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


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 331 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Solar Fire was a pleasant surprise. Like many limited to classic rock playlists in formative years, finding out the there was more to Manfred Mann than Blinded by the Light was a mini-revelation. This album has plenty of enjoyable moments from spacey prog and keyboard dominated moments to fairly straightforward rock. Although for the most part pleasant throughout, I still haven't found much that is truly impressive or memorable. Three stars seems appropriate.

Father of Day, Father of Night. Solar Fire kicks off in fine fashion with this epic track. Lots of raw, shrill guitar and textured organ tones set the tone for the rest of the album. Catchy, stately lyrics are set to a memorable melody, with a great guitar jam in the middle. Almost worth purchase of the album by itself, but far from the only highlight.

In the Beginning, Darkness. Defining features are similar to the last track: good melodies, great spacey instrumental break, and course guitar and synth textures. I also enjoy the female vocalist--nice touch.

Pluto the Dog. A lazy, funky instrumental with back-and-forth between keys and guitar, with some pseudo-dog barks to boot. Foot- tapping and enjoyable every time, though nothing special.

Solar Fire. Another mid-tempo rocker, and the guitar is especially shrill and attention grabbing toward the middle. Nice groove.

Saturn.../Mercury... I'm glad these two tracks were merged, because the majestic guitar jamming of Saturn dies down nicely into the spacey build to the rocking finale of Mercury. Probably the proggiest moment of the album.

Earth the Circle (Parts 2 & 1). Here's where the album quality really tails off in my opinion. Part 2 doesn't really offer much new or better than the material preceeding it, and Part 1 sounds a bit childish to my ears. Unfortunately, these tracks leave me with a bad taste for the album, partly undeserved.

There's definitely good stuff on here. I don't see quite enough that's really progressive to warrant more than 3 stars, but I don't think you will feel your money has been wasted on Solar Fire.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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