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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Man - 1976 Welsh Connection
Man - 1976 Welsh Connection

ALBUM: Welsh Connection
SERIAL: MCA-2190 (USA), MCF 2753 (UK)
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 1997, Eagle (UK), EAMCD063 GAS 0000063 * 2007, Airmail (Japan), AIRAC-1247


LINEUP: Terry Williams - vocals, drums * Phil Ryan - vocals, keyboards * John McKenzie - vocals, bass * Deke Leonard - vocals, guitar * Micky Jones - vocals, guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Ride And The View * 02 Out Of Your Head * 03 Love Can Find A Way * 04 The Welsh Connection * 05 Something Is Happening * 06 Cartoon * 07 Born With A Future


Wales born and bred but influenced by the west coast U.S Psychedelic scene, many have called Man one of the first 'Jam' bands. Listening to the band's early work such as 'Revelation' I'm inclined to agree although calling them a 'band' just might be a stretch. Man was a revolving door of fickle musicians who it seemed got on well initially and then couldn't agree on anything, leaving the band and in almost all cases returning at a later period. Yet even with the constant turmoil, Man cranked out some excellent albums including 'Back Into The Future' and 1974's 'Slow Motion' which charted both in the U.S. and the UK. North American tours followed, including one supporting Hawkwind and thanks to legendary promoter Bill Graham, headlining four shows at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. It was at these shows Man hooked up with former Quicksilver Message Service member Jim Cipolina, releasing the UK live album 'Maximum Darkness'. The relationship was short-lived and Man endured another line-up change after Cipolina's return to the U.S, although this time it would be the last for their final album 'Welsh Connection'.

The Songs
Lots of silly verbiage on back cover, obviously a take on 'The French Connection' movie. It all reads a little dumb now, but it's the music that matters right? 'The Ride And The View' opens the album with a mixture of Pink Floyd and Manfred Mann's Earth Band and of course plenty of long instrumental bits. It's the best track on the album, although there are a few other goodies found on the album as well. 'Out Of Your Head' sounds like a stoner version of Styx and was released as a single although I can't imagine it received any airplay. 'Love Can Find A Way' is a lofty little pop number with a jazzy vibe. A big surprise, if a little out of place although the title track takes the fusion vibe a step further, here very reminiscent of 'I Can See Your House from Here' period Camel. Unfortunately side two is pretty much downhill with three tracks that seem to be more of excuses for the group to show off their chops than develop any sort of pleasurable listening experience, all nicely played, but little substance.

In Summary
Another U.S tour headlining small clubs in California and the Pacific Northwest as well as a smattering of support gigs with Todd Rundgren and Journey, Man returned to the UK for a farewell tour vowing never to reform. Of course they have in the years since and interest in the band continues to grow. While 'Welsh Connection' is not their best work, I've heard worse and it's a keeper in my collection.

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