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The Soft Machine - Triple Echo CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.95 | 18 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars A triple vinyl set issued by Harvest Records in the mid 70's, and no doubt very difficult to find even on the second hand market.

Apart from the earlier tracks on the first disc, taken from the 1966 to 67 period and originally aimed at the English underground singles market, much of this album can be found spread across several currently available CDs. There are pieces from the first two studio recordings for ABC Records, although I find it odd that "Hope For Happiness" is omitted. At the time of "Triple Echo's" original release, the BBC/John Peel radio recordings hadn't been released before - although this must have been one way Harvest could include music from "Third" through to "Seven" period without actually using copyrighted CBS/Columbia Records material. However, some of these radio recordings were to be later released on the "Strange Fruit" double CD and then comprehensively on the recent, definitive Hux Records "BBC 1967-71" and "BBC 1971-74" double sets. And for completeness you have pieces from the first three Harvest recordings.

Overall this set provides a reasonable history of the evolution, development and significant musical and personnel change Machine underwent in its first 8 years. From English R'n'B band to English whimsy & psychedelic, to proto-jazz rock to the leading Europe jazz fusion group before disappearing up their own version of Terry Riley inspired minimalism. The two double sets of BBC radio recordings recently issued by Hux, provide a more comprehensive detailed overview including some examples of the free jazz nor heard elsewhere record.

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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