Soft Machine
The Nose Job That Exploded
Soft Machine

Information

"Esther's Nose Job" is the title of a jazz-rock suite by the avant garde British group Soft Machine (named after Burroughs' novel). That incredible conglomeration of talent featured some of the most influential British musicians, including Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Hugh and Brian Hopper, and Mike Ratledge. The suite appeared on Soft Machine: Volume Two (Probe, 1969; One Way, 1969; Big Beat, 1969), and for some reason was only named on the American issue of the album. (The British issue merely listed the song titles.) It was written by the keyboardist, Mike Ratledge, and only the second part, "Pig," possibly named after Pig Bodine, contains lyrics. Though they don't seem to direct evoke Pig Bodine, one can easily imagine him having some of the sentiments expressed therein! A further arrangement, without lyrics, was made for a larger jazz ensemble and broadcast on the BBC on 29 November, 1969, and can be found on Triple Echo, a three-record anthology only released by Harvest Records in 1977.

Lyrics

Pig

Suspenders and stockings
Got more sexy than the tights girls are wearing
But even there, weren't the time wasted
Time that could be spent completely nude, bare, naked?

Virgins are boring
They should be grateful for the things they're ignoring
What's so smart about the time wasted
Time that could be spent completely nude, bare, naked?

Knickers and panties
We are groping under knickers and pants
But is it worth it, all that time wasted?
Time that could be spent completely nude, bare, naked?
With nothing on at all
Nothing, no clothes on
Nude, naked bare...


CDs

Volume Two
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1993
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5
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1995
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Best of Soft Machine
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1995
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Bundles
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1994
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Jet Propelled Photographs
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1998
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Land Of Cockayne
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1996
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Live 1970
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1998
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Live at the Paradiso
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1996
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Live In France
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1995
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Rubber Riff
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1998
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Seven
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1996
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Soft Machine
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1993
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Soft Machine I & II
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1994
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Softs
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1995
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Spaced
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1998
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Third
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1991
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Virtually
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1998
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Read more about this title...

Alive & Well-Recorded in Paris
Soft Machine / Audio CD / Released 1995
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Links

Soft Machine Page -- This small but informative page is operated by Calyx.

All-Music Guide -- The AMG entry on Soft Machine.

Soft Machine Card -- At the Ultimate Band List, this page has a collection of links to Soft Machine Web sites and information.

 

Anderson, Laurie.
Famous New York performance artist Laurie Anderson dedicated a song to Pynchon on her Mister Heartbreak album.

Benatar, Pat.
Believe it or not, she named a final album Gravity's Rainbow.

Benny Profane.
English hard rockers from Liverpool, they took their name from a character in V.

Blowtorch, Eric
Reggae influenced artist putting Pynchon's lyrics to music.

Cassiber.
An avant garde German group used Gravity's Rainbow to tell a different tale.

Corey, Prof. Irwin.
The man who was the infamous stand-in for Thomas Ruggles Pynchon.

Dangtrippers.
They recorded Maxwell's Demon Box on their album, Days Between Stations.

Einhorn, Richard.
Another rendition of music devoted to the Demon, and much more.

Fariña, Richard.
An long-time friend of Pynchon, this folkie named an instrumental work after a Pynchon novel.

Favorite Color, The.
A New Jersey band sets a selection from V. to music on their album Color Out of Space (1996).

Fool, The.
Surely not Slothrop's band, this was a short lived group which did, in fact, have a harmonica player.

Forked Yew.
Independent, highly experimental rockers and Pynchon fans from the American South.

Frith & Kaiser.
An instrumental pair with a piece called The Kirghiz Light.

Hall, Ed.
An early 90's band influenced by Pynchon, they named a song Roger Mexico.

Insect Trust.
This jazzy, psychedelic group mined V. for lyrics to The Eyes of a New York Woman.

Jazz Butcher.
AKA Pat Fish, who named a track Looking for Lot 49 on his Fishcoteque album.

Jones, Spike.
Pynchon himself wrote the liner notes for Spiked!

Knopfler, Mark.
The Sultan of Swing sails to Philadelphia!

Koron, Barry.
Weilding the Sjambok never felt so good!

Lot 49 (Ontario).
This now retired hardcore outfit hailed from the hometown of Spermatikos Logos' own Laurence Daw.

Lot 49 (NYC).
Indie NYC rockers named after Pynchon's second novel.

Lotion.
A New York group whose liner notes were penned by the Man himself.

 

Maas.
A visit to San Narciso.

Nirvana.
Was the famous tune Smells Like Teen Spirit acutally inspired by a song from Gravity's Rainbow?

Nova Mob.
A "Rock Opera" filled with references to Gravity's Rainbow.

Ocker, David.
Musical meditations on Eight Facts About
Thomas Pynchon
.

Okasek, Ric.
Ride The Rocket with the former frontman of The Cars.

 

Pere Ubu.
David Thomas' legendary, seminal band shows some Pynchon influences.

PopCanon.
These literate Indies hail from Flordia, and have a song about Wanda Tinasky which is highly recomm-ended!

Poster Children.
This group from Champaign, Illinois, covers a lot of Pynchon ground!

Radiohead.
English art-rockers who incorporate many Pynchon motifs into their work.

Rapoon.
An offshoot of Zoviet France, Robin Storey's group named Rapoon released an album called The Kirghiz Light.

Sauter & Dietrich, Moore.
More liner notes written by Pynchon !!

 

Six Finger Satellite.
Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite make a reference to Gravity's Rainbow.

Soft Machine.
Seminal "proggies," they recorded a full-scale work called Esther's Nose Job in 1969.

Spock's Beard.
In memory of "the evil Spock," they do homage to V.

Time in Malta.
A California metal group with a name taken from V.

Ware, Tim.
Pynchon scholar, Web master, and MIDI Musician.

Whole Sick Crew, The.
Purveyors of pirate folk-punk, truly a gang like their Pynchon namesakes.

XXX Atomic Toejam.
F. Thorendal, from praised thrash-heroes Meshuggah, gets one in for the Vikings.

Yo La Tengo.
Making music indebted to The Crying of Lot 49.

Yoyodyne.
Related to New York's Lot 49, ths Florida group also takes their name from Pynchon's work.

Zevon, Warren.
He recently released an album containing work inspired by Pynchon.


--Dr Larry Daw
& A. Ruch
21 May 2000