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Manfred Mann's Earth Band

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Manfred Mann's Earth Band Manfred Mann's Earth Band album cover
3.09 | 135 ratings | 11 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. California Coastline (3:48)
2. Captain Bobby Stout (6:57)
3. Sloth (1:27)
4. Living Without You (3:36)
5. Tribute (5:32)
6. Please Mrs. Henry (4:30)
7. Jump Sturdy (4:49)
8. Prayer (5:40)
9. Part Time Man (3:04)
10. I'm Up and I'm Leaving (3:07)

Total Time 42:30

Bonus tracks on 1999 remaster:
11. Living Without You (single version - mono) (3:32)
12. California Coastline (single version - mono) (2:42)
13. Mrs Henry (single version - mono) (2:36)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mick Rogers / guitar, vocals
- Manfred Mann / organ, synthesizer, vocals
- Colin Pattenden / bass
- Chris Slade / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Bloomsbury Group with Bob Foster (photo)

LP Philips ‎- 6308086 (1972, UK)

CD Bronze ‎- 258 733-217 (1986, Germany)
CD Cohesion - MANN 003 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Mike Brown & Robert M Corich with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND Manfred Mann's Earth Band Music

MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND Manfred Mann's Earth Band ratings distribution

(135 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND Manfred Mann's Earth Band reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars The first album released by MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND and the beginning of his progresssive rock influences. His new line-up at the time included Chris Slade (drums), Colin Pattenden (bass) and Mick Rogers (lead guitar/vocals). MANFRED himself is credited with playing various keyboards most importantly performing for the first time on the keyboard that was to become his trademark - the Mini Moog. One of the aspects I most appreciate in their debut album is the unknown musical direction the new band exhibited. Overall this album is a superb mix of 70's rock and 70's progressive. I love the gutteral keyboard sounds MANN delivers here and on the track "Captain Bobby Scout" we are treated to a great foreshadow of the new MANN sound with heavy guitar, soul like vocal harmonies and that moog keyboard buzz. Since I put "Solar Fire" on my website I have seen (and heard) a flock of you have purchsed it (and posted to your websites..) and let me suggest you also invest a few schillings in the EARTH BAND's debut album with its quirky psychy-prog influences.
Review by Proghead
3 stars Pretty good for a debut album, although it has a few throwaway numbers I can live without. After releasing two albums of horn-dominated progressive jazz rock albums in 1969 and 1970 on Vertigo Records as MANFRED MANN's Chapter III, MANFRED BAND formed the EARTH BAND going this time, to more conventional rock. This is their debut, with MANN on keyboards, Mick Rogers on vocals and guitar, Colin Pattenden on bass, and Chris Slade on drums. This is still the sound of the EARTH BAND in search of a sound. Strangely there's more of a New Orleans vibe to this album that's not to be found on any other. Probably because of a cover of a Dr. John song, "Jump Sturdy". They also cover a Randy Newman song, "Living Without You", which is quite effective. Plus, as the EARTH BAND would often do until 1975, cover a Bob DYLAN song, in this case, "Please, Mrs. Henry".

The opening cut, "California Coastline" is actually quite good, but for some reason, I can't stand "Captain Bobby Stout", the vocals seem to bother me. But then there's an instrumental called "Tribute", which is a truly trippy and spacy instrumental number from MANN himself. Truly amazing, and reminds me of the more spacy moments of "Solar Fire". The album ends up with two, down-to-earth rootsy numbers that seem out of place on the album, "Part Time Man" and "I'm Up and I'm Leaving". So untypical of the EARTH BAND, I am almost reminded of The BAND (as in Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Levon Helm). The problem I have with the album is some of the use of material, and a rather thin production. Still, not a bad album, but "Glorified Magnified" is better.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Dear old Manfred has already several albums behind his back with the original "Manfred Mann" group prior to this one. It was a successful pop band from the mid sixties who has produced several hit-singles ("Ah Ah Said The Clown").

This album is not yet as proggy as some of his later and great work (mainly "Solar Fire" of course). On this album, the band dig in some R&B and soul music ("Captain Bobby Shout"). Very close to some "Vanilla Fudge" numbers. Great moog solo and repetitive riff. One of the best here.

"Tribute" is also a pleasant instrumental, somewhat psychedelic as well. There are some basic rock songs featured on this debut ("Please Ms. Henry" or "Prayer") which aren't really catchy.

The soul / bluesy influences are noticeable and over invading to my taste during several tracks ("Jump Study"). Still, a nice guitar solo is punctuating this song. But the piano based Part Time Man and "Up & Leaving" are very weak.

You shouldn't bother too much with this debut album. The Earth's Band, will score significantly higher later on. Two stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Debut Manfred Mann's Earth band album. After some years in music business and some pop-rock, r'n'b and jazz-rock albums, Manfred Mann founded new team and made a step to progressive rock field.

This album contains many great Manfred's melodic and arrangement ideas, some strong progressive songs, but at the same time still have strong r'n'b roots. In fact, there listener can hear what Manfred Mann's music was before and what it will be in near future.

Album's opener "California Coastline" is great prog rock song with heavy guitars and spacey keyboards. Next song "Captain Bobby Stout" is great as well, but in its own manner - bluesy/gospel rocker. "Sloth " is one and half minute distorted guitar sound and spacey synth short instrumental.

On "Living without you" MM returns back to sunny pop song from his past. "Tribute " is nice melodic instrumental with tasteful soloing guitar. "Please Mrs. Henry " is Bob Dylan song's cover, not far from original style, but with more soul vocals."Jump sturdy" is another cover, this time Dr.John's. Kind of soul-rock.

"Prayer" is quite standard rock song. "Part time man " and "I'm up and I'm leaving " both are pop-rock ballades very in early Rod Stewart style!

In all, eclectic album with few strong songs, some good ones and some fillers. Still interesting release for MM fans, but for all others it's better to start from some later really excellent albums.

P.S. Some CD re-issues have three mono bonuses (singles).

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut album comes with the original stellar line up of Mick Rogers, Manfred Mann, Chris Slade and Colin Pattenden, which pretty much lasted up until their Nightingales and Bombers studio release of 1975. A great progressive template to work within already garnered from Manfred Mann's prolific work everywhere else. It was 1972 so we had their counterparts like Strawbs, Uriah Heep, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Wishbone Ash etc already firmly established. The album is good but not brilliant as far as debuts go. It did lay the foundation for the trademark MMEB sound to come later and even the formula of covering Dylan songs and later Springsteen began on the " Please Mrs. Henry". " Trubute" is a great instrumental and the popular but awkward " Captain Bobby Stout" demonstrating the creative freedom bands had around this time from their record labels. A good start.
Review by TheGazzardian
2 stars Before I got into Progressive Rock, I was quite a fan of Classic Rock. When I started exploring progressive rock music, I was surprised to find a number of bands that I had previously considered to be classic rock were also considered progressive rock - bands like Pink Floyd and Supertramp.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band is another entry in that list, although unlike with the previously mentioned artists, I didn't explore their discography until after I got into prog.

The Earth Band's debut album comes just three years after Manfred Mann's previous band (which was just called Manfred Mann)'s last single had charted. Back then he was doing the kind of music you would hear on an AM oldies station - an example of one of their most favorite tracks being "Do Wah Diddy Diddy".

Despite this heritage, the Earth Band's debut sounds modern (for the '70s). The influence of other classic and psych rock bands can be heard in both the composition style and the sound of the album. There is also a fairly noticeable blues base in a number of songs and some soulful vocal harmonies in a couple of the tracks.

The music is mostly vocal driven, barring a few instrumental tracks of which the too-short "Sloth" is my favorite and of which "Tribute" is also nice. The band does play with a love song (Living Without You), but it's not particularly good even as a love song. The tracks with the vocal harmonies are easily the most intense sounding on this album (Captain Bobby Scout, Please Mrs. Henry) but unfortunately they don't tend to go anywhere and repeat themselves an awful lot. The last two songs (Part Time Man, I'm Up And I'm Leaving) are almost completely different in feel, being more somber and featuring a different vocalist, and they are a bit of an odd way to end the album.

Still, for some fun, simple 70s rock that is coloured by the proggy direction the Earth Band would explore more later in their career, and that has a nice variety, you can't really go wrong with this album.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Manfred Mann seems to be one of the only iconic figures from the British Invasion period that hasn't had a decent biography written about him and his bands yet. The Stones, Beatles, the Who, the Yardbirds, the Kinks and others have had copious material published about them, while Mann remains something of a mystery except to his closest and most dedicated fans. Greg Russo took a shot at a decent bio with his 2011 'Mannerisms' release but while that one gives a good accounting of the Earth Band's discography it reveals little insight into the man. Take note for any aspiring writers out there that this is a literary monument crying to be erected in the pantheon of our contemporary pop culture.

As for this album, it is of course the debut of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, the third group Mr. Manfred (Michael) Lubowitz had formed since leaving his native South Africa in search of artistic freedom (and presumably a little fame and fortune) in the early sixties. By the time this album was released Mann had years of recording, touring and experience with the business side of the industry under his belt, and leveraged all of these in creating a solid, professional lineup that could crank out tight, melodic music with some muscle and creative force behind it but at the same time close enough to the mainstream to be commercially viable. Mann was proving himself to be a shrewd musical businessman in the mold of Sir McCartney, Jeff Lynne and Alan Parsons.

And he didn't seem to be too particular where the music came from, adopting even with this first album the habit of borrowing songs from others and relying on both band mates and friends to collaborate even on those tracks Mann wrote himself. This custom would of course result in some of the group's most well-known singles including Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light", "Spirits in the Night" and "For You" along with Mike Heron's "Don't Kill it Carol", Sting's "Demolition Man" and a slew of Dylan tunes. But on this album the covers are a bit more obscure, coming from the likes of 70s bubble-gum pop producer Walt Meskell, Topeka Kansas native Lane Tietgen and Cajun jazz-funkmeister Dr. John, although Mann also includes one each from the vast Dylan and Randy Newman songbooks.

Presumably the opening "California Coastline" was either Mann or the label's attempt at a pop single. The song was written by Walt Meskell and Tim Martin, a pair of fairly jaded and well-connected L.A. music producers who would become far better known for crafting the bubble-gum pop careers of Tony DeFranco and his siblings as well as producing novelty hits like C.W. McCall's 1976 cheesegasm "Convoy". Mann's trademark organ and Mick Rogers' succinct, efficient guitar work form the basis of an Earth Band sound that would flourish on future records but in the end this is a commercial song that interestingly enough must have missed the mark since it was never released as a single. There is a European CD from the 80s titled 'California Coastline' though that is basically this album minus "Tribute" and "Prayer". These are also the only two songs from the record written solely by Mann although I'm not sure that has any bearing on them being excluded from that reissue.

"Captain Bobby Stout" was written by Lane Tietgen and recorded by the obscure funk/heavy- rock band the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood on their self-titled debut in 1970. Tietgen was a Topeka, Kansas native (the same town that spawned most of the members of the band Kansas) and was earlier in a band called the Serfs whose main claim to fame was a brief encounter with Jimi Hendrix that led to their being included as guest musicians on a couple tracks from Hendrix' 'Electric Ladyland' LP. The song has a strong soul vibe that was not unusual in the often Motown-inspired American rock scene of the early seventies and the black female backing vocals debut another Mann musical signature he would use repeatedly in future music. There are references to Kansas landmarks including the city of Wichita in the song so I'm not sure exactly what a guy from South Africa via Britain saw in it, but his organ work and the persistent, heavy guitar riff are quintessential early Earth Band so in the end things worked out well enough.

Much of the original material on this album tends to be rather brief and sometimes seems more like sampler material than fully-formed tracks. That is definitely true of the Hendrix- like guitar foray with keyboard tinkling that comprises the terse instrumental "Sloth" as well as the sixties-sounding "Part-Time Man" and the almost folk-sounding closing track "I'm Up and I'm Leaving". But Mann does offer two solid self-penned songs with the aforementioned "Tribute" and "Prayer". "Tribute" is a slow-developing, heavily blues- infused instrumental that demonstrates the progressive/artsy side of Mann's musical ability while "Prayer" almost borders on southern boogie with some wicked guitar soloing and plenty of Mann's experimental organ bleating to give character to what would have otherwise been a rather pedestrian rocker.

I'm ambivalent about two of the other covers, Randy Newman's "Living Without You" which sounds like something from a chick-flick movie soundtrack (then again, what Randy Newman song doesn't sound like that). And Dylan's self-pity anthem "Please Mrs. Henry" has been covered by just about everyone in the music business at one point or another, so its hard to get excited about yet another competent but uninspired knockoff.

On the other hand the band does a serviceable job of representing Dr. John's Cajun weird- soul with their take on "Jump Sturdy", a song that tells the traditional Deep South tale of an otherworldly swamp-mermaid creature. Mann can't claim the same sort of Bijou-cred Dr. John can but he shows respect to the form and delivers a pretty tight arrangement that mostly favors guitar over keys except for a brief piano spotlight towards the end.

This certainly isn't my favorite Earth Band album and I only discovered it years after its release when I started hearing Manfred Mann's Earth Band on the radio circa 'Nightingales & Bombers' and 'The Roaring Silence' like most other Americans. But it's a lot better debut than most bands pulled off back then (and now), and the prominence of excellent organ work combined with a wide range of musical style samplings and the overall professionalism exhibited by the band lineup all work to create an album that is well worth owning. A very solid three stars for the Earth Band's debut, and in recommending it I'll say I would be very surprised if anyone who likes any Earth Band album doesn't also like this one.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Yeah, this is a lot more standard rock'n'roll than their later albums, but there are some progressive moments, like the instrumentals, and it's been a while since I've actually heard the album since an unnamable number of people have temporarily destroyed my life, but it seems that I recall th ... (read more)

Report this review (#463457) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Friday, June 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Not one of my favorite Manfred Mann albums. This has a lot of very bluesy and R and B numbers on it and not much that is progressive. That would come in later albums. Yes, it has the obligatory Dylan cover, "Please Mrs Henry". "Tribute" is a good insturmental and I also enjoy "California Coast ... (read more)

Report this review (#298050) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars God this is good. This album is THE most underrated album ever made. It is superb 70's pop/rock. Most of them are covers; but that really doesnt matter. Two brooding and progish instrumentals stand as interludes in what is some of the finest rock ever. Who even cares if its not prog, get yo ... (read more)

Report this review (#228368) | Posted by Whacky | Saturday, July 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Even if its one of their less attracting Frontsleeve... This is the 1st & probably best album by the Manfred Mann s Hearth Band... Manfred Mann first version in the 60s was a Huge Popular Band with a more pop direction . They were more Single oriented & they recorded a lot of successfull covers.. ... (read more)

Report this review (#95172) | Posted by TheRedPlanet | Thursday, October 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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