Rare Hugh Hopper solo albums to be reissued on double CD

Ex-Soft Machine musician Hugh Hopper relaxing in 2008 wearing a red beanie hat and cardigan
(Image credit: Simone Cecchetti/Corbis via Getty Images)

Two of Hugh Hopper's experimental albums from the early 00s are to be released on one remastered double CD by Explore Rights Management, via Cherry Red, on March 3.  

Originally issued in 2003 and 2004 respectively, Jazzloops and The Stolen Hour saw the ex-Soft Machine musician team up with some of his former bandmates for a series of explosive jams that pushed at the boundaries of progressive jazz fusion. 

Jazzloops was a collage of live and studio performances that brought Hopper's eclectic sound to a modern jazz audience. Its follow-up, The Stolen Hour was further explored via a comic, which is included in the liner notes of this special two-disc edition. Both included contributions from Robert Wyatt, Elton Dean, jazz drummer John Marshall, Gong alumni Didier Malherbe, and French guitarist Patrice Meyer.

Hopper was a key member of the Canterbury scene, initially helping to found The Wilde Flowers, which then blossomed into Soft Machine. He co-wrote the latter's self-titled debut – released in 1968 – but only played bass on one track, however, he was in the official line-up for Volume Two and continued with them until 1973's Six. He released his solo debut, 1984, in the same year and later became part of the off-shoots Soft Works and Soft Machine Legacy. 

The two-disc Jazzloops / The Stolen Hour follows on from 2014's posthumous live recordings campaign, the proceeds of which went to Hopper's family. The musician and composer died in June 2009, a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Jazzloops / The Stolen Hour is now available to pre-order.


Disc 1: Jazzloops
1 T3
2 Afrik
3 Garrisoi
4 Sfrankl
5 Acloop
6 Calmozart
7 Aintpo
8 1212
9 Digwot
10 L4
11 Nigepo

Disc 2: The Stolen Hour
1 Craig’s Distended Train Ride
2 Complications At Work
3 An Inescapable Encounter With Mrs. Pry
4 Yearning For The Stolen Hour
5 The Long Drive
6 An Unregulated Sunset
7 A Sideways Peek At Dreamtime
8 Snide Wisdom Involving The Immateriality Of Time
9 The Stuff He Sees
10 Mia’s Timely Emergence From The East
11 Compatibility
12 Sharing The Stolen Hour

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.