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Tales of Taliesin: Emi Years Anthology 1975 - 1981 Import, Original recording remastered

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, August 2, 2011
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$24.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 11 to 14 days. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered two CD anthology featuring the best of the recordings made by progressive/art-rock legends Soft Machine between 1975 and 1981. Esoteric.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hazard Profile, Pt. 1
  2. Gone Sailing
  3. Bundles
  4. Land of the Bag Snake
  5. The Floating World
  6. The Tale of Taliesin
  7. Out of Season
  8. Second Bundle
  9. Nexus
  10. One Over the Eight
  11. Number Three
  12. The Nodder

Disc: 2

  1. White Kite
  2. Eos
  3. Odds Bullets and Blades, Pt. 1
  4. Odds Bullets and Blades, Pt. 2
  5. Puffin'
  6. Huffin'
  7. K's Riff
  8. Song of Aeolus
  9. Soft Space
  10. Over n' Above
  11. (Black) Velvet Mountain
  12. Sly Monkey
  13. Panaramania


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 2, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Esoteric
  • ASIN: B0052T7IWC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
As the Amazon blurb suggests, this is a compilation of SOFT MACHINE between the years 1975-1981. The "star" rating floats somewhere between 3-4, depending on what era I'm listening to on this set. For those who feel that the band lost it's way after album seven ("Seventh"), this may change your mind-maybe not. I have to say here that I, too, feel that the first few albums were the best-up to about album six. While "Seventh" had some good tracks, the excitement of the band was beginning to dwindle. But with an open mind (and ears) I found a number of compositions on the next few albums ("Softs" (a personal favorite), "Alive and Well" (another favorite), "Recorded In Paris", "Bundles", "The Land of Cockayne" contained in this set), that were as exciting and intelligent as found on the band's earlier releases. Yet with both Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers, the band seemed more alive, more adventurous, and focused (yet sometimes a bit wacky)-even on their longer tunes. Without their input the band upped the instrumental ante and increased the firepower-oftentimes at the expense of their sound/arrangements on previous releases. Not that a band's sound should remain stagnant, but that certain something the band had, seemed to be getting lost in every album after "Seventh".

After Ayers and Wyatt departed, the band morphed into one of the better Prog-Rock/jazz fusion bands of the period. With the addition of Karl Jenkins, the band's sound changed once again-and sometimes not for the better. Even with white hot guitarists like Allan Holdsworth or John Etheridge (at different times), the band's sound was sometimes a bit flabby and lacked direction and the sense of adventure found in the band's earlier arrangements and compositions changed.
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