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

BLINDIN'

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

3.25 | 5 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second of two MMEB compilations I have in my collection, Blindin' can be safely recommended as a decent introduction to the group. By the simple fact that it has two of the group's greatest epics Blinded By The Light and Father Of Day, Father Of Night in their full glory (both songs were also released in edited single versions) alone is worth the entry price. Both songs, covers of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan tracks respectively are radically reworked and contain some astounding atmospheric guitar solos. In fact, the heavenly latter track is one of my favourite bits of music ever.

Other powerful cuts abound. The glorious otherworldly space rock anthem Solar Fire just brims with ethereal energy and has some razor-sharp contributions from Mann on keyboards and guitarist Mick Rogers. There's another Springsteen epic Spirit In The Night (this is the version with Rogers singing ... MMEB cut two versions and Chris Thompson sings the other).

A highly charged version of Bob Marley's Redemption Song in conjunction with Mann's own No Kwazulu and Brothers And Sisters Of Africa (which were among the highlights of the Somewhere In Afrika album) is enough to get me clenching my fist ... with a lump to my throat to boot. Nightingales And Bombers is a fiery proggy jam bookended by a beautiful and mysterious melody from Rogers. Martha's Madman is yet another interesting attempt by the group to blend pop and prog ... even if this track from the 1978 Watch album doesn't match the standards set by the preceeding years The Roaring Silence.

I must say that even the weaker tracks have some redeeming factors. The poppy Bob Dylan cover You Angel You is such an infectious track that one has to forget its lack of prog credibility. Circles and Demolition Man are only two cuts I would have ditched from this collection myself. The omission of two huge MMEB hits Joybringer (which I really like) and Davy's On The Road Again (which I don't) does lessen the viability of this collection, and I would also like to have seen some room made for The Roaring Silence's Questions and Somewhere In Afrika's Runner, but it's still the best one I've seen. ... 70% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |

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