SOFT MACHINE — Face and Place Vol. 7 (aka Jet-Propelled Photographs aka At the Beginning aka Shooting at the Moon,etc)

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SOFT MACHINE - Face and Place Vol. 7 (aka Jet-Propelled Photographs aka At the Beginning aka Shooting at the Moon,etc) cover
2.33 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Demo · 1972

Tracklist

A1 That's How Much I Need You Now
A2 Save Yourself
A3 I Should've Known
A4 Jet-Propelled Photograph
B1 When I Don't Want You
B2 Memories
B3 You Don't Remember
B4 She's Gone
B5 I'd Rather Be With You

Total Time: 31:11

Line-up/Musicians

- Robert Wyatt/drums, vocals
- Mike Ratledge/keyboards
- Daevid Allen /guitar
- Kevin Ayers/bass, vocals

About this release

BYG Records – 529.907 (France)

(Demo sessions) recorded in London, April 1967

Re-released many times later under different album names. Opinions differ as to the purpose of the original sessions. Certainly they were demos, but Glorglio Gomelsky (who paid for the recordings and subsequently held onto the tapes) claims they were to be the basis of a proper album. Robert Wyatt remembers it differently, claiming that they were more in the nature of publisher's demos and that the majority weren't being seriously considered as material for the band to perform on stage.

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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SOFT MACHINE ETC) FACE AND PLACE VOL. 7 (AKA JET-PROPELLED PHOTOGRAPHS AKA AT THE BEGINNING AKA SHOOTING AT THE MOON reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
These nine songs were recorded in London in April 1967 and produced by the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky and initially used as demos of early Soft Machine line-up (classical three founding-members plus Australian beatnik,guitarist and vocalist Daevid Allen).Soon after songs were recorded,Daevid Allen was refused to renew British visa (as a result of his participation in Paris students riots of 68')and left Soft Machine (founded France-based Gong soon).

Archival recordings were re-released few times under different album's titles. The music on this release is interesting British early psychedelic pop/rock example with melodic songs,plenty of jazzy keyboards,very energetic and inspired Allen's vocals and Wyatt's competent drumming.This release is the only Soft Machine's one with Daevid Allen on vocals and guitars (and the only album containing guitarist work from their debut till mid 70-s). It's interesting to listen,how influential Allen was for band's musical direction!

Mostly early psychedelic music,these songs are not too attractive for jazz listener, but are really interesting and important for every serious Soft Machine and Gong fan as missing link between two bands.

Members reviews

Warthur
These early sessions by the Softs, available under a wide variety of and with a range of different cover packaging (the Charly release on CD seems to be the one most commonly available at the moment), are amongst the only recordings we have of the band in its early incarnation, with Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen still in the band. That said, if you're expecting some sort of bizarre hybrid of Volume One-era Soft Machine and early Gong, you're going to be disappointed: with singing duties shared between Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt, this album musically and lyrically resembles an earlier, simpler version of the band's first official studio album.

And to be honest, that's precisely what it is. Most of the songs here would eventually appear on the first Soft Machine album, be released by Kevin or David during their solo careers, or end up cannibalised by Wyatt as components for "The Moon In June" on Soft Machine's Third. And in each case, the songs benefit from a few more years of polishing; in this incarnation, the band is clearly on the way to establishing its own style, but nonetheless still shows the influence of its psychedelic peers. It's a decent psych album, a little slower and calmer than the usual Soft Machine offering, but you can tell that a lot of work and development occurred between this and the recording of Volume One. Jet-Propelled Photographs (or whatever you happen to call it) is normally sold quite cheaply, so it's not bad value for money if you are a Soft Machine enthusiast who'd like to own some earlier, dreamier versions of classic Softs songs, but if you're just getting into the band then it's not very representative of their sound.

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