1. John Peel Introduction
2. Blind Badger
3. Neo-Caliban Grides
4. Out Bloody Rageous / Eamonn Andrews / All White / Kings And Queens / Teeth / Pigling Bland / 10.30 Returns To The Bedroom
5. Slightly All The Time / Noisette Soft Machine: Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt.
Additional personnel: Ronnie Scott, Roy Babbington.
Liner Note Authors: Elton Dean; Hugh Hopper; Robert Wyatt.
Recorded on March 11, 1971, BBC in Concert 1971 was done after Robert Wyatt had recorded his last album (Fourth) with the band, but several months before he was out of the Soft Machine lineup. Unsurprisingly, then, it finds the group as oriented toward out-there jazz as they ever were with Wyatt on drums, to the point where it's not so much jazz-rock fusion as near-avant-garde jazz. Too, it was also a point in Soft Machine's evolution where the lineup could actually change during the performance, which is why this particular disc bears the billing "Soft Machine & Heavy Friends." The first song, the ten-minute "Blind Badger," is actually the Elton Dean group (which soon evolved into Just Us) with Mike Ratledge on electric piano; the next, "Neo-Caliban Grides," is the actual quartet that comprised Soft Machine at this point, with the addition of Phil Howard (later to replace Wyatt) as a second drummer; and the 32-minute medley features the Soft Machine quartet plus Roy Babbington and Neville Whitehead on bass, Mark Charig on cornet, Ronnie Scott on tenor sax, and Paul Nieman on trombone. Only the closing "Slightly All the Time"/"Noisette" is just the core Soft Machine quartet. It's all rather confusing (though the liner notes explain things in cohesive detail), the larger point to take away being the energetically complex, constant direction-changing performances themselves, though it's not easily digested by those who like memorable structures or riffs. Note, incidentally, that most (though not all) of this material was previously issued on the 1993 release BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert. ~ Richie Unterberger titles & descriptions Within USA:
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