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


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

3.07 | 98 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pretty good for a debut album, although it has a few throwaway numbers I can live without. After releasing two albums of horn-dominated progressive jazz rock albums in 1969 and 1970 on Vertigo Records as MANFRED MANN's Chapter III, MANFRED BAND formed the EARTH BAND going this time, to more conventional rock. This is their debut, with MANN on keyboards, Mick Rogers on vocals and guitar, Colin Pattenden on bass, and Chris Slade on drums. This is still the sound of the EARTH BAND in search of a sound. Strangely there's more of a New Orleans vibe to this album that's not to be found on any other. Probably because of a cover of a Dr. John song, "Jump Sturdy". They also cover a Randy Newman song, "Living Without You", which is quite effective. Plus, as the EARTH BAND would often do until 1975, cover a Bob DYLAN song, in this case, "Please, Mrs. Henry".

The opening cut, "California Coastline" is actually quite good, but for some reason, I can't stand "Captain Bobby Stout", the vocals seem to bother me. But then there's an instrumental called "Tribute", which is a truly trippy and spacy instrumental number from MANN himself. Truly amazing, and reminds me of the more spacy moments of "Solar Fire". The album ends up with two, down-to-earth rootsy numbers that seem out of place on the album, "Part Time Man" and "I'm Up and I'm Leaving". So untypical of the EARTH BAND, I am almost reminded of The BAND (as in Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Levon Helm). The problem I have with the album is some of the use of material, and a rather thin production. Still, not a bad album, but "Glorified Magnified" is better.

Proghead | 3/5 |


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