The album was inspired by Frank Zappa's Absolutely Free and consists of two long compositions with "As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still" and "Dedicated to You" serving as interludes. Acting on a recommendation from Zappa, the band split the main tracks into smaller pieces to increase the band's income from the album.
In the lyrics to Have You Ever Bean Green? Soft Machine thanks The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with whom they had just toured through the USA in 1968. As Jimi's opening band they were exposed to large crowds for the first time. The title of this song is a play on the soulful plaint in the song Are You Experienced?, "Have you ever been experienced?". The title of Side 2, "Esther's Nose Job", is derived from a chapter in Thomas Pynchon's novel, V.
"As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still" (Ratledge, Wyatt) – 2:30
"Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening" (Hopper) – 2:30
Esther's Nose Job - 11:13
"Fire Engine Passing with Bells Clanging" (Ratledge) – 1:50
"Pig" (Ratledge) – 2:08
"Orange Skin Food" (Ratledge) – 1:52
"A Door Opens and Closes" (Ratledge) – 1:09
"10.30 Returns to the Bedroom" (Ratledge, Hopper, Wyatt) – 4:14
Note: The first two tracks are NOT part of the suite; this is certified by the concerts of Soft Machine in which they played the suite, which never included the first two tracks, that, as an addition, were performed with their own title in other concerts. This even if the original LP reported the second side as "Esther's Nose Job", which of course is a lyrical licence.