Let's not waste time: get this for soprano Lucy Crowe's voice, for her performance of "What passion cannot Music raise", for her "The soft complaining flute"–and don't forget the glorious "But oh! What art can teach". Okay–just get this for the magnificent Crowe, whose golden, ringing tone and impeccable, uninhibited technique sets Handel's arias ablaze in vibrant, scintillating glory, relegating any recorded competition to second-class status. (Listen to that long-held, stratospheric note in the final chorus, on the words "The trumpet shall be heard on high"–on high, indeed; it seems like Crowe could have sustained it forever!) To sing Handel requires technical ease and comfort, range and unreserved explicatory ability–and in this, and in her complete habitation of the world of Handelian style Lucy Crowe is unsurpassed.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Soft Machine featuring the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and 2012 24-bit remastering. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the UK LP. Includes a booklet written in English. Part of a three-album Soft Machine Blu-spec CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring albums "Bundles," "Softs," and "Alive And Well Recorded In Paris." At this point in the band's history, Soft Machine might be considered an example of Theseus' paradox, akin to the original axe that George Washington used to cut down the cherry tree – original except that the head had been replaced three times and the handle twice. On Softs, Mike Ratledge, the only remaining original bandmember present on Bundles, the group's preceding Harvest LP, was relegated to guest status, contributing synthesizer to only two tracks, "Song of Aeolus" and "Ban-Ban Caliban."
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Soft Machine featuring the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and 2012 24-bit remastering. The cardboard sleeve faithfully replicates the UK LP. Includes a booklet written in English and an inner bag. Part of a three-album Soft Machine Blu-spec CD cardboard sleeve reissue series featuring albums "Bundles," "Softs," and "Alive And Well Recorded In Paris." In the extensive discography of Soft Machine, albums from the band's mid- to late-'70s jazz-rock fusion period are generally afforded the least respect. Fans all have their favorite LPs representing a particular "classic" lineup – as well as opinions about other albums signifying that Soft Machine's best days were behind them. Some feel it was all over when Robert Wyatt left after Fourth (or stopped singing after Third), and it's probably even possible to find somebody somewhere who lost interest when Hugh Hopper replaced Kevin Ayers after Volume One.
Album release from The Soft Machine featuring footage of the band's concert in Paris in 1977. Originally released in 1978. Features cardboard sleeve and remastering. Includes a Japanese obi and a description. On the band's first live album, 1978's Alive & Well: Recorded in Paris, Soft Machine's personnel changes continue, with Steve Cooke replacing Roy Babbington on bass, and violinist Ric Saunders joining since the 1976 studio album Softs, as guitarist John Etheridge, keyboardist Karl Jenkins, and drummer John Marshall remain in place. (Since this is the group's first album not to feature any participation from an original member of Soft Machine, a name change might have been ethically, if not commercially, advisable.) Like Softs, Alive & Well is largely a vehicle for the compositions of Jenkins, who wrote nine of 11 tracks.