The Soft Machine includes: Kevin Ayres (guitar); Mike Ratledge (organ); Robert Wyatt (drums); Daevid Allen.
Includes liner notes by Arnold Shaw.
The 1968 debut by Canterbury's legendary Soft Machine introduced a spirited new breed of progressive pop musicians, one that was as influenced by free jazzers and folk purists as it was by the Beatles. Where many British prog musicians were po-faced wankers, the Softs brought a pervasive new sense of adventure and fun to the arena.
Drummer Robert Wyatt, bassist/guitarist Kevin Ayers, and multi-instrumentalist wizard Mike Ratledge were bound by few constraints in terms of their interests and influences. However, like many debut efforts by progressive bands, VOLUME ONE occasionally seems a bit tentative in spots, with the band's more experimental explorations somewhat hampered by conventional song structures. The glorious exception is Ayers' classic "Why Are We Sleeping?," possibly the first English prog classic. VOLUME ONE sounds positively fascinating, especially in light of the Soft Machine's later work.