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Arguably the single-most important landmark in European free music: the original BRO Records LP restored to its '68 format, with two alternate takes, new liner notes by Brötzmann and John Corbett -- PLUS the only live version of 'Machine Gun' ever recorded. In 1968, there was a palpable sense of optimism in the air. This in spite of the fact that the shitheads seemed to have the upper hand, with the quagmire of Vietnam, the intractability of the American struggle for Civil Rights, Martin Luther King's assassination, the 'shoot to kill' order in Chicago. But in Paris during the spring of '68, the students took the reins, and across northern Europe, a euphoric attitude had spread, charged by a sense that the world was not stuck forever but in fact could be changed. That was the impetus behind Peter Brötzmann's composition and subsequent LP, Machine Gun. As Brötzmann has said: 'It was the feeling, the very naive feeling that we could take a little part in changing the world.' Adopting its title from Don Cherry's nickname for Brötzmann, 'Machine Gun' drew on the huge horn section of Lionel Hampton's 'Flying Home' for inspiration, translating the hilarious saxophonic power of the jump blues and Illinois Jacquet's booting and hollering into an abstraction painted with a flame-thrower, a la Alberto Burri. 'Machine Gun' was a watershed -- and even if it has taken four decades to find its appreciative audience, it is now an essential recording, both in terms of the development of free music in Europe and taken on its own merits, outside of the context of its creation. For this reissue, we have resequenced the CD as the original LP, followed by the two extant alternate takes. For comparison, UMS has included the live version, recorded two months earlier at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival, adding Gerd Dudek to the ensemble.