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Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 84 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Heavy Welsh jam band Man have always been difficult to categorise, playing a mix of country rock and blues with psychedelic and adventurous rock passages, with slight spacerock and even Krautrock flavours worked in as well. By the time of this LP, "Be Good to Yourself At Least Once A Day", their fifth studio album in 1972, the band were really starting to fire on all cylinders. Honing their skills over their numerous live shows and four previous albums saw them find a better balance of all the above mentioned different styles here, and it's one of their most consistent releases from their vintage Seventies recordings.

"C'Mon" is a punchy call-to-arms opener, with plenty of positive and sunny vibes throughout. The relentless rocker is bookended with slippery bass, warm harmonies and singing slide guitar, but the real highlight is the a slow-build, impossibly beautiful shimmering low-key spacey rumination in the middle. Glistening Hammond organ ripples and electric piano float in space, chiming guitars and wavering electronics drift over sighing wordless harmonies in the manner of Nektar, before ending on a light driving guitar jam and a brief punchy symphonic prog burst. `Keep on Criting' is a sprightly upbeat and instantly likeable instrumental. Drowsy and toasty warm bubbling Moog, electric piano fingertips and whirring Hammond remind of the upbeat Greenslade instrumentals, with a fuzz organ solo in the middle instantly calling to mind Caravan. The guitar is gentle country licks to begin, then thick and snarling in the middle, and heavy psychedelic twin guitars duel on either side of the speakers trying to snake their way to the heavens in the finale.

The flipside holds the colourful and playful groover "Bananas." A total psychedelic rocker, at first it's warped with nonsense lyrics such as "I like to eats bananas, 'cos they have no bones, I like marijuana, 'cos it gets me stoned", which certainly raises a smile! The piece quickly diverts into dreamy levitating preciousness, as chiming guitars dazzle, whizzing spacy Hammond glides all around and an optimistic dreamy vocal wafts by. The electric guitar soloing that races through the final minutes is constantly joyous, lifted into the air by electric piano and fluid bass to end on positive vibes. Closer `Life on the Road' is an Americana-infused shuffling boogie, driven by nimble piano and slow-burn electric guitar fire. It may be more straight-forward than the rest of the disc, but it's easy to wind down to, exceptionally well-played and ample proof of the skills of the band.

Some Man albums can be a bit hit and miss, but `Be Good..' is one of their strongest works from their initial run of Seventies albums. There's no shortage of varied rock elements and psychedelic touches delivered here, and they've also offered plenty of blues/country elements as well, so many types of listeners should find something to appeal to them. Well played with high-quality material, "Be Good to Yourself At Least Once A Day" is one of Man's defining releases, and it makes for the ideal introduction for newcomers to the band to explore.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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