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Manfred Mann Chapter Three

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Manfred Mann Chapter Three Manfred Mann Chapter Three album cover
3.76 | 67 ratings | 8 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Travelling Lady (5.48)
2. Snakeskin Garter (5:48)
3. Konekuf (5:47)
4. Sometimes (2:37)
5. Devil Woman (5:24)
6. Time (7:25)
7. One Way Glass (3:33)
8. Mister, You're A Better Man than I (5:10)
9. Ain't It Sad (1:57)
10. A Study In Inaccuracy (4:05)
11. Where Am I Going (2:36)

Total time 48:20

Bonus Tracks on 1999 & 2013 reissues:
12. Sometimes (mono) (2:22)
13. Mother (aka Traveling Lady) (5:20)
14. Devil Woman (single version) (5:23)
15. A Study in Inaccuracy (Alternative Version) (5:10)

Total time 66:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Manfred Mann / organ, police whistle, vocals (7), brass arrangements
- Mike Hugg / piano, vocals, brass arrangements
- Bernie Living / alto sax, flute
- Steve York / bass, guitar, harp
- Craig Collinge / drums

- Sue and Sunny / vocals (5)
- Brian Hugg / guitar (4)
- Harry Beckett / trumpet solo (6)
- Derek Wadsworth / brass arrangements
- Clive Stevens / tenor sax
- Carl Griffiths / tenor sax
- Dave Coxhill / baritone sax
- Gerald Drewett / trombone
- Sonny Corbett / trumpet

Releases information

Artwork: Jack Levy

LP Vertigo ‎- VO 3 (1969, UK)

CD Bronze ‎- 250 383 (1989, Europe)
CD Cohesion ‎- MANN 001 (1999, UK) Remastered (?) with 4 bonus tracks
CD Creature Music Ltd. ‎- MMCD01 (2013, Europe) Remaster by Peter Reynolds with 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three Music

MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you ever wondered how Manfred Mann (the band) went from the 60s pop fluff of Do Wah Diddy and Sha La La to the massive progressive acheivements of the Earth Band (think Solar Fire and The Roaring Silence), well Chapter Three's two albums will provide you with a partial explanation. I say partial because while this is a leap forward from the earlier poppy material (the group did have a tendancy for jazzy B-sides though!) the brass-heavy jazz-tinged rock that Chapter Three made is far from being a linear progression that leads to the "spacier" sounds of the Earth band.

Taken on their own merit the two Chapter Three albums are extremely listenable, sometimes fascinating examples of very early progressive jazz-rock ... remember that this first album was cut in the summer of 1969. The core of Chapter Three was Manfred Mann (the guy) and his former cohort in the pop band, Mike Hugg. Mann and Hugg formed a formidable double keyboard line-up and the pair also wrote all Chapter Three's material between them, with Hugg also assuming lead vocal duties. The band featured Bernie Living on flute/alto sax and a barrage of guests on brass, while bassist Steve York, who also played on East Of Eden's fascinating debut album Mercator Projected, and drummer Craig Collinge rounded off a highly competent outfit.

The music on this album is particularly "song-based" with most pieces hanging on a verse/chorus format before exploding into instrumental excursions, which are clever rather than flashy. The tone is set by the bluesy opener Travelling Lady and it barely lets up through the album. My favourites tunes of this sort are Snakeskin Garter (which has some great solos on electric piano and bass) the sardonic, psychedelic You're A Better Man Than I (which was written by Mann and Hugg but had been popularised by The Yardbirds). There are also shorter straightforward, albeit psych-tinged pieces like Sometimes, One Way Glass and Ain't It Sad that give the album variety and balance.

The true invention comes from Konekuff which is a more off-beat progressive jazz instrumental which cute switches between the brass motifs and some seriously distorted fuzz organ moments, Devil Woman, a sinister beast that forshadows the kind of jazz that King Crimson would visit on Lizard and the playful free jazz workout A Study In Inaccuracy. Unfortunately the longest track Time is probably the most frustrating composition here ... with the slow-burning bluesy vocal segments failing to jell with the slightly cheesy brass chorus.

Still, this is a fine album that would be unique if it weren't for the fact that Chapter Three themselves cut a similar one a year later! Despite bearing an even more dated feel than most other proto-prog and early fusion records do, I'd say this makes for compelling listening. ... 70% on the MPV scale

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Having definitely left the pop realm, Manfred turned into a Mann (I know but I could not resist ;-) and opened a new chapter, this time not being afraid to take heavy risks. And venturing into jazzy territories and this for our greater pleasure, he became one of the earliest rock musicians to fuse rock with jazz in the UK along with Colosseum (who had jazz musos in their line-up) as opposed to jazz musos who decided to expand towards rock music. MMCT is definitely a rock group, but can these guys play jazz!!

Still with his buddy Mike Hugg (a drummer in the RnB outfits, but strangely here only on vocals and KB) and sharing the songwriting credits evenly among them, Steve York on bass and guitars, and Collinge on drums, they were augmented with a brass section for their studio sessions. And there are some real superb tracks such as the opener, Snakeskin Garter and Devil Woman have plenty of great ambiances set-up on a mid- paced tempo.

Second side opens on rather lenghty Time starting as a slow blues with harmonica, but the heavy brass section quickly expand the horizons, but with the same tempo dominating the first side. Highlights on this vinyl side include You're A Better Man Than I and Accuracy.

BTW, this album is incredibly long for the era it was released in clocking in at 50 minutes, and the immense majority of them very enjoying, but a little too tempered f the full spread of the album. But to think that this album was written by the two pop stars that did Doo-Wah-Diddy is flabbergasting indeed.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Give us a Hugg!

Although this album was recorded in 1969, and thus falls between the pop band Manfred Mann and the prog band Manfred Mann's Earth Band (MMEB), it is far from being a missing link. Indeed, while there are hints of what was to come in terms of early MMEB offerings, Manfred Mann Chapter Three was far more stooped in jazz and fusion than any other project Mr. Mann has been involved in.

The music here sits alongside bands such as early KING CRIMSON, SOFT MACHINE, and BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS. The latter is particularly apparent during the numerous bursts of brass which frequent the album.

When Manfred Mann broke up in 1969, the eponymous keyboard player teamed up with band mate Mike Hugg to form Chapter Three. Interestingly, although versatile wind instrumentalist Bernie Living was added to the line up along with bassist and drummer, no guitarist was employed. Vocal duties were assumed by Hugg, his distinctive light throaty tones (he is best know for singing the theme to "The Likely Lads") fitting in surprisingly well.

The albums is generally rooted in the jazz side of rock, with occasional psychedelic pop interludes such as the brief "Ain't it sad" and "Sometimes". The freeform aspects of a number of the tracks do not suit my palate well. "Konekuf" and "A study in inaccuracy" are the worst offenders (from my point of view), at times being little more than unstructured jams. They are always brought back to a firmer rock basis, usually by the fanfare like trumpets of BS&T or Chicago, but the disintegration of the music in between is distracting and indulgent.

There are also more tightly structured but adventurous pieces such as the lengthy "Time", a more blues based number, and "Travelling lady". "Snakeskin garter" is a rather appealing moody song (could Dolly Parton possibly have heard this track before writing "Jolene", the melody is very similar). The closing track "Where am I going" is clearly a Mike Hugg song, bearing many of the hallmarks of his wonderful solo output, especially the great "Bonnie Charlie".

After this album, the band released one more similarly themed album before going their separate ways. Listening to the album now, it's easy to see why it was not commercially successful, especially when it followed the alluring pop of Manfred Mann. Seen in retrospect though, and even acknowledging that it is not all to my personal taste, this was a landmark album, a number of years ahead of its time and of others who followed a similar path.

LP versions of this album, which was released on the Vertigo swirl label, now command weighty sums from collectors.

Review by Gooner
4 stars This falls somewhere in between the first Soft Machine LP and Blood, Sweat & Tears _Child Is Father To The Man_. If you enjoy the aforementioned references, this is an excellent LP/CD for your collection. It certainly sounds nothing like Manfred Mann's Earth Band or Manfred Mann's Singles-era. Of one sounds like Mike Hugg on vocals. Strange fuzzy keyboards, fuzz bass and a great horn section here, too!
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Manfred Mann is well known because of his excellent keyboard based progressive rock from seventies. But not too many listeners know that he was a pop musician and then jazz- rock musician before that.

Manfred Mann Chapter III is first step made by Manfred towards progressive music . Using some musicians from his previous pop band, MM recorded debut album of new project in new direction. It was 1969, and only a few bands all around tried to add some jazz elements in their rock sound. MM was one between a few very beginners!

The album contains r'n'b and blues rock based songs, but with some brass and some jazzy arrangements. Mike Hugg is there on vocals yet (and playing second keyboards as well).MM demonstrates there his excellent ability to write melodic songs, band plays them nice, with freshness and enthusiasm.

It is important to note, that this work should be placed beside Chicago Transit Authority and Blood Sweat and Tears debut albums as proto jazz-rock cornerstones. Differently from both other American bands, mentioned above, UK-based MMCIII never received such popularity.

Album's sound is still heavily based on blues-rock basis, being mostly similar to BST debut album. Music there has plenty of jazzy elements, but bigger accent was made not to jazz- like techniques and mastership, but more to some unusual brass sounds using in classic rock compositions. Recording sound is clear, you can really enjoy all instruments' sounds when listening.

The same team will record one more album in similar key (and of similar level), then will turn one to their classic progressive rock sound. This album is really interesting listening for everyone interested in jazz-rock roots, and in late 60-s rock music as well.

Review by Einsetumadur
4 stars 12/15P.: a groundbreaking album in the development of jazz rock. Much free jazz and big band sound here, but mixed up with darkest and most disturbing blues phrasings. Slow, lurking, gritty and tough stuff to sit through!

When the drummer of the very successful pop group Manfred Mann, Mike Hugg, had had enough of recording music which didn't suit his jazz&blues-influenced music taste he went to form a jazz fusion group with organist Manfred Mann in 1969 while Hugg himself took over the electric piano and the vocals.

The decision to form a jazz band sounds quite strange, but actually it isn't when you regard that nearly every Manfred Mann album contained at least one jazz number (i.e., One Way, Miss JD or already in 1964 Bare Hugg) or even some EPs full of totally freaked-out jazz rock covers of Rolling Stones and The Who hits in 1966 which - by the way - could be seen as one of the first progressive rock records ever. In 1969, Manfred Mann recorded their last single: on the a-side their hit Ragamuffin Man and on the b-side: A B-Side: an unspectacular title for a great, 5 minutes long slow blues-rocker with psychedelic flutes, dissonant vocal counterpoints and many solos of the organ and the guitar; parts of it were used for a cigar advertisement.

This is where Manfred Mann Chapter Two ended and where Manfred Mann Chapter Three began.

The same track was re-made as Travelling Lady, the same composition with nearly the same lyrics, on Chapter Three's debut album, albeit adding a strange intro with a mantra-like organ drone and a slow melody played by a kazoo (or something like that) and the organ simultaneously. After minutes the whole band enters with slightly distorted electric piano power chords and a groovy rhythm section. Mike Hugg's vocals sound absolutely untypical, in tone somehow like Robert Wyatt, but create a somber soul feeling and are just astounding. Apart from the wonderful blues licks of the electric piano one should also mention the mean big band arrangements that croak unexpectedly everywhere on this record; here they play the vocal counterpoints of A B-Side, and a real frantic alto saxophone squawks shrieking free jazz solos in the middle of the song: the music is some kind of acquired taste for people with noise tolerance, and even then you cannot listen to this always. But when you are in the mood, it could be one of the most impressing music you know. The mono version featured as a bonus track is shortened a bit and sounds more "vintage", but is - like most of the Manfred Mann remaster bonus tracks - entirely uninteresting.

Snakeskin Garter seems more relaxing in the beginning and heads off with a slow, funky organ groove whilst the refrain rather tends to the soul genre with melodic brass backing and a nice piano played well by Mike Hugg. But in fact, it is just a plain improvisation piece which may have been a great experience when played live in concert. The instrumental part in the middle consists of an outstanding rapid jazz organ solo in which Manfred Mann already shows what he is going to do in his Earth Band. Like everywhere on this album the Hammond organ doesn't ever sound like it actually should, but rather very aggressive and hooter-like (for the keyboarders among us: take a Hammond T or L organ, switch the percussion on, plug the organ into a guitar amp, turn the drive/gain knob to 100% and don't use a Leslie or vibrato effects!). The closeness between this strange organ registration and Manfred's later similar moog sound shows that he already had a clear vision of how his keyboards should sound: aggressive and revolutionary. The cream topping on this delicious improvisational cake is again Mike Hugg's piano in the background which should also be listened to closely. A further stanza leads into the last solo which is then faded out, an amazing jazz improvisation by bassist Steve York who ameliorates his superb playing by a real evil distorted tone. Konekuf is an instrumental track written by Manfred Mann who composed a big band tune which is - apart from a bombastic main theme which is played from time to time - actually a free jazz piece where the whole band plays frantic solo parts. The heavily distorted organ solo is a bit slower and creepier than the one in Snakeskin Garter; the strange kazoo-or-whatever-sounds from the Travelling Lady-intro are present again, just like some typical big band riffs. From 2:49 on to 4:03 the free jazz even gets a bit too strenuous for me as not only the saxophone but also the other brass instruments freak out furiously. Without the conventionally playing rhythm group this section would be really unlistenable, but anyway it is quite a musical revolution. Listen to Manfred's Ragamuffin Man afterwards which had only been recorded some months before and then see what I mean! The rest of the track finally calms down and gets quieter with a reprise of the main theme.

Another interesting aspect of the piece is that it is the beginning of when the Earth Band covered many Chapter Three pieces or took over good ideas: you can hear the main theme of Konekuf during the piece Messin' (4:33-5:42) before the guitar solo. Messin' itself originally was a blues rock piece by Mike Hugg which was recorded for the unissued Chapter Three Vol. 3 album; the original Messin' (as well as Fish which later became Saturn) are now published in Manfred Mann's Odds and Sods box set and can be purchased via iTunes.

The next piece Sometimes is a sympathetic folk song, a breezier and folkier pendant to King Crimson's I Talk To The Wind. Here, the brass section plays a catchy riff and manages playing very appropiately for this kind of music, something which I praise very much because there are many bands in which the brass instruments destroy atmosphere with inapt tooting. The classically-influenced piano interludes swirl beautifully through the song and add another prog facette to this ballad; Brian Hugg, Mike's brother who co-composed and also played in some songs of the band, adds some delicate acoustic guitar chords to the piece. Again, the mono version is a waste of CD space. It would have been more sensible to add the more romantic Volume 3-version of the track which reveals what the actual cause of Ch.3's decline was: not the experimental sound of the group, but Mike Hugg's wish to play acoustic love songs instead of jazz rock.

Devil Woman is mixture of King Crimson's Formentara Lady (with the haggard female choir) and the awkwardness of Ladies of the Road, perhaps adding a bit of early Soft Machine music: basically a slow blues piece with absurd rhythms and filled with strangeness. I never really loved this piece although the elaborate percussion work and Mike Hugg's piano soli which probably influenced Keith Tippet (King Crimson's Cat Food is similar) are quite all right. And again there is a single version which no-one really needs.

Time, the longest track on the album, then is my better preferred style of music: a slow bluesy piece with maximum-effect brass arrangements which - with the ghostly blues harp melodies in the background - would also work out fine as the title music of a Sherlock Holmes film. Apart from the consistently inserted sung stanzas (in the typically somber Ch.3 manner) the track is again some kind of jam piece with prominent use of brass instruments. The instrumental big band interludes are just awesome, or even the sole examples of big band music which I really love listening to: there are trombone passages with the characteristic bending/glissando effects (0:54-1:01), jazzy saxophone riffs directly afterwards or some solos like a one-and-a-half-minutes long frantic-aggressively played flute solo by Bernie Living in which he tears the lurking sedateness of the previous part into sharp-edged bits. At the end, jazz trumpet legend Harold Becket, who also played with Charlie Watts, Robert Wyatt and Alexis Korner, plays a concluding trumpet improvisation which might be superb from the jazz listener's point of view but, even though it's no skin off my nose, doesn't catch my attention: I don't understand why this guy merely participated in this 90 second outro for this album which is mixed quite in the background as well. The strange drum rhythm with the accents on the third and sixth eighth is in my opinion more interesting, even though I believe that Mr. Beckett could have been pushed in the spotlight slightly more by simply giving him a better position of his solo in the track, not the fade-out about which you will never care as much as you would do about the centre parts of a song.

You cannot imagine my confused look when I heard One Way Glass as a sample in this so-so Kick-Ass film in 2010; you know, this Stand Up tune by the Prodigy. Strange is this world! The original piece is the next case where a Ch. 3 track would later be covered by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. But what Earth Band fans might know as a slow acoustic ballad with delicate electric guitar and moog solos is presented in a more 'upbeat'-manner here; in fact it is the most rock-like track on this record, commencing with a groovy bass guitar riff and a driving drum rhythm hinting at what Craig Collinge would later do with his proto punk band Third World War. Manfred Mann takes over the lead vocals on his song and his softer, ethereal voice is quite pleasant and creates a typical late-60s, psychedelic atmosphere. Apart from the catchy instrumental refrains (played by the brass section) there are some distracting free jazz alto saxophone soli in between which somehow destroy the light feeling of the track. Perhaps this effect has been included knowingly, but I don't consider it to be fitting or adequate here.

Mister You're A Better Man Than I could be the second Time, at least in speed and feeling, albeit being more depressed and dark. In fact, it was composed in 1962 or 1963 for the Yardbirds who made it become a hit, and when you compare the Yardbirds version with the one featured here: the difference couldn't be bigger. Again, there are great and slow stanzas with extensive improvisation parts inbetween. Additionally to the nice bass guitar Steve York also takes over some creepy lead guitar parts in this piece, although their distant, hollow sound again differs much from what one would expect, but where do the (that's what I thought first when I looked through the CD booklet when I was a child) five weird-looking guys do what the listener wants them to do? >>[The record] represents in general what we personally have been wanting to do for some years.<< This explains everything. The little fascinations here are the beautiful flute+saxophone harmonies (1:38) that also occur inbetween the first electric piano solo; the second stunner is that kind of menuet by Bach or so, or the imitation of a work like that. I've never understood more clearly (after half an hour of jazz rock music) that classical music doesn't only differ from jazz in its instrumentation, but extremely much in melodics and harmonics as well. The last stanza then pushes the flute into the spotlight which counterpoints the melody magnificently.

Ain't It Sad is the next surprise. A short hippie-gospel pop song with Manfred Mann's cheesy 60s Do Wah Diddy Diddy organ, recorders, congas and Steve York on a light-hearted mouth organ. In spite of its length Manfred is given the second half of the song for his rasp organ solo.

Where Am I Going is an outstanding ballad, primarily featuring Hugg on the grand piano and vocals, an instrumentation which results in a very gentle and emotionally touching feeling, especially with the wonderful jazz chords. (The chord progression of the stanzas is pretty good to jam on the piano!) The bass guitar and the drums (essentially: the ride cymbal) enter for a relaxed swing rhythm - especially the bass creates a mellow sound carpet. The grand piano solo in the middle of the song shows that Mr. Hugg is not only a good drummer (Manfred Mann of the 60s) and a good rock keyboarder, but also a suitable pianist for balladesque music.

Between these two numbers (which already sound just like parts of the unissued Vol. 3 album) there is Manfred Mann's instrumental piece A Study in Inaccuracy which actually is a free jazz piece for the brass instruments and the band. The beginning - despite the aggressive sound and the odd melodies - still sounds a bit catchy as it uses parts of the 12-bar-blues-scheme which we all know. But already at minute 1 the band is already losing itself in musical madness with bullfroggish sounds by the trombone and other assorted effects. In the middle of the track, the music fades out and then returns again, accompanied by bombastic choir recordings which only have nothing to do with the track itself and which were already faintly to be heard in the beginning. This idea should also later be used in the similar track Glorified Magnified on the eponymous Earth Band record. In this case, the alternative version of the track is one minute longer and thus has a much bigger surplus value, especially for those who enjoy the free jazz furiousity: here, the part before the fade out in the middle is left longer than it is on the album version.

My biggest criticism about the album is the reissue and how it was done. The sound doesn't sound remastered at all: the problem of the record isn't the recording of the instruments but rather the big amount of hiss and other technical problems. In fact, Mr. You're A Better Man Than I (the electric piano solo) and the quieter parts of Sometimes feature the loudest hiss that I have ever heard on a record, and this is a point where re-mastering has to do something against it. Special thanks to Barry Winton for supplying the covers at the last minute!, the re-master credits say (which merely include names of people and not the faintest sign of interesting information, by the way). And this lovelessness is reflected everywhere: small, but irritating formatting or spelling mistakes, bad-quality-scans of the original artwork, totally uninteresting and redundant bonus tracks and the simply typewritten original album credits without any more information are beginner's mistakes and show an utter unprofessionality. At least there is a short text on Chapter Three's history...

The music is in a word exciting, probably too much at some places. But the album should be (or: has to be) mentioned in a row with Valentyne Suite or In The Court of the Crimson King as one of the first real progressive rock albums. But if you want to really like this record you should be able to cope with free jazz cacophony; like I already said, these noises are a bit too much for me at some places. Thus I rate the album with a good 4 point rating and recommend it to every jazz rock fan.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A quintessential record in the jazz-rock territory. First off, this is not a very accessible record. Mike Hugg's vocals came completely out of nothing to me, the sax solos were like ear sodomy at first, and some of the songs just felt stretched or out-of-place. But after a couple of listenings, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1303718) | Posted by rotosphere | Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The way this album begins tells a lot about what it is about: A few seconds' introduction of a melody played with the organ and a police whistle (!) and then a simple, yet powerful and memorable riff with nice bass and drums line. Mike Hugg's unique style vocals enter, an in-your-face brass pa ... (read more)

Report this review (#307663) | Posted by Astryos | Sunday, October 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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