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The Soft Machine - BBC - Radio 1967 - 1971 CD (album) cover

BBC - RADIO 1967 - 1971

The Soft Machine

 

Canterbury Scene

3.98 | 32 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm not sure where to even start with a recording such as this. Basically it's a compilation of live tracks recorded at the BBC from 1967 to 1971. You could call this the "Wyatt Years" as well I suppose. I first became interested in this when reading a discussion of this band where several long time SOFT MACHINE fans rated this in their top five.That was all I needed to hear, I knew I had to check this out for myself.The sound quality is excellent and just about all of the music here can't be found anywhere else. So really this is a must for SOFTS fans. Some great pictures to enjoy as well, especially seeing Wyatt and Ratlede in 1967 looking so young. Wyatt has short blonde hair and I didn't even recognize him, Ratledge has shorter that usual hair and no sunglasses or moustache.

Cd One starts off with five tracks that feature Wyatt, Ratledge and Ayers.These songs are from 1967 and Ayers and Wyatt share the vocal duties while Ayers strums his guitar and Ratledge stays relatively in the background. Fans of thier first album will appreciate this a lot. Then we get "Facelift / Mousetrap / Noisette / Backwards / Moustrap Reprise" and a very different sound with Wyatt, Ratledge and the Hopper brothers from 1969. Man this is so good and perhaps my favourite track.The fuzzed out bass from Hugh is so deep and growly around 9 1/2 minutes. Just a killer instrumental display. The next track "Moon In June" is from the same session but minus Brian Hopper. Check out the made up lyrics here from Wyatt, this is so good. He even mentions CARAVAN and PINK FLOYD. "Instant Pussy" is from 1969 and is Wyatt all by himself doing a very different version of the future MATCHING MOLE tune. Wyatt, Ratledge, Hopper and Elton Dean for the first time from 1970 do "Slightly All The Time / Out Bloody Rageous / Eamonn Andrews". And yes this is classic SOFT MACHINE. The sax, the fuzz it's all so good.

Disc Two begins with the same lineup but this is 1971 and the song is "Virtually". Dean just wails on that sax at times. Fuzz bass too on this one. The next four tracks are from 1971 and again feature Wyatt, Ratledge, Hopper and Dean doing "Fletcher's Blemish", "Neo-Caliban Grides", "Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening" and "Eamonn Andrews / All White".The final track features the septet of Wyatt, Ratledge, Hopper, Dean, Dobson, Evans and Charig doing "Mousetrap / Noisette / Backwards / Mousetrap Reprise / Esther's Nose Job". Obviously the horns are more prominant and at times dissonant. Lots of fuzz as usual.

Easily 4 stars and for the true SOFT MACHINE fan who can't get enough.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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