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The Soft Machine

Artist: Soft Machine
Label: Probe
Catalog#: CPLP 4500
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-12
Tracklist
A1 Hope For Happiness 4:20
  Notes:

Written By - B. Hopper, K. Ayers, M. Ratledge
Written-By - Brian Hopper

A2 Joy Of A Toy 2:49
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers, M. Ratledge

A3 Hope For Happiness (Reprise) 1:37
  Notes:

Written By - B. Hopper, K. Ayers, M. Ratledge
Written-By - Brian Hopper

A4 Why Am I So Short? 1:38
  Notes:

Written By - H. Hopper, K. Ayers, M. Ratledge
Written-By - Hugh Hopper

A5 So Boot If At All 7:22
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers, M. Ratledge, R. Wyatt

A6 A Certain Kind 4:10
  Notes:

Written-By - Hugh Hopper

B1 Save Yourself 2:25
  Notes:

Written By - R. Wyatt

B2 Priscilla 1:05
  Notes:

Written By - M. Ratledge, K. Ayers, R. Wyatt

B3 Lullabye Letter 4:37
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers

B4 We Did It Again 3:46
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers

B5 Plus Belle Qu'Une Poubelle 1:01
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers

B6 Why Are We Sleeping? 5:31
  Notes:

Written By - K. Ayers, M. Ratledge, R. Wyatt

B7 Box 25/4 Lid 0:47
  Notes:

Written By - M. Ratledge, H. Hopper
Written-By - Hugh Hopper

Credits

Design [Cover Design] - Byron Goto
Design [Cover Design] - Eli Allman
Design [Cover Design] - Henry Epstein
Drums - Robert Wyatt
Lead Guitar - Kevin Ayers
Liner Notes - Arnold Shaw
Organ - Mike Ratledge
Producer - Chas Chandler
Producer - Tom Wilson
Written-By - Kevin Ayers
Written-By - Mike Ratledge
Written-By - Robert Wyatt

Notes

Front cover: cut-out sleeve with rotating clockwork insert.
33 1/3 rpm stereo
Published by Amm Jay Music Inc. - BMI
Mfg. by Grand Award Record Co., Inc., a subsidiary and trademark licensee of ABC Records Inc. New York, N.Y. 10019

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Originally from the provincial town of Canterbury, the Soft Machine split off from The Wilde Flowers in 1966. And by the time the Softs got around to recording this album, they had already undergone substantial changes: Daevid Allen, St. Tropez and the London underground were well behind them. That version of the Soft Machine released one single "Love Makes Sweet Music" b/w "Feelin' Reelin' Squealin'", recorded some demos with Giorgio Gomelsky, and alongside Pink Floyd, had become one of the pillars of the London underground. Now a trio of Mike Ratledge on organ, Kevin Ayers on bass and guitar, and Robert Wyatt on drums, their debut album was recorded with Chas Chandler and Tom Wilson in New York, on the heels of a US tour backing the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Let's make no mistake: the Softs always had much more to do with jazz than rock. The continuity of the record - it plays like a performance - is certainly derived from jazz, yet the Softs never fail to rock out. Ratledge's fuzzed-out organ is over the top, and heavier than any guitar - just witness "Plus Belle Qu'une Poubelle". Unique among organists of the era (as was the Softs among bands), he never appropriated the classics; rather he relied on the intuition of a jazz musician to complement the rest of the band. Wyatt's drumming, whether the soloing on "So Boot If At All" or the precise groove of "We Did It Again", is also as original as is his voice. His distinct English accent and cadence lend a genuine innocence to the progressive proceedings. Tracks like "Why Am I So Short" and "Save Your Yourself " are throwbacks to the Allen era band, though none the worse for it. Ayers' sublime baritone voice matched his bass, and graced the album's closer "Why Are We Sleeping". All in all, The Soft Machine is one of the more unique and idiosyncratic albums of the era. It saw release in the US only.
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