by Soft Machine

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Backwards is the fourth in our Soft Machine archival series. While I am really proud of all of our Soft Machine releases, this one is really special & something perhaps even close to magnificent. Backwards is comprised of recordings from three different and interesting eras of the band: First on the album is a recording of the quartet from May, 1970, made just about the time that the band had finished recording their Third album. The recording is mono, but the sonic quality is superb; this may be the single finest recording of the quartet version of the band, surpassing even their official studio releases. Next is two performances from November, 1969, featuring the septet version of Soft Machine. Since the only other available material by this version of the band is 20' of BBC recordings, this is an invaluable addition to the band's recorded legacy. Lastly there is Robert Wyatt's original demo of "Moon In June", which would eventually appear on Third. The first half of this demo version was recorded in the USA in the fall of 1968, after Soft Machine had disbanded after their 2nd US tour, but before the band reformed for their 2nd album. Then, in 1969, the trio version of Soft Machine recorded the ending to their piece, and spliced on the final half. As I said before, this one is special, & anyone remotely interested in what was happening in English progressive music-jazz/rock (before it became known as jazz/rock) should be extremely happy with this release.

"...a magnificent document of one of the most vital jazz/rock fusion outfits to ever come down the pike."
– ejazznews


released May 7, 2002



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