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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft Machine, Hard Bargain, 5 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
If you haven't come across Soft Machine before think 'psychedelic jazz fusion' for this period of the band. Lovers of the quirky charm Robert Wyatt brought to the band will love '3', barely notice his influence by '4' and mourn his passing by '5'. The band that remains still produces many fabulous moments though and 5 albums of this quality for this price would be crazy to miss! Cheaper than downloading, a hard back up copy, a cheap way of getting them on CD if (like me) you already had some of this on vinyl and, the thing that really matters, wonderful, wonderful music.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Re-Mastered Collection of the Best Progressive Jazz Rock Bands Best Studio Work, 18 Dec 2010
By 
Jeffrey Sherman (Ojai, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
This latest collection from Sony Music of Soft Machines five albums with them is a great deal. For starters these five albums represent the high point in Soft Machines output in the opinion of most avid Soft Machine fans. Secondly these albums truly have been remastered (as much as they can be from the original mixdown two-track analog tapes). How do I know this? Because on every copy - vinyl, cassette or CD - of Soft Machine "fourth" that I own _ (and believe me I own everything thats commercially available) at precisely 3 minutes and 57 seconds into the opening track "Teeth" there is a faint "click" sound. I always thought this to be possibly a magnetically caused pop due to analog tape editing or something of that nature. But on this the NEW "remastered" fourth CD Lo and Behold that click is gone! Imagine my surprise when while listening to this on my Bose QC 15 Headphones the expected pop was not there! I re-listened. I still could not hear it. This tells me someone indeed took the master source everyone has been using for this album and "cleaned" it with some kind of mastering software. I seriously doubt they took the time to actually edit it out (which wouldn't be all that hard given the software tools these days) but I'm guessing rather than being deliberately edited, it was part of an overall cleaning up of the master sound source. All the albums here sound at first listening a tiny bit lacking in the ultra-high frequency range until you realize that what you're not hearing isn't loss of music information but loss of noise in those frequencies. It takes a little getting use to but after awhile you realize you're listening to the music sans much of the analog noise we long time Soft Machine fans have gotten used to hearing on their records. I go back with Soft Machine to the fateful night of Sept 6 1968 when I saw them open up for Jimi Hendrix in Seattle Washington. Their music has had a profound effect on my life. As I said I own everything released by them that is findable. This collection is a great bargain and even though I own several copies of each of these CDs I keep this one as my "road copy" as it comes in a nifty Box and at around $5 a CD? You can't beat that. It's like getting a Picasso for a $100 at a garage sale as far as I'm concerned.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star value..., 23 Mar 2012
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
Amazon do not seem to have placed the track Listing so I thought this would help.
Also its actually not on 1 disc as Amazon state but 7 for there are 2 'double LPs' on here.
So this really is excellent value.
I actually love the cardboard cases!

The track Listings
THIRD:
1. Facelift
2. Slightly All the Time
3. Moon in June
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous

FOURTH:
1. Teeth
2. Kings and Queens
3. Fletcher's Blemish
4. Virtually, Pt. 1
5. Virtually, Pt. 2
6. Virtually, Pt. 3
7. Virtually, Pt. 4

FIFTH:
1. All White
2. Drop
3. M C
4. As If
5. L B O
6. Pigling Bland
7. Bone
8. All White [Take Two]

SIX:
1. Fanfare - (live)
2. All White - (live)
3. Between - (live)
4. Riff - (live)
5. 37½ - (live)
6. Gesolreut - (live)
7. E.P.V. - (live)
8. Lefty - (live)
9. Stumble - (live)
10. 5 From 13 - (live)
11. Riff II - (live)
12. Soft Weed Factor, The
13. Stanley Stamps Gibbon Album (for B.O)
14. Chloe and the Pirates
15. 1983

SEVEN:
1. Nettle Bed
2. Carol Ann
3. Day's Eye
4. Bone Fire
5. Tarabos
6. D.I.S.
7. Snodland
8. Penny Hitch
9. Block
10. Down the Road
11. German Lesson, The
12. French Lesson, The
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five reasons to get this collection, 21 Feb 2013
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
This is an outstanding collection of five superb albums by a most incredible band that skirted the fringes of rock and jazz, yet never actually becoming a fusion band, not in my book at any rate.

The style of the band changes significantly across these 5 albums, from the lighter song orientated vol 3, through the longer improv weighted vol 4, after which Robert Wyatt left, and then well into the pure instrumental work of the last three.The band, regardless of lineup, were always first class musicians and I can honestly say there is not one track on any of these 5 cds that I feel like skipping. Some of Elton Deans solos are as good as it gets.

I bought this box set after being impressed with the 2 cd compilation Outbloodyrageous and would have to say at this price buying this is a no-brainer.

Essential!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternal Softs, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Dr. Alex M. Seago "mrprof" (London) - See all my reviews
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The Soft Machine were a seminal avant garde jazz/rock outfit .... this collection represents some of the finest music of the late 60s-70s era.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 4 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
These ''Original Album Classics'' are presented in the most absolutely basic, some might say too basic, packaging - a simple cardboard reproduction of the original LP sleeves - and therefore virtually unreadable (although to be fair, in this case, Soft machine covers were never very informative anyway!!) in a cardboard box which in itself contains little or no information. One nice aspect is that the albums are presented as they were originally issued, ie each LP on a separate CD (and double LPs on 2 CDs) Sometimes too, the selection of the ''classic'' albums is a little ''eccentric'' to say the least. Again, in this case, that is irrelevant as the box contains studio albums 3 - 7, ie the ''Jazzier'' albums in sequential order. Generally, there are no ''additional'' tracks either, unless the CDs included have subsequently been reissued with such tracks (eg the Thelonious Monk box)

Having said all that I have bought a number of these sets because they are just so cheap and a compact way of having, in this case 7 CDs, in a box no larger than the usual plastic double CD case.

So, if the box you are considering happens to have the CDs you want and you are not looking for any additional ''packaging'', books or information, these are fantastic value.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
The perfect Soft Machine smorgasboard.

3,4,5,6,7........... Only numbers for some. But for Soft Machine fans, this is both five numbers between one to ten and five captivating Soft Machine albums. Albums that still draws us into the world of Hopper, Ratledge, Dean, Marshall and the other fine musicians which were a part of this machine on these albums. Thanx to PA and the new Soft Machine live albums, Soft Machine is getting more and more fans as times goes too. I see a lot of new reviews here by new members of PA. That's excellent news.

Sony Music has released some 3-5 CDs boxes under the name Original Album Classics. As the titles suggest; the boxes only includes the original albums and no extra stuff. There is no booklets or even any relevant info in these boxes. Just the CD and some artwork. Many bands/artists in the PA database has also got this treatment. These boxes has sold very well so far due to the price. My brand new Soft Machine box (released a couple of days ago) only cost me £ 14/ $ 20 / ? 20 and that is the same price as one or two original albums. I already have those albums as paid MP3 downloads, but I am not saying "no thanx" to physical samples of these albums to that price.

The box comes without booklets at all. Just the CDs in promo CDs boxes with only the artwork. That is fine for me because I, and everyone else, can get all info I/we need about the albums from the internet or even books. In my case, Graham Bennet's book on Soft Machine. I am not so sure if I need booklets at all thanx to ProgArchives and other information sources. So I have no hassle with this. I do like the saving of space this box is compared to five CDs with jewel cases and all that xtra space. That mean I can even bring this box into work and play Third and Fourth on the CD player there. I can also bring this box with my on travels on planes etc etc. In other words; the lack of booklets is OK for me, but be warned if you still like your booklets. I believe the lack of booklets is the way the music business is now heading due to the internet thingy.

Music wise, I have to refer you all to the respective reviews of the albums. With glee and open joy, I put Third in the CD tray on my CD player and gave Facelift an airing. The sound is excellent and this makes me believe this may be the remastered version of Third and the four other albums. Full marks for the sound......... and Facelift really rocks !!

The quality of the music is somewhere between three and five in my view. Four stars it is, then. I would give five star for the value of this box though. No booklets is no good, but use ProgArchives as the reference source if you need a booklet.

In short; if you are new to Soft Machine and want to explore this band more; buy this box. If you, as I did, only have paid MP3 files of these albums; buy this box. If you have all the albums on CD or LP from before; don't bother. If you are looking for a cheap fantastic Christmas present to someone you believe should explore the horizons more; buy this one, Al De Meola or the Mahavishnu Orchestra box. In short; this box is excellent value for money. Hence my four stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's give them an award, 1 July 2012
This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
This review is not only about the Original Album Classics box, but includes the first and second album of Soft Machine. I would like to honour them with an award. This is the group I have listened to by far the most often in my life. 40 years ago I became a fan. Today I still play at least once a week one of their first four CD's. I often ask myself why I never get tired of this music. It must be because it makes you feel good, free and balanced. The ingredients: an explosion of creativity and ideas, a little bit of craziness, the smell of the hippie era. More's the pity that the magic of their playing together lasted only until the fourth album. After that Soft Machine was dead: the sound continued to be good but there was something missing. Dear Robert, Mike and Kevin, if you read this, thanks a LOT guys! Hugh and Elton alas won't be able to get the compliment.
The documentation included in the editions of the first (The Soft Machine) and second (The Soft Machine - Volume Two) album is very nice and full of memories. The Classics box contains only CD's (a large amount of music at a really cheap price), but no extra's, no background information.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Album Classics, 10 Oct 2011
This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
A fantastic bargain for five albums ("Third" to "Seven") of brilliant music. No frills packaging (original art slipcases in a box) for an unbeatable price, I think that the source for the CDs are the Sony "CBS Years" remasters which came out around 2007. There's no booklets or information aside from the song names on the sleeves but you can't really go wrong with this box set.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality reproduction at a great price, 15 Sep 2013
By 
Peter Milham (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven (Audio CD)
It was good to hear these recordings again.
I was listening to Third and Fourth in my early youth, and had wondered how the group had developed.
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Original Album Classics: Third / Fourth / Five / Six / Seven
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