original issue design
|Studio album by Soft Machine|
|Recorded||Nov–Dec 1971 and Jan–Feb 1972 at Advision Studios, London|
|Genre||Jazz, free jazz|
|Label||CBS (UK), Columbia (USA)|
|Soft Machine chronology|
Fifth was the first Soft Machine album recorded after the departure of founding member Robert Wyatt and continued the band's trend from their original blend of psychedelic and progressive rock towards jazz fusion. Wyatt's replacement was Phil Howard who contributed to the 1971 sessions that comprise side one, after which he left and was replaced by John Marshall for the 1972 recordings that make up side two. Future member Roy Babbington played double bass on side two, as a session musician. Unlike the previous two albums, Elton Dean's saxophone is not augmented by a brass and reeds section composed of session musicians.
An alternate version of "All White" appeared on their next album, Six. "Pigling Bland" was composed in 1969 for inclusion in a revised arrangement of the "Esther's Nose Job" suite.
In 1999, Soft Machine albums Fourth and Fifth were released together on one CD.
Soft Machine Fifth was released remastered with alternative take of "All White" as bonus track and re-designed cover art in 2007.
- "As If" (Ratledge) – 8:02
- "L B O" (John Marshall) – 1:54
- "Pigling Bland" (Ratledge) – 4:24
- "Bone" (Elton Dean) – 3:29
2007 CD reissue bonus track
- "All White" (take two) - 7:14
- Elton Dean – alto saxophone, saxello, (Fender Rhodes) electric piano (2)
- Hugh Hopper – bass guitar
- Mike Ratledge – (Lowrey) organ, (Fender Rhodes) electric piano
- Phil Howard – drums (1-3)
- John Marshall – drums (4-6)
- Additional personnel
- Roy Babbington – double bass (4)