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Thread: Soft Machine - Bundles

  1. #1

    Soft Machine - Bundles


    This tune rips.....How is the rest of the record...Any Fans????

  2. #2
    Very good album. Side B begins in a very similar vein with the title-track (another Jenkins tune) followed by an extended Holdsworth solo ("Land Of The Bag Snake"), then a couple of angular Ratledge tunes (his last for the band) which help give the music a unique edge that isn't a mere imitation of US jazz-fusion. The album ended with a long atmospheric piece, "Floating World", which was used as an intro to the band's performances (and probably works better in this capacity than as a non-climactic end piece). As for the rest of the "Hazard Profile" suite, it continued with a neo-classical acoustic guitar/piano interlude (Toccatina), then gradually returns to full power culminating with a frantic section with Ratledge soloing on AKS synth over a fast cyclic riff. Overall, little in common with early Soft Machine but, taken on its own merits, a really great album.

    btw, Cuneiform have just officially announced that an official release of the July 1974 Montreux Festival performance of the whole album is due for release as a CD/DVD combo. This gig actually pre-dates the recording sessions for "Bundles" by a mere two weeks.
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  3. #3
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I think that if this was released by some other band that did not have the name Soft Machine it would have gotten a lot more respect. That said,


  4. #4
    The "Song For The Bearded Lady" riff provided the basis for "Hazard Profile", but it's much extended and developed upon rather than merely recycling it. But certainly Jenkins' individual, riff-based style was first displayed, and impressively so, on the first couple of Nucleus albums, for which he was the main composer. I'm a big fan of the first ("Elastic Rock") in particular. Of course they both have John Marshall on drums too. So, no wonder the "fusion" era Softs owed a big stylistic debt to early Nucleus, since compositionally Jenkins was at the helm in both.
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    Upcoming prog (& beyond) shows in France - http://www.bigbangmag.com/agenda.php
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  5. #5
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    The rest is quite fine. My fave SM, along with Fourth. Brilliant album.

  6. #6
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Very good album. Side B begins in a very similar vein with the title-track (another Jenkins tune) followed by an extended Holdsworth solo ("Land Of The Bag Snake"), then a couple of angular Ratledge tunes (his last for the band) which help give the music a unique edge that isn't a mere imitation of US jazz-fusion. The album ended with a long atmospheric piece, "Floating World", which was used as an intro to the band's performances (and probably works better in this capacity than as a non-climactic end piece). As for the rest of the "Hazard Profile" suite, it continued with a neo-classical acoustic guitar/piano interlude (Toccatina), then gradually returns to full power culminating with a frantic section with Ratledge soloing on AKS synth over a fast cyclic riff. Overall, little in common with early Soft Machine but, taken on its own merits, a really great album.

    btw, Cuneiform have just officially announced that an official release of the July 1974 Montreux Festival performance of the whole album is due for release as a CD/DVD combo. This gig actually pre-dates the recording sessions for "Bundles" by a mere two weeks.
    Oh holy moly. Sign me up for instant buy on that '74 Montreux release! Nice!

    Oh ya... Bundles. Love it. Solid from beginning to end. British Tour '75 is another good one to get if you havent heard it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    I think that if this was released by some other band that did not have the name Soft Machine it would have gotten a lot more respect. That said,

    There might even be another one on one of Allan's cds called something else.
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  8. #8
    Member oilersfan's Avatar
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    Bundles is great. It's probably my most played SM album.

  9. #9
    My favorite Soft Machine album. I'll definitely look for that '74 Montreux release as well.

    Bill

  10. #10
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    Not much to add to what Calyx wrote. Highly recommended...but perhaps best not to compare it to Soft Machine of old, this is very different, somewhat more conventional I think. I like 'Floating World' though, I've always liked those sort of ambient pieces.

    If you like this one 'Softs' also has a very solid first half. Never really got into the second, which is a bit wishy-washy light fusion at times.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlakaton View Post
    British Tour '75 is another good one to get if you havent heard it.
    Agreed - a significant portion of "Softs" is performed with basically the sound of "Bundles" (Ratledge on fuzz organ, Jenkins on electric piano - rather than acoustic piano/string synth on the album), and of course almost the whole of "Bundles" is in there too. A very smokin' performance, and probably the best sound quality (& mix) in the whole Newcastle University series by MLP (also including Gong, Caravan, Renaissance and Nucleus).
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/
    Upcoming prog (& beyond) shows in France - http://www.bigbangmag.com/agenda.php
    Excerpts from interviews : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...z9EvJjeuxQJ4x5

  12. #12
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    This is where I got off the bus. Well executed, but I just wasn't interesting in hearing SM with fuseoid guitar.
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  13. #13
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    This is where I got off the bus. Well executed, but I just wasn't interesting in hearing SM with fuseoid guitar.
    Pretty much my opinion, as well.
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  14. #14
    If you like Bundles I highly recommend "Floating World Live"

    http://www.moonjune.com/mjr_web_2013...sworth_MJR007/

  15. #15
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilersfan View Post
    Bundles is great. It's probably my most played SM album.
    mine as well... I like all of their albums because of the very fact that each album is a different beast

    the addition of electric Guitar was the logical next step and brought them more into the Rock end verses the more Jazz sound they had earlier

    Etheridge kicks ass on the Softs album too, filling Holdsy's shoes quite well
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  16. #16
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    I gotta spin this again, it's been awhile.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  17. #17
    Had the LP back in the 80's. I always liked that Jade Warrior-sounding track (assume it's "Floating World"). Wonder if it's a tribute, since JW had an album with that title.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by oilersfan View Post
    Bundles is great. It's probably my most played SM album.
    ditto

  19. #19
    chalkpie
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    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Pretty much my opinion, as well.
    Me too.

    In this case I think ignorance is bliss if you don't know the albums with Wyatt, but there is some character, soul, and substance lacking compared to the olde days. Still, its a decent enough album - hell I like it better than the new Yes album.

  20. #20
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    Had the LP back in the 80's. I always liked that Jade Warrior-sounding track (assume it's "Floating World"). Wonder if it's a tribute, since JW had an album with that title.
    Didn't Stomu Yamash'ta have one too?

  21. #21
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Didn't Stomu Yamash'ta have one too?
    "Floating World" refers to a concept in Japanese culture:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukiyo

  22. #22
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I like this one a lot, will probably get the cd/dvd
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  23. #23
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    Probably my fav of SM. I prefer this style more than the first few albums. Every few years I'll play Third to see if it finally clicks, but it never does.

  24. #24
    chalkpie
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    ^

  25. #25
    Bundles has always been my favorite SM album too, and it is historically probably one of my top five favorite albums ever, but in regards to placing it in SM's discography I admit that my 3+ decades-old Holdsworth fascination has caused a heavy bias towards Bundles. Although I have most of the other SM stuff I really can't claim appropriate familiarity with enough of it to really make comparisons and contrasts to the greatness of Bundles. So that needs must change!

    Despite the mighty Holdsworth's mind-bending playing (some of his best ever), I've always felt that Bundles is pretty well fleshed out by all the parts and sections whereupon he was NOT soloing heavily. It's all good, in other words.
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