (Heavy Tune, Golden Dilemma and more). Following the departure of Didier Malherbe after Gazeuse!, only Pierre Moerlen remained from the classic Radio Gnome trilogy line-up. Virgin continued to market the band as Gong, but once released from Virgin, the band were formally re-labelled as Pierre Moerlen's Gong. Allan Holdsworth, Mick Taylor and Darryl Way are among the guest musicians that supplement the core of the band.
Just as a starter, this album wears the number II after its name, because Gong's previous album Gazeuse was marketed Stateside as Expresso. By the time of release of this album, Gong didn't have much to do with the unit that had recorded the RGI trilogy: they were more of rhythm section waiting for frontmen to come in the forefront. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't call this line-up Sly & Robbie (they're much too good for that), but let's face it: three percussionists and a bassist make the core of the Gong.
They released two albums under the Gong moniker, Gazeuse! (called Expresso in North America) in 1976 and then Expresso II in 1978. Following the completion of the Virgin contract, Moerlen changed the name of the group to Pierre Moerlen's Gong. In early 1979, the group released Downwind, which was a more rock/pop flavoured album that featured occasional lead vocals by Moerlen himself and a cameo by Steve Winwood. The live album "Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live" was released in 1980, followed by another studio album, Leave It Open, in 1981. By this point, Pierre Moerlen's incarnation of Gong scaled back its activity greatly, not releasing another record until 1986's Breakthrough, featuring members of the Swedish band Tribute. Second Wind followed in 1988. The group quietly disbanded soon after.
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