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BLINDIN'

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Eclectic Prog


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richardh
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Compilation albums at their best can be representative of an artist's output or at their worst just be some tracks thrown on.My feeling that this is somwhere in between.The tracks are all selected from a period covering 1972 -1982. There's the impressive prog of 'Father of Day,Father Of Night' but then most of the tracks are taken from the middle period when they hit the charts with 'Blinded By The Light' and 'Davy's On The Road Again'.There's also the poppy 'You Angel You' which makes me wince when I hear it! Overall you don't get any impression of how MMEB developed or progressed (assuming they did).It's good but I would think this band warrant a more expansive (2CD) compilation.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#28180)
Posted Tuesday, June 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Appealin'

A budget priced "Best of" collection, which contains many of the band's most popular tracks. It's fair to say in this case popular equals among their best (not always the case!). The most obvious absentee is "Davy's on the road again" which surely should have been one of the first tracks added to the list by the album's compilers.

Those with even passing familiarity with MMEB's work will recognise many of the tracks here. Three of the famous Springsteen and Dylan covers ("Blinded by the light", "Spirits in the night" and "Father of day, father of night") are here in all their glory, i.e. unedited. MMEB's ability to spot the great rock potential of such songs is second to none, their interpretations completely transforming these tracks (and others not present here such as Springsteen's "For you").

The excellent "Somewhere in Afrika" album is represented by three tracks, including the impressive "No Kwazulu" version of their cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption song". Only the rather uninspired cover of Sting's "Demolition man" from the same album drags things down slightly.

In addition to "Father of day..", the early "Solar fire" album contributes its title track. Apart from the rather dated an out of place female backing vocals, it stands up well against its better known peers. Later albums such as "Chance" and "Watch" are not well represented, nor are their first three albums.

A worthwhile collection of some of the best and most accessible works by MMEB. As ever, if you like the music the band make, the original albums are best (particularly as most are now available in re-mastered format), but "Blindin'" makes for an excellent introduction for those who are not so sure.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#28181)
Posted Sunday, October 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
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

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#36364)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For those who do not want to collect all albums.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band (MMEB) has been around since my childhood through their major hit "Father of Day, Father of Night" (Dylan). It's through this song that the band received good name in rock music scene especially in Indonesia. It was quite obvious that people knew the band especially through this blues-based composition with great guitar fills and solo. The other major hit of the band was "Question" which is not featured here in this compilation.

The band initial history comprised four-piece Manfred Mann (keyboards), Mick Rogers (guitar, vocal), Colin Pattenden (bass) and Chris Slade (drums). The band made their fourth album "Solar Fire" successfully and recognized world-wide. Throughout their career, they made changes in personnel. This compilation does not contain great track like "Road To Babylon" but it serves well for those who want to know the music of MMEB.

The key characteristic of MMEB is the unique guitar solo sounds and vocal, augmented by keyboard work of Manfred Mann. The opening track "Blinded By The Light" is basically a cover version of Bruce Springsteen. The band made it much better than the original version. This is also the case with "Spirit In The Night". The song flows beautifully and it has better arrangement than the original version. The song with ethnic orientation like "Brothers and Sisters of Africa" has special meaning and nuance that satisfy my taste as well. If I have to choose the best song from this compilation, I will go for "Father of Day, Father of Night". It's so powerful and so memorable.

Overall, this is a good compilation for those of you who want to know Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

Peace on Earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#156668)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink

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