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Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 83 ratings

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PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars A Highlight of the MAN history ...

The MAN band had reached the peak in 1972/1973 and this album belongs to the best of what they ever worked out. 'Be good to yourself at least once a day' - an ambiguous title by the way - was one of my mostly played LP's in the 70s. Nearly every day when I was acting as a barkeeper and DJ in personal union at our youth center FLA-FLA I took the chance to put on this album during the evening/night and never noticed anybody misliking it. But sadly once a burglery stopped that and my vinyl exemplar provided with this special Wales map disappeared for ever end ever - how sad, at least for that moment.

What I'm writing about is the new release by Esoteric Recordings from 2007 which contains two bonus tracks. It probably might be only a matter for completionists to explore an earlier version of 'Bananas'. But it was new for me that this song is a product of the former Jones/Leonard/Ace/Williams line-up as a matter of fact. It's interesting anyhow to search for the stylistical differences. And the short Rockfield Jam is from the same recording session - something really new for me, laid back - and yes - sounding like a leftover from the recent 'Do You Like It Here Now ...' production.

Much more interesting though is that the original album contains two of their most famous songs and they played them nearly on every live show until today - no matter what line-up was present ever. If you're searching through the MAN discography I'm sure you will get the most hits for them because of the huge amount of live recordings and compilations which were offered.

The album starts off with one of this very special pieces simply named C'mon. First there is Micky Jones' wellknown riff initiating a straighforward rocking part soon showing a band's trademark - the dual guitar work, matching flawlessly. The rhythm instruments are played very simple here just for backing the interaction of guitars and keyboards. The keys - they have never been a main component of the sound and even developed to a minor point after starting the first reunion in 1983. But this time, with the presence of Phil Ryan, the organ appears somewhat emancipated. Clive John, formerly responsible for the keys predominantly, substitutes Deke Leonard for to have a second guitar present. However - the important dual guitar appearance is less contrasty as with Leonard. The whole group fits together though regarding 'Be Good To Yourself ...' as the debut for this line-up.

After a while the song changes into a breathtaking spacey section. Very melancholic - organ and guitars are circling and floating around - fantastic! This is only surpassed by the live version from the 'Back into the Future' album including the Gwalia Male Choir. The song later turns back into the former propulsive drive again with haunting guitars and then it all suddenly stops. The following relaxed grooving Keep On Crinting with a high psychedelia quotient is proving that they were heavy on the road at that time bouncing from one gig to the other playing the songs coupled with extended jamming. Excellent synth, organ and twin guitar interaction. Will Youatt and drummer Terry Williams are showing their real skills.

Bananas is heading the vinyl's B-side and the second featured MAN classic. A happy flavoured mood is leading this song provided with challenging lyrics - expressing they liked bananas and marihuana :-). This one is also provided with a more relaxed floating part where Phil Ryan proves that he's a benefit for the sound with his versatile organ work. And finally the song gets very psychedelic at the end. Life on the road is reflecting their intensive touring experiences I'm sure. This is presented as a boogie/shuffle song with nice piano contributions. A song with US westcoast influences which is more refering to the sound with Deke Leonard in the line-up.

The aforementioned 'Back into the Future' album has been already priced by me with five stars because of the stunning live recordings. So this album which also obsesses me for more than 30 years will 'only' get 4.5 stars. Recommended by all means if you want to explore MAN's highly developed psychedelic and spacey period.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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