First vital collection of archival live Soft Machine recordings; these are from 1967, and (unlike Turns On Vol. 2) include some studio recordings.
Robert Wyatt's drumming is nearly miraculous, and Mike Ratledge's organ is at its daring and explorative best. Admittedly this is not meant as an introduction to the band for novices, but lovers of the Soft Machine will be blown away by the alternate versions on this disc; they are even more daring than the official releases. Turns On, Vol. 1 catches the newly formed group in their first studio recordings plus live performances in early to mid-1967, all pre-dating the first LP. The lineup on most of the 16 tracks consists of Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, and Kevin Ayers. Daevid Allen appears on four studio recordings.
The repertoire draws a lot from the Wilde Flowers' songbook, Ayers, Hugh Hopper and Brian Hopper having written most of the material (Wyatt and Ratledge were only beginning to submit material). Fans will appreciate some of these recordings, especially the first "Clarence in Wonderland"; the 13-minute "Hope for Happiness"; and Wyatt's "Lullaby Letter. ~ François Couture. Recording information: European Studio (1967); Middle Earth And Speakeasy Clubs, London, England (1967); UK Studio (1967).
|1||I Should've Known||7:43|
|2||We Know What You Mean||2:56|
|3||I'm So Low||2:31|
|4||Clarence In Wonderland||2:50|
|5||Hope For Happiness||4:27|
|6||I Should've Known||2:45|
|7||We Know What You Mean||3:04|
|11||I Should've Known||5:33|
|12||A Certain Kind||3:29|
|13||Clarence In Wonderland||4:25|
|14||May I? (Instrumental Variant)||2:44|
|15||We Know What You Mean||3:03|
|16||Hope For Happiness||13:23|