Soft Machine

Soft Machine were an English jazz-rock band that was active between the late 1960s and early 1980s. Formed in 1967, the band were among the first rock acts to make use of asymmetric and compound meters.

Due to numerous lineup changes, the first and final Soft Machine albums feature none of the same members. Nonetheless, the nameplate was passed between dedicated hands that ensured quality control throughout the band’s existence — from the avant-psychedelia of their early recordings to the electrified jazz of subsequent years.

Members: Mike Ratledge (organ, keyboards, flute, 1966-76), Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals, piano, bass, 1966-71), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals, 1966-68), Daevid Allen (guitar, 1966-67), Andy Summers (guitar, 1968), Hugh Hopper (bass, acoustic guitar, alto saxophone, 1969-73), Elton Dean (alto saxophone, saxello, electric piano, 1969-72), Lyn Dobson (flute, soprano saxophone, 1969-70), Mark Charig (cornet, 1969), Nick Evans (trombone, 1969), Phil Howard (drums, 1971), John Marshall (drums, 1972-84, 2015-present), Karl Jenkins (keyboards, oboe, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, 1972-84), Roy Babbington (bass, double bass, 1973-76, 2015-present), Allan Holdsworth (guitar, 1973-75, 1978, 1980), John Etheridge (guitar, 1975-77, 1984, 2015-present), Alan Wakeman (saxophone, 1976), Ray Warleigh (flute, saxophone, 1976, 1980, 1984), Ric Sanders (violin, 1976-78), Steve Cook (bass, 1976-78), Dave MacRae (keyboards, 1984), Paul Carmichael (bass, 1984)


  • The Soft Machine (1968)
  • Volume Two (1969)
  • Third (1970)
  • Fourth (1971)
  • Fifth (1972)
  • Six (1973)
  • Seven (1973)
  • Bundles (1975)
  • Softs (1976)
  • Alive & Well: Recorded in Paris (1978)
  • Land of Cockayne (1981)


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