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In the history of rock music few bands underwent such a stylistic musical transformation as Soft Machine. Starting life as a band that absorbed soul and jazz influences, the group were one of the first to embrace psychedelia before heading off on a jazz influenced tangent. In hindsight Soft Machine's evolution could have only taken place in the musical free thinking environment that was the music business of the late 60s / early 70s. It was an evolution that would produce some of the most startlingly brilliant and innovative music of the period. "Fourth" was another classic but also the point that signalled Soft Machine's move towards jazz. This album found the band in deep jazz-rock territory, and also led to Robert Wyatt leaving after this album.