4th/5th

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mike DeGagne
Releasing Soft Machine's Fourth and Fifth on one album isn't only convenient, but rather intriguing as well. While both albums display the band's wonderful jazz-rock abstractness and frittering "saxophone versus drums" interweaves, Fourth has the distinction of being the last album to feature drummer Robert Wyatt before he went on to form Matching Mole. The differences between Fourth and Fifth aren't startling, but to true Soft Machine fans they are blatantly apparent, since it was Wyatt's free-ranged approach which led the band to where they were at that point. Fourth romps and frolics with Mike Ratledge's erratic organ meandering under the off-beat but highly colorful ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mike DeGagne
Releasing Soft Machine's Fourth and Fifth on one album isn't only convenient, but rather intriguing as well. While both albums display the band's wonderful jazz-rock abstractness and frittering "saxophone versus drums" interweaves, Fourth has the distinction of being the last album to feature drummer Robert Wyatt before he went on to form Matching Mole. The differences between Fourth and Fifth aren't startling, but to true Soft Machine fans they are blatantly apparent, since it was Wyatt's free-ranged approach which led the band to where they were at that point. Fourth romps and frolics with Mike Ratledge's erratic organ meandering under the off-beat but highly colorful drum playing from Wyatt, while Elton Dean's sax and saxello playing is nothing more than frantic throughout, gelling their progressive tendencies as a whole without notice. With Phil Howard and John Marshall sharing the drum work for Fifth, there are remnants of Soft Mahine's non- structural artiness still remaining, especially on "As Is" and "Pigling Bland," but the same level of groovy spunk and improvised metaphysics in the form of Wyatt's off-centeredness is gone. Tracks such as "All White" and "Drop" can't match the hectic, fused frenzy of "Fletcher's Blemish" or the excitability that builds during "Teeth" from Fourth. Still, grouping the two albums together as one package is the best way to hear both, even when taking the comparison factor out of the picture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/3/2001
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • EAN: 5099749334120
  • Catalog Number: 493341
  • Sales rank: 43,712

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Teeth (9:13)
  2. 2 Kings and Queens (5:01)
  3. 3 Fletcher's Blemish (4:36)
  4. 4 Virtually, Pt. 1 (5:15)
  5. 5 Virtually, Pt. 2 (7:05)
  6. 6 Virtually, Pt. 3 (4:37)
  7. 7 Virtually, Pt. 4 (3:23)
  8. 8 All White (6:07)
  9. 9 Drop (7:42)
  10. 10 M.C. (4:55)
  11. 11 As If (8:23)
  12. 12 LBO (1:31)
  13. 13 Pigling Bland (4:21)
  14. 14 Bone (3:35)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Soft Machine Primary Artist
Robert Wyatt Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Marc Charig Cornet
Elton Dean Electric Piano, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Alan Skidmore Tenor Saxophone
Roy Babbington Double Bass
Nick Evans Trombone
Jimmy Hastings Bass Clarinet, Alto Flute
Hugh Hopper Bass Guitar
Phil Howard Drums
John Marshall Drums
Mike Ratledge Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Technical Credits
Gary Martin Engineer
George Chkiantz Engineer
Sean Murphy Executive Producer
John Hays Art Direction
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