The Wilde Flowers never released a record during their existence, but their influence exceeds that of many groups with lengthy discographies.
The band served as the wellspring of the so-called Canterbury sound: future Soft Machine members Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper all played with the Wilde Flowers before the Soft Machine were founded, and Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, and Richard Coughlan played in the group at various points before forming Caravan. The musicians who wandered through the Wilde Flowers (who went through several lineups between 1963 and 1969) came from a far more intellectual, artistic, and jazz-oriented background than was the norm for pop musicians in the mid-'60s. Thus, although the group played beat fare much like thousands of other British combos in their formative days, when they began to write their own material, it betrayed the bemused whimsy -- replete with odd jazzy flourishes, droll obtuse lyrics, and adventurous chord changes -- that would come to characterize the Canterbury bands, and prove influential on the development of psychedelia and progressive rock. At long last, a wealth of the Wilde Flowers' demos and unreleased recordings was released in 1994. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi