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Man - Back Into The Future CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.87 | 69 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally released as a double lp and now available in unique cd format, "Back into the Future" can be considered the Man's masterwork. It's more varied and exciting than the previous classic "Be Good to Yourself, at Least Once a Day", for many reasons. At least in my opinion. First of all, the album's structure is made of a first part recorded in the studio (first lp) and a second one, totally recorded live (second lp) at the Roundhouse, London, june 24th 1973.

The first part is divided between four short tracks (side a of the first lp) all between 4 and 5 minutes. Short but excellently arranged, especially for the keyboards parts that were never so important in the band's previous work. Phil Ryan is the real leader, bringing his electric piano, hammond organ and moog synthesizer to the highest level. The second track "Just for You" is the proof, with its synth's impressive intro. The last of the first four is a mellow and pleasant ballad lead by twelve strings acoustic guitar and enriched by soft colours.

Second part (of the first lp) brings back to the typical "Be Goo to Yourself..." extended song's format. Two long compositions of over 7 minutes each. "Ain't Their Fight" that appear to be thought for stage performances. The most interesting piece is the fantastic closer titled ironically "Never Say Nups to Nepalese". It's more "serious", varied, dramatic and pompous, especially in the second half. Their most prog number for sure. A great classic with powerful drumming.

What was the second lp, starts off with a wonderful live performance by the "Gwalia Male Choir" singing "Sospan Fach" that I don't know what it means, but it proves that the Welsh vocal tradition can blend perfectly with rock music. I wish I was there at London in june 24th exciting performance! After this unusual introduction, there are two very long pieces both filling the whole side of the original lp: a superb live extended version (with the help of the Gwalia Male Choir) of the classic "C'mon" (19,02 mns), the opener of "Be Good to Yourself...". Fortunately (I forgot to mention before), sound's quality is really excellent. A pleasure to listen to performances like these! Side b of the original second lp is occupied by "Jam Up Jelly Tight/Oh No, Not Again (Spunk Rock '73)" (21,04 mns). Wonderful. Man's typical infinite guitar's soli that make you loose the sense of time. You are totally involved in it. All the instruments are well balanced.

A superb album.

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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