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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fletchers Blemish, 2 Dec 2009
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Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 (Audio CD)
Live at Henie Onstad Arts Centre 1971 captures the Soft machine after the previously released 'Grides' album and before 'Virtually' album both also available from Amazon. The venue was designed for acoustic performances so the sound is pretty good the group was obviously loud but not so much so that it became difficult to balance.
As you can imagine given the data the set list is also pretty similar to the aforementioned albums, this however is split over two separate sets on two discs set one and set two one of just over 40 minutes and one of 55 minutes including the encore. And this is my only complaint about this set the movements are named this is just set 1 and set 2. No mention of "Neo-Caliban Grides" or "Fletcher's Blemish".
The sound is excellent on this set and the performances themselves are a cut above the usual performances maybe because the hall was good and the band could hear themselves and interact accordingly or maybe they were just on good form for whatever reason this is as good as any live release from this period.
What Reel recordings have also done with this is put together a third disc a CDROM documentary about the band the performance and the recordings presented, making this package exceptionally good value. For Fans of the Soft Machine especially Third Fourth Period Soft machine this has to be a must buy album.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent live Softs double CD, 7 Mar 2010
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D. A. Clark (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 (Audio CD)
I've got most of the studio and live Soft Machine albums, and this is right up there. Included are two audio CD's and one computer CD with sleeve notes and other stuff.

The recording quality is fantastic, and as another reviewer has said they play extremely well on this recording - all of them do but to my mind particularly Elton Dean (saxes) on this occasion, and unlike one or two other live recordings you can hear all the instruments all the time. Don't worry about the lack of a track listing on the CD sleeve - it's all on the included computer CD, which features extensive notes.

So how does it compare to other records of this era? Well even though the recording quality is better than Noisette, that still has to be my favourite simply because it features the quintet (with second sax player Lyn Dobson), closely followed by Breda Reactor for the same reason, although the recording quality on Henie Onstad is miles better than Breda.

If you don't already have it, get the Softs DVD 'Alive in Paris' from 1970 (also available on Amazon), which is extremely rare footage of the quintet version with Dean and Dobson, and is a MUST buy for anybody - this is not to be confused with the audio CD 'Live in Paris' from 1972, which has a very different lineup.

Enjoy...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. S. M. Kelly "Seán" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 (Audio CD)
I met Michael King in London a little while ago at a Yumi Hara Cawkwell / GF Fitzgerald /Geoff Leigh gig - but if I had only heard this before i would have pumped his hand in welcome and bought him three drinks to start with - it's terrific stuff - and the cd-rom is informative and interesting - and fun too! Personally I really like the presentation of a whole set of music without it being split up into tracks (and the various tunes are clearly identified on the cd-rom with clips included for positive identification). This is Soft Machine on fire in their glory days - wish I had been there - even if I had I would sell all my furniture (and more) to buy this. Thanks Micahel and all!
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Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971
Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 by Soft Machine (Audio CD - 2010)
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