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The Soft Machine

Canterbury Scene

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The Soft Machine Live At The Paradiso album cover
3.62 | 45 ratings | 7 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hulloder (0:24)
2. Dada Was Here (8:21)
3. Thank You Pierrot Lunaire (0:45)
4. Have You Ever Been Green? (0:57)
5. Pataphysical Introduction Pt. II (1:00)
6. As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still (1:55)
7. Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging (2:17)
8. Hibou, Anemone And Bear (4:17)
9. Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging (reprise) (3:26)
10. Pig (4:21)
11. Orange Skin Food (0:15)
12. A Door Opens And Closes (1:18)
13. 10:30 Returns To The Beedroom (10:39)

Total Time: 39:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Ratledge / electric piano, organ
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- Robert Wyatt / drums, vocals

Releases information

CD Voiceprint VP 193
CD Movieplay Gold 74033

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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Buy THE SOFT MACHINE Live At The Paradiso Music

THE SOFT MACHINE Live At The Paradiso ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE SOFT MACHINE Live At The Paradiso reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
4 stars This is a legitimised bootleg of the music from 'Volume 2', recorded live in the famed Paradiso Club in the Netherlands. Here Machine are road testing the music of 'Volume 2' only a few weeks after escaping the tighter arrangements/constraints required to record the studio version. And how this album differs from the studio recording: the only Machinists present are Wyatt, Hopper and Ratledge, so inevitably the arrangements are changed and too, the set order varies. This is one of my top 3 Machine albums, on which you'll hear Robert Wyatt, the jazz drummer - he really swings like nowhere else. Indeed this the album for Wyatt the vocalist. Hugh Hopper, is magnificient providing his usual understated, unhurried and original bass lines. Oddly then and one complaint about this album, I find Mike Ratledge to be dozing for almost half the set, his organ set to 'noodle' for a backing - while Wyatt and Hopper are providing a surplus of musical entertainment. But the wait for the wake call is worth it. Everything gels about 20 minutes or so in, with the musical explosion of "Hibou anemone & bear". Ratledge shudders awake as a sleeping giant, his soloing there on in is magnificent - keyboard work light years ahead of Keith Emerson. I'm normally left breathless and I have to play the album through again. A brilliant interpretation of the music of 'Volume 2'.

Footnote: thank goodness somebody recognised that this recording is a valuable historical document, showing an aspect in the development of a most important British band, and have given us a legitimate issue on CD. Another surprising thing about this album, is the high quality of recording especially for a late 60's live taping - in many respects, this shows up the rushed job made of recording the first Soft Machine studio album - this has to be remastered soon - please!

Review by Warthur
3 stars Originally released as a bootleg before eventually getting a legitimate release, Live at the Paradiso captures the Softs during the era of Volume Two, and its track list is more or less identical to that album - though unfortunately it begins abruptly in the middle of "Hulloder", presumably because the earlier part was either not recorded or was lost. The sound quality is at best average, betraying its bootleg origins, and more concerningly the mix is somewhat unbalanced; Wyatt's singing, Ratledge's organ and Hooper's bass all from time to time get completely overwhelmed by Wyatt's drumming. That said, because the drums are so prominent in the mix and recorded reasonably clearly, the album provides a great showcase for Wyatt's jazz-influenced drumming skills. Worth it if you like Volume Two and want a somewhat different take on the same material, but go for Volume Two first.
Review by Mirakaze
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Among the myriad of Soft Machine live albums released since the 90s, this one, recorded around the release of their Volume Two album and being (if I'm correct) the only one to capture a live performance of the band at this crossroads moment after the departure of Kevin Ayers but before the advent of their transformation from psychedelic rock into jazz, is indeed a valuable historical document. Unfortunately, this does not automatically translate into an enjoyable listening experience. Surely enough, the audience at the show must have had a great night because the musicians are in (mostly) great form and are giving it their all, but the sub-par audio quality on this record sadly ensures that disappointingly little of it can be made out here: Hugh Hopper's famous fuzzed-up bass is barely audible and Robert Wyatt's vocals can only be heard intermittently (although they may have done him a favour there with how tired and slightly hoarse his singing sounds, in stark contrast with his drumming).

That leaves Mike Ratledge to save the album: he most certainly tries his best, producing sublime free-form noise assaults during his solo spots and otherwise holding down all the lead parts with great skill, but it's a tall order to recreate the entire Volume Two album using only a single tinny-sounding organ. Even on the studio album, the band relied on multiple keyboards and a group of wind players; in the end, this recording can only seem monotonous by comparison. I can only recommend this for a one-time listen to big fans of the band or fans of general noise rock.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Soft Machine without woodwinds or electric guitars ? You are having a laugh !!!! That was my first thought...... Then I started to listen to this album and I discovered a new dimension to one of my favorite bands. Something I did not think was possible. Daevid Allan and Kevin Ayers was out ... (read more)

Report this review (#299742) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, September 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amazing. Best line-up. Soft Machine as a trio is one of the greatest bands from the late 60's. Most of the songs played on this concert are my favourites. This performance is historical & the sound quality is also great. Wyatt is a huge artist. Absolutely masterpiece and one of the great live a ... (read more)

Report this review (#164285) | Posted by fabiofrizzi | Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Official bootleg of SOFT MACHINE announced in 1995 "Live at the Paradiso 1969". It was recorded in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in March, 1969. It is a performance by the trio organization. Improvisation with extraordinary power. It fills with a sad lyricism. It is a work being recognized agai ... (read more)

Report this review (#49233) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, September 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Definately worth having for SM fans. Yet, as the band members note, the performance is a bit 'patchy', obviously played at too high a volume, very loose, with very few vocals. As an early live Soft Machine document, however, it is priceless. ... (read more)

Report this review (#22130) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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