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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - The Roaring Silence CD (album) cover

THE ROARING SILENCE

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 160 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars I still remember with nostalgia my years of childhood when didn't had an idea what Prog was, singing happily with my pals in the school band "Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat" , and fighting with the complex arrangements, but the effort was worth, it was the Nº 1 song, and if we were able to play it in the Spring festival we most surely would win the contest, but at the end three bands selected the same song...This proves how big was "Blinded by the Light" in Perú.

Several years later (Like 20) when joined Internet found that MANFRED MANN & THE EARTH BAND were mentioned everywhere with respect, that the version of the album was twice the size of the one on the old 45 Rpm, that it was obviously a Prog track, despite having been written by The Boss and that we were not talking about a one hit wonder as we believed here.

The first thing I did was buy "The Roaring Silence" and even when all the songs are not in the same level, is still a very good release that I enjoy playing frequently, so lets go to the album.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S "Blinded by the Light" opens "The Roaring Silence", but you can't find any musical reference to The Boss unless you read the credits, because this is a total different thing. A brilliant catchy opening with amazing keyboards and outstanding vocals that captures the most demanding listener from the first instant with multitude of changes, a mysterious atmosphere but still catchy enough for everybody to enjoy it.

Probably this excellent song topped the charts because the single version was shorter and stopped during the instruments break in the middle when the really complex part begins, with a guitar - keyboards spacey atmosphere simply brilliant and at the end, a fabulous vocal work with polyphonic vocals and chorus, one of the finest tracks in Rock history.

"Singing the Dolphin Through" starts softer with a nice female chorus that blends perfectly with Chris Hamlet Thompson's leading voice, the song appears to be soft calmed and simple but in the background the guitar arrangements and keyboards make a very elaborate work with the strings and horn, as in the previous track the vocals play a very important role along the track, which may not have the radical changes of "Blinded by the Light" but is a very strong song.

"Questions" is a nice and simpler track with beautiful piano but overall Manfred Mann does an outstanding job with the Mellotron that melts with the chorus, very nice, even when not in the level of the previous tracks.

In "The Road to Babylon" the band begins with a wonderful polyphonic Medieval polyphonic chorus enhanced again with Mellotron waves until the drums lead the rest of the band into a very elaborate and interesting passage that reminds me of the best works by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, but in no way I would suggest a copy, because both albums are coetaneous. The guitar solos by Dave Flett are perfect to create a contrast between the Medieval and contemporary, excellent song.

"This side of the Paradise" is the weakest track of the album, not bad "per se" but seems out of place in the album, too funky and the keyboards sound like the most cheesy ones Rick Wakeman would use a couple years later, not so bad to press the skip button, but surely bellow the level.

A couple years ago I was listening the album in the car and a friend who knows very little of Prog (Less about Classical), told me "Hey this is the song that YES played before the concert", had to tell him it was part of a Ballet by Igor Stravinsky for which the song takes the name "Firebird", after the laughs we both enjoyed the outstanding track, my favorite after the opener, with brilliant keyboard and guitar interplay that as a fact reminds me of YES by moments but much faster, impressive song, even when too short.

I believe the CD editors made well when they switched "Waiter, There's a Yawn in my Ear" with "Questions" as the closer, because this track is a very strong closer, experimental, ambitious with some pompous moments and overall a great bass performance by Colin Pattenden, another high moment in the album.

Despite all the memories and nostalgia "the Roaring Silence" brings to me, I can't rate it with 5 stars because there are better albums by several Prog bands, but without doubt is a great addition for any Progressive Rock Collection that I refuse to rate with less than 4 stars, even when 3.5 would be more accurate.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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