- Audio CD (3 Aug. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
- Label: Polydor / UMC
- ASIN: B002EC4ZDA
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,859 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The Soft Machine Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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The roots of Soft Machine lay in the city of Canterbury in Kent and the circle of bohemian friends with Robert Wyatt at their core. Gathering at the large Georgian house owned by Robert’s mother, Honor, Wyatt shared the company of Kevin Ayers, Hugh and Brian Hopper, Mike Ratledge and a drifting Australian beatnik, Daevid Allen spending many hours listening to modern jazz and being exposed to the world of beat poetry and Dadaist art. The debut album by The Soft Machine was originally released in October 1968 and features the original line-up of Robert Wyatt on drums and vocals, Kevin Ayres, bass guitar and vocals and Mike Radledge on keyboards. Now digitally remastered and expanded with the pre-album single "Love Makes Sweet Music" backed with "Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin'".
Top Customer Reviews
Here's why. The phasing and echo on `Joy Of A Toy' are so integral to the thing that it wouldn't be anywhere near the same without them, while when the music gets downright static for a bit it ain't nothing but a bad trip.
`So Boot If At All' proves they could kick out the jam with the best of them, especially as Ratledge does things to an organ that not even Brian Auger contemplated.
He goes all chapel on `A Certain Kind' but then such a ballad demands it. Wyatt's voice and drums with Ayers on bass combine without locking but that tight-but-loose dichotomy is part of the deal.
The depth and range of it all is pretty staggering even now, but then the sound of kids let loose in a sweet shop rarely sounded so fine.
Surviving thus far and having enjoyed more than a passing
association with the Canterbury music scene I seem
to remember Soft Machine with fond affection.
(At my advanced age an old Wolf cannot be quite sure!)
In many ways they were quite unique.
To have their debut album restored to human consciousness
will be a big thrill to all those jaded hippies and bohos
who are still able to gaze upward to the stars and dream.
This was fiercely uncompromising music for those unafraid to listen.
Intelligent; droll; a tad bonkers and very, very English.
'A Certain Kind' finds Bob Wyatt reaching for those top
notes as though his life depended on it. Mr. Ratledge's
churchey organ (A Lowrey Holiday De Luxe no less - and it
was a brave man who chose one of those over a Hammond
I can tell you !!) brings gravitas to the warmly
affecting arrangement. Mr Wyatt also reminds us what a
truly inventive and epic drummer he was.
'Joy Of A Toy' finds life for the first time here (it's
spirit re-emerged a year or so later in Kevin Ayers'
debut solo album of that same name) and gives a small glimpse
of what was to emerge later in the band's progressively
distilled and refined improvisatory methods.
'So Boot If At All' is the kind of jam that many others
(myself included !) were attempting to emulate in garages all
over the kingdom but delivered here with far greater imagination
and alacrity than most of us could ever have hoped to muster.
The drum solo (!!!) is manfully sustained.
'Pricilla' is a strangely fragile one minute lounge-jazz out-take.Read more ›
The original Soft Machine comprised Robert Wyatt: Drums, Kevin Ayers: Bass, Mike Ratledge: Keyboards and Daevid Allen (Who went on to form Gong after he was denied re-entry to UK following and overseas tour as a result of his expired Visa. This band can be heard on the demo based album Jet-Propelled Photographswhich contains early versions of songs that appear here and elsewhere. It is ironic that but for a visa mishap Soft Machine would not have become renowned as a guitar free band in its early years.
This album has not really been given a proper release in UK other than in twin LP or 2on1 CD version with Volume 2.
It is about time that this and its partner album were given a proper separate release. I know the sound quality on Soft Machine Vol.1 & 2 is really good, (I love the sound of the bass on this album which narrowly beats the bass sound on Nice)and also I have separated them on my iPod but they do deserve to sort of treatment that the CBS era albums got in their most recent remastered form : Third, Fourth, ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've got Vols 1 and 2 omn a single CD, and to be honest the remastering adds nothing other than a little definition - the slightly higher treble takes some gettiing used to. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Geoff30
After reading glowing reviews and opinions of Soft Machine I was totally disappointed....its not very good..the singer can't sing and music is amateur quality.... Read morePublished on 21 April 2013 by cmac
A review of this excellent CD is included in my comments on this group's Original Album Classics CD box. See Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven.Published on 1 July 2012 by Critical Reviewer