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The Soft Machine

Canterbury Scene

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The Soft Machine Original Album Classics album cover
3.57 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1: "Third" (75:43)
1. Facelift* (18:54)
2. Slightly All the Time (18:14)
3. Moon in June (19:18)
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous (19:17)

CD 2: "Fourth" (39:13)
1. Teeth (9:15)
2. Kings and Queens (5:02)
3. Fletcher's Blemish (4:35)
4. Virtually Part 1 (5:16)
5. Virtually Part 2 (7:09)
6. Virtually Part 3 (4:33)
7. Virtually Part 4 (3:23)

CD 3: "Fifth" (36:34)
1. All White (6:06)
2. Drop (7:42)
3. M C (4:57)
4. As If (8:02)
5. L B O (1:54)
6. Pigling Bland (4:24)
7. Bone (3:29)

CD 4: "Six" (76:25)
1. Fanfare (0:42)
2. All White (4:46)
3. Between (2:24)
4. Riff (4:36)
5. 37 1/2 (6:51)
6. Gesolreut (6:17)
7. E.P.V. (2:47)
8. Lefty (4:56)
9. Stumble (1:42)
10. 5 from 13 (For Phil Seamen with Love & Thanks) (5:15)
11. Riff II (1:20)
12. The Soft Weed Factor (11:18)
13. Stanley Stamps Gibbon Album (For B.O.) (5:58) 14. Chloe and the Pirates (9:30)
15. 1983 (7:54)

CD 5: "Seven" (43:15)
1. Nettle Bed (4:47)
2. Carol Ann (3:48)
3. Day's Eye (5:05)
4. Bone Fire (0:32)
5. Tarabos (4:32)
6. D.I.S. (3:02)
7. Snodland (1:50)
8. Penny Hitch (6:40)
9. Block (4:17)
10. Down the Road (5:48)
11. The German Lesson (1:53)
12. The French Lesson (1:01)

Total Time: 271:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Hugh Hopper / bass, sound effects on 1983
- Karl Jenkins / oboe, baritone & soprano saxes, electric and grand pianos, celeste
- Roy Babbington / acoustic & electric basses, double bass
- John Marshall / drums, percussion
- Mike Ratledge / electric piano, organ, synthesizer, grand pianos, celeste
- Elton Dean / alto sax, saxello, electric piano
- Phil Howard / drums
- Roy Babbington / double bass
- Mark Charig / cornet
- Nick Evans / trombone
- Jimmy Hastings / alto flute, bass clarinet
- Alan Skidmore / tenor sax
- Robert Wyatt / drums, vocals
- Lyn Dobson / flute, soprano sax
- Rab Spall / electric violin

Releases information

5CD Sony Music ‎88697781442 (2010 Europe) (box set)

Thanks to toroddfuglesteg for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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THE SOFT MACHINE Original Album Classics ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE SOFT MACHINE Original Album Classics reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
3 stars Normally, I rate Columbia's Original Album Classics series very highly, since - provided you don't mind getting fairly basic quality paper sleeves for the discs and absolutely no liner notes or booklets - they're a great way of collecting a big chunk of a band's discography all at once, and often they include albums which are otherwise hard to find on CD. However, there are a couple of issues with this Soft Machine compilation of the albums from Third to Seven which makes me feel that this time around it isn't such a good deal.

First off - and to be fair, this isn't really Columbia's fault - the selection of albums isn't what it could be. Columbia, of course, have to work with the albums they actually own the rights to, but that's a shame in this case because it means that neither of the band's first two albums are present, and thus a whole phase of the band's musical development is essentially missed out. Furthermore, it includes the band's transitional fourth and fifth albums, which I consider to be substandard compared both to what came before and what came after. The lack of the widely-respected Bundles will be especially felt by fusion fans.

Secondly, the recent remaster of Third, when bought separately, includes the Live at the Proms 1970 performance as a bonus disc - which isn't presented here. Consequently, if you really like the Robert Wyatt era of the band and want the Live at the Proms disc, you probably want to buy Third separately - at which point the value of the back goes down sharply, since Third is easily the best album here.

On the whole, I'd advise against getting this collection. The Soft Machine's sound changed so radically over the course of these five albums that even if you've heard one or two of them, that's no real indicator of whether you'd like the others - it's best to collect them gradually, disc by disc, feeling your way through the band's musical development and avoiding those albums where they take a direction you're not keen on. I'll give this three stars since that's a fair average considering the variability of the music on display - there's some fantastic albums here, but also a couple of stinkers - but I also think in terms of value for money (which is what's really on your mind if you're considering investing in one of these collections) it could also be much, much better.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The perfect Soft Machine smorgasboard. 3,4,5,6,7........... Only numbers for some. But for Soft Machine fans, this is both five numbers between one to ten and five captivating Soft Machine albums. Albums that still draws us into the world of Hopper, Ratledge, Dean, Marshall and the other fin ... (read more)

Report this review (#307216) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, October 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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