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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Budapest Live (DVD) CD (album) cover


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

3.33 | 8 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Demolition Mann

My version of this DVD was released in 2007 and I think I have had it since then, but only watched it a few times. The version I have has the same cover art as the live album of the same name; Budapest Live. As implied by the title, the content is a live concert filmed and recorded in Budapest. As this was back in 1983 this was at the time of the Iron Curtain and getting behind it wasn't something that Rock bands from the west could easily do.

The particular line up involved consisted of Manfred Mann (obviously) on keyboards, Chris Thompson on guitars and vocals, John Lingwood on drums, Matt Irving on bass and Steve Waller on guitars and vocals.

As explained in the very nice, 20 plus page booklet, some of the songs on the Budapest Live album where presented in edited form. These songs are here restored to their full length. Without having heard the album, I think it is safe to say that this DVD is preferable due to a more complete set. However, two songs from the album had to be left off the video since they weren't filmed for some reason. These songs were Spirits In the Night and Davy's On The Road Again. This means that the overlap is only six songs.

All in all there are 12 songs on this DVD. Four of these are from the then most recent studio album Somewhere In Africa including the complete Africa Suite. There are two songs from the Chance album, three from Angel Station, two from Watch and one from The Roaring Silence. Thus, there is nothing from any album earlier than The Roaring Silence which means that such great albums as Solar Fire and Nightingales & Bombers are completely ignored. But let us concentrate of what's here and not on what's not here.

The large majority of the set consist of covers; two songs were written by Springsteen, two by Dylan, one by Sting and one by Bob Marley. Only two of the songs are credited (or co-credited) to Mann himself! I think it is rather sad that a band that has been around since 1972 and has lots of great self-penned material would feel that they had to rely so heavily on others people's songs. Had Spirits In the Night and Davy's On The Road Again been included on the video they would, of course, not have helped the situation since they are both covers too. Admittedly, the band made interesting versions of most of these songs that differ significantly from the originals, but still I think that they had degenerated into a cover band at this point. Still, this is an enjoyable concert and it is interesting to see the band live. The picture quality is not very good and it is not always in sync with the sound. But the sound quality is good.

The highlight of the show for me is actually the Africa Suite which incidentally is the only song credited to Mann alone. Overall, a worthy concert DVD by a band that was slightly past their prime at the time of recording, but could still deliver a good show.

Good, but not essential

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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