Author Topic: Soft Machine  (Read 384 times)


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Soft Machine
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:23:38 PM »
Soft Machine was an English Progressive and jazz band from Canterbury. Part of the infamous Canterbury music scene of the late sixties. Though not achieving much commercial success, they are critically acclaimed as being a highly influential band. The band was formed in 1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar), Mike Ratledge (keyboards) and later joined by Hugh Hopper (bass). Wyatt, Ayers and hopper had been the nucleus of a prior band The Wilde Flowers, later incarnations of that band would make up members of Caravan (another Canterbury progressive band). The band continued on with several different lineups through the years including a few year stint with Alan Holdsworth on guitar (1973-75). Robert Wyatt left the band in 1971 and went on to form Matching Mole. That band was about to record their third album, when in June of 1973 during a birthday part for Gong's Gilli Smyth, a drunken Wyatt fell from a fourth story window leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheel chair to this day. Ratledge was the longest standing member (he left after the 1975 album Bundles, which featured Holdsworth on guitar) later day members carried on the band thereafter with no original members remaining. A lineup of which still performs currently.

The band released  ten albums. The self titled debut features the lineup with Ratledge, Ayers and Wyatt. The sophomore album Volume Two features Ratledge, Hopper and Wyatt. 1970's double album Third, and 1971's Fourth features the Ratledge, Dean, Hopper, Wyatt lineup. 1972's Fifth saw the departure of Wyatt, and features a lineup of Ratledge, Dean, Hopper, Howard, Marshall. For 1973's double album Six the lineup was Ratledge, Jenkins, Hopper and Marshall. Another 1973 album Seven saw the lineup of Ratledge, Jenkins, Babbington and Marshall. For 1975's Bundles the lineup was Ratledge, Jenkins, Holdsworth, Babbington and Marshall. They released two more albums Softs (1976) and Land of Cockayne (1981) with no original members in the lineup.

Hope For Happiness 1967 TV
Moon In June Live Bilzen Jazz and Pop Festival 1969

1968 footage

Switzerland 1974 footage

Soft Machine One (full album)
Soft Machine Volume Two (full album)

Soft Machine: Bundles (with Alan Holdsworth on guitar) full album

Champion of the Queensryche Board Wars :)