The Soft Machine - Alive in Paris-1970 CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.35 | 15 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Essential=Masterpiece???

Soft Machine fans had to wait such a long time to get live material from they beloved band. And finally , this Alive in Paris satisfies our needs offering us the band in full regalia. 1970 was probabll the best year in the history of the group and we have quite an amazing show here. It's quite funny to watch some frenchmen go nuts when "Facelift" begins , but I was headbanging with them as well!! Here we have two tracks from Third like "Out Bloddy Rageous" and the already mentioned , plus "Esther's nose job" and some improvisations in which you can tell what's to come in Fourth.

Musically , the only letdown of the show were Robert Wyatt vocal improvisations , they seem really whimsical and don't fit well with the rest of the set. Before Esther's. begins we are faced with a critic taliking about the band and personally , I find two negative aspects in here. The first one is that this section is very bad placed , It would have been better if we could access to it as a bonus feature and not as part of the show. And the second one is that we have no subtitles here so I cannot understand what this bloke is saying.

In the second section of the show the music is outstanding , there is a sax solo during "Out Bloddy Rageous" that I love , Elton Dean goes insane!! Also , Wyatt's (drumming) performance is top notch. But if there is someone to blame here are the cameramen , this guys chose the weirdest places to film! Examples: Behind Wyatt's shoulder , behind the sound equipment and never , I repeat never they come up with a full close up of the whole band. I don't know if this problem affects all 70's videos since I ve found the same problem or even worse in VDGG's "Godbluff Live". It's a pity since the shots they take and the angles they use can really affect your appreciation here.

Now , according to the site a 5 stars qualification means the following: Essential , a masterpiece of progressive music". For the moment Alive in Paris 1970" is an essential release for Soft Machine fans and Canterbury freaks in general. But it has major flaws that prevent me from giving that qualification.

crimson87 | 4/5 |


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