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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Solar Fire CD (album) cover


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 334 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I always enjoyed what Manfred Mann I heard in the seventies. I loved 'Joybringer', the single, though I never bought it. Likewise, I enjoyed 'Blinded By The Light', the single, but in this case I did buy it, though I never bought 'The Roaring Silence', the album it came from, even though I was tempted. I have just acquired 'Solar Fire', having read many good reviews for it, and I have to say,after just four plays, I find it very good indeed, if not quite a masterpiece. Although mine is the remastered version, it has to be said that the music does sound a little dated in parts, often due to the girly vocals, but the music is superb. The interplay between Mann and Rogers on guitar is remarkable at times. 'Father Of Day, Father Of Night' kicks off the proceedings, and it's a nice mid-paced, almost hynotic track that sets the tone nicely, with good guitar work and a spacey feel to it. 'In The Beginning, Darkness' is another good piece, though it does sound a little dated in parts. 'Pluto The Dog' is a fine instrumental, again spacey, and this time interspersed with a barking dog at strategic moments! 'Solar Fire' has the girly vocals again, but it's a fine song, with speaker-sweeping effects from Mann's wonderful synths. Again, it has a spacey feel to it. 'Saturn, Lord Of The Ring/Mercury, The Winged Messenger' is another top notch instrumental that starts off with a nice 'waltzing' guitar beat, played in a bluesy way! You have to hear it to understand what I mean. The 'Mercury' part brings in more synth effects from our South African friend and some up front percussion leads to a more driving beat, and more good guitar interplay with the keyboards. 'Earth, The Circle, pt2' is a more light-hearted affair, up-tempo and dominated by Mann's keyboards. This is followed, imaginatively enough, by 'Earth, The Circle, pt1' just to be awkward! For some reason, the vocals on this remind me of 10cc at times! I could imagine Lol Creme singing this quite easily. This is another cheerful track, with nice piano and keyboards underlying the vocals. 'Joybringer' is the first of the two bonus tracks, and very welcome it is here too. It brings back to me those wonderful musical days of '73, and is redolent of the period. The tune is ridiculously catchy, and you can't stop humming it once you hear it. Finally, we have the second bonus track, which is simply an edited version of 'Father Of Day, Father Of Night', but it finishes of this fine album nicely. A nice trip back to the glory years of prog! Maybe four stars is a tad generous, but it's surely worth more than three. Worth more than the odd listen.
chessman | 4/5 |


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