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View Poll Results: How would you rank the album?
Horrible! 0 0%
Bad 0 0%
Mediocre 1 12.50%
Good 1 12.50%
Very good 5 62.50%
Brilliant! 1 12.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-10-2011, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Soft Machine - Fourth (1971)

This thread is for discussing the album Fourth by the Canterbury band Soft Machine. It was 2011's first homework album in the prog & fusion album club.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anteater

Soft Machine - Fourth (1971)

One of the original Canterbury bands and quite influential in the realm of jazz music in general, the Softs were a prodigious outfit that changed members quite often throughout the 70's, but were most well known in the earliest part of the decade for the talents of bassist Hugh Hopper, organist Mike Ratledge and drummer Robert Wyatt (who occasionally sang, but not often). Fourth was the last of the Softs' albums where this lineup was still intact, as well as being the final album featuring Wyatt. Not going to mince words, but there's a hell of a lot to like here, and it's as great a place as any to start for those who A. Don't know much about these guys or B. If you have even the most rudimentary interest in top class proggy jazz. Recommended!
So, whatcha think?
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Been wanting to but sadly, never been able to get my hands on it. If it's anything like 2, and 3 though, then I'm in.

Anyone know of anywhere I can get this album?
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skaligojurah View Post
Been wanting to but sadly, never been able to get my hands on it. If it's anything like 2, and 3 though, then I'm in.

Anyone know of anywhere I can get this album?
Check your PM box comrade.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This became my favourite Soft Machine album after the first listen

Before this one, I was mostly familiar with Third. Something that bugged me with Third was the low production quality. I hope it's not just my copy, but it sounds like they've put woolen socks over the mics. The production on Fourth is a lot better sounding in my opinion. The album was immediately catchy and attention grabbing right from the start (teeth). For me, I think this might just be the perfect entry-album into Soft Machine. Perhaps I should've attempted this one before tackling Third.

Very good!
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I personally really liked this. Apparently Soft Machine decided to go even jazzier from Third with this one. Which is a good thing, but also it's biggest flaw. I liked it a lot but it lacks a lot of the really distinguishing characteristics that the earlier albums(Namely Soft Machine II) had. However, with that said, this is the only real flaw, and it's a damn good album none-the-less.

I especially liked the extended final track. Albeit not traditionally a Jazz band I feel Soft Machine puts out what is a damn fantastic jazz album that might not be up to the very best efforts of say, Miles Davis, but generally comparable to some of the works of most of even the better jazz masters.

Only thing that notches this away from being perfect is the fact it lacks the distinctiveness of other earlier Soft Machine works.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And Mike Ratledge just looks so cool on the album cover
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am going to have to give an explanation for my mediocre vote, pun intended. But not at the moment. Pardon me.

But in short, it didn't grab me as it seemed to for you folks. I'll be back...
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
This became my favourite Soft Machine album after the first listen

Before this one, I was mostly familiar with Third. Something that bugged me with Third was the low production quality. I hope it's not just my copy, but it sounds like they've put woolen socks over the mics. The production on Fourth is a lot better sounding in my opinion. The album was immediately catchy and attention grabbing right from the start (teeth). For me, I think this might just be the perfect entry-album into Soft Machine. Perhaps I should've attempted this one before tackling Third.

Very good!
This is actually the first time I listened to Soft Machine, when I read this part, I thought that this was absolutely right. Therefore, I know what to do now.

Before I tackle this, what's your opinion on the first album?
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasracer56 View Post
This is actually the first time I listened to Soft Machine, when I read this part, I thought that this was absolutely right. Therefore, I know what to do now.

Before I tackle this, what's your opinion on the first album?
First album is good, their second is incredible.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to listen in!
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