Soft Machine - Backwards. 1970 England
CD issue: 2002 Cuneiform (USA)
Cuneiform are the gold standard for all things Soft Machine, and their dogged determination to release anything and everything worthwhile is to be admired. And in my world, anything pre 1971 is worth investigating, and then after that, it's hit or miss. Most of this album was recorded from concerts in May 1970, performed in London. In effect, it's Soft Machine Third live. The band is beginning to really stretch out into jazz norms, something they eventually crossed the threshold over to wholly - and less to my personal interest. I won't claim this one to be essential, like say Noisette is, but for the hardcore faithful, it most certainly is. The CD comes with full historical liner notes from esteemed Soft Machine archivist Aymeric Leroy.
I'll be curious if Cuneiform or anyone else chances a double LP issue of this one.