These 2 albums were released originally independently, and you can see a true progression in the way that pop/psychedelia was being explored in the UK/60's. Vol.1 was "feeling" the way, but still had a basis rooted in their contemporaries (floyd, beatles etc.). But when Vol.2 came out -WOW!!! Even the first few chords of the 1st track (from "Pataphysical Intro") showed that this album would be like nothing like anything else that preceded (and arguably followed) it. It is so difficult to categorize it - but why bother? Just enjoy it. It's got everything in it (including "knickers and panties - nude, bare, naked" - and with no scrimping on the rich and sometimes complex arrangements. Tracks flow into and recede from each other to make this a listening experience where you have to hear the whole record from start to finish. In vol.1 this linkage, again is experimented with, but lacks the polish and completeness of vol.2. I heard that on the strength of Vol.2, Soft Machine were invited to do the proms (1st pop/rock group to do so). As to the richness of the sound, compare vol.2 with its live "Paradiso" session (also on cd). Same tracks, yet the trio amazingly still manage to convey the sound of a small orchestra! This along with Can's "Tago Mago" must rate as one of my all time favourites! Both smashed the underground frontiers of the music scene in that magic period that straddled the 60's & 70's. This is the sort of cd you by 2 of ...and hand down to your kids and their kids!