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Mann, Manfred (Earth Band) - 1972 Manfred Mann's Earth Band

ARTIST: Mann, Manfred (Earth Band)
ALBUM: Manfred Mann's Earth Band
LABEL: Phillips
SERIAL: 6308 08
YEAR: 1972
CD REISSUE: 1999, Creature Music, MANN 003 (with bonus tracks)


LINEUP: Manfred Mann - vocals, organ, synthesizer * Mick Rogers - guitar, vocals * Colin Pattenden - bass * Chris Slade - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 California Coastline * 02 Captain Bobby Scout * 03 Sloth * 04 Living Without You * 05 Tribute * 06 Mrs Henry * 07 Jump Sturdy * 08 Prayer * 09 Part Time Man * 10 I'm Up And Leaving


I remember seeing Manfred Mann's Earth Band for the first time on of all the things the shortlived 'Captain & Tennille Show' lip-synching to their top ten with a bullet smash 'Blinded By The Light'. Of course at that time I was totally unaware it was a Bruce Springsteen song, but the band looked cool and whether you heard 'cut loose like a deuce' or the nasty imagery of 'wrapped up like a douche' in Chris Thompson's garbled phrasing; it still sounded rebellious and cool, the near perfect blend of prog and pop which was Manfred Mann's Earth Band's forte; releasing a number of good albums well into the early 1980's current trends be damned. I have a few favourites from their extensive catalog, in particular 1973's 'Solar Fire' and 1978's prog/ pop tour-de-force 'Watch', but prior to those evergreen albums came the Earth Band's debut released in 1972 and its an impressive precursor of things to come.

The Songs
Opening with 'California Coastline', one of the albums three singles, the tone is set and it's definitely pop, although 'Captain Bobby Scout' takes the band down a decidedly American trail blazed by The Band and 'Music from Big Pink'. Never a big fan of that particular sound, but it's followed by the first of two Pink Floyd-ish instrumentals- 'Sloth and later the magnificent 'Tribute', Manfred Mann charts new progressive rock territory which is much more to my liking. There are a couple cover tunes of note here; Randy Newman's 'Living Without You' and the Bob Dylan penned 'Mrs. Henry' and both are respectable as this is a band searching for a sound of their own while turning out a decent pop album in the process.

In Summary
Those more familiar with the Earth band's later work might find this record a little too old or 'dated' with 'Blinded By The Light' and the other Springsteen written tune turned Manfred hit 'For You' still a few albums away, but it's worth a listen and on CD several times over, so no excuses.

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 06 2011 22:45:45
I love the last song on this and like some of the rest.A keeper.Smile

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