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The Soft Machine

Canterbury Scene

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3 stars This is a decent live recording of the 'classic' SM lineup (with Wyatt). Not as good as the other radio-live recordings (BBC live in Concert 1971,and 'Virtually') but nonetheless worth having for SM fans who thirst for more.
Report this review (#22121)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Live album of SOFT MACHINE announced in 1988 "Live At The Promos 1970". It was recorded by royal Albert Hall in August, only 1970 month'2 after "3" had been released. It is a work that often captures the appearance of the group that comes the first hight period in timing.
Report this review (#49229)
Posted Thursday, September 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good but not great live recording of the Third-era lineup of Hopper, Ratledge, Wyatt and Dean performing at the BBC Proms - an annual series of classical music concerts put on by the BBC. Apparently this was the first time a popular music group had performed at the concerts, and the Softs acquit themselves well; the concert came hot on the heels of the release of Third, so the sound is more or less exactly the same as the sound on that album. This makes Live at the Proms slightly less interesting a live release than other live material that's been issued, like Noisette, which documents transitional stages in the development of the group's approach from Volume Two to Third, but if you really, really, *really* enjoy Third and want more then you'll find more performances along the same lines here.

A word to the wise: some recent reissues of Third come in a 2CD edition which includes these recordings on the bonus disc, so if you already have a 2CD version of Third, check to make sure you don't own this one already before purchasing.

Report this review (#466744)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The legendary Soft Machine at the Proms 1970 gig on CD. Legendary because they were the first popular music band to ever do a Proms gig.

To a large degree, Soft Machine has nothing to do with popular music. They were a left field band, far removed from any popular music genres. They did their own things. The thirty eight minutes long documentation of what they did at that time contains three of their most loved songs from their most loved lineup (Ratledge/Hopper/Dean/Wyatt). Facelift, Out-Bloody-Rageous and Esther's Nosejob. Live versions of the songs, that is. The avant-garde intros from the studio versions has been removed and the songs are much more straight to the point. I still feel they are missing their dynamics though from other and better live versions + the studio versions. All three songs feels a bit limp, to be frank.

But these 38 minutes comes as a free CD as a part of the revamped 2CD version of Third and is worth the price alone. But there are far better Soft Machine live albums out there.

3 stars

Report this review (#509539)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 | Review Permalink

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