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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - The Roaring Silence CD (album) cover


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 273 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have the remastered version of this semi-classic album, although, for some reason, I never got round to buying it when it first came out, back in '76. I did, however, buy the famous single 'Blinded By The Light'. This track opens proceedings here, and it's the full length version in all its glory. Some superb guitar work from Flett, and some Supertramp style keyboards from Mann all contribute into making this an excellent song. For me, Chris Thompson is the best singer MMEB ever had. 'Singing The Dolphin Through' is a decent enough song, if a little light at times. You could imagine this song being performed in some sort of modern musical. It's a bit repetitive, but harmless enough. It is, though, probably my least favourite track on the album. Funnily enough, if you compare this album to their earlier releases, such as 'Solar Fire' and 'Messin', you'd swear at times this was a completely different band. Of course, they have a different singer and guitarist here, but the difference is also noticeable in the production, which is altogether slicker and more polished. That doesn't detract from the quality of the music however. 'Waiter, There's A Yawn In My Ear' is a rather wonderful jam, dominated by Mann's superb pitchbending and atmospheric playing, though there is some tasty guitar work too. Apparently, this track was recorded live, as there is some clapping at the end of it. 'The Road To Babylon' starts off with a sort of choir, before the song kicks in properly. The melody is quite majestic and Chris Slade's drumming is quite to the fore here. Dave Flett adds some nice wah wah in places, and Colin Pattenden's bass is also prominent. A good song, which ends abruptly. 'This Side Of Paradise' again has some nice guitar work from Flett, and some nice soloing from Mann. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album. There is quite a spacey feel to this song. 'Starbird' starts off with what sounds like a monk singing, alongside Thompson. Then a ferocious bass line kicks in, and some superb keyboard and guitar interplay follows. Apart from another brief burst of singing, this is basically an instrumental track, and it is reminiscent of The Flower Kings in a way. Finally, 'Questions' finishes off the original album. This slowish track boasts a fine vocal display from Thompson, and more great guitar from Flett, backed by some quiet but effective keyboards and unobtrusive percussion. 'Spirits Of The Night' is the first of the two bonus tracks. To my ears, the music here is not unlike Pink Floyd, though the vocals are more American in style. In some ways, his track is the most seventies sounding on the album, to my ears. Finally, the single version of 'Blinded By The Night' finishes off the album nicely. I am torn between three and four stars, but in the end I think it's just worth the four. Good album.
chessman | 4/5 |


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