SOFT MACHINE — Original Album Classics

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SOFT MACHINE - Original Album Classics cover
2.55 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 2010

Tracklist

DISC 1: THIRD:
1. Facelift
2. Slightly All the Time
3. Moon in June
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous

DISC 2: FOURTH:
1. Teeth
2. Kings and Queens
3. Fletcher's Blemish
4. Virtually, Pt. 1
5. Virtually, Pt. 2
6. Virtually, Pt. 3
7. Virtually, Pt. 4

DISC 3: FIFTH:
1. All White
2. Drop
3. M C
4. As If
5. L B O
6. Pigling Bland
7. Bone
8. All White [Take Two]

DISC 4: SIX:
1. Fanfare - (live)
2. All White - (live)
3. Between - (live)
4. Riff - (live)
5. 37½ - (live)
6. Gesolreut - (live)
7. E.P.V. - (live)
8. Lefty - (live)
9. Stumble - (live)
10. 5 From 13 - (live)
11. Riff II - (live)
12. Soft Weed Factor, The
13. Stanley Stamps Gibbon Album (for B.O)
14. Chloe and the Pirates
15. 1983

DISC 5: SEVEN:
1. Nettle Bed
2. Carol Ann
3. Day's Eye
4. Bone Fire
5. Tarabos
6. D.I.S.
7. Snodland
8. Penny Hitch
9. Block
10. Down the Road
11. German Lesson, The
12. French Lesson, The

Line-up/Musicians

About this release

Sony Music (EU/US)

box set includes five albums, recorded between 1970 and 1973 and released on the Columbia label : "Third", "Fourth", "Fifth", "Six" and "Seven"

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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SOFT MACHINE ORIGINAL ALBUM CLASSICS reviews

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Members reviews

Warthur
Normally, I rate Columbia's Original Album Classics series very highly, since - provided you don't mind getting fairly basic quality paper sleeves for the discs and absolutely no liner notes or booklets - they're a great way of collecting a big chunk of a band's discography all at once, and often they include albums which are otherwise hard to find on CD. However, there are a couple of issues with this Soft Machine compilation of the albums from Third to Seven which makes me feel that this time around it isn't such a good deal.

First off - and to be fair, this isn't really Columbia's fault - the selection of albums isn't what it could be. Columbia, of course, have to work with the albums they actually own the rights to, but that's a shame in this case because it means that neither of the band's first two albums are present, and thus a whole phase of the band's musical development is essentially missed out. Furthermore, it includes the band's transitional fourth and fifth albums, which I consider to be substandard compared both to what came before and what came after. The lack of the widely-respected Bundles will be especially felt by fusion fans, even though I personally am not so convinced of that album's merits.

Secondly, the recent remaster of Third, when bought separately, includes the Live at the Proms 1970 performance as a bonus disc - which isn't presented here. Consequently, if you really like the Robert Wyatt era of the band and want the Live at the Proms disc, you probably want to buy Third separately - at which point the value of the back goes down sharply, since Third is easily the best album here.

On the whole, I'd advise against getting this collection. The Soft Machine's sound changed so radically over the course of these five albums that even if you've heard one or two of them, that's no real indicator of whether you'd like the others - it's best to collect them gradually, disc by disc, feeling your way through the band's musical development and avoiding those albums where they take a direction you're not keen on. I'll give this three stars since that's a fair average considering the variability of the music on display - there's some fantastic albums here, but also a couple of stinkers - but I also think in terms of value for money (which is what's really on your mind if you're considering investing in one of these collections) it could also be much, much better.

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  • bytor2112

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