Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Soft Machine

Canterbury Scene

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Soft Machine Face and Place Vol. 7 [Aka: Jet Propelled Photographs, Aka: At the Beginning] album cover
3.18 | 19 ratings | 10 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. That's How Much I Need You Now (2:29)
2. Save Yourself (2:45)
3. I Should've Known (7:30)
4. Jet Propelled Photograph (aka Shooting at the Moon) (2:33)
5. When I don't Want You (2:49)
6. Memories (2:59)
7. You Don't Remember (3:45)
8. She's Gone (2:11)
9. I'd Rather Be With You (3:40)

Total Time: 30:41

Tracks 1-4 first released in "Rock Generation Vol. 7" (BYG 529.707) 1972
Tracks 5-9 first released in "Rock Generation Vol. 8" (BYG 529.708) 1972

Line-up / Musicians

- David Allen / guitar, vocals
- Robert Wyatt / drums, vocals
- Kevin Ayers / bass, vocals
- Mike Ratledge / keyboards

Releases information

BYG 529 907
Title must be Faces and Places vol. 7

Re-released 1977 as At the Beginning (1967) and on CD Spalax (1993)

Re-released 1989 as Jet Propelled Photographs
LP-Decal-LIK 36-Spa-1988 CD SNAP133CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE SOFT MACHINE Face and Place Vol. 7 [Aka: Jet Propelled Photographs, Aka: At the Beginning] Music

More places to buy THE SOFT MACHINE music online

THE SOFT MACHINE Face and Place Vol. 7 [Aka: Jet Propelled Photographs, Aka: At the Beginning] ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (63%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE SOFT MACHINE Face and Place Vol. 7 [Aka: Jet Propelled Photographs, Aka: At the Beginning] reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Although I have another edition with most numbers in a different order , this is the very first album from the Machine but never got released as Daevid Allen had visa problem and could not return to the UK and had to stay in France - he went on to form GonG. This is a very important album as one can hear how Vol 1 &2 got where they are. This album was also released as Jet Proppelled Photograph.

Daevid Allen has revived this album in the summer 04 with his University Of Errors by playing some traks from it and the lunacy of this is still present but much better recorded.

Review by loserboy
3 stars In sharp contrast to their later free form jazz-prog influenced music, it is this quirky little psychy debut album which has been a household favourite here. Rich in the psychedelic tradition, JPP is centered around Mike Ratledge's acid washed organ sounds which is ornately wrapped in a wall of wonderful psychy guitar and drum interplay. Vocals are sung by Kevin Ayers who accents this album quite well with his raspy yet emotional style. Songs are generally of a shorter length and in fact the whole album also ends far too quickly. A tasty little progressive rock gem with heavy psychedelic tendencies... A pick of mine!
Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is an archival recording that will be absolutely essential to Soft Machine/Canterbury fans, but I'm pretty sure the average prog fan wouldn't deem it to be a particularly crucial recording. It sees the original Soft Machine line up of Daevid Allen, Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt let loose on nine psych-era cuts that weren't deemed worthy of release at the time, but which certainly offer a fantastic glimpse into the roots of the quirky Canterbury style that would eventually emerge from the various projects these men would helm.

Perhaps of most importance is the brilliant stoner I Should've Known which sees an Allen guitar freak-out and even a brief Wyatt drum solo. But tracks When I Don't Want You, Jet Propelled Photographs (with some truly bizarre vocal exchanges) and That's How Much I Need You Now are probably my faves, foreshadowing the tasty whimsical sounds that would adorn the first two Soft Machine albums before the group moved into full fledged jazz-rock. Other songs of note also include the Animals-like ravers Save Yourself (with a brief Ratledge solo) and track You Don't Remember.

The psych/soul/jazz pot-pourri is very much of its time and gets a little repetitive by the end of the record. There are also a fair amount of bum notes here and probabaly also little full blown prog for most proggers. I must say however that I enjoy this record more than some of the later dense fusion experiments that the group would embark upon. ... 59% on the MPV scale

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

No this is not the ''real'' first SOFT MACHINE album as they are a bunch of demos, mostly recorded live in a studio by the great producer GIORGIO GOMELSKI back then one year before the release of the official first album.Nevertheless, this is an interesting audio document giving us the possibility to finally hear the original band featuring DAEVID ALLEN on guitar. Of course, ROBERT WYATT, MIKE RATLEDGE and KEVIN AYERS complete the line-up.

I have never seen a definitive edition release of this album as i think there are as many covers designs or titles as there are countries in the world. Usually, this recording is named JET-PROPELLED PHOTOGRAPH in many places, sometimes it has no name or just THE SOFT MACHINE. As for the cover designs , that might be the most lousy woks i have ever seen.! My american edition shows the band, yes but with the line-up of.....SIX with KARL JENKINS! I own also a French copy which our friend ELTON DEAN gracing the cover!!!!

Also depending where you live, the song order might differ greatly from my edition! It would be nice if some original members of the band gather together one day and worked on a definitive edition of this album, but i am not sure who owns these demos anyway! But i would like to see that with more tracks such as LOVE MAKES SWEET MUSIC and others which were released as singles, but never made it on an album until they were featured on the great TRIPLE ECHO, a 3 LPs best-of boxset that was released many, many years later.....and is out of print now, anyway!

There are 9 songs, mostly short in the 2-3 mns range, some sort of psychedelic pop songs in the same vein a man named SYD BARRETT was composing at the same time for another young underground band named PINK FLOYD. They all dominated by the voice of ROBERT WYATT with its already recognizable distinct sound. Curiously, KEVIN AYERS, even as the composer of 3 tracks on this album, just joins WYATT for one track JET-PROPELLED PHOTOGRAPH.

There is only one 'challenging' song here, the longest one, the 7:27 mn I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN very psychedelic with a rather long freaky solo guitar from DAEVID ALLEN reminding me some stuff the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE was doing at the same time followed by yes, a no less freaky drum solo from ROBERT WYATT.This is actually the only song where you really notice the work of ALLEN.

MIKE RATLEDGE just add in the background haunting organ soundscapes and doesn't participate really as there are absolutely no writing credits from him. Curiously, HUGH HOPPER who was still only a roadie for the band back then came up with 3 songs for this album including the sweet melancholic ballad MEMORIES, DAEVID ALLEN would cover again on his solo album per-GONG BANANAMOON.

There are really no original tracks you haven't heard before as a lot of them will wind up on their next official releases. 2 of them, yes 2 THAT'S HOW MUCH I NEED YOU NOW and YOU DON'T REMEMBER will be used for the writing of the fantastic MOON IN JUNE from THIRD. JET PROPELLED PHOTOGRAPH will be re-recorded by KEVIN AYERS on his solo album SHOOTING AT THE MOON. SAVE YOURSELF will be featured on their debut album as well as some parts of I SHOULD'VE KNOWN.

This album is an excellent listening but nothing as great as their first 3 albums; this is still a young, rough sounding band full of talent and creativity whose high potential would only be reached with the debut album one year later, then VOLUME TWO and THIRD. Of course, it's a must- have for all SOFT MACHINE fans as it give them a chance to hear finally DAEVID ALLEN playing with the band. An historic document from the past of a great band. But i am still waiting for a better, more complete release, more ''official''.


Review by Warthur
3 stars These early sessions by the Softs, available under a wide variety of names (my version is the CD release entitled "Jet-Propelled Photographs", put out by Charly, which seems to be the one most commonly available currently), are amongst the only recordings we have of the band in its early incarnation, with Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen still in the band. That said, if you're expecting some sort of bizarre hybrid of Volume One-era Soft Machine and early Gong, you're going to be disappointed: with singing duties shared between Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt, this album musically and lyrically resembles an earlier, simpler version of the band's first official studio album.

And to be honest, that's precisely what it is. Most of the songs here would eventually appear on the first Soft Machine album, be released by Kevin or David during their solo careers, or end up cannibalised by Wyatt as components for "The Moon In June" on Soft Machine's Third. And in each case, the songs benefit from a few more years of polishing; in this incarnation, the band is clearly on the way to establishing its own style, but nonetheless still shows the influence of its psychedelic peers. It's a decent psych album, a little slower and calmer than the usual Soft Machine offering, but you can tell that a lot of work and development occurred between this and the recording of Volume One. Jet-Propelled Photographs (or whatever you happen to call it) is normally sold quite cheaply, so it's not bad value for money if you are a Soft Machine enthusiast who'd like to own some earlier, dreamier versions of classic Softs songs, but if you're just getting into the band then it's not very representative of their sound.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars These nine songs were recorded in London in April 1967 and produced by the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky and initially used as demos of early Soft Machine line-up (classical three founding-members plus Australian beatnik,guitarist and vocalist Daevid Allen).Soon after songs were recorded,Daevid Allen was refused to renew British visa (as a result of his participation in Paris students riots of 68')and left Soft Machine (founded France-based Gong soon).

Archival recordings were re-released few times under different album's titles. The music on this release is interesting British early psychedelic pop/rock example with melodic songs,plenty of jazzy keyboards,very energetic and inspired Allen's vocals and Wyatt's competent drumming.This release is the only Soft Machine's one with Daevid Allen on vocals and guitars (and the only album containing guitarist work from their debut till mid 70-s). It's interesting to listen,how influential Allen was for band's musical direction!

Mostly early psychedelic music,these songs are not too attractive for fusion listener, but are really interesting and important for every serious Soft Machine and Gong fan as missing link between two bands.

My rating is 2,5 rounded to 3.

Latest members reviews

3 stars My review of JET PROPELLED PHOTOGRAPHS is primarily intended for big fans of the band like myself. This demo isn't for people with a passing interest in The Soft Machine. As others have suggested, this is the kind of late 60's psychedelic pop/rock which was so popular at the time. There are b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1493078) | Posted by thwok | Friday, November 27, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have owned this album since its release in 1972 (I think I got a pre release copy). I have never stopped listening to it! More punk (so only 4 stars for us prog rockers) than prog rock with Robert Wyatt on vocals rather than Kevin Ayers - just to show who was boss. Its called a demo but its a s ... (read more)

Report this review (#72075) | Posted by | Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars These tracks have been collected and repackaged a billion times under several different titles by many different companies...several of them of dubious legality (my copy is called "Jet Propelled Photograph" but has a different cover and running order to the same-titled album mentioned here). T ... (read more)

Report this review (#22149) | Posted by | Friday, September 3, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I didn't like these 1967 demos at first but after a lot of listening it finally hit me; these tracks are brilliant! Now I listen to them more than any other soft machine related release. However, I would still recommend the twofer cd with vol.1 and 2 as the best place to start for the curious. After ... (read more)

Report this review (#22106) | Posted by | Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE SOFT MACHINE "Face and Place Vol. 7 [Aka: Jet Propelled Photographs, Aka: At the Beginning]"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.