24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Out Freaks the Floyd,
By A Customer
This review is from: Volumes One And Two (Audio CD)
These two albums really show what the Soft Machine was capable of in the late sixties, while Psychedelic rivals and contemporaies Pink Floyd were still suffering from Syd Barrett's departure, The Soft Machine had used a gruelling tour supporting Hendrix across America to hone their own skills to ragged perfection. The first volume is basically the live set recorded in a studio, it sounds like Jazz played by punk rockers, all distorted organ and plunky bass flying off in random directions held together by Ayres pop sensability and Wyatts wonderful drumming and very English sounding vocals. The second album was recorded after a Ayres had left exhausted by the US tour, and was originally meant to be the last album, The first side is a suite of newly drafted in Bassists jazzily wonderful pop songs re-arranged by Wyatt. however one of the finest moments on the first side is Organist Mike Ratledge's Hibou, Anmone and Bear. The second side features two indepent songs the first a homage to former bassist Kevin Ayres, the second a strange - but oddly beautiful- song of Hugh Hopper's. The album ends with Mike Ratledge's powerhouse suite Esther's Nose Job - featuring some comical lyrics in the first section. Together these two albums add up to a brilliant hour and a bit of Pure jazzy Psychedelic fusion that really rocks hard!