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Soft Machine – any good?

Discussion in 'music' started by Fretless Eric, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    Provocative title, I realise, but I have to confess to not having extensive knowledge of the works of the Softs and would like some opinion – but only if it has some stated reasoning behind the “they’re rubbish” comments that will surely appear.

    Thank you for your considered responses.

    Linn Naim, I expect you to be in there somewhere :)
  2. Linn Naim

    Linn Naim pfm Member

  3. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    Thanks for the links, guys. A lot of help.

    I am well overdue the Softs, having been scared off by my one purchase of "IV" many years ago.

    I am a Canterbury fan with Arzachel, Egg, the Hatfields, Caravan, etc. and decided its time enough to get round to Soft Machine and why didn't I have any before now [apart from the scary "IV"]. I have been split, though and some stuff just doesn't hit the mark, Henry Cow for instance, but I could happily listen to much of the scene that I have experienced.

    I want to avoid wasted purchases of course and nickl's comments are exactly what's needed for starters. I think "3" will be the first purchase.
  4. Gianluigi

    Gianluigi pfm Member

    And "4" should be the next.
    If you have a TT please avoid digital reissues.
    Soft's vinyls are extremely far better than cds editions.
  5. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    That was the one that started all the trouble, please re-read my posts.
  6. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    to hear the Softs at their best are their contributions to the first Kevin Ayers LP - Joy of a Toy. Everyone should have a copy anyway, up there with Love's Forever Changes as far as I am concerned. Anyway, back on track, the Soft's perform wonderfully on some of the tracks and it’s all very 'Canterbury'. I must confess to favouring the first three Soft Machine albums but it’s over 30 years since I have heard anything later than ‘Third’. I might have a very different take on it now.

    Martin, who loves jazz and yet did not like the effect too much of it had on the Soft's.
  7. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    In case anyone's interested, there is a new reissue of The Soft Machine, by Tapestry. Piccadilly have it and no doubt some other record shops will have one two. All the other Tapestry reissues have been excellent so should be good.
  8. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    I feel I ought to like them, but I don't.

    Too Prog and Canterbury for me, like Caravan and Camel etc.

  9. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    .. and the reason I should investigate further. You either love it or hate it. Totally coincidentally, I now live in Canterbury, albeit on the other side of the world;)

    Mrs Fretless hates Richard Sinclair's voice and the whole sound generally. Oh well, I really should have checked all those years ago.
  10. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Totally coincidentally, Mrs H saw Soft Machine at the RAH around the time of 'Third' and didn't like them at all.

    There was always something a bit wet about the whole Canterbury thing, to my ears.
  11. Fretless Eric

    Fretless Eric Musketeer Bathos

    Fey is the word, and I would agree with that to some extent.

    I also appreciate the fact that it was then of a time and they were happy, and some still are, to not waver in their art.

    Many still go to watch Caravan, perhaps the most fey of the bunch.
  12. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Maybe closely followed by Van Der Graaf.
  13. Ed Rogerson

    Ed Rogerson Culturally irrelevant

    No way!! There was always a darker side to Van der Graaf and their late 70s live album "Vital" showed them to be more punk than the majority of punk bands.

    Needless to say, all IMHO of course :D
  14. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    I think there ought to be a test :

    "If you name yourselves after a William Seward Burroughs Book / Story / Character / Word as Meme/Virus, are you going to live up to it?"

    In Soft Machine's case, no.

  15. dave charlton

    dave charlton pfm member

    Did a lot of listening to 'Girls who grow plump...' around 1972. Did'nt realise there was a 'Canterbury school', Softs, Matching Mole etc. until much later. Not my cuppa, but Stan Tracey's quartet album 'Captain Adventure' recorded at the 100 Club in '75 is guarranteed to blow your socks off.


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