MOTHER GONG &
ANTHONY PHILLIPS

"Battle Of The Birds"

 

OTTERSONGS
(OT2 on GAS list)
1981

Cassette release
Total time: 38:59

Side One: (19:30)

1) The Battle And The Raven's Gift
2) The Giant Claims His Reward
3) The King's Son Falls In Love With Auburn Mary
4) Thatching The Byre
5) The Pine Tree - Auburn Mary Is Pieced Together Again

Side Two: (19:29)

1) The Wedding Dance
2) Escaping On The Wedding Night
3) Auburn Mary Tricks The Giant
4) The Giant Drowns
5) The Birds Remind The King's Son Of His Forgotten Auburn Mary
6) Where Is My Love Now - The Song Of Auburn Mary
7) The Marriage


Credits on cassette:

Battle Of The Birds
a Celtic fairy-tale with music by
Mother Gong & Anthony Phillips

An Irish folk tale of Magic and thwarted revenge..

narrated by Gilli Smyth
with
Anthony Phillips and Harry Williamson, music and guitars
Didier Malherbe, Flutes and sax's
(John Hacett..flute solo for the Crystal Tree)
Robin Phillips, oboe
Claire Jones sang the song at the end
and voices were :-
Gilli-Auburn Mary.
Harry-Both prince and Raven.
Trevor-Giant.
Dave the wave-Party Guest.
Tali, Bee, Orlando-wren, spirits, etc.
Aardvaark-cobbler.
Becky-cobbler's wife.

Recorded and produced by Harry Williamson at Send Barns 1978 and Ox's Cross 1981.

Otter Songs
All rights of the manufacturer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved.
Unauthorised public performance, broadcasting and copying of this tape prohibited.
OTTERSONGS

Text on release sheet:
(see scan below)

A Mother Gong Album Music by Harry Williamson and Antony Phillips
Narrated by Gilli Smyth

Mother Gong is the most authentic modern version of the popular underground group Gong. It includes two members of the original group, Gilli Smyth and Didier Malherbe (Bloom). Plus Guy Evans (ex-Van der  Graf Generator), Harry Williamson, who worked with Antony Phillips on this and other albums, (Nick Turner's "Sphinx" etc).
Mother Gong records include "Mother" 1978, "Fairy Tales" 1979, though all the members have produced several albums, gilli for example wrote the popular "Magic Brother" and "Continental Circus" albums, plus parts of other Gong albums. The basic music tracks for "The Battle of the Birds" were recorded a few years ago by Harry Williamson and Antony Phillips, with the other musicians, and completed in July 1981 by the addition of Didier Malherbe's sax and flute, Yan Emeric's solo guitar, and Hugh Hopper's bass. The story is a traditional Celtic tale, narrated by Gilli Smyth, with different artists playing the various characters. The 1979 "Fairy Tale" album included three stories, Wassilissa, The Three Tongues, and  the Pied Piper, and Panguin Books are interested in this for the children's market when there is a series. It would be brought out as a package, with playroom posters, cassettes, and an illustrated book of the words. "Battle Of The Birds" is the second album of the series, and is now available for release.

OTTER SONGS
0271-890759

OXES CROSS BRAUNTON
DEVON Ex33 1hx ENGLAND


Notes & details:

Some backing tracks used for this album (no instrumental or vocal overdubs) can be found on Gypsy Suite (Blueprint 1995).

- The Battle And The Raven's Gift: the backing track is "Gypsy Suite Movement I: First Light".
- The King's Son Falls In Love With Auburn Mary: the backing track is "Gypsy Suite Movement II: Siesta".
- Wedding Dance: cassette release sheet lists it at the end of side 1 but it actually starts side 2 of tape.
- The Giant Drowns: the backing track is "Gypsy Suite Movement IV: The Crystal Ball".
- The Birds Remind The King's Son of his Forgotten Auburn Mary: backing track "Gypsy Suite IV: Crystal Ball".
- Where Is My Love Now - The Song Of Auburn Mary: backing track "Gypsy Suite Movement IV: Crystal Ball".
- The Marriage: the backing track is "Gypsy Suite Movement IV: The Crystal Ball".

This cassette appeared for sale from Ottersongs - GAS on Gong Moving On 1981 magazine.
My copy has yellow inlay card, white Ottersongs labels (my scans) and no release date or catalogue number.

Harry Williamson re-edited and remixed this album; in 2003 Blueprint released it on cd with bonus material.
You can buy Battle Of The Birds on line from Planet Gong official website and support the artists.

The cassette and cd editions show several differences: the cd issue has some sound effects not appearing on cassette, the narration occurs over different musical parts and some of the voices are different (for instance the farmer's voice at the start).
Recording dates and credits for the musicians on the two releases differ as well;
The chapters are also titled differently (titles for the tape version appear on release sheet but not on cassette);
below is how they appear on both editions:

TITLES ON RELEASE SHEET 1981

TITLES ON CD 2003

The Battle And The Raven's Gift

The Giant Claims His Reward
The King's Son Falls In Love With Auburn Mary
& Thatching The Byre
The Pine Tree - Auburn Mary Is Pieced Together

   Again
Wedding Dance
Escaping On The Wedding Night
Auburn Mary Tricks The Giant
& The Giant Drowns The Birds Remind The King's Son Of His Forgotten
   Auburn Mary
Where Is My Love Now - The Song Of Auburn Mary
The Marriage

"The Wren & The Raven", "Raven Flight",
"The Magic Bundle"
The Promise"
"The First Test"


"The Second Test"


"Weds The Giants Daughter"
"The First Spell"
"The Last Spell"
"From Rags To Riches"


"Auburn Mary"
"The Choice"

"Sombre" --\
"Flight" ----- Bonus tracks on cd only        
"Twilight" --/

Recordings:

1976-1978, Send Barnes, Surrey (recordings on 4 track masters).
1981, Ox's Cross, Devon (4 track masters onto 8 track and additional recordings).

Musicians:

Harry Williamson 6 & 12 string guitars, The Raven, The First Kings Son
Anthony Phillips
6 & 12 string guitars
Gilli Smyth narrator & Auburn Mary
Didier Malherbe flutes, piccolo and saxophones
Jan Emeric acoustic guitar
Guy Evans paper drums
Hugh Hopper bass
Simon Phillips oboe
Carl & Dorothy violin & 'cello
Tasmin Smyth The First Queen
Orlando Allen
The Mouse & the Hoodies
Bee Williamson
The Cooks son, mice & the Hoodies
Taliesin Allen
The Second young son & the Hoodies
Aardvark
The Shoemaker
Helen
The Shoemakers Wife
Dave The Wave
The Giant & guest
Clare Jones
Auburn Mary Song
Everyone Around
The guests at the party

(source: CD booklet. Cassette release sheet adds "completed in July 1981").
Anthony Phillips Songbook website has March 1978 for recording date of "Gypsy Suite".


Ottersongs release sheet


Cassette labels


BACK TO GAS TAPES

HOME

NEXT

Website by Gianmaria Rizzardi 2007-2009.
Page last updated Oct 2010.