A double length set – with the complete ABC/
Probe recordings of Soft Machine! The first disc features the amazing debut of Soft Machine! It's hard to find a more seminal moment of jazz rock from the British scene – and there's certainly few albums from its generation that stand up as well over the years as this one! The trio of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers
, and Michael Ratledge carve out the future of progressive playing on this excellent set of shorter tunes that still offer up all the hard jamming of later years. Beat group morphs into prog jazz before your very eyes – on tracks like "Hope For Happiness", "Why Am I So Short", "Save Yourself", "Priscilla", "So Boot If At All", "A Certain Kind", "Lullabye Letter", and "Why Are We Sleeping?". Soft Machine Two is sublime early work from Robert Wyatt and crew – a psychedelic accented jazz rock classic that never gets old – and a visionary set that inspired a generation! The heavily fuzzy guitar sound is transcendent on Volume Two – with sudden jazzy changes, augmented by horns, and all done with a sly sense of humour for which the group doesn't get enough credit. The set's broken up into two different "concept" halves – and side one is "Rivmic Melodies" – and includes "Pataphysical Introduction", "A Concise British Alphabet", "Dada Was Here", and "Out Of Tunes". Side two is "Esther's Nose Job" – with the parts "Pig", "Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging", "Orange Skin Food", and "A Door Opens & Closes". Wyatt's on vocals and drums; Hugh Hopper is on bass, guitar, and alto; and Mike Ratledge plays some great Lowry and Hammond organ, plus a bit of harpsichord and flute!