SOFT MACHINE — Seven

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SOFT MACHINE - Seven cover
3.24 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1973

Filed under Fusion
By SOFT MACHINE

Tracklist

A1 Nettle Bed 4:47
A2 Carol Ann 3:48
A3 Day's Eye 5:05
A4 Bone Fire 0:32
A5 Tarabos 4:32
A6 D.I.S. 3:02
B1 Snodland 1:50
B2 Penny Hitch 6:40
B3 Block 4:17
B4 Down The Road 5:48
B5 The German Lesson 1:53
B6 The French Lesson 1:01

Total Time: 43:09

Line-up/Musicians

- Roy Babbington /Bass [Bass Guitar], Double Bass [Acoustic Bass]
- John Marshall /Drums, Percussion
- Karl Jenkins /Oboe, Saxophone [Baritone And Soprano Saxophones], Electric Piano, Recorder
- Mike Ratledge /Organ, Synthesizer [Synthisiser], Electric Piano

About this release

CBS – S 65799 (UK)

Recorded at CBS Studios London in the month of July 1973

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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SOFT MACHINE SEVEN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
After not much successful Six album, another Soft Machine's founding member bassist Hopper left the band,he was changed by Roy Babbington who played with band some years as guest musician.With such line-up (only one founding member keyboardist Mike Ratledge stayed on board), band's musical direction was changed even more radically towards straightforward flat fusion.

Sax player Karl Jenkins became more influential building musical strategy,and in fact he is a new band's leader for now. Mike Ratledge uses synthesizers for a first time in band's history on this album,all these changes influenced album's music a lot.

It's almost impossible to compare music of Seven with band's compositions from "classic" fusion period (Third or Fourth). They sound just as two different bands. It doesn't mean Seven is bad album - well composed,structured and played,this album contains some really good compositions, but you will hardly find free jazz flavor or great interplays. Music there is framed between compositional, arrangement and soloing rules without much space for freedom and fantasy.Musicians are still great and album sounds pleasant and easy accessible,just the spirit of real Soft Machine is gone without traces.

Far from Soft Machine's best release,still competent transitional work.

Members reviews

Warthur
With Roy Babbington taking over Hugh Hopper's spot on bass, Seven sees Mike Ratledge in the unenviable position of not only being the sole remaining founder member of the band left on the album, but also the sole remaining member of the lineup that recorded Third (or Fourth if you don't count Babbington's guest spots on that album). With Karl Jenkins composing the majority of songs on this album, it's clear that despite Ratledge remaining very much a presence on this album, his position as band leader had more or less been ceded to Jenkins at this point.

So, the band having essentially become Mike Ratledge and three veterans of Nucleus, it's no surprise that it's jazz fusion all the way on this album, in much the same vein as the studio disc of Six (minus Hugh Hopper's contribution to that album, the foreboding 1983). The sound is somewhat more mellow and spacey, possibly because Mike Ratledge had finally got his hands on a synthesiser. In fact, the band seem so keen on their new toy they base a few songs (such as The German Lesson/The French Lesson and DIS) heavily around twinkling, futuristic synthesiser lines. To be honest, this feels more than a little like filler, as though the band only had a few strong fusion compositions coming into the studio and so knocked out some New Age synth pieces to pad out the running time.

The fully-fledged fusion pieces here are, however, of a good standard, with a sound at points reminiscent of the Mahavishnu Orchestra's spacier and more mellow moments. On balance, this is a three-star album from the late-phase Softs: a bit of a step down from the wonderful Six, but with tantalising evidence that there's life in the old Machine yet.

Ratings only

  • lunarston
  • KK58
  • Lynx33
  • yair0103
  • historian9
  • chrijom
  • ocasalif
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • Croteau
  • Drummer
  • Sean Trane
  • richby

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