Six (Soft Machine album)

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Soft Machine-Six.jpg
Studio album and Live album by Soft Machine
Released 1973
Recorded The Dome, Brighton, and Civic Hall, Guildford, October and November 1972 (live record), CBS Studios, London, November and December 1972 (studio record, except "1983"), Advision Studios, London, 1973 ("1983")
Genre Jazz fusion[1]
Length 76:25
Label CBS (UK), Columbia (USA)
Producer Soft Machine
Soft Machine chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Six is the sixth studio (instrumental) album (half including live material) by the Canterbury associated band Soft Machine, originally released in 1973 as a double LP.


The previous two albums had been issued with slightly different titles in different countries (Fourth and Fifth in the UK, Four and 5 in the USA, with the former album showing a numeral 4 on the cover, while the album before that had been titled Third worldwide). On this album, they deferred to their American standard for worldwide release.

Six is their first album with Karl Jenkins (reeds, keyboards, from Ian Carr's Nucleus) who had replaced Elton Dean. The album is unusual in having the oboe as a featured instrument in a jazz-rock setting. The "B.O." to whom the track Stanley Stamp's Gibbon Album is dedicated is Bill Oddie. Six won first place in the Melody Maker British Jazz Album of the Year award in 1973. Bassist Hugh Hopper left the group before the album was released.[citation needed]

The album includes a live record and a studio record, individually titled as shown in the track listing below. One song from the live album, "All White", had been previously recorded for their Fifth album.

Track listing[edit]

Soft Machine "Six" Album – Live Record[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Fanfare" (Karl Jenkins) – 0:42
  2. "All White" (Mike Ratledge) – 4:46
  3. "Between" (Jenkins / Ratledge) – 2:24
  4. "Riff I" (Jenkins) – 4:36
  5. "37½" (Ratledge) – 6:51

Side two[edit]

  1. "Gesolreut" (Ratledge) – 6:17
  2. "E.P.V." (Jenkins) – 2:47
  3. "Lefty" (Soft Machine) – 4:56
  4. "Stumble" (Jenkins) – 1:42
  5. "5 From 13 (for Phil Seamen with Love & Thanks)" (John Marshall) – 5:15
  6. "Riff II" (Jenkins) – 1:20

Note: "Lefty" composer credit changed to (Hopper / Jenkins / Marshall) on later CD editions.

Soft Machine "Six" Album – Studio Record[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "The Soft Weed Factor" (Jenkins) – 11:18
  2. "Stanley Stamp's Gibbon Album (for B.O.)" (Ratledge) – 5:58

Side two[edit]

  1. "Chloe and the Pirates" (Ratledge) – 9:30
  2. "1983" (Hugh Hopper) – 7:54

Note: On U.S. LP pressings, "1983" is slightly shorter, with a listed running time of 7:11.


  • Hugh Hopper – bass guitar, sound effects on "1983"
  • Karl Jenkins – oboe, baritone and soprano saxophones, electric piano and grand piano, celeste
  • John Marshall – drums, percussion
  • Mike Ratledge – organ, electric piano and grand piano, celeste

Record 1: Recorded at the Dome, Brighton and at the Civic Hall, Guildford and mixed at Advision Studios, London during the months of October and November 1972.

Record 2: "1983" recorded and mixed at Advision Studios, London. All other compositions recorded and mixed at CBS Studios, London during the months of November and December 1972.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Anderson, J. "Six - Soft Machine | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 July 2011.