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Third Import, Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess the most accurate indication of my feelings about this album is that I still listen to it with some frequency thirty years later. And I own several thousand CDs (jazz, classical, pop), not counting the many cassettes and LPs. This album is decidedly something special. I would suggest that rock fans new to the Soft Machine begin with track (originally side) three -- Robert Wyatt's grand farewell. Jazzers would do better to begin with tracks two or four. As for side one -- Cuneiform has announced a release of the entire concert from which this is taken in January.
Third is commonly spoken of as the Soft Machine's masterpiece. I certainly thought so for quite awhile. But I have to agree with the Cambridge music fan below: sometime in the early eighties I began to realize that Volume Two is by far the more innovative, sophisticated, and just plain weird of the two; I'm still hearing things I never noticed in it before. I think it's generally underrated because it gives an initial impression of being lightly whimsical and twee (as the English say.) But after several listenings its musical merits tend to hit one smack in the face. And, truly rare in rock, the lyrics (with references to Jarry, Pynchon, and who knows what else) are quite good -- and the nonsense lyrics even better.
But back to Third. Buy it. It's certainly the most immediately accessible of the Softs's recordings, and something of a cultural milestone as well. (Though SM were largely ignored at the time, their current discography is well more than twice as large now as it was in the 1970s.)
"Third" is a landmark album in the Softs'canon. The full fledged sonic jazz attack was unlike anything they had ever done before- and it WORKED! Adding Elton Dean (formally of Bloos-ology with a then unknown Reg Dwight, who, partly in honor of Dean, changed his name to Elton John) added credibility in the British jazz circles, and helped to make the album a more cohesive work.
The lp is a tour-de-force for the Softs, showcasing Mike Ratledge's wonderful feel for jazz, and his signature Lowry organ stylings, Hugh Hopper's always rock solid fuzz drenched bass musings, and the God-given talents of Robert Wyatt on the skins. Wyatt also gets to sing on the wonderful "Moon in June," his voice unparalleled.
The results are pure ecstacy.
The lp will take a few listens to get the full effect of its greatness, but once you get it, you'll have it forever. I have owned this lp for 12 years now and it still amazes me like few albums can. THAT, my friends, is the benchmark for all great music!
So, I highly recommend "Third," in my opinion one of the 50 greatest lps of all time ever made.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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Clearly better sound than on original CD iteration. Second disc adds further context to the argument for why SF was THE Great Fusion Ensemble nearly unknown this side of the pond.Published 12 months ago by john R. Thomas
Listen to it when I was a young boy Wanted to see if I could relate to my lost youthPublished 15 months ago by Roger ray Rogers