Third is the 1970 double LP by "Soft Machine", with each side of the original vinyl consisting of a single long composition. Its music explores the emerging jazz fusion of the type present on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, which was released just a few months earlier.


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Album Description & Collectors information:


Double LP in gatefold (FOC) cover design with artwork / photos on the inside cover pages

Third marks the most major of Soft Machine's several shifts in musical genre over their career, completing their transition from psychedelic music to jazz, and is a significant milestone of the Canterbury scene, featuring interplay between the band's personnel: Mike Ratledge on keyboards, Robert Wyatt on drums, Hugh Hopper on bass and newest member Elton Dean on saxophone. Lyn Dobson appears on saxophone and flute on "Facelift", recorded while he was a full member of the band (then a quintet), although he is credited as an additional performer. Jimmy Hastings (brother of Pye Hastings from Caravan) makes substantial contributions on flute and clarinet on "Slightly All The Time", free-jazz violinist Rab Spall (then a bandmate of Wyatt's in the part-time ensemble Amazing Band) is heard on the coda to "Moon In June", and Nick Evans (a member of the band during its short-lived septet incarnation) makes a very brief appearance on trombone in "Out-Bloody-Rageous".

Music Genre:

Acid Psych Jazz Prog Rock 

Album Production Information:

The album: "SOFT MACHINE - Third 2LP Gatefold" was produced by: Soft Machine

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Andy Knight, Bob Woolford

This album was recorded : April–May 1970 at IBC, London ("Facelift" live in Croydon and Birmingham, January 1970; re-issue bonus tracks live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, August 1970)

Album cover design: John Hays

Album cover photography: Jurgen D. Ensthaler

Record Label Information:

Barclay 920 224

Media Format:

Double 12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 480 gram  

Year & Country:

1970 Made in France
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Inner Sleeve   of "SOFT MACHINE - Third 2LP Gatefold" Album
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Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.

Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: SOFT MACHINE - Third 2LP Gatefold
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Mike Ratledge - Hohner Pianet, Lowrey organ, piano
  • Hugh Hopper - bass guitar
  • Robert Wyatt - drums, vocals, plus (uncredited) Hammond Organ, Hohner Pianet, piano, bass

    Robert Wyatt is an influential English musician, singer, and songwriter, known for his significant contributions to the progressive rock and jazz-rock genres. Born in 1945, in Bristol, England, Wyatt initially gained prominence as the drummer and occasional vocalist for the pioneering psychedelic rock band Soft Machine in the late 1960s.

    After a tragic accident in 1973 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Wyatt adapted his musical career and transitioned into a solo artist. Despite the physical challenges, he continued to make music, showcasing his versatility as a multi-instrumentalist and a unique vocalist. His solo work often explores a blend of progressive rock, jazz, avant-garde, and experimental music.

    One of Wyatt's notable solo albums is "The End of an Ear," released in 1970, which features avant-garde and experimental compositions. He has also produced several other critically acclaimed albums, including "Rock Bottom" (1974) and "Shleep" (1997). His music is characterized by intricate arrangements, thoughtful lyrics, and a distinctive voice that resonates with emotional depth.

  • Elton Dean - alto saxophone, saxello
  • Lyn Dobson - soprano saxophone, flute
  • Jimmy Hastings - flute, bass clarinet
  • Rab Spall - violin
  • Nick Evans - trombone
Complete Track-listing of the album "SOFT MACHINE - Third 2LP Gatefold"

The detailed tracklist of this record "SOFT MACHINE - Third 2LP Gatefold" is:

  1. "Facelift" (Hugh Hopper) - 18:45
  2. "Slightly All the Time" (Mike Ratledge) - 18:12 Including: "Noisette" (Hopper), "Backwards" (Ratledge) and "Noisette Reprise" (Hopper)
  3. "Moon in June" (Robert Wyatt) - 19:08
  4. "Out-Bloody-Rageous" (Ratledge) - 19:10