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Bundles Import, Original recording remastered

17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, April 27, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Remastered edition of 1970 debut album by celebrated Jazz and Rock trumpeter and arranger Alan Bown and his band. Features Robert Palmer on vocals and future Supertramp sax player John Helliwell. 9 tracks


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Phantasm Imports
  • ASIN: B0039L1JAC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,476 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "rhizome@pacbell.net" on September 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I was turned on to this album, and in it heard my first Allan Holdsworth (guitar), at the tender age of 16 or 17, and life hasn't been the same since. I just ordered it and listened to it for the first time in about 20 years, with the clarity a CD affords, and I can see it's going to screw me up again!
There are no adequate words to describe the guitar solos on this album, especially in "Hazard Profile Part 1". This is a young Holdsworth recorded at the point of a major breakthrough in his virtuosity. He is like a machine (a "soft" machine??), relentlessly spewing impossibly long and fluid strings of legato 32nd notes. It's positively mindbending if you are a serious listener of music. If you're a musician, especially a guitarist, it's nothing short of devastating.
As for the rest of the musicians on this album, they're brilliant too. The drum work is stellar; the keyboards are at turns subtle and psychedelic; the bass is transcendently transparent; and the horns speak like the songs of a possessed shaman. "Bundles" is an entire package that flows from beginning to end, like an aural movie. The fact that this came out in 1975 is in itself devastating because it reveals just how banal and un-challenging music has become today in comparison. The jazz-rock fusion of the 70s represented a pinnacle of unabashed creativity that hasn't been touched since and I'm very afraid will likely never be seen again. "Bundles" captures a golden moment in this most special era of music.
Now I have to go listen to it again and cry some more...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mike Ratledge's last album with the Softs found the band on a new label and adding guitar to their jazz-rock sound. In a nutshell, the guitar, provided by Allan Holdsworth works, and makes this one of the best fusion pieces of the mid 1970s. Worth a listen (especially by Softs fans who refuse to listen to anything the group made after Robert Wyatt left).
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sherriffs on July 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this cd should have been remastered a long time ago, with that said if you like soft machine or are a allen holdsworth fan ( guilty) you need to get this. the remastering is excellent on this ,and is much better than the see for miles release.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By abcde on June 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD contains truly jaw-dropping musicianship. In particular, the first nine minutes of the disk (part one of "Hazard Profile") will make you smile in joyous disbelief: Holdsworth's seemingly impossible yet mellifluous guitar shredding extends with nary a lull for some six minutes, while Marshall's drumming weaves a complex, groovy foundational beat that, alone, merits full attention. And, it's worth mentioning that this long-overdue re-master features excellent and notably crisp sound.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Kolb on September 4, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
when i first bought bundles on vinyl, years ago, i did not like it very much. i thought it was cold and labored. over the years, i listened to it now and then. got some live versions of it and became very fond of the fire and passion of the playing, so bought this esoteric (not phantasm as listed) version of bundles. i take it all back. this is an excellent release. maybe, like some, i was not used to soft machine adding a guitarist to their mix. allan holdsworth, whether in the studio, and especially live, plays like he's possessed. his style if fast and fluid. it's just amazing to hear him. this esoteric release is remastered beautifully and comes with an informative booklet. this is a great addition to any jazz/rock fusion cd collection. to me, soft machine was one of those rare bands, though constantly changing, still kept releasing very moving and powerful releases. amazing how this band played in the 70's, their music is a fresh today and it was innovative back then. soft machine's music has survived the tides of time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura S. on November 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I see a lot of people viewing this album through the lens of the Soft Machine legacy.

Forget that. Don't judge this album on how it's not like the other Soft Machine releases. Don't judge this lineup on how it's not like previous or following lineups.

Listen to this album as a standalone work. It's hypnotic. It's fascinating. It's emotional. It's technically astounding. And it features Allan Holdsworth in some of his finest playing, imho. If you love progressive rock, or hypnotic jazz fusion even, this recording comes with my highest recommendation.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carl Johnson on January 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Yes, it is true that many elitist Soft Machine fans might shun this record because the dearly loved Robert Wyatt is not on it. Well, that is a shame. This is Mike R's (keyboards)last studio outing with the band... and he is as superb with his style of playing in a subtle, less pronounced way. Mike has grown up a lot! He approaches the fuzz box with a familiar reverence however, he has learned how to lay back some and let other intramentalist show themselves as well. The record clearly showcases various members of the entire band. It flows beautifully from Hazard Profile to the end peice, which is a showcase peice for percussion. This sounds like, and makes me remember 1975 for the intellegent expressiveness of music in the world of jazz-fusion and prog rock. I still find it captures the energy and calm of the mid-seventies very well. On the same token, it does NOT sound stuck in the seventies either!
It's not Grand Funk Railroad folks, it is the metamorphisized Soft Machine! This record, at the time of it's release, is most noticed for bringing Allan Holdsworth to the attention of the Prog Rock and ultimately the jazz world. It does that very well, but don't forget just what the Soft Machine was either! It's a great spin!
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