Thursday, May 18, 2006

Soft Machine - "Softs" [1976] @ 320 Kindly submitted by micaus

Mike Ratledge had gone along with his distinctive keyboards and Robert Wyatt has long been in a wheelchair by the time this Soft Machine album appeared. All the trademarks that had endeared the Softs to fusion lovers and the Canterbury scene had gone. There were no original members, although Jenkins, Marshall and Babbington had been in the band for a while. Not only that, but there was a new guitarist, John Etheridge, "sellout" was the cry.

To be fair, this version of the Softs had little in common with the band that produced the incredible "Third". The change in band members led to a completely different style, so much so that they could, and maybe should have, been called by another name. If they had done so, it is possible that this wouldn't be dismissed as the last gasp of a once great band. But dismissed it was. Even the cover was a dramatic departure, with its modern neon design, a little too slick.

Pity, really, as on its own terms, its a great album. The sound is largely the result of Karl Jenkins' increasing interst in composition and the wonderful guitar of John Etheridge. The latter is an overlooked genius of the instrument and should be held in the same catagory as Allan Holdsworth. He's that good. His guitar work is a study in when and when not to play, that is the gaps in his solos are as important as the notes. He also a very melodic player.

This is an album that has not lost its appeal over time, it still sounds fresh and is one that should be heard.

--Album, scans and review submitted by fellow contributor micaus. Thanks!!

Keep Listening!!!!


Anonymous said...

I agree with the review in the most parts. After the "Fifth"-Album there was break for me. Although the music is quite good, taken alone for itself, the music changed in core aspects. In comparison the ongoing story of king crimson developments in music styles has one common feature: it´s ever king crimson´s sound over the decades. dramatically changes, yes, but no harsh breaks.

herr k.

TimosPsychedelicious said...


I agree...we got similar music taste. I am gonna add you mate. Sorry I didn't reply immediately to your comment on my blog. I was kinda busy and actually am still little busy...anyway, let's do the exchange links thing.



Anonymous said...

Thanks Timo for your kind reply.

I mentioned your blog often and you are still linking to mine:
totally fuzzy.

herr k.

so the mutual thingy is already done. Cheers.

Pedro said...

Can you put Soft Machine-Seven from 1973,Soft Machine-Live at Paradiso,And Soft Machine-Virtually.
I searched in all blogs and there were no results :-(

Pedro from Braga city-Portugal
Thanks a lot

BlackwatchPlaid said...

Hi Pedro. Soft Machine - Seven from 1973 was, at one time, on the Kukopolis blog ( The page with the post for Seven cannot be found anymore, but I will post the link for you to the rapidshare file.

I will be on the prowl for the other albums. enjoy!!

Pedro said...

thank you very much!
thank you,your blog it is amazing!

dranreb said...

Many thanks,
is there anybody who can reveal links to Soft machine 6 and Bundles in some pretty good quality? Could be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.


Anonymous said...

Try here...

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