Live At The Paradiso 1969 review by Soft Machine

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.5 (2 votes)
Soft Machine: Live At The Paradiso 1969

Sound — 10
"Noise" is the only word I can use to describe this album. This is a live album by the underrated band Soft Machine recorded at the Paradiso Club in Amsterdam 1969. Every song is from the album "Volume 2." First of all, for a live album I would rate this an 9, not for the music, the music is a 10. The vocals are kind of hard to hear at the beginning of a few songs, but they eventually come through, I can't blame Robert Wyatt for screaming to sing over the blasting organ of Mike Ratledge and the fuzzy basslines of Hugh Hopper. It is just so powerful to listen to these guys live. For a 1969 band, they are just so amazing on stage.

Lyrics — 8
Lets start from the top: 01. Hulloder - only has the outro vocals from the studio version starting with "And as I'm free." But pretty good for it's short time. 02. Dada Was Here - the music is awesome first of all but the vocals are not as good as the studio version, although I like Wyatt's energy in this vocal performance. Has a long instrumental section at the end which I don't really get into. In the top 3 of this album. 03. Thank You Pierrot Lunaire - now this is a great job on this song. The wah-wah sounding organ goes great with the vocals, which are delivered perfectly. Fades into the Hendrix tribute. 04. Have You Ever Bean Green? - the Hendrix tribute from the 68 US tours. Pretty good when it gets to the "Didn't you?" section which sends a blast of sound into your ears. Possibly Robert Wyatts best vocal performance of the album. 05. Pataphisical Introduction Pt. 2 - well, first off I love the "Volume 2" version of this track, but when I heard this, I was shocked it sounded so similar, minus the vocals. Great one right here. 06. As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still - my favorite Soft Machine song first off. This version is ok but it's kind of hard to hear the beginning vocals. I love this song even though. Although Wyatt dosent do the outro vocals at all. 07. Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging - surprisingly, it's the best track on the album. The organ parts are astonishing. This song also contains my all time favorite single note at the 15 second point, the high organ scream by Ratledge. In the top 3 best songs. 08. Hibou, Anemone And Bear - begins with a Hugh Hopper fuzz bassline and then feeds into the ratledge organ section, which is top notch. Near the end Wyatt comes in with some vocals, making this song in the top 3. 09. Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging (reprise) - not all that good but I guess the guys needed a "moment" to get the strain off. 10. Pig - I was very dissappointed when I heard this version of pig, it starts off terrific but then after 4 minutes, the vocals never show up. Kinda disappointing. 11. Orange Skin Food - the way it starts off is awesome, I was expecting to hear at least 2 minutes of this glorious noise, until the song stops after 15 seconds and goes into "A Door Opens And Closes". 12. A Door Opens And Closes - has a Hugh Hopper opening bassline which then goes into some scat singing by Robert Wyatt. Cool track. 13. 10:30 Returns To The Bedroom - sounds kinda like "Pig" but then stretches to 11 minutes of decent but not great music. An ok track but I think the guys could have done a better closing exit.

Overall Impression — 10
An awesome album which I would have to say is the best live album I have ever heard. If I lost it I would buy it again in a heartbeat. A must have for a music fan. Kinda relates to "Volume 2." A live version of "Volume 2" is all this Live At The Paradiso album is. Just such wonderful noise that you can never get rid of.

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