This wacky, whimsical musical cartoon emerged several years after Daevid Allen left the legendary Soft Machine, and soon after he'd launched his classic hippie prog rock band Gong. It was initially released on the French label Byg in 1971, and re-released in England on the Virgin subsidiary Caroline in '75. Joining Allen here is an all-star troupe that includes Robert Wyatt (Soft Machine and Matching Mole), Gary Wright (Spooky Tooth), Maggie Bell (Stone the Crows), and Gong members "Submarine Captain" Christian Tritsch, Pip Pyle, and Allen's girlfriend Gillie Smyth (aka "Shakti Yoni"). It's no surprise that the musical anarchy here resembles early Gong, as opposed to the artist's later, more reflective solo recordings. With a smile and wink, the irrepressible, mischievous Allen has the ability to sound completely stoned yet totally likeable. He also shreds a few guitar strings on the balls-out rocking "It's the Time of Your Life." And the moody version of "Memories," sung here by Wyatt, is probably the best of at least a half-dozen floating around the Canterbury scene. Suffice to say, Banana Moon is quite weird, but it's also non-threatening and a great deal of fun. Also recommended and of a similar vein are Gong's Camembert Electrique, which is a bit more avant-garde, and Magick Brother, which is slightly more psychedelic.
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AllMusic Review by Peter Kurtz