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The Soft Machine - The Peel Sessions CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.02 | 41 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This album was one of many released highlighting the significance of John Peel's radio shows, from 1967 to 2004, featuring performances by a very wide variety of British bands. The Soft Machine must have been one of his favorites, as they appeared no less than ten different times between 1967 and 1973. These two disks were from shows recorded between 1969 and 1971, and capture the band as they were becoming Canterbury fusion legends.

The album consists primarily of songs from "Volume Two", "Third" and "Fourth", and contain very few vocals. And actually, for vocal songs, I like this version of Moon In June, with lyrics altered to honor Peel and his Top Gear radio show, better than the original, which was played mostly by Robert Wyatt alone.

The recordings are good quality, but the tapes show some distortion and wear from years of storage. The performances are wonderful, with all band members (and guest artists) playing at full bore.

While I would recommend the studio albums of the time over this album for listeners new to Soft Machine, I still have to give it a four star rating.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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