1. Wingful Of Eyes
4. Cat In Clark's Shoes
By 1975, all Gong's rough edges were sanded away. Erstwhileleader Daevid Allen took his spacy/psychedelic hippie mythology with him when he left in '74. In it's place, the remaining members (vocalist Gilli Smyth and synth player Tim Blakehad also departed) pursued a jazz-rock fusion sound and a group-led dynamic, with all members contributing ideas. SHAMAL is full of ultimately satisfying mid-'70s fusion, but the final traces of the old Gong can still be heard in Didier Malherbe's whimsical sax lines, bassist Mike Howlett's occasional vocals/lyrics and the biting guitar of Steve Hillage (at this point merely a guest musician). It's ironic that it was produced by Nick Mason since it's far from Gong's Pink Floydish space-rock origins, but SHAMAL is the first and probably the best of the Gong Mark II albums.