Soft Machine was a British progressive rock group, active during the 1960s and 1970s. They took their name from a novel by William S. Burroughs.
Acting on a recommendation from Zappa, the band split the main tracks into smaller pieces to increase the band's income from the album.
Bass player Hugh Hopper said: "We were going back to the jazz thing, and I was very influenced by Frank Zappa. Our heroes were more jazz men than rock musicians." 
In Michael King's biography about Robert Wyatt, Wrong Movements, in the entry for September 23, 1967, light technician Mark Boyle is quoted as saying: "We were supposed to open for The Mothers of Invention at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, but Frank Zappa wouldn't let us, saying: 'Anyone can open for us except Soft Machine".
- Bennett, G. Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous. London: SAF Publishing Ltd., 1993, p. 163