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

SOLAR FIRE

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 230 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars The fourth Earth Band album in a little under two years, 'Solar Fire' is undoubtedly the former Beat group's most ambitious undertaking, a space-themed concept piece featuring nods to classical music, strong instrumental moments and an extraordinary nine-minute version of Bob Dylan's 'Father Of Day, Father Of Night' as the album's opening track. However, whilst this 1973 album was undoubtedly a vast improvement on their blandly-realised debut, the underwhelming follow-up 'Glorified Magnified' and the frankly rather poor third album 'Messin'', there is still much about the Earth Band's style of progressive rock that simply hasn't aged at all well. The haphazard blend of intricate instrumental solos, overly-slick production values and Mann's awkward vocals positions the group as a kind of sub-Alan Parsons outfit, their overall sound featuring a jocular, semi-serious feel that distracts hugely from the music. The lengthy opening cut and the funky-yet-playful moog solo of 'Pluto The Dog' aside, this is a prime example of why the Earth Band have never been taken seriously as a progressive rock group. An overcooked mixture of stodgy pop melodies, over-produced prog theatrics and hokey art-rock ambition, 'Solar Fire' helps explain just why punk-rock came knocking. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 2/5 |

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