Soft Machine's Fifth is their first album without Robert Wyatt... It had already been established that they wouldn't need a vocalist to replace him, Third was the last album to feature vocals. Phil Howard was chosen to replace him on drums, but after recording half the album Howard was in turn replaced by John Marshall (of Nucleus) who finished the album. Elton Dean decided to leave the band after this album (and Karl Jenkins joined). Roy Babbington (also of Nucleus, who appeared playing upright bass on Fourth) plays on side 2 of this album. It is not a bad album, if you can separate it from the Robert Wyatt days... It's really a different band from this album on. There is nothing whimsical about the music anymore, but it is very interesting avant-garde influenced jazz with that rock sensibility barely hanging on... The instability of the line-up really affected the band's dynamic, and most people consider it all downhill from Fourth. But, as I've said before, this IS worth a listen! Enjoy this album for what it is, there are some great sounds. The LP cover is all black, with the letters and number 5 visible when you hold it at an angle in the light... very nice.