Fourth – Soft Machine – 1971


Album Fourth by the band Soft Machine
Album Fourth by the band Soft Machine

Fourth is a 1971 album by Soft Machine, a British rock band that experimented with jazz fusion and free jazz. It was their first album without any vocals, and their last one with drummer Robert Wyatt, who left the band to pursue a solo career and form Matching Mole. The album consists of seven instrumental tracks, four of which were composed by bassist Hugh Hopper. The band was joined by several guest musicians, including saxophonist Alan Skidmore, cornetist Marc Charig, and bassist Roy Babbington. The album was also titled Four or 4 in the USA, and had a simple cover with a large numeral “4” on it.

Fourth is considered to be one of Soft Machine’s most important albums. It is a must-have for any fan of jazz fusion and the Canterbury sound.


  • Mike Ratledge – piano, electric piano, organ
  • Hugh Hopper – bass guitar
  • Robert Wyatt – drums, vocals
  • Elton Dean – saxello, alto saxophone, electric piano

The different versions published for this album :