Fifth [Remastered/Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Wilson Neate
As Soft Machine moved further away from rock on Third and Fourth, drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt's dissatisfaction with the band's direction grew and, by the time sessions started for Fifth in late 1971, he had left permanently to form Matching Mole. While the instrumental Fourth had forayed deep into jazz-rock territory, Fifth found Soft Machine working almost completely in the jazz idiom. At the time of Wyatt's departure, keyboardist Mike Ratledge commented that the band's co-founder had "never enjoyed or accepted working in complex time signatures." However, Wyatt's replacement -- Phil Howard -- didn't prove to be the kind of timekeeper Ratledge and bassist Hugh Hopper ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Wilson Neate
As Soft Machine moved further away from rock on Third and Fourth, drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt's dissatisfaction with the band's direction grew and, by the time sessions started for Fifth in late 1971, he had left permanently to form Matching Mole. While the instrumental Fourth had forayed deep into jazz-rock territory, Fifth found Soft Machine working almost completely in the jazz idiom. At the time of Wyatt's departure, keyboardist Mike Ratledge commented that the band's co-founder had "never enjoyed or accepted working in complex time signatures." However, Wyatt's replacement -- Phil Howard -- didn't prove to be the kind of timekeeper Ratledge and bassist Hugh Hopper had in mind, and his free jazz orientation led to his dismissal during the recording of the album. Howard's propulsive rhythms nevertheless make a vital contribution to memorable Ratledge compositions like "All White" and "Drop" as they gather momentum and coalesce into driving grooves. "All White" is focused largely on Elton Dean's sax performance, while "Drop" ultimately showcases the intense busy fuzz of Ratledge's organ. In places on Fifth, there does seem to be an element of tension between the more structured approach of Ratledge and Hopper and the free-form inclinations of Dean. The looser style of Dean's squalling sax playing is foregrounded particularly on "As If" -- another Ratledge piece. A certain constituency among Soft Machine fans tends to concentrate on the band's earlier releases and to consider everything from Fourth onward less compelling. That attitude has something to do with not being especially interested in jazz, so it's not entirely fair to dismiss this album without qualifying such a judgment. Anyone expecting to hear a rock album or a jazz-rock album will probably be disappointed with Fifth. This is essentially a jazz record, more concerned with texture and interplay than with song-based structures. [The 2007 remastered edition features a previously unreleased version of "All White" as a bonus track.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/22/2007
  • Label: Sony Japan
  • EAN: 4582192933695
  • Catalog Number: 1295

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 All White (6:00)
  2. 2 Drop (7:49)
  3. 3 M C (4:56)
  4. 4 As If (8:02)
  5. 5 L B O (1:53)
  6. 6 Pigling Bland (4:21)
  7. 7 Bone (3:34)
  8. 8 All White (7:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Soft Machine Primary Artist
Elton Dean Electric Piano, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Group Member
Roy Babbington Double Bass, Group Member
Hugh Hopper Bass Guitar, Group Member
Phil Howard Drums, Group Member
John Marshall Drums, Group Member
Mike Ratledge Organ, Electric Piano, Group Member
Technical Credits
Elton Dean Composer
Gary Martin Engineer
Hugh Hopper Composer
Mike Ratledge Composer
Sean Murphy Executive Producer
Mark Powell Liner Notes, Tape Research
John Hays Original Cover Artwork
Paschal Byrne Remastering
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