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Man Back Into The Future album cover
3.87 | 82 ratings | 8 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Night In Dad's Bag (4:04)
2. Just For You (5:13)
3. Back Into The Future (4:06)
4. Don't Go Away (4:00)
5. Ain't Their Fight (7:40)
6. Never Say Nups To Nepalese (7:32)
7. Sospan Fach (Live *) (3:33)
8. C'mon (Live *) (19:02)
9. Jam Up Jelly Tight/Oh No Not Again [Spunk Rock '73] (Live *) (21:04)

Total Time: 76:14

Bonus CD #1 from 2008 remaster :
1. Sospan Fach (Live *) (4:35)
2. A Night In Dad's Bag (Live *) (5:06)
3. C'mon (Live *) (19:57)
4. Just For You (Live *) (6:23)
5. Jam Up Jelly Tight/Oh No Not Again [Spunk Rock '73] (Live *) (21:38)

Total time 57:39

Bonus CD #2 from 2008 remaster :
1. Bananas (Live *) (16:18)
2. Life On'the Road (Live *) (12:13)
3. Ain't Their Fight (Live *) (10:22)
4. The Single [I'm Dreaming] (4:06)
5. The Symbol Who Came To Dinner (3:00)

Total Time 45:59

* Recorded live at the Roundhouse, London, June 24th 1973

Line-up / Musicians

- Micky Jones / guitars, vocals
- Alan "Tweke" Lewis / guitars & vocals (5-9)
- Phil Ryan / keyboards (Hammond, electric piano, Moog Satellite), vocals
- Will Youatt / bass, vocals
- Terry Williams / drums, percussion

- Gwalia Male Voice Choir / chorus vocals (7,8,2.1,2.3)

Releases information

Artwork: Art Direction with Ruan O'Laughran (photo)

2xLP United Artists Records ‎- UAD 60054 (1973, UK)

CD BGO Records ‎- BGO CD 211 (1993, UK) Remastered
3xCD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2060 (2008, UK) Remastered and expanded with 2 bonus discs

Thanks to salmacis for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAN Back Into The Future ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MAN Back Into The Future reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
5 stars When I reviewed this album in 2006 for the first time I couldn't expect that there is any approvement imaginable. In the meanwhile Esoteric Recordings have re-issued 'Back IntoThe Future' which was originally designed as a double LP - divided in a studio and live partition. Now this new triple CD production comprises the complete legendary live gig at the London Roundhouse on 24th June 1973. Wow! I know a lot of MAN albums and saw the band on the stage on many occasions since the 1970s - and this gig can certainly be counted among the best they ever have offered during the band history of more than 40 years.

Unfortunately Micky Jones is not with us anymore - the only constant until he suffered from a brain tumor in 2002 for the first time. Probably not the most prolific guitarist from a technical point of view, but he surely was a very emotional musician provided with much empathy and intuition. No doubt - this is striking here too. MAN's music always lives from a playful twin guitar work - and mostly this was provided by the couple Leonard/Jones. But not on this occasion ... considering this top-notch performance it's so much the more exciting and surprising when you know that second guitarist Tweke Lewis just had played with the band for the third time ever!

With 'Back Into The Future' the MAN band had reached the peak of their psychedelic/space phase. As mentioned before Deke Leonard was not aboard who always was the guarantor for a more blues and rock n' roll influenced style. While additionally interacting with keyboard player Phil Ryan in 1972/1973 they had a great time starting with the studio album 'Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day' which was followed by this release. CD1 simply features the complete tracks from the original release where now the studio songs are the most attracting of course, four of them recorded as a quartet (Clive John had quit) and two with new member Tweke Lewis on the second guitar. The studio songs are all top-notch compositions, catchy, but far away from mainstream though, following the spirit of the two predecessor albums due to Phil Ryan's fantastic keyboard input featuring hammond organ, electric pianio and moog synthesizer.

You can ignore the folllowing live recordings because they were put on the second disc again, in the right order this time, not shortened and with improved sound qualitiy on top of it. They had invited the Welsh Gwalia Male Voice Choir who opened the set with the traditional Sospan Fach - I've listened to this set for uncounted times and it was always obligatory for me to start here. An impressive opener folllowed by a live version of A Night In Dad's Bag - quasi the warm-up for the first highlight, the fabulous extended C'mon offered with a high jamming proportion like on nearly every gig they celebrated. This one is alternating between groovy parts and cosmic explorations, first of all to name the spacey floating middle part where Micky Jones offers extraterrestrial vocals and the Gwalia Male Voice Choir appears once again with a very melancholic contribution.

This live tracks are demonstrating that MAN first of all are a great live band, hard-earned, except the times they were recording new stuff in the studio they were touring somewhere in Europe. Jam up Jelly tight comes later, the best jam I ever heard from this band, built around a standard MAN live track also called 'Spunk Rock'. During 21 minutes two guitars and a keyboard are hunting each other - unbelievable! CD3 then is completely provided with previously unreleased material, okay if you don't count another standard live track, the swinging Bananas which was released on an EP in 1976. As a special bonus you will also find two studio songs from the same year which never got a place on a regular album, not bad though, expressing some easiness and sleaziness from my favourite line-up.

This triple CD is a delicious snapshot, a masterpiece because it contains high quality studio songs as well as one of their best live performances ever. The sound technicians have made a great job when selecting and filtering out elements I've never heard before, speaking of some vocal or keyboard parts. Fantastic! This re-issue is also recommended if you are completely new to this band and want to get into MAN's extraordinary psych/space period.

Review by loserboy
4 stars Man's 1973 album titled "Back Into The Future" was a major progressive jump for this Irish act and was issued as a double LP set and was filled with perhaps their most compelling studio and live material (outside of "Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day"). The band was comprised of lead guitarist and vocalist Micky Jones, Phil Ryan (keyboards), Terry Williams (drums, percussion), Tweke Lewis (guitars, vocals) and Will Youatt (bass, vocals). Musically circa 1973, Man blended the musical prowess of Nektar with the artpop sensitivities of bands like 10CC and City Boy. This album was also for a me a lot like Floyd's "Ummagumma" which was fractued into a studio disc and live disc with both apsects working to brilliance. Man's most interesting work usually stemmed from their live performances, but on "Back Into The Future" the studio material rivals IMHO and equals the live material. A review of this album would not complete without the mention of the epic and mostly improvised track "Jam Up Jelly Tight/Oh No Not Again" which took up 1 complete side of the second album and will absolutely blow you away. Honorable mention also goes out for the great live version of "C'mon" which evokes a huge allusion to the music Pink Floyd and manages to clock in just under 20 mins!. One of the greatest Man tracks also doubles as the title track of the album which would rank on my top 100 Prog songs of all time!. As stunning album and absolutely essential.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally released as a double lp and now available in unique cd format, "Back into the Future" can be considered the Man's masterwork. It's more varied and exciting than the previous classic "Be Good to Yourself, at Least Once a Day", for many reasons. At least in my opinion. First of all, the album's structure is made of a first part recorded in the studio (first lp) and a second one, totally recorded live (second lp) at the Roundhouse, London, june 24th 1973.

The first part is divided between four short tracks (side a of the first lp) all between 4 and 5 minutes. Short but excellently arranged, especially for the keyboards parts that were never so important in the band's previous work. Phil Ryan is the real leader, bringing his electric piano, hammond organ and moog synthesizer to the highest level. The second track "Just for You" is the proof, with its synth's impressive intro. The last of the first four is a mellow and pleasant ballad lead by twelve strings acoustic guitar and enriched by soft colours.

Second part (of the first lp) brings back to the typical "Be Goo to Yourself..." extended song's format. Two long compositions of over 7 minutes each. "Ain't Their Fight" that appear to be thought for stage performances. The most interesting piece is the fantastic closer titled ironically "Never Say Nups to Nepalese". It's more "serious", varied, dramatic and pompous, especially in the second half. Their most prog number for sure. A great classic with powerful drumming.

What was the second lp, starts off with a wonderful live performance by the "Gwalia Male Choir" singing "Sospan Fach" that I don't know what it means, but it proves that the Welsh vocal tradition can blend perfectly with rock music. I wish I was there at London in june 24th exciting performance! After this unusual introduction, there are two very long pieces both filling the whole side of the original lp: a superb live extended version (with the help of the Gwalia Male Choir) of the classic "C'mon" (19,02 mns), the opener of "Be Good to Yourself...". Fortunately (I forgot to mention before), sound's quality is really excellent. A pleasure to listen to performances like these! Side b of the original second lp is occupied by "Jam Up Jelly Tight/Oh No, Not Again (Spunk Rock '73)" (21,04 mns). Wonderful. Man's typical infinite guitar's soli that make you loose the sense of time. You are totally involved in it. All the instruments are well balanced.

A superb album.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Man certainly shows a lot of potential on this record, but somehow this music doesn't really connect. There are certainly some good points, the two guitarists know how to jam and the keyboardist often takes the music to another level thanks to his ability to shape sounds on the analogue synthesizer in real time, not an easy thing to do on those old quirky 70s boards. I also think the band is really good at long arrangements that feature improvisational sections mixed with arranged sections. Plus there is a section on C'mon where the band imitates a Gregorian choir, very impressive especially when you consider this is a live track presumably with no overdubs.

But there are some bad points too. The lead vocals are not particularly good. They remind me of a lot of Southern California bands from this era, not bad, but not very inspiring either. The production on the drums is not very good either. I'm sure he is playing a nice set, but they are too quiet and come out sounding like cardboard boxes much of the time. But the big problem is the rhythm section as a whole, they cannot hit a groove. I think the bassist is the worst offender, but the drummer is no help either. No matter what rhythm they play it always breaks down to ... Boom boom Boom boom Boom boom Boom boom, always this static two beat pattern.

What makes this clumsy rhythm seem even more ironic is that the guitarists obviously have a lot of funk and RnB influences, but there is no way they are going to get a groove on with this unfunky drum and bass duo. Anyway, because of its many good points I think there will be many people who can enjoy this album, but I would have liked it better if the rhythm section was on the same par as the soloists.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Every band worth their salt in the seventies had to release the obligatory double album at some point. This is Man's but what we got was one album of studio recordings and another of live material. Always known as band who liked to jam and stretch out on their Psychedelic/Space Rock excursions, especially live although many of their studio tracks were on the lengthy side and two of the studio tracks here, Ain't Their Fight and Never Say Nups to Nepalese did take up the whole of side two.

The first four studio songs are by Man standards sharp, concise and to the point. A Night in Dad's Bag is an excellent melodic opener that bounces along nicely and has the distinction of being in 15/8 time in the main. In fact the whole side is Man at their most melodic with all the fat removed with some nice vocal harmonies, something they were always good at. The previously mentioned two longer studio tracks do allow the band to stretch out a bit more and it's always a pleasure to hear a fluent and imaginative Micky Jones Guitar solo like on Ain't Their Fight. The keyboards play a more prominent roll on this album than on many Man releases, this time courtesy of Phil Ryan, like on the most experimental of the studio tracks, Never Say Nups to Nepalese which apart from a couple of vocal lines is pretty much an instrumental.

Onto the live tracks which are pretty much two tracks although they're preceded by a short piece by the Gwalia Male Choir which I could do without to be honest. They re-appear in the excellent C'mon which is still a live favourite to this day which moves along at a frantic pace driven by Terry Williams imaginative Drumming and an insistant Jones Guitar riff. My all time favourite Man track and this is one of the best versions too. Jam Up Jelly Tight closes the album and as the title might suggest is a jam based around another Man classic Spunk Rock; very good it is too ending one of Man's most satisfying releases.

Review by stefro
4 stars Considering that Man were given just a matter of weeks to come up with a new album following the surprise success of both previous studio album 'Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day' and the live offering 'Christmas At The Patti' it's a wonder the Welsh psych-rockers came up with something so good. And so long. A double-sided affair, 'Back Into The Future' mixed new studio tracks with live recordings and found the group on top form with both. The line-up of Micky Jones(guitar, vocals), Tweke Lewis(guitar), Phil Ryan(keyboards), Will Youatt(bass) and Terry Williams(drums) had just finished a tour of Germany and, by all accounts, had very little to work with upon entering the studio. However, despite the perceived difficulties surrounding the sessions and the tight recording schedule imposed by the label the group managed to fashion an impressive set of upbeat, good-time tracks that combined the usual flavours of acidic guitars, spiky keyboards and West coast- style harmonies. Although mainly rather brief-in-length, 'Back Into The Future' features some great Man workouts, the bouncy 'Just For You' blending woozy keyboards and slick vocal harmonies, 'Never Say Nups To A Nepalese' showcasing a nice line in dopey humour and a bravura, nineteen-minute-long live version of stone- cold classic 'C'mon'(from 'Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day') capturing Man in their natural live habitat and close to their scintillating best. Most of side two - taken from a 1973 performance at the Roundhouse, London - concentrates on more material from their previous studio effort, and yet again the playing is exemplary, as featured on the breathtaking, guitar-solo-heavy rendition of 'Spunk Rock '73'. Whilst previous Man studio efforts, and indeed future ones, would find the group struggling to replicate their live energy within the confines of the studio, this 1973 release bucks the trend, which may well be a result of having to get the goods in the can so quickly. There's a real lively feel to much of 'Back Into The Future' and those you have yet to explore the delights of 'the Welsh Grateful Dead' as they are so often called(the 'Welsh Quicksilver Messenger Service is probably more apt) then this is as good a place as a any to start. A rollicking, fun-time ride, this is very much a career high for all involved.


Latest members reviews

5 stars My five star rating for this album is because of the tripple box Esoteric Records released a few years ago. It includes all of the original double album with the full Roundhouse concert as a very fine bonus. The second album of the original release included only a small part of a great concert ... (read more)

Report this review (#266590) | Posted by Dr Pripp | Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first double LP in the Manbands roster in this case one studio, one live. The CD format manages to squeeze all on one disc without making any cuts or edits. Yet another lineup change here: the loss of Clive John. Most of the studio tracks here have just one guitarist, which sadly loses a l ... (read more)

Report this review (#112089) | Posted by kingdhansak | Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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