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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.22 | 879 ratings

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Soul Vigilante
2 stars The material here may be somewhat universally regarded as Soft Machine at ther pinnacle, but to me, the versions of all four tracks from their John Peel sessions (1969-70) are vastly superior in every respect, particularly production and technical execution. The 1969 recording of "Facelift/Mousetrap/Noisette/ Backwards/Facelift", with Hugh Hopper's brother Brian asuming reed duties, cannot be topped, as it bears so many stuctural elements the Third version of "Facelift" lacks, and has a drive and energy from all involved that the album version cannot stack up to. "Slightly All The Time" and "Out-Bloody Rageous", performed as a medley on the Peel sessions, just sounds infinitely superior, and Elton Dean's soloing is considerably more inspired for those takes. And the chop-suey album version of "Moon In June" from Third is flaccid and listless compared to the propulsive Peel session take, which was recorded during the same session as their phenomenal "Facelift/Mousetrap/Noisette/Backwards" recording. Also contributing to the quality of that Peel recording is Robert Wyatt's impromptu lyrical musings about the intricasies of recording a session for Radio 3, which topple the album verions nondescript rantings.
Soul Vigilante | 2/5 |


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