Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Soft Machine : Third 1970

Third is a 1970 double LP by Soft Machine, with each side of the original vinyl consisting of a single long composition. Its music explores the emerging jazz fusion of the type present on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, which was released in the same month.

Third marks the most major of Soft Machine's several shifts in musical genre over their career, completing their transition from psychedelic music to jazz, and is a significant milestone of the Canterbury scene, featuring interplay between the band's personnel: Mike Ratledge on keyboards, Robert Wyatt on drums, Hugh Hopper on bass and newest member Elton Dean on saxophone.

Lyn Dobson appears on saxophone and flute on "Facelift", recorded while he was a full member of the band (then a quintet), although he is credited as an additional performer.

Jimmy Hastings (brother of Pye Hastings from Caravan) makes substantial contributions on flute and clarinet on "Slightly All The Time", free-jazz violinist Rab Spall (then a bandmate of Wyatt's in the part-time ensemble Amazing Band) is heard on the coda to "Moon In June", and Nick Evans (a member of the band during its short-lived septet incarnation) makes a very brief appearance on trombone in "Out-Bloody-Rageous".

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock (2005), the album came #20 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".

In 2007 the album was re-issued on CD by Sony BMG with a second disc comprising a complete live album,

Live at the Proms 1970, which had been previously released by a small independent company called Reckless Records in 1988. This album was recorded at The BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall in Westminster, London, for BBC Radio Three on 13 August 1970. The band's performance, opening for the BBC Symphony Orchestra , marked the first time that a popular-music band played at the classical festival.


1. Facelift ( Live ) – 18:54
2. Slightly All the Time – 18:54, including "Noisette" and "Backwards"
3. Moon in June – 19:18
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous – 19:11


Bonus disc from 2007 CD re-issue

1. Out-Bloody-Rageous – 11:54
2. Facelift – 11:22
3. Esther's Nose Job – 15:39
a. Pig
b. Orange Skin Food
c. A Door Opens and Closes
d. Pigling Bland
e. 10:30 Returns to the Bedroom

CD 1. FLAC  HERE            CD 2. FLAC HERE

"Facelift" is the most radical track.

The version on the album was recorded live at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, 4 January 1970 (the first by the quintet version of the band), with a brief section from the Mothers Club, Birmingham, 11 January 1970, and some recordings from the 1969 Spaced project.

While a large part of the finished product is essentially a live recording, parts involve tape collage and speeding up, slowing down, looping and backwards playing of tapes, with one instance where two different treatments of the same basic riff (one from the live concert, the other, at half speed, from Spaced) are heard simultaneously.

Most memorable is the ending, where the main theme is heard backwards.
At the time of the Croydon concert, "Facelift" typically lasted up to 30 minutes, expanded with solo improvisations and showcases by Lyn Dobson on flute, vocals, harmonica and sitar.


Φιλαράκο μου Λώρεs θα γίνουν τα αυτιά σου πέτσινα με αυτό το αλμπουμάκι .
Άκουσε το Facelift από το CD 2 .
Για πάρτι σου ρε φίλε !!!


  1. I love this recording. The bonus Live disc is icing on the cake!

  2. Totally agree--the live stuff makes a really solid EP. Reviewed this album on my blog.