Fortunately, the group left behind an incredible debut single ("Love Makes Sweet Music" that I still do not own) and their masterpiece debut LP. On the LP, the songs meld together as one long psychedelic suite, yet their US label ABC Probe was able to extract "Why Are We Sleeping" as a single, backed with Ayers "Joy Of A Toy" for the b-side. Joy Of A Toy became the title of Ayers solo debut.
Kevin Ayers spent the '70's and '80's released several gorgeous, folk based recordings of great emotional depth. He spent most of the '90's and '00's as a recluse in the south of France, but released what is now his final album in 2007.
"Why Are We Sleeping" is my favorite 3 and a half minutes from the Soft Machine LP, as Ayers distorted bass (and baritone vocals) fights playfully for space with Mike Ratledge's organ swells, all the while drummer Robert Wyatt swings like a mofo (there's no guitar on this track), capped off by those haunting female harmonies. Forty five years later and the song is STILL relevant, perhaps even more so- so much happens all around us but so many folks walk through life filled with apathy.
THE SOFT MACHINE - WHY ARE WE SLEEPING?