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MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Manfred Mann's Chapter Three biography
Manfred Mann Chapter III was formed in England in 1969 after the break up of Manfred Mann famous for their chart topping pop hits throughout the 1960s. Manfred Mann's Chapter III had a more Progressive appearance and moved away from their Pop roots. Chapter III was formed after the break up of the (Chapter II) line up of Manfred Mann in 1969 which featured singer Mike D'Abo, not forgetting the legendary (Chapter I) line up in the early 60s which featured singer Paul Jones.

The band was formed by South African born Manfred Mann on Keyboards, Mike Hugg on Keyboards & Vocals, Steve York on Bass, Bernie Living on Saxophone , Brian Hugg on Acoustic Guitar and Craig Collinge on Drums. Manfred Mann's Chapter III turned their backs on three minute Pop singles and light hearted songs to develop a more Jazz and Progressive sound often had lengthy tracks with solos.

Manfred Mann's Chapter III only recorded Mike Hugg or Manfred Mann compositions this was deliberate to avoid lead guitar. Sadly for Manfred Mann's Chapter 3 the band had unsuccessful record sales and paid the price for this and unfortunate for Manfred Mann's Chapter III they had disbanded late in 1970. During the period they had released two studio albums the debut album was self titled "Chapter III - Volume 1" released in 1969 and "Volume 2" released in 1970.
Vinyl copies of the two albums are very rare but have been recently re-issued on CD.

A discovery has been made that an album "Volume 3" was recorded but was never released. The tapes have been lost for for decades until now they have been rediscovered.


Manfred Mann would go on and have success with his new Prog Rock group Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Manfred Mann has gone back to his comercial roots and had major hits throughout the 1970s with this Art/Space rock group, famous for the hit "Blinded by the Light" in 1976.

Bio Written by Progman

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com: Early example of jazz rock and predecessor to Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Discography:
(1969) Manfred Mann Chapter III Volume 1
(1970) Manfred Mann Chapter III Volume 2

See also: MANFRED MANN'S PLAINS MUSIC, MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND

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3.66 | 35 ratings
Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
1969
3.54 | 24 ratings
Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2
1970

MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Happy Being Me
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Virginia
1970

MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by rotosphere

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, I started to appreciate it's oddities and the overall sound.

Compared to jazz-rock records of that time, like the heavily improvisational and composed HOT RATS, or the more pop/rock oriented CHICAGO (II), Manfredd Mann Chapter Three offers a different kind of dark, droning, modal style. This is established in pieces such as ''Travelling Lady", "Snakeskin Garter", "Time", and "Konekuff" which all have some superb brasswork, not to mention the organ solo in "Snakeskin Garter" by the man himself, beautiful stuff. Still, the general style tends to repeat, so some dull feelings can surface; "Devil Woman" and "A Study In Inaccuracy" particularly dont do much for me.

There is, however, a counterpart of shorter, easier songs. "Sometimes" and "Ain't It Sad" are both lighter numbers with a folk-ish feel to them. The major difference is that "Ain't It Sad" is a bare 2-minute filler, and "Sometimes" is somewhat decent with it's introspective lyrics and mellow feeling, albeit nothing special. The pop rock number "One Way Glass" is pretty pointless, but nothing hard to endure. But the jazz-ballads "You're Better Man Than I", and "Where Am I Going" are among the stronger tracks; both of them have some genuine vibes, methinks.

Not the easiest record to digest, but it truly is a gem in it's in own right. 7.8/10

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Astryos

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 part comes and after the first verse, a crazy saxophone solo blasts out. This album has a strong jazzy character, mostly because of the free style horn solos. There are moments that sound very similar to parts that someone will find a year later in King Crimson's "Lizard" album. The bass work is amazing with its thick, aggresive sound. Drums really keep things going strong, while I find the snare drum sound ideal (similar to Vander's one in Live Hhai recording). There is a lot of beautiful and strong organ and piano parts and solos although, because they blend so well with the other instruments, I am not sure that one could tell that the master mind of this group is the keyboard player. The haunting, often narrative way that mr Hugg is singing is a chapter of its own. Another great rock riff with powerful brass lines and strong bass, harmonica fills and a crazy flute solo comes with "Time". Things get a little cheered up with "One way glass" and "Ain't it sad" and they slow down with "Where am i going?", last song of the album that leaves you with a bitter sweet taste and the beautifully melancholic "Mister you're a better man than I" (what a brave statement!!). The latter begins with dreamy electric piano and heavy bass. Vocals give a sad feeling in a theatrical way, while distinctive horns support the song before the moog solo. Manfred Mann's "Chapter III Volume 1" is one of the innovative recordings in the history of rock music, and 1969 a very special year on this matter.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.54 | 24 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Einsetumadur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 10/15P.: Bolder, but less consistent than its predecessor: fascinating music, adventurous fusion of free jazz and blues rock, but too much cacophony and noise and too little Manfred Mann

Volume 2 is the second Chapter Three record, and compared to Volume 1 the blues elements have been replaced by more jazz, at least to a big extent: additionally to the first line-up there are quite some studio musicians (all of them brass players, incidentally) who enhance the big band feeling of the music further. Thus, the music has also become more experimental, and especially the free jazz improvisations which were already to be heard on the previous record, reappear in a (sometimes) even more drastic way here: apparently, Chapter Three do not want to sound pleasant: they want to sound unsettled, baffling and (to those who listen to this music) fascinating: they want to be progressive, in a word.

Already when looking at the first song, Lady Ace, you'll see that Chapter Three take their time for their songs: this song is granted eight minutes of playing time, and so we also can enjoy big diversity here. The first part somehow sounds a bit like the Canterbury music of that time: a bluesy electric piano riff is played to a breezy jazz rhythm of the drums while Mike Hugg again sings with his own special soul voice, most effectively during the chorus when he also provides a nice backing vocal line. Interestingly, the catchy main riff is played on the (softly sounding) Wurlitzer and the (harsher) Rhodes and on some kind of fuzz guitar simultaneously which creates a unique tone. The surreal Canterbury feeling disappears abruptly when mighty big band fanfares enter, accompanied by beautiful jazz chords of the electric piano: it is quite understandable that Hugg later started writing film music. At 3:12 the fanfares are re-worked at a more up-beat speed, with a quite prominent, driving tambourine (perhaps the most important percussion instrument on this record), until from 3:42 to 5:28 Bernie Living plays a really experimental and furious free jazz sax solo which - because of this aggressive tone - could also fit on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew record. During this solo the brass section enters again and leads us back to the bluesy vocal part of the beginning until in the end a nice trumpet solo ends this varied piece in a nearly contemplative way.

Unfortunately in this piece, and even on the whole record, Manfred Mann is sadly understated: apart from the last three pieces I do not hear him at all, given that the only instrument he is playing here is the organ. But for instance when you listen to the saxophone solo of Lady Ace you notice a gurgling sound in the background which I believe to be the sound of a Mellotron, particularly the Mandolin registration.

But on I Ain't Laughing there again isn't the faintest hint at the attendance of any keyboard instrument: this piece is one of the Mike Hugg acoustic ballads, similar to Sometimes (from Vol. 1), but in this case merely played on the tambourine (again!), the acoustic guitar and a bass (which really delivers some really nice runs here which for me are the reason why this piece doesn't seem banal). Mike Hugg is now accompanied by some female backing voices that, in my opinion, are rather annoying because they don't fit the earthy sound of the rest of the record, instead of that creating some kind of gospel feeling here. And once more (just like on Vol. 1) we get a useless single version as a bonus track in which only the inferior sound quality and the mono mix differ from the original version.

In Poor Sad Sue things get more frantic again: actually, this jazz rock piece is strange enough with its stomping floor tom rhythm and the distorted electric piano. But imagine that this is getting combined with the violin sound of Curved Air or It's A Beautiful Day; then you have a nice picture of what you get here. In fact, the first minute still is well salubrious, particularly because the violin (just like the part between 0:38 and 0:48) in its combination with the grand piano spawns an elegant classical feeling, but the brute brass melodies in the second stanza already are quite promising that stranger things are yet to come: after Mike Hugg has played a wonderful jazz piano solo, the violin reappears again and hovers eldritchly in the background at 2:44 the whole band goes crazy for one and a half minutes, doing what some call 'free jazz' and what others think to be random noises; at least I am astonished every time how independent and courageous this group was, but also how well they integrated these experimental elements into more typical rock pieces. Afterwards, the vocal parts are repeated again until in the end the nightmarish brass and violin shrieks enter into the main riff and end the song in a disturbing way; but don't we know this structure already? Yes, Lady Ace and many pieces from the first album are constructed exactly the same way, this 'rondo' way of composing which is also really typical of jazz music with vocals: in the beginning a vocal part, then extensive soloing, the vocal part reprise and ultimately the fade-out with even more soloing.

Jump Before You Think makes a difference. After an eye-winking copy (for two alto saxophones) of the The Grass is Greener riff of Colosseum's Valentyne Suite the listener learns that this track is the showcase of Steve York's bass guitar skills: all those who missed York's adventurous melodies and that great, overdriven bass guitar sound from the 1969 piece Snakeskin Garter should be more than satisfied at that point. An ensemble of Latin percussion, later accompanied by a typical Western drum kit, makes the bass solo seem even more terrific. Later, the big band reprises the theme from the beginning again and paves the way for a beautiful saxophone solo which really gets the balance between tonality and atonality: the random notes appear again, but there also some nice melodies which sound catchier and more conventional. And the ending? Yes. Ad libitum saxophone notes for thirty seconds or so. A great piece of jazz fusion!

It's Good To Be Alive sounds melancholic and mournful and reminds me, well, of nothing that I know. A slow and dark jazz ballad, really pschedelic in its own way, and maybe the most consistent tune on the whole album. Andy McCulloch, drummer on King Crimson's Lizard, plays the drums here and does an outstanding work with his rolling fills. Still the most striking thing is that Mann successfully weaves a neo-classical and slightly dissonant instrumental part into the piece in which he arranges some real strings to a pretty surreal and great effect, always reminding me of mountains in an ocean of mist. By the way, I'm pretty sure that the rumour that these are Mellotron strings is false - it sounds to realistic for an MkII machine. The thing about which I have to complain are the hissing noises of the tape machine sometimes are even louder than the music: I don't understand how these tapes have been 'remastered digitally' here. Simply by recording some third generation tapes on a computer? Anyway, the music stands out.

With Happy Being Me we (presumably?) get the piece de resistance of that album, the longest piece of music that Manfred Mann has ever recorded with any line-up. The vocal part of the song is a light-hearted soul/pop piece with bluesy vocals and an infective groove where the acoustic guitar as well as the organ set the tone (yes, the first time Manfred Mann really appears on this record). The textless refrain breathes the spirit of Music Hall, featuring big band and female choir performing a certain melody unisono: some slight advertisement feeling here (just like Chapter Three's theme music for 'Ski Full of Fitness'), but quite a good melody. Directly before the lengthy improvisation part the listener has to bear this melody some further times, but afterwards he may enjoy a dedicated grand piano solo, played by whoever - perhaps Mike Hugg in which he proves himself as a talented both-handed jazz pianist with obvious classical influences. At about 4:10 strange choir wails are added before you hear another saxophone solo which I also think to be quite tasty rather than too much on the chaotic side. The first turning point happens at the end of this saxophone solo when the rhythm changes from the breezy pop shuffling to an intense, tribal rhythm with trance-inducing background melodies. Afterwards the first solo by Manfred Mann begins in which his usual percussive and distorted Hammond organ sound is revisited, albeit (unfortunately) for not too long. Mike Hugg reappears for some fairly chaotic, but fitting electric piano lines which stay for the whole piece and nearly sound like an African thumb piano/xylophone (like in the beginning of King Crimson's Lark's Tongues in Aspic). The saxophone also returns then and maybe reaches its peak of free-jazz madness, but in this case it really fits as the background music is intensified as well, then with another reprise of the chorus of the piece to this mesmerizing, tribal drumming. Ultimately the tribal rhythms disappear so that only the chorus melody is left, accompanied by gurgling multi-tracked saxophones. The real ending of the piece is really unexpected as Mike Hugg delivers a classically-sounding outro on the grand piano which leaves the previously dominating jazz behind for some short glimpses of pseudo-baroque chord progression.

The single version of this piece has a nice 'smoky' sound as if it directly comes from an old, long-forgotten tape. Of course, the cuts are very bad and unprofessional, but I nevertheless like it.

Virginia, the second Manfred Mann composition, follows directly and is an unspectacular pop song which would have been o.k. without the brass interludes which in my opinion again are far much too 'rioting' in the context of that plain pop song. The part which rescues the song from being totally boring is the organ solo which slowly builds up from silent playing to maximum distortion and fiery glissandi: the solo ends abruptly and is followed by yet another solo piano ending which reprises the vocal melody for half a minute.

The alternate mix in fact is the same mix like the album version which is only faded out before the organ starts rocking. The remaster, the bonus tracks and the make-up as well are (just like Vol.1) a major impudence towards the listener.

Evaluating the music in its overall impression leaves me complaining about the brass section. Sometimes, the saxophones seem to be busy trying to destroy any kind of atmosphere which has been created before laboriously. On the first record there were noisy improvisations, too, but they had a purpose and weren't just there for the sake of the noise. Here, this balance isn't maintained, and furthermore some pieces rely on one particular idea too heavily. Manfred Mann's absence on most of the pieces is a pity, too, especially given that the band project is named after him.

On the pro side there's they inspired interplay of the piano, the drums and the bass guitar. And even after 40 years you still shake your head, wondering how something like that came into being. Compared with the lots of failed jazz experimentation of the 1970s (endless solos, total atonality and pseudo-complexity), this one is still an exciting listen. Jazz fusion lovers, with special interest in free jazz, should of course own this album.

Because of the remaster quality, the points of criticism and because of the fact that I like the first album much more because it simply seems more coherent, I will give only a 3 star rating for a really good and progressive jazz rock album which is an usual, but exciting addition to a jazz fusion collection, but still a really tough listen with flaws.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Einsetumadur
Prog Reviewer

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 ¾ 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.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

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 not...no one sounds like Mike Hugg on vocals. Strange fuzzy keyboards, fuzz bass and a great horn section here, too!

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.54 | 24 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by golowin

4 stars I bought this vinyl-record 1973 and i played it very often. This was one of my favorite LPs in the seventies. I liked the arth Band too, but more interesting and independent is Chapter Three. With many jazz influences and seeking for new land, manfred mann realized this after his popsong phase, and this is notably. Manifold compositions and a continous style do an album of coherence and density. A music for the daydream. Highly recommended.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.54 | 24 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Volume 2
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Second album from this band, and still delving further in experimentation - these things being relative, of course, but remember that these guys were pop writers just a year before this release. With an unchanged line-up and a strange artwork, this second albums takes off just where the previous had quit. The most logical step forward was the extension/lengthening of the tracks allowing for more instrumental interplay.

8-min opening track Lady Ace could've easily fitted on their previous album, with the difference that the brass section does get wilder than anything they had done on the first volume. Poor Sad Sue easily tops that with a free-jazz brass section solo before bringing things back to more conventional rock. Jump Before You with its African percussions and York improvising wildly on his bass, then the brass (first with a Moroccan feel) take over and a dissonant sax soloing away, is yet another perfect example of this unit still breaking new grounds. Good To Be Alive is more reminiscent of their debut album, but it is a creeper. The extended 16-min track Happy Being Me is full of great soloing (including Mann on piano) and some outstanding wind-works from Harold Becket and Nick Evans (of Keith Tippett fame)

Legend has it that a third album was recorded but the tapes lost, but one thing is certain, that record would've been another step towards nirvana. Instead the Chapter Three will break up and Manfred will take Hugg with him to found another superb group , the Earth Band which will make plenty of excellent records (but the first two albums were a clear step backwards) but in a rockier direction than here.

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 Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1 by MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.66 | 35 ratings

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Manfred Mann Chapter III - Volume 1
Manfred Mann's Chapter Three Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

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.

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