Pierre Moerlen's Gong released four albums for Arista Records between 1979 and 1981 (Downwind, Time Is The Key, Live, and Leave It Open) which are widely regarded as their classics. The band had a distinctive sound dominated by the heavy use of mallet instruments (marimba, xylophone, vibraphone and glockenspiel) played mainly by Pierre Moerlen, his brother Benoit Moerlen, and François Causse. After being dropped by Arista the band broke up.
In the mid '80s Pierre Moerlen and bassist Hansford Rowe, who had played on the previous four albums, put together a new incarnation of the band featuring several members of the Swedish band Tribute (5) including guitarist Åke Ziedén. They released the Scientology-inspired album Breakthrough (1986), mainly pop tunes plus a few fusion tracks. Shortly thereafter Tribute broke up but Ziedén remained and Benoit rejoined the group. The new lineup returned to the original jazz/rock fusion sound and recorded two further albums: Second Wind (1989) and Full Circle - Live 1988 before disbanding again. In 2002 Moerlen recorded an album in St. Petersburg (Russia) with a group of Russian musicians called Pentanine. The last album of the Pierre Moerlen's Gong was started in 2005 with another new line-up of young French musicians, but Moerlen died suddenly leaving the project at a very early stage. The band nevertheless decided to record Pierre's last compositions with some of their own, and release it posthumously as 'Tribute' in 2010.