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The Soft Machine, Vol. 2

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Album Review

A wild, freewheeling, and ultimately successful attempt to merge psychedelia with jazz-rock, Soft Machine's debut ranges between lovingly performed oblique pop songs and deranged ensemble playing from drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt, bassist Kevin Ayers and organist Mike Ratledge. With only one real break (at the end of side one), the songs merge into each other — not always smoothly, but always with a sense of flair that rescues any potential miscues. Wyatt takes most of the vocals, and proves himself a surprisingly evocative singer despite his lack of range. Like Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Vol. 1 was one of the few over-ambitious records of the psychedelic era that actually delivered on all its incredible promise. ~ John Bush & Stewart Mason, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1966 in Canterbury, Kent, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Soft Machine were never a commercial enterprise and indeed still remain unknown even to many listeners who came of age during the late '60s and early '70s, when the group was at its peak. In their own way, however, they were one of the more influential bands of their era, and certainly one of the most influential underground ones. One of the original British psychedelic groups, they were also instrumental in the birth of both progressive rock and jazz-rock. They were also the central foundation of...
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