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The Soft Machine - Backwards CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.45 | 38 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is called "Backwards" because it takes the listener backwards in time as the album plays out. Three different recording sessions are dealt with beginning with the classic lineup of Hopper, Ratledge, Wyatt and Dean.These include the first three tracks all recorded in May of 1970 just after the album "Third" was finished. So we get "Facelift", "Moon In June" and "Esther's Nose Job" all amazing sounding tracks. I like how prominant Ratledge's fuzz organ is on these songs and Wyatt's drum work as well. I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting anything this good with these three songs.These are incredible versions to say the least.

The next two songs "Facelift" and "Hibou Anemone And Bear" are from the septet line-up and are from November 1969. Again lots of fuzz from Ratledge and more horns of course. Great versions. The last tune "Moon In June" is significant because it's the demo that was used on "Third".The first half was recorded by Wyatt only in the USA in October and November 1968 after the band had temporarily broken up. Lots of vocals on the first half. And while I like Robert's singing the last half is much more enjoyable for me.The last half was recorded in the UK with the whole band in 1969 after they had gotten back together.

4.5 stars.This is a document that I sort of avoided because of the duplicate tracks on it plus there being two different versions on the band on the same disc. Well I was greatly mistaken.These are some of the best versions of these songs that i've heard and now a valuable piece of my SOFT MACHINE collection.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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