Header

THE SOFT MACHINE

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Soft Machine picture
The Soft Machine biography
The probably most important and influential band to grow out the Canterbury Scene was SOFT MACHINE. The band emerged in 1967 as the quartet of Robert WYATT (drums, vocals), Mike RATLEDGE (keyboards), Kevin AYERS (bass, vocals) and Daevid ALLEN (guitar, vocals). Through a persistence of personnel changes (totalling ~30), their sound was to changed continually over the years of their existence. This band along with CARAVAN (both to come out of the formative WILDE FLOWERS), would influence the emergence of the Canterbury Sound (MATCHING MOLE, EGG, HATFIELD & THE NORTH, and many more). Many careers began with SOFT MACHINE: Robert WYATT (MATCHING MOLE band and solo artist), Kevin AYERS (later his own WHOLE WORLD band and solo artist), and Daevid ALLEN (later GONG and solo artist). Virtuosic instrumentalists such as Hugh HOPPER, Mike RATLEDGE, Elton DEAN, Allan HOLDSWORTH, (briefly) Andy SUMMERS, Roy BABBINGTON, John MARSHALL and Karl JENKINS were attracted to MACHINE's ranks through out its history, leaving us a series of ground-breaking albums.

Now, briefly - what is the music like? The SOFT MACHINE were, for many listeners, the standard against which all jazz-rock fusion, including many of the big American names, had to be measured. (Alas SOFT MACHINE, has taken a mighty long time to be accepted even by part of the jazz fraternity). SOFT MACHINE's first three studio albums contain some of their best work. The first two demonstrate a progression from R'n'B psychedelia, increasingly heavily flavored by Mike Ratledge's free jazz improv tempered by modern serious music, towards their own idiosyncratic jazz fusion. The first album is very much in the psychedelic vein. In the instrumental section of "Volume Two" and "Third", they are found freely blending modern jazz with modern rock sensibilities, with more than a hint of heavy abstract stylings, e.g. minimalism - that is not to say, they were doing this all along - for instance as found on the 1967 recordings heard on "Middle Earth Tapes". "Volume Two" retains the psychedelia through the mixture of metaphysical and apparently ad-lib lyrics, while instrumentally the psychedelic jamming was heavily infused with a complex jazzy style. Here Hugh HOPPER, RATLEDGE and WYATT were joined by Hugh's brother Brian on sax. "Live At Paradiso" covering the same tunes but in different order, was recorded within a fortnight of "Volume 2", by the trio and sounds more prog than jazz. "Third" is the transitional, double al...
read more

The Soft Machine official website

THE SOFT MACHINE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

THE SOFT MACHINE forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE SOFT MACHINE forum topics Create a topic now
THE SOFT MACHINE tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "the soft machine"
Post an entries now

THE SOFT MACHINE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all THE SOFT MACHINE videos (4) | Search and add more videos to THE SOFT MACHINE

Buy THE SOFT MACHINE Music


Volumes One & TwoVolumes One & Two
Import
Big Beat UK 2004
Audio CD$9.84
$5.73 (used)
Original Album ClassicsOriginal Album Classics
Import
Sony Import 2010
Audio CD$14.33
$25.66 (used)
SixSix
Import · Remastered
Sony Bmg Europe 2007
Audio CD$5.01
$4.95 (used)
ThirdThird
Import · Remastered
Sony Bmg Europe 2007
Audio CD$6.77
$5.89 (used)
Live in 1970Live in 1970
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$16.97
$21.15 (used)
DropDrop
Moonjune Records 2009
Audio CD$10.98
$26.54 (used)
SoftsSofts
Import · Remastered
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$11.63
$9.99 (used)
The Soft Machine - Volume TwoThe Soft Machine - Volume Two
Water 2007
Audio CD$10.97
$9.32 (used)
SevenSeven
Import · Remastered
Sony Bmg Europe 2007
Audio CD$11.50
$8.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
SOFT MACHINE 1st ORIG '68 ACID PSYCH U.S. LP 2nd Cover KEVIN AYRES ROBERT WYATT US $27.19 Buy It Now 1h 42m
SOFT MACHINE - THE SOFT MACHINE [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD US $41.77 Buy It Now 2h 39m
Soft Machine 2 CD set Man in a Deaf Corner Anthology 1963-1970 US $8.99 [0 bids]
4h 4m
Soft Machine, Third, Columbia - CG 30339, Org. US Issue, 1970 NM- US $24.95 [0 bids]
4h 24m
SOFT MACHINE - TURNS ON, VOL. 1 - NEW CD US $10.26 Buy It Now 4h 28m
Soft Machine JAPAN 5 Mini LP Blu-spec CD SS + PROMO Third BOX SET US $159.99 Buy It Now 5h 23m
Hughscore-Highspotparadox 1997 US Tim/Kerr T/K 109-2 SIS sawmark x-Soft Machine US $8.39 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Soft Machine Soft Space Part 1 / 2 Spain 7" 45 PS Prog Stock Copy EMI Harvest US $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Soft Machine-Turns On volume 2 (Nov/Dec.'67 & Aug/68) 2001 Voiceprint vp234cd US $9.69 Buy It Now 6h 37m
TOM NEWMAN Sleep RARE 7" ROCK POP Virgin SOFT MACHINE MIKE OLDFIELD US $24.78 Buy It Now 6h 57m
Sealed! THE SOFT MACHINE JAPAN LP Audiophile 200g '07 Limited UIJY-9012 Die-cut US $123.06 Buy It Now 8h 32m
@SOFT MACHINE LAND OF COCKAYNE JAPAN CD/NOT MINI LP CD US $49.69 Buy It Now 9h 26m
Soft Machine Softs Japan Mini-LP CD ARC-7337 W/Obi US $9.99 [1 bids]
9h 34m
Soft Machine Legacy - Burden Of Proof CD US $18.00 Buy It Now 11h 20m
SOFT MACHINE - BBC RADIO 1971-1974 - NEW CD BOXSET US $20.40 Buy It Now 13h 4m
CARAVAN SOFT MACHINE AYERS press article/cutting/clipping 1970 US $20.52 Buy It Now 13h 47m
SOFT MACHINE SEVEN 1973 JAPAN CD ESCA 5419 US $19.99 Buy It Now 13h 52m
SOFT MACHINE Henry Cow LINKS New Reasons To Use Old Words CD EU NEW Sealed US $14.98 Buy It Now 13h 54m
The Flock - Self Titled Album / 8-Track Tape RARE Soft Machine Nice Pink Floyd US $1.99 [0 bids]
US $4.25 Buy It Now
14h 51m
AIN SOPH - 1st LP Japanese Prog Jazz Obi 1980 w/ sheet Soft Machine Henry Cow US $52.50 Buy It Now 15h 56m
SOFT MACHINE-ALIVE AND WELL RECORDED IN PARIS-JAPAN MINI LP BLU-SPEC 2 CD Ii19 US $50.50 Buy It Now 16h 20m
Soft Machine Third Japan Promo Label Vinyl DBL LP Gatefold Robert Wyatt 3rd US $199.99 Buy It Now 16h 22m
SOFT MACHINE-FOURTH/4-UK VINYL LP-A1/B1-ROBERT WYATT-TEXTURED/EMBOSSED SLEEVE-EX US $17.10 [0 bids]
17h 4m
SOFT MACHINE - s/t (CD 1990) 1st album One Way US $9.99 [0 bids]
17h 14m
SOFT MACHINE - Volume Two (CD 1990) 2nd album One Way US $9.99 [0 bids]
17h 14m
SOFT MACHINE - Forth/Fifth (CD 1999) 4th & 5th album 2on1 SBM US $7.77 [0 bids]
17h 15m
SOFT MACHINE - Six (CD 1999) 6th album SBM live & studio US $7.77 [0 bids]
17h 15m
Soft Machine / Boz Scaggs 70s ROCK PLAYBACK 45 All Whit US $21.98 Buy It Now 17h 31m
SOFT MACHINE SIX JAPAN MINI LP CD Wyatt OOP US $19.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
SOFT MACHINE FIFTH JAPAN MINI LP CD Wyatt OOP US $19.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
SOFT MACHINE FOURTH JAPAN MINI LP CD Wyatt OOP US $19.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
SOFT MACHINE SEVEN JAPAN MINI LP CD Wyatt OOP US $19.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
SOFT MACHINE THIRD PLUS A BONUS CD LIVE AT THE PROMS JAPAN MINI LP CD OOP US $24.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
SOFT MACHINE 5 JAPAN MINI LP CD SET JAPAN MINI LP CD (Wyatt, Caravan, Egg) US $89.99 [0 bids]
17h 42m
Robert Wyatt "Shleep" CD Soft Machine Brian Eno Phil Manzanera Paul Weller Prog US $2.50 [0 bids]
19h 4m
THE SOFT MACHINE PSYCH PROGRESSIVE JAZZ ROCK SUNDAZED LP US $21.98 Buy It Now 19h 44m
Kevin Ayers Odd Ditties '76 harvest LP Soft Machine orig prog psych oop rare US $49.00 Buy It Now 19h 56m
Soft Machine - Live In 1970 [CD New] US $36.99 Buy It Now 20h 42m
SOFT MACHINE - ORIGINAL ALBUM CLASSICS NEW CD US $32.43 Buy It Now 21h
SOFT MACHINE - SIX (IMPORT) (REISSUE) NEW CD US $15.15 Buy It Now 21h 11m
DARRYL WAY'S WOLF-Canis Lupus JAPAN Press w/OBI Curved Air Soft Machine Rush US $39.99 [0 bids]
21h 45m
Soft Machine - Tales Of Taliesin: The Emi Yea NEW CD US $19.89 Buy It Now 21h 57m
SOFT MACHINE - SOFTS - LP UK 1st Press A1/B1 HARVEST 1976 Prog Psych MINT!! US $51.29 [0 bids]
21h 58m
Soft Machine - Fourth LP - 4 - 1970 Columbia records 30754 EX COND VINYL Wyatt US $20.00 Buy It Now 22h 4m
SOFT MACHINE Live In 1970 4 CD Set Limited Edition 2014 New SS US $24.99 [0 bids]
US $32.99 Buy It Now
22h 56m
Soft Machine Five - 1972 (1st UK pressing) US $79.52 [0 bids]
23h 21m
Soft Machine 1 & 2 Architects of Space Time German EX/EX US $40.00 [0 bids]
US $55.00 Buy It Now
23h 33m
SOFT MACHINE - BACKWARDS [SOFT MACHINE] - CD US $13.00 [0 bids]
1 day
RUBBLE 20 UK LP Psych Thrice Upon a Time soft machine fleur de lys art argosy !! US $129.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Soft Machine & Kevin Ayers-LOT OF 4 LPs-FOURTH, SEVEN, BUNDLES, NO MANANAS! US $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Floating World Live by Soft Machine (CD, Mar-2006, MoonJune Records) US $14.01 Buy It Now 1 day
BLACK SABBATH SWEET KING CRIMSON SOFT MACHINE CAN Poster size Advert 1973 US $20.52 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE T REX Concert ad JOHN PEEL Vintage Music Press Cutting 1971 US $20.52 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE : Six CD (1999) US $6.24 Buy It Now 1 day
SEALED MINT! Soft Machine Triple Echo 3 LP Box Set 1977 Psych Prog US $149.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STOMU YAMASH'TA'S EAST WIND-Hugh Hopper-Soft Machine-Yamashta ONE BY ONE sndtrk! US $9.98 [0 bids]
US $12.98 Buy It Now
1 day
SOFT HEAD-HUGH HOPPER/ELTON DEAN/ALAN GOWEN/D. SHEEN-ROGUE ELEMENT-Soft Machine! US $75.98 [0 bids]
US $99.98 Buy It Now
1 day
ITHACA - A GAME FOR ALL WHO KNOW like EARLY PINK FLOYD SOFT MACHINE PSYCH CD +3 US $19.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Different Strokes VARIOUS - Soft Machine, Nyro, Spirit, Miles - LP RECORD US $1.99 [0 bids]
1 day
SOFT MACHINE-TURNS ON (AN EARLY COLLECTION)-JAPAN 2 CD H40 zd US $38.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Jackie Magazine 5 September 1970 Issue No.348 Paul Kossof of Free Soft Machine US $51.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Jethro Tull on Magazine Cover King Crimson Soft Machine Curved Air Henry Cow US $12.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Third by Soft Machine (CD, May-1992, Sony/Columbia) US $7.07 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE(KOREA 2 LP 12")GREEN SLEEVE THIRD RARE Robert Wyatt US $22.49 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE jet propelled photographs CD 9 track (snap133cd) french decal 1989 US $25.58 Buy It Now 1 day
ANDY SUMMERS, XYZ /ROBERT FRIPP, POLICE, THE SOFT MACHINE/ 1987 US SEALED US $11.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Soft Machine Matching Mole Mott The Hoople Japan Only LP US $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KEVIN AYERS DISCOGRAPHY why are we sleeping 74 pages Magazine Soft Machine US $5.13 [0 bids]
1 day
KEVIN AYERS Rare private Photos + flyers clippings Soft Machine Progressive US $5.13 [0 bids]
1 day
KEVIN AYERS 2 Rare Photos + news letter 1993 Soft Machine US $5.13 [0 bids]
1 day
MASHU - Elephants In Your Head? - prog-rock - Hugh Hopper Soft Machine US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
DAEVID ALLEN - DREAMIN' A DREAM (Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra) SOFT MACHINE - SEALED US $8.99 [0 bids]
1 day
KEVIN AYERS why are we sleeping 11 Fan Club Magazine Soft Machine US $5.13 [1 bids]
1 day
Soft Machine-Vol. 2 UK prog psych cd US $13.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Soft Machine US $12.60 Buy It Now 1 day
Soft Machine - Backwards (2010) US $23.72 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE - 7 LP US $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Soft Machine - Volume Two 12" Lp 1969 US $123.13 Buy It Now 1 day
Soft Machine - The Peel Sessions 2 x CD / gong steve hillage Daevid Allen US $23.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE SOFT MACHINE PSYCH PROGRESSIVE JAZZ ROCK SUNDAZED CD US $14.98 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE: John Peel's Top Gear Show LP (Euro, translucent vinyl, in PVC sle US $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE ~ "Bundles" (Harvest) UK 1975 - ORIGINAL! US $5.11 [1 bids]
1 day
Burden of Proof [Digipak] * by Soft Machine Legacy (CD, 2013, MoonJune Records) US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SOFT MACHINE ~ "Alive & Well, Recorded In Paris" (Harvest) UK 1978 - ORIGINAL! US $5.11 [1 bids]
1 day
Rock Generation - Vol. 7-G Farr/T Bones/Soft Machine [CD New] US $27.37 Buy It Now 1 day
Teddy Bears - Soft Machine - U.S. PROMO cd, RARE! US $9.72 Buy It Now 1 day
Caravan:1st Issue Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd soft machine camel Q US $104.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Caravan: Waterloo Lily Empty Promo Box[Japan Mini-LP no cd camel soft machine QN US $90.25 Buy It Now 1 day
ROCK GENERATION - VOL. 7-G FARR/T BONES/SOFT MACHINE (IMPORT) NEW CD US $33.97 Buy It Now 2 days
SOFT MACHINE "5 TH" RARE CBS 64806 IMPORT ENGLAND US $24.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE SOFT MACHINE LP VOLUME TWO 2 german gate nm bigbeat US $39.00 Buy It Now 2 days
SOFT MACHINE - GRIDES - NEW CD BOXSET US $20.89 Buy It Now 2 days
SOFT MACHINE - BREDA REACTOR - NEW CD BOXSET US $16.28 Buy It Now 2 days
HUGH HOPPER BAND "MECCANO PELORUS" UK PROG SOFT MACHINE LTD EDITION OF 2000 RARE US $11.99 [0 bids]
2 days
ELTON DEAN "JUST US" UK CANTERBURY PROG 1972 ROY BABBINGTON SOFT MACHINE !!! US $9.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Soft Machine 3rd Third PROG PSYCH rare gtfld clean copy Robert Wyatt DOUBLE LP US $6.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Soft Machine-Fourth 1970 Orig.VG+ UK CBS 64280 cover/U.S. C/AL 30754 EX+ record US $26.69 Buy It Now 2 days
SOFT MACHINE Alive & Well Recorded In Paris Harvest SHSP 4083 UK 1978 VG++ US $33.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Soft Machine / 6th, Japan 1st Press CD, Very Low Sale!!! US $9.99 [0 bids]
2 days
SOFT MACHINE "Live at the Proms 1970" MINT COPY OF LONG OOP SUPERB LIVE CD !!! US $24.98 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy THE SOFT MACHINE music online Buy THE SOFT MACHINE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for THE SOFT MACHINE DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

THE SOFT MACHINE shows & tickets


THE SOFT MACHINE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

THE SOFT MACHINE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE SOFT MACHINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 353 ratings
The Soft Machine
1968
4.01 | 317 ratings
Volume Two
1969
4.21 | 674 ratings
Third
1970
3.46 | 224 ratings
Fourth
1971
3.32 | 168 ratings
Fifth
1972
3.50 | 152 ratings
Six
1973
3.59 | 169 ratings
Seven
1973
3.98 | 224 ratings
Bundles
1975
3.69 | 143 ratings
Softs
1976
2.97 | 86 ratings
Land of Cockayne
1981
1.79 | 36 ratings
Rubber Riff
1994

THE SOFT MACHINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.79 | 49 ratings
Alive & Well - Recorded in Paris
1978
3.24 | 20 ratings
Live at the Proms (1970)
1988
4.26 | 12 ratings
BBC Live In Concert 1971
1993
3.56 | 9 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert 1972
1994
3.89 | 27 ratings
Live At The Paradiso
1995
3.29 | 15 ratings
Live In France (Paris)
1995
3.65 | 33 ratings
Virtually
1998
2.64 | 13 ratings
Live 1970
1998
4.04 | 46 ratings
Noisette
2000
3.39 | 22 ratings
Backwards
2002
1.08 | 5 ratings
Facelift
2002
2.67 | 6 ratings
Somewhere In Soho
2004
3.43 | 7 ratings
Soft Stage BBC In Concert 1972
2005
3.29 | 8 ratings
Breda Reactor
2005
3.32 | 11 ratings
Soft Machine & Heavy Friends BBC In Concert 1971
2005
3.72 | 24 ratings
British Tour '75
2005
3.75 | 31 ratings
Floating World Live (Bremen 1975)
2006
4.38 | 43 ratings
Grides
2006
2.57 | 15 ratings
Middle Earth Masters
2006
3.00 | 15 ratings
Drop
2008
4.09 | 18 ratings
Live At Henie Onstad Art Centre
2009
4.30 | 18 ratings
NDR Jazz Workshop, Germany, May 17, 1973
2010

THE SOFT MACHINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.39 | 14 ratings
Alive in Paris-1970
2008

THE SOFT MACHINE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 14 ratings
Face And Place Vol. 7 (also called Jet Propelled Photographs and At The Beginning)
1972
4.32 | 41 ratings
The Soft Machine Collection (Volumes One and Two)
1973
3.88 | 14 ratings
Triple Echo
1977
3.07 | 17 ratings
Jet Propelled Photographs
1989
3.86 | 19 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1990
3.23 | 6 ratings
The Untouchable Collection (1975-78)
1990
4.38 | 4 ratings
As If...
1991
3.00 | 1 ratings
Soft Machine (Live & Demos)
1994
3.57 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Soft Machine...The Harvest Years
1995
3.43 | 26 ratings
Spaced (1969)
1996
3.54 | 21 ratings
Fourth / Fifth
1999
3.50 | 2 ratings
soft machine
2000
1.97 | 12 ratings
Man in a Deaf Corner: Anthology 1963-1970
2001
4.25 | 4 ratings
Turns On Vol. 1
2001
2.25 | 5 ratings
Turns On Vol. 2
2001
1.60 | 6 ratings
Kings Of Canterbury
2003
4.01 | 29 ratings
BBC - Radio 1967 - 1971
2003
4.02 | 20 ratings
BBC Radio 1971 - 1974
2003
3.39 | 8 ratings
Six/Seven
2004
3.97 | 10 ratings
Out Bloody Rageous (Anthology 67-73)
2005
1.00 | 1 ratings
The Story of Soft Machine
2005
3.49 | 9 ratings
Original Album Classics
2010

THE SOFT MACHINE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 5 ratings
Love Makes Sweet Music
1968
4.00 | 3 ratings
Why Are We Sleeping?
1968
4.00 | 3 ratings
Soft Space
1978

THE SOFT MACHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jet Propelled Photographs by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1989
3.07 | 17 ratings

BUY
Jet Propelled Photographs
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy

3 stars Although these demos of the first lineup of SOFT MACHINE were recorded as far back in 1967, they wouldn't see the light of day until this compilation was released in 1972 under the title "Faces And Places Vol 7." For some strange reason, not content with simply re-releasing these 10 tracks under the same name over the years, it has also been released under the following titles: "Jet-Propelled Photographs," "Jet Propelled," "At The Beginning," "Memories," "Soft Machine 1967 Demos," "London 1967,"Les génies du Rock n°042: At the Beginning"and simply "Soft Machine." Almost as many titles for this compilation as there are tracks!

These tracks which were supposed to be SOFT MACHINE's first album are all that exist of the 1967 lineup with Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers, Mike Ratledgte and Robert Wyatt. What we get here is a sound not too far removed from the Wylde Flowers' version of jazzy pop songs that have a slight progressive edge to them but light-years away from the more masterfully developed debut album that would finally emerge after the departure of Daevid Allen.

These tracks are actually pretty good as far as 60s pop oriented songwriting goes and I find this to be a gleeful little listen every now and again. Nothing else at the time sounds like this and although this isn't even close to the full on jazz-fusion that would take off in just a few short years, it is an interesting relic of history that shows a legendary band finding their own sound. A few of these would be spruced up to be included on the first album and some of them would be used on solo albums by individual members. Hardly essential but certainly sufficiently entertaining and a glimpse into their inchoate ideas.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Third by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.21 | 674 ratings

BUY
Third
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

5 stars It's that time of the year again (June) when I usually reach for this CD. (The old vinyl is still here too, but .my turntable is long gone to Heaven.) So, why this album? Simple. For the track "Moon in June". On the side, it's also a gentle reminder of this excellent band that hasn't received much attention lately in the reviews.

I love pretty much all incarnations of Soft Machine. At this point they leave their early psychedelic approach and delve into Canterbury/ Jazz-Rock without compromises . Four long tracks on this double album (none much under 20 mins) are quite a mouthful to digest. Mainly because these tracks command due attention. This is not a criticism from my part, but one is to allow sufficient time to duly pay attention in place of listening to music on the run. It also helps if one is in the mood.

Having taken care of the bulk of this album (3 tracks!), I'd like to reflect on "Moon in June" which is perhaps one of Robert Wyatt's finest moments before forming Matching Mole. Here he sings softly and plays multiple instruments onto a dynamic beat. Truly charming and effective. Then the second half of the song turns into a full blown instrumental jazz run typical of that era of British approach. How these two widely different halves merge so well is a bit of a mystery, but they sure do. It's almost sexual and in a way I am reminded of Robert Fripp's skills of creating tension and release in some early KC tunes. But this piece is almost in the reverse of that. Like gentle foreplay followed by furious and sustained activity. This piece alone is worth your purchase. but the whole album is pretty good, nevertheless.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Third by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.21 | 674 ratings

BUY
Third
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by BatBacon

3 stars Easley one of the trickiest records I have in my collection and always makes me feel confused and disorientated. Those who know the genre Canterbury Scene know it stands for long, stretched out jams, weird melodies and that strange fuzzy organ sound. Its almost pop, but at the same time not even close. Almost jazz, but mutated into something beyond recognition. Soft Machine is Canterbury Scene at its most extreme and I don't know their records that well because I rarely have the energy to listen to them. To be completely honest I think this was the first time I listened through whole this record, I can't really recall having heard the last track before. A bit strange and funny, but at the same time, how could I tell? It sounds pretty much as the rest of the record.

Just the opening is enough to scare most people off, its about four minutes of weird organ noises. Only people looking for something slightly disturbing to listen to would sit through this intro (Yes, I had one of those nights, so I was pretty stimulated). Then comes the bass and drums and starts of some kind of jam, which is kind of nice for the first couple of minutes. But soon you realise this jam goes on for the rest of the 18 minutes long song and nothing really happens.

I admit it, this record has a lot of great moments, but most of the time it doesn't sound like the musicians are reflecting over what they are playing. All the four songs are over 18 minutes, but I don't think there is enough interesting ideas to stretch any of them that much. Except from a moment in the third song "Moon in June", which has a bit of vocals (Robert Wyatt's voice is fantastic!), its all mostly just a long and a bit annoying jam. A lot of organs and saxophone, noises and wild rhythms, but nothing really happens.

I would recommend this to anyone who thought National Health or Matching Mule (other Canterbury Scene bands) wasn't extreme enough. But for those who love Robert Wyatt's solo material or Caravan I have to say: Be careful around Soft Machine.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Rubber Riff by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.79 | 36 ratings

BUY
Rubber Riff
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by Suedevanshoe

3 stars I love this album. Similar to the 1976 recording "The Guitar of John Renbourn" this is just a collection of pre-muzak snippets to be used to play in libraries. Not imaginative, not exciting, boring, dull, pedestrian, many adjectives can be used to describe this entry in Soft Machine's catalog. I purely enjoy this as background music, this album has a definite niche in my library. Morning newspaper and a glass of milk and some uninspired playing from seasoned vets. What a way to start the day.

Honestly, I'd give this four stars if my own criteria were used to judge the album. However, three stars seems more appropriate. I can see why some prog fans out there give it one star, it is middling and untidy. If you like background sounds, try "The Guitar of John Renbour" which is very relaxing.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Bundles by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 224 ratings

BUY
Bundles
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Bundles" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK experimental/fusion/jazz rock act Soft Machine. The album was released through Harvest Records in March 1975. Keyboard player Mike Ratledge was at this point the only founding member left in the lineup and even his involvement in Soft Machine was dwindling at this point. His writing contributions to "Bundles" is limited to two short tracks. Most of the material on the album are composed by Karl Jenkins (oboe, soprano sax, acoustic & electric pianos).

Musically "Bundles" also marks a pretty big shift in direction compared to the last couple of more jazz oriented releases. It's especially the inclusion of the, at the time, only 19 years old guitar prodigy Allan Holdsworth and his considerable contributions to the album, that make "Bundles" such a different sounding album to it's predecessors (Soft Machine's music hadn't featured guitar since their earliest days). The energy and the rythms make this a much more contemporary sounding fusion album than the more jazz oriented albums that came before it (think acts like jazz rock/fusion period Gong and Return to Forever).

The musicianship is not surprisingly top notch. These guys are professionals but not the type of professional musicians who are devoid of emotion because of it. It's probably an aquired taste if you can appreciate the change in sound and Allan Holdsworth's frantic shredding, but I guess people's opinions on "Bundles" will very much reflect how they feel about the preceeding releases. Personally "Bundles" appeal much more to me than anything Soft Machine released between "Third (1970)" and this one, so I'm happy as a pig.

The sound production is powerful and organic, which suits the music well. So upon conclusion "Bundles" is a high quality jazz rock/fusion album by Soft Machine. Tracks like the "Hazard Profile" suite and "Four Gongs Two Drums" are great jazz rock/fusion and the rest of the material are for the most part equally exciting. The ambient closing track "The Floating World" is a bit too longdrawn and to my ears a bit of an anti climatic way to end an otherwise greatly energetic release but I guess that's an aquired taste. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Third by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.21 | 674 ratings

BUY
Third
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by LSDisease

1 stars This one appeared to be an obvious choice for the first encounter with The Soft Machine's music. It wasn't a good idea I guess but if it's their finest work I don't want to hear their other albums. Facelift is semi amateurish nonsense, a piece of truly sensless cacophony that was recorded partly live. Guys learn how to play as they stay completely out of tune. The second song is better but still not a glimpse of idea how to create something that makes sense and isn't just a collection of random sounds. This is a bit jazzy, I don't know, maybe guys wanted to play what appeared in their heads while recording the album. Moon In June is partly ok which I mean it finally sounds like some kind of a song. Out-Bloody-Rageous is a pure jazz tune. It's nothing interesting to me and the whole long album is a bummer. Sorry. I don't know if I want to listen to some other records by The Soft Machine.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 The Soft Machine by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.06 | 353 ratings

BUY
The Soft Machine
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars The Soft Machine were the creators along with Caravan of the Canterbury scene. Let's not forget most of the members were together at the Wilde Flowers, previous to their bands. They liked the psychedelia of the time, but they also liked to feel free to compose, and also they liked to feel attached somehow to their folk roots, all this mixture was the origin of the Canterbury sound. Their first album was a first effort, and with great success, to accomplish the sound they were looking for. Little by little and band after band (remember that each member left to form other bands with same quality) they were improving in their music, that's why this album cannot get the 5 stars because they got over themselves in their future albums but definitely this album is the milestone of a complete genre.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Fifth by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.32 | 168 ratings

BUY
Fifth
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by Luís de Sousa

5 stars In the rock music world there are recordings that have become landmarks; decades may pass over its original production but a consensus perdures on its exceptional qualities, even among those that may have born long after. In other cases the consensus does not exit, by one reason or another, an outstanding work can push the limits in such a way that it alienates part of the listeners' spectrum. [i]Fifth[/i] by Soft Machine is one of these records.

Soft Machine was on of the bands emerging in Canterbury in the late 1960s towards international recognition. They took a particular approach to Rock, embedding elements of Jazz, in what would become known as Jazz-Rock. In spite of being one of the unavoidable precursors of the genre, Soft Machine remained for a few years well ahead of its peers, avoiding any fall into stereotypes. These first few LP evolved around the trio composed by Mike Rutledge (organ), Hugh Hopper (electric bass) and Robert Wyatt (drums), later with the important addition of Elton Dean (alto sax). This core line up featured in the first four LP of the band, each time diving further into Jazz, composing what are today its most appreciated recordings.

Robert Wyatt would leave the band right after, still in 1971, and almost two years passed before the band returned to studio. Late in 1972 the band would finally release their [i]Fifth[/i] LP, which would be the last in several aspects: the last featuring Elton Dean and the last really experimenting into Jazz (actually Free Jazz) for instance with concurrent double bass and electric bass. It went once again into territories where neither Rock nor Jazz listeners feel completely comfortable. However, in doing so, the band epitomised the work of its early carer and perhaps even the true essence of Jazz Rock.

[b][i]All White[/i][/b]

A spacey intro with a reverbed saxophone and fuzz bass that sounds completely apart from anything else immediately grabbing the listener. Eventually evolves into a familiar jazz rock piece with Mike and the drums joining in. Still, it sounds well ahead of its time.

[b][i]Drop[/i][/b]

Another eerie intro, this time using a repeater plugged to the electric piano, again recreating the sense of vanguard. A lead organ slowly emerges, backed by a full jazzy ensemble. The remainder of the musicians, although having great freedom to improvise, still keep the listener focused with simple melodies here and there. It gives a warming sense of discovery and leaves the listener looking forward for what may come next.

[b][i]M C[/i][/b]

A collective improvisation from which no distinguishable rhythmic structure or melody ever emerges, producing a somewhat dysfunctional exit to side A. This is one of the efforts that may have lend some bad reputation to the LP, but it makes sense.

[b][i]As If[/i][/b]

A short bass phrase on tame tempo sets the scene for a great deal of experimentation from the other instruments, especially the double bass, here played with the bow. Slowly the song melts down, like a painting washed by rain, loosing the rhythmic structure and melody. Expectation builds up, in away that can be painful for the less jazzy listener, eventually leading into the follow track.

[b][i]L B O[/i][/b]

A noisy and chaotic intermission with all the instruments together closing the previous track and opening up for a short drum solo, still leaves the listener in uncomfortable territory.

[b][i]Pigling Bland[/i][/b]

Totally cuts with the previous chaos in a very elegant way. The band brings you back again to comfortable territory with the familiar and plasent Soft Machine signature sound of the previous LP. This time the leading melody is produced by Dean.

[b][i]Bone[/i][/b]

It comes out of nowhere, putting an end to the previous track and again immersing the listener in a futuristic soundscape. A tame but spacey bass supports a melody by the organ with an out of this world reverbed flute improvising. It is a mysterious sound alike anything else that slowly fades away.

The LP takes an arc like shape going from comfortable Soft Machine sounds, plugging into full fledged Free Jazz and then coming back again to the familiar Jazz-Rock.

[b]The Veredict[/b]

Apart from the dearths into Free Jazz this LP also contains some outstanding space pieces, especially in [i]All White[/i], [i]Drop[/i] and [i]Bone[/i], that make it all the more interesting. These are unique experiments that the band would never try again, producing sounds well ahead of their time.

The early 1970s were a time of great experimentation. Jazz musicians where captured and drawn to Rock and Rock musicians boldly delved into Jazz. This record is likely the best portrait of this epoch, blurring the boundaries between the two genres. Some might say that Soft Machine went too far, but Progressive Rock is just that, going where no one went before. Thus I can only classify this work as a Masterpiece.

After [i]Fifth[/i] Hugh Hopper and Mike Ratledge kept Soft Machine going but rapidly retreating to the comfortable sounds of bare Jazz-Rock, at times producing pleasant music, but never daring as before.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Middle Earth Masters by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Live, 2006
2.57 | 15 ratings

BUY
Middle Earth Masters
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

2 stars Very Early Softs

All but the most fanatical fans (guilty as charged!) will want to avoid this release. This captures the band in concert around the time of their first album, the trio of Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, and Mike Ratledge. The acoustics, in what sounds like a concrete basement, are fairly rough, and most of Robert Wyatt's vocals are all but inaudible, though that may be his own fault for not singing directly into the mic (which can be tough to do when you're busy drumming).

This set is notable for showcasing a couple of early Kevin Ayers tunes which did not appear on a Soft Machine album but later were recorded by Kevin as a solo act -- "We Know What You Mean" (aka "Soon Soon Soon") and "Clarence in Wonderland". The versions are unremarkable, but it's fun to hear them in such early, intimate versions.

Much of the set, however, is given to extended versions of tracks from the debut, which give some idea of how noisy and unhinged this band could be in their early days. "Hope for Happiness" runs for 13 minutes, with Mike Ratledge's organ screeching away at top volume. "I Should've Known" (later retitled "Why Am I So Short/So Boot if at All" for the debut) takes a similar path. As if such free form insanity weren't enough, there's a fully improvised piece called "Disorganization" that will certainly test your patience.

I'm glad to own this, but honestly it's a rough listen. Recommended to historians only.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

 Six/Seven by SOFT MACHINE, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
3.39 | 8 ratings

BUY
Six/Seven
The Soft Machine Canterbury Scene

Review by BORA

4 stars Strange combination of two albums.

"Six" was the first jazzy LP I bought (second hand) as a teenager. At that time my understanding of Jazz was restricted to Zappa's "Hot Rats", Colosseum "Live" and perhaps some groovy bits by Traffic. Little I realized then that "Six" will be a catalyst in my future musical preferences and SM will become one of my fave bands - although not on the strength of this album.

I was told that it's great work and I listened and listened to it and eventually, it grew on me, laying the ground for further interest in Jazz. In hindsight, today I see this piece closer to Canterbury, a term not in common use back then. But really, the two genres are not that far apart.

A very good album indeed - if only a bit restrained, even somewhat drawn out. Admittedly, I am not very fond of Hopper's experimentation with sound effects on the last track "1983", something he further embraced as a solo artist in future. Suffice to say, I'd recommend the "NDR Workshop" (1973) live performance of this material as a far more superior version on many levels.

"Seven" finds the band in full flight, where Jenkins is the undisputed motivator and his playing is just superb. On the first track "Nettle bed" the band collectively and individually will blow your head off. One of the most dynamic pieces I've ever heard in music (remember, it was released in 1973!). This tune alone is worth the price of the CD. Here, even the somewhat laid back Marshall (drums) plays as if possessed by the Devil. Turn up the volume to max and hold onto your seat!

The rest of the album varies between laid-back and more lively pieces, offering a nice combination. A bit of winding down is probably needed after such a majestic start. I love this album from beginning to end - except...

...for the horrible sound quality. I know, I mentioned this before and will keep doing so, until someone in authority will notice it and/or get embarrassed enough to act. I do regular searches for a remastered copy of decent quality, but no luck so far. I'll keep thumping my fist and refuse to expire until I've heard "Nettle Bed" in it's full splendour. Phew!

On the artistic strength of "Seven" I'd like to offer a 5, but realistically, as a whole package it's a strong 4.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Dick Heath for the last updates

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.84 seconds