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Man - 1994 Official Bootleg CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Despite reforming in 1983 it was to be another nine years before Man released any new studio material, The Twang Dynasty. The new Man were a much more concise proposition than they had been in the seventies writing shorter songs much of the time which were more mainstream Rock than their Psychedelic/Space Rock earlier days. The 1994 Official Bootleg captures Man live at Glastonbury in you've guessed it, 1994. The material relies heavily on the latest studio album, the afore mentioned The Twang Dynasty but is supplemented with some old favourites.

Although the Twang Dynasty material is more than acceptable, being a good though not spectacular slice of commercial Rock it's the older classics that are of the most interest here. Okay you may think you don't need another version of C'mon or Bananas but the versions here are as good as you can find anywhere. The recording may not be perfect but it's clear and powerful and captures the band perfectly playing with such energy and enthusiasm. C'mon is almost eighteen minutes of Man trademark jamming; it's over four minutes before the songs signature Micky Jones riff comes in but then it really takes off; great stuff!

Another highlight is The Ride and the View which came from their last studio album, The Welsh Connection, before their 1976 split. It's preceded by Deke Leonard's Slide Guitar intro making a total running time of over eighteen minutes and this is the best version I've ever heard with new Drummer ex-Gentle Giant John Weathers really driving the song along with an insistent groove ably assisted by Bassist/sometime Vocalist Martin Ace.

Of the newer material the best is Wings of Mercury, a tribute to the late John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Leonard cheekily and amusingly comments as an introduction about how the good ones are always taken and says "why couldn't they have taken Phil Collins instead". A lovely heartfelt mid- tempo rocker.

So while perhaps not the best Man live album it's more than worthy of buying if you can get hold of it for it's strong in your face performance and mixture of old classics and better newer material at the time from The Twang Dynasty.

Report this review (#165746)
Posted Saturday, April 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Somehow by accident I found myself at a Man reunion gig in Pontardawe around 1994. I'd never heard of them at the time, though guy I went with was in raptures that they'd reformed. I can't remember much about the gig, except its only recently that my relationship with Man (and not a man has been renewed.

Of the albums I have, the Official Bootleg of 1994 is the one that has had the most airtime. It is indeed an interesting mix of the space rock sound of the early 1970's and their new studio material, from the Twang Dynasty. The older material is the prog stuff and the evergreen opener C'Mon and closer Banana's are the standout tracks. There is no doubt that Mickey Jones and Deke Leonard have an awesome presence in the live environment.

Man are a band best live to some extent and although the pub rock tunes from the Twang Dynastry cant be classified as prog, Feather on the Scales of Justice is excellent. The 9 minute slide guitar opener to The Ride and the View is excellent.

The Greasy Truckers live tracks and Maximum Darkness are more prog orientated live albums pre the 1977 split, but I really like this set. Which I'd see more of Man; they toured enough !

Report this review (#192699)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink

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