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Friday, January 28, 2011

Soft Machine - Triple Echo UK 1977

An Uncle Roddus Album Review


Side 1:
1. Love Makes Sweet Music (2:27)
2. Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin' (2:50)
3. Memories (2:58)
4. She's Gone (2:29)
5. Why Am I So Short? (1:39)
6. So Boot If At All (7:25)
7. A Certain Kind (4:11)
Side 2:
1. We Did It Again (3:46)
2. Plus Belle Qu'une Poubelle (1:03)
3. Why Are We Sleeping? (5:30)
4. A Concise British Alphabet - Part 2 (0:12)
5. Hullo Der (0:55)
6. Dada Was Here (3:25)
7. Thank You Pierrot Lunaire (0:49)
8. Have You Ever Bean Grean? (1:20)
9. Pataphysical Introduction - Part 2 (7:33)
10. As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still (2:34)
11. Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening(2:33)
Side 3:
1. The Moon In June (13:00)
2. Esther's Nose Job (11:57)
Side 4:
1. Mousetrap
2. Noisette
3. Backwards
4. Mousetrap Reprise (8:46)
5. Slightly All The Time
6. Out Bloody Rageous
7. Eamonn Andrews (15:19)
Side 5:
1. Teeth (9:13)
2. Kings And Queens (5:01)
3. All White (6:05)
4. Bone (3:28)
Side 6:
1. Stanley Stamps Gibbon Album (5:55)
2. Carol Ann (3:46)
3. Hazard Profile - Part 1 (9:16)
4. The Tale Of Taliesin (7:14)
Once upon a time, some time in the middle 80s, I think, I just happened to be in what was at that time my favorite record store. This store sold mostly second hand vinyl at the time and use to have rows of the more rare and interesting ones on display along the wall so we could easily see them, without having to flick through the bins. On this particular day I happened to notice this 3 record box set with the cover you see above. The cover appealed to me and although I can't explain the details of how, I was at this time pretty good at buying music I liked  just buy looking at the cover, bands name and date of release. This approach rarely failed to fine me great music that I wouldn't have heard otherwise. I don't remember, now, if I already was aware of Soft Machine, but the Name of the band and the record cover and packaging was enough to convince me to purchase this second hand set. I certainly wasn't disappointed with this purchase, and over time it became another favorite, albeit one of my stranger ones. 
 A career spanning(upto that point) set, mixing early singles, unreleased tracks, live versions and Peel sessions as well as normal album tracks, taking in the progression of the band from early pioneers of psychedelia, through the progressive rock, fusion and jazz of their later works. The track order is mostly chronological, with disc 1 starting with the psychedelic first single and unreleased 2nd single ant the rest of the side culled from the first album. The early stuff, being quite offbeat even for the 60s was the stuff that really captured my imagination when I first had this set but the later more jazz flavors of their later works.was also intriguing but a bit more difficult for me to assimilate at the time. Side two continues with material from the first album and the second album, where the band start to get a bit more experimental and the jazz start to filter in. Disc 2 is from the 3rd album era and we get some really long extended pieces and some pretty awesome work  with the jazz rock fusion played in their own unique style. "Esters Nose Job" is a stand out from this period like "We did it Again" really sticks in my mind from disc one. Disc 3 are straight album cuts from albums 4th and 5th with  "All White" being my favorite.This period is almost straight jazz with plenty of great brass work.
 The final side is material from the last few albums up to that time and my favorite from this set is the great fusion and guitar of "Hazard Profile (Part 1)" by which time there were no original members left in this band but the music, although far removed from the earliest incarnation, was still very good.
Some serious music which requires serious attention  to get the most out of it and a great introduction to this influential and very progressive outfit across the 3 discs and I suspect quite a collectors item in it's original vinyl form. Wish I still had mine. My Rating 5/5

Absolutely worth a listen Here

2 comments:

Grim Eater said...

Funny. Your description of how you first encountered Soft Machine via this 3-LP set is the same as mine, only I bought it new instead of used. At first I didn't "get it" as to what was going on in this music, but I played it over and over and over, and eventually I realized that the inner beauty of these tracks is concealed,but once you know what is going on, they are pure magic.

Roddus said...

thanks for your comment, bout time I had a listen to some softs again.