The Soft Machine*The Soft Machine

Label:Probe – CPLP 4500, Command – CPLP-4500, ABC Records – CPLP-4500
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Uncensored, Die-Cut Gatefold
Genre:Jazz, Rock
Style:Jazz-Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock, Experimental


A1Hope For Happiness
Written-ByB. Hopper*, K. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*
A2Joy Of A Toy
Written-ByK. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*
A3Hope For Happiness (Reprise)
Written-ByB. Hopper*, K. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*
A4Why Am I So Short?
Written-ByH. Hopper*, K. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*
A5So Boot If At All
Written-ByK. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*, R. Wyatt*
A6A Certain Kind
Written-ByH. Hopper*
B1Save Yourself
Written-ByR. Wyatt*
Written-ByK. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*, R. Wyatt*
B3Lullabye Letter
Written-ByK. Ayers*
B4We Did It Again
Written-ByK. Ayers*
B5Plus Belle Qu'une Poubelle
Written-ByK. Ayers*
B6Why Are We Sleeping?
Written-ByK. Ayers*, M. Ratledge*, R. Wyatt*
B7Box 25/4 Lid
Written-ByH. Hopper*, M. Ratledge*

Companies, etc.



First issue sleeve with a circular die-cut in sleeve, revealing rotating 'clockwork' card insert through which the band members be viewed on a full-color backing sheet. Uncensored images of a nude girl on the inside and back of the gatefold and under the clock insert. (An added "bikini bottom" was used to censor these images on the second US version of this album, cat suffix 'X').

Labels: Track timings on labels differ to those on inside sleeve. On the labels the side indications are 'Side 1' and 'Side 2'. First catalog number on spine and cover, second on label.

"Manufactured by" information is taken from label rim-text but there are no known pressing-plant marks on this version of the release. An otherwise identical version exists with 'TƧM' added to the runouts (The Soft Machine) indicating disks pressed at True Sound Manufacturing Corp..
Plated at Longwear Plating.

"Mfg. by Grand Award Record Co., Inc., a subsidiary of ABC Records Inc. 1330 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10019".
'Command/Probe' appears on the spine while the labels and front cover show 'Command/ABC Records/Probe.'

"...Selections published by Amm Jay Music Inc. - BMI".

Kevin Ayers is credited with "Lead Guitar", but actually mostly plays Bass Guitar on this release.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (A-side label): CPLP-4500-A
  • Matrix / Runout (B-side label): CPLP-4500-B
  • Matrix / Runout (A-side runout, etched, variant 1): CPLP- 4500 AS - 2LW P17 LW[sideways]
  • Matrix / Runout (B-side runout, etched, variant 1): CPLP- 4500 B - SB - 2SS LW[sideways]

Other Versions (5 of 59)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
The Soft Machine (LP, Album, Gatefold Die-cut, Uncensored)Probe, ProbeCPLP 4500, CPLP-4500-SUS1968
Recently Edited
The Soft Machine (LP, Album, Stereo)ProbeCPLP 4500 XUS1968
The Soft Machine (LP, Album, Gatefold)ProbeCPLP 4500 XUS1968
The Soft Machine (LP, Album, Flipback Sleeve)Barclay, Barclay, Barclay920 082, 0920082, 0920 082France1968
The Soft Machine (LP, Album, Gatefold die-cut, uncensored)Probe, ABC Records, CommandCPLP 4500, CPLP-4500Canada1968



  • recrecshop's avatar
    ...was there ever a better "fusion album"? my advice: try listen only to the
    drums of robert wyatt: astonishing! next listen to his wonderful voice, you
    can almost consider "volume one" as his first solo album. just take the
    heartwarming ballad "a certain kind". then we have this great,
    hendrix-alike electric organ by mike ratledge. the stoical kevin ayers on
    bass, with his grandiose & ongoing dada-song "we did it again". uplifting,
    thunderously powerful..!
    • tarmstrong's avatar
      Being a Psychedelic rock fan, I could not resist this album. I was fortunate enough to pick up a VG/VG+ version for a reasonable price at the time (many decades ago). I think that really makes this a standout album is the very talented and diversified band member. It is clear that on this collection of songs, the sum of the members makes for an excellent aural Psychedelic trip.
      • wesleyharden360's avatar
        Absolutely incredible record! The mastering is nicely balanced. This album is one of my favorite records of all time. Great early Canterbury scene prog with psychedelic influences due in large part to the time it was released. Not to mention the band members jazz and avant-garde training making this record a 5/5 stars for me. Instrumentals aside I also really enjoy the vocal delivery on this record where glints of emotion come out. Excellent psych/prog/jazz rock album that I could listen to over and over again.
        • romel55's avatar
          Almost all 1968 US Probe releases in database seem to have on matrix runout side B: '255' final numbers and/or a following ‘εΓ’.
          Final ‘255’ should be better read as ‘2SS’ (see the real '5' etched in ‘4005B’ and ‘S’ etched in ‘SB’, same matrix);
          what might seem to be a faint 'εΓ' (or other different characters combination) can be likely 'LW' (vertical reading with main matrix on bottom), already present on matrix. Side B runout images available in Soft Machine - The Soft Machine and Soft Machine - The Soft Machine. Not sure, of course, this reading is valid for every issue.
          • ptrier's avatar
            mistake cover inside: "Lead guitarist Kevin Ayres..." right: Kevin Ayers
            ...and this Side under "Mitwirkende"
            • juppydoo's avatar
              i cannot find any inside sleeve, perhaps you mean the inner right side of FOC Gatefold ?


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