Manfred Mann was an English rock band of the 1960s, named after keyboardist, Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The group had two different lead vocalists during their success, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966, and Mike d'Abo from 1966 to 1969….
This is quite a challenging album to review. Quite how challenging it must have been to produce doesn’t bear thinking about. In fact, we are lucky enough to have an insight into that process. Manfred’s own, searingly honest, liner notes to accompany this album provide a glimpse of the frustrations, ambitions and doubts of perfectionist recording artist…
Manfred Mann were a British beat, rhythm and blues and pop band (with a strong jazz foundation) of the 1960s, named after their South African keyboardist, Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Manfred Mann were chart regulars in the 1960s, and the first south-of-England-based group to top the US Billboard Hot 100 during the British invasion. Warner Music Japan is thrilled to announce the release of the first three records in conjunction with Parlophone Records.
Vocalist Chris Thompson's last album with Manfred Mann's Earth Band is dressed up in Mann's beautiful keyboards. Angel Station has some key moments – "You Angel You," a Bob Dylan tune that sounds nothing like Dylan, and not the way their Top Ten version of "Quinn the Eskimo"/"The Mighty Quinn" was reinvented. "You Angel You" has a strong hook with topnotch Anthony Moore production work, and it melts into the title track of Harriet Schock's landmark Hollywood Town album, the source of Helen Reddy's "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady." The Manfred Mann version is interesting, and explores the possibilities of the composition, though Schock's version is perfect country-pop and hard to top. It is nice to see a rock band with such good taste…
Somewhere in Afrika, an ode to Mann's home country of South Africa, contains a formula that is atypical of Manfred Mann's Earth Band sound. With rhythms that combine an African flavor with a modern rock feel, vocalist Mick Rogers takes over on vocals with the number 22 hit "Runner," released as the album's only single. Tracks such as "Demolition Man" and "Eyes of Nostradamus" are model Earth Band efforts, but the compelling material lies in songs such as "Lalela," "Koze Kobenini," and the title track, which conveys Mann's love for his birthplace without sounding overly pretentious or manufactured. The instrumentation is solid and free-flowing, with drums and other percussion work coming to the forefront while maintaining the group's atmosphere as a rock band.
The Roaring Silence is an album released in 1976 by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Like other Earth Band albums, this includes material by other composers. "Blinded by the Light", which reached number one the Billboard Hot 100, is a cover version of a song by Bruce Springsteen; "Questions" is based on the main theme of Franz Schubert's Impromptu in G flat Major; "Starbird" takes its theme from Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird. This album also marked the arrival of vocalist/guitarist Chris Hamlet Thompson.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Creature Music has compiled this stunning box set comprising 21 CDs, a 36-page booklet of the band's history with extensive notes for each album, a 32-page book of Manfred's own memories and anecdotes and a poster of the current band. The catalogue CDs have been remastered and repackaged in LP-style sleeves. The albums have the original UK running order and refreshed sleeves. Live In Ersingen is a brand-new live recording from 22 July this year, featuring the band's latest vocalist, Robert Hart. Leftovers is a compilation of the hit singles and rare or previously unavailable recordings.
Fans of muscular progressive rock will love Solar Fire, a concept album loosely designed around cosmology. The album opens with the majestic "Father of Night, Father of Day," which has the drive and complexity of a prime King Crimson track. As unlikely as it may seem, the track was controversial in Mann's native South Africa because of the "Father of black, father of white" line, implying that apartheid might not extend to infinite space. The album moves on to the progressive rock/jazz fusion of "In the Beginning, Darkness," a swinging, even funky track that benefits from soulful vocals by Doreen Chanter and Irene Chanter of the Grove Singers. The same duo contributes to the title track, a slow piece that begins with a fairly standard rock structure and incorporates a massive progressive jam in the middle.