• 1976-08-17
  • Seventh of ten shows in a retrospective series featuring The Who, Family, Roxy Music Fairport Convention, Rolling Stones, Cream, Soft Machine, Faces, Yardbirds/Led Zeppelin, Beatles, broadcast while Peel was on holiday over the two weeks between 09 August 1976 and 20 August 1976. This one featured Soft Machine and related artists.
  • Originally only around half of the one-hour show was shared, from the Retrospective Shows August 1976 mixtape. Subsequently a recording of the complete show has been found.


  • None


  • Start of show. "Hi there gang, in the three remaining programmes of this week you'll hear music by The Faces The Yardbirds and The Beatles and by individual members of these celebrated ensembles. Tonight though, our target is The Soft Machine."
  • Soft Machine: Love Makes Sweet Music (single) Polydor #
  • "And that's The Soft Machine's rather rare first single on Polydor and written by Kevin Ayers ... and I always wondered who a Doreen was sho wrote her name twice on my copy of the record, and was then prepared to let it go for just 10p which was the price I paid for it down on Portobello Road about three or four years ago. Worth more than that now though. Daevid Allen was originally of course a member of Soft Machine. And if you find the Rock Generation LPs on B.Y.G. Records, or is it Byg Records, volumes 7 and 8, have quite a few tracks by the Soft Machine. And this is a song written by Hugh Hopper, which Robert Wyatt was to sing again, for Gong, on one of their LPs, Memories.
  • Soft Machine: Memories (v/a album - Rock Generation Vol. 8 - Soft Machine At The Beginning / Mark Leeman 5 And Davy Graham) BYG 529.708
  • "We then have to move fairly quickly through all the pothead pixies, bananas, teacups, secret planets, radios gnome and other effects in the strange world of Gong, we start back in 1969, at a more reasonable pace in my view, Five And Twenty Schoolgirls."
  • Gong: 5 & 20 Schoolgirls (album - Magick Brother) BYG 529.305
  • ...snip for obvious reasons..." ...and that was recorded in 1969, Daevid Allen's Gong, and among the many musicians who appeared on it, Didier Malherbe, on flute and piano sax, who were still there in 1973 when the LP Angel's Egg was recorded, and from that album this is Sold To The Highest Buddha."
  • Gong: Sold To The Highest Buddha (album - Angel's Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 2)) Virgin V2007
  • "and since then Gong have gone on to be produced by Nick Mason, the guitarist Steve Hillage has gone on to be produced by Todd Rundgren, and Daevid Allen himself has gone to Spain and got together with a band called Euterpe and recorded an album with them."
  • Daevid Allen & Euterpe: Children Of The New World (LP - Good Morning) Virgin #
  • "David Allen in 1976 with the Majorcan band Euterpe. ... To go back to 1969 ..."
  • Soft Machine: Pig (LP – Volume Two) ABC #
  • "Pig. And that's for obvious reasons a personal favourite of mine. That's from the Soft Machine 2 released in 1969 when the Soft Machine were just Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper. For the recording of Soft Machine 1 though, the year before Kevin Ayers was still a member of the band, and he co-wrote this number."
  • Soft Machine: Joy Of A Toy (LP – The Soft Machine) ABC #
  • "...written by Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge, and in 1969 when Kevin went off and recorded his solo LP he took that as the title of it, and opened side 1 of the LP with Joy Of A Toy Continued."
  • Kevin Ayers: Joy Of A Toy Continued (LP – Joy Of A Toy) Harvest #
  • "and we don't have any time to play anything from the second LP which was shooting at the moon. And Kevin Ayers and The Whole World, a band which included, in fact which was made up with David Bedford, Lol Coxhill, Mick Fincher and the pretty famous Mike Oldfield. Instead we go on to Whatevershebringswesing and the excellent Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes."
  • Kevin Ayers: Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes (album - Whatevershebringswesing) Harvest SHVL 800
  • "Excellent stuff from Kevin Ayers. And the LP gave employment to amongst others, David Bedford, Mike Oldfield, Didier Malherbe, and Robert Wyatt. Kevin's current LP is Yes We Have No Mananas, and from that LP is Everyone Knows The Song."
  • Kevin Ayers: Everyone Knows The Song (album - Yes We Have No Mañanas, So Get Your Mañanas Today) Harvest SHSP 4057
  • "...If you don't mind going back to 1973 again to the LP Soft Machine 6, this is a number which old time Top Gear listeners may remember the Softs doing this for us on a session ..."
  • Soft Machine: Stanley Stamp's Gibbon Album (for B.O.) (LP – Six) Columbia #
  • "At that stage of the game SOft Machine were Mike Ratledge , John Marshall on drums, Karl Jenkins on lots of things, and Hugh Hopper on bass. And the year before, Hugh Hopper had had his own solo LP called 1984, from which this is taken."
  • Hugh Hopper: Minipax II (album - 1984) CBS S 65466
  • "recorded some 12 years before that date. And it always sounded to me like an angry frog trying to get out of a paper bag. And I'm sure that's what Hugh had in mind. Frog or not, that was the title of this track from the Isotope LP Illusion in which Hugh Hopper was involved."
  • Isotope: Frog (album - Illusion) Gull GULP 1006
  • "And these days none of the original members of Soft Machine are still in the band, the last to go was Mike Ratledge, but he was still there for the LP Bundles, which was released in 1975 and indeed wrote this rather nice little tune..."
  • Soft Machine: The Man Who Waved At Trains (LP – Bundles) Harvest #
  • "A pleasing air of Melancholy about that....written by Mike Ratledge, and that brings us to Robert Wyatt."
  • Matching Mole: O Caroline (LP – Matching Mole) CBS #
  • "One of the few remarkably good love songs of the 1970s ... I'd like to do a whole programme of Wyatty stuff including both Matching Mole LPs in their entirelty, but we can't do that as there isn't enough time."
  • Robert Wyatt: Soup Song (LP – Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard) Virgin #
  • "I'd like to play you something too from the excellent LP of Mike Mantler's settings of various Edward Gorey stories but it seems silly to have come this far and not finished the programme with this".
  • Robert Wyatt: I'm A Believer (single) Virgin #
(JP: Robert Wyatt doing the seemingly impossible and making Neil Diamond acceptable to the sensitive man, and woman too, I shouldn't wonder ...)
Tracks marked # also on file a)


  • a) Retrospective Shows August 1976
  • b) Peel ---08-76 Soft
  • c) 1976-08-17 Peel Show Soft Machine.mp3
  • a) 1.05.37 (to 29.09)
  • b) 6:31, 5:18, 12:45, 0:19, 6:46, 8:31, 6:33, 0:39, 14:36
  • c) 1:01:46
  • a) Many thanks to Colin and Eddie!
  • b) Nine separate wma files in a zip folder. Many thanks to Peel Mailing List member klacktoveedesteen's mate's parents.
  • c) The above wma files joined by Weatherman22 into a single mp3 (220-260vbr to mimimise further losses).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.