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Man 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle album cover
3.38 | 65 ratings | 5 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude / The Storm (12:24)
2. It Is As It Must Be (8:30)
3. Spunk Box (5:52)
4. My Name Is Jesus Smith (4:06)
5. Parchment And Candles (1:52)
6. Brother Arnold's Red And White Striped Tent (5:06)

Total Time: 37:50

Bonus Tracks on 2009 reissue:
7. My Name Is Jesus Smith (Alternative Version) (5:14)
8. A Sad Song (Grasshopper) (5:16)
9. Walkin' The Dogma ("Spunk Box" Demo) (6:07)

Line-up / Musicians

- Micky Jones / lead guitar, vocals
- Deke Leonard / guitar, harmonica, piano, percussion, vocals
- Clive John / organ, piano, guitar, vocals
- Ray Williams / bass
- Jeff Jones / drums, percussion

Releases information

LP Dawn ‎- DNLS 3003 (1969, UK)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- RR-4025-C (1989, Germany)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2128 (2009, UK) With 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to salmacis for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAN 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

MAN 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Tony Hatch rages as Man touches his harpsichord

Man's second album was released in 1969, the same year as their debut. In an effort to emphasise the serious nature of their music, Pye records moved Man to their new Dawn label. Ironically, the album title is a flippant description of the physical make up of an LP record.

Relying more and more on instrumental prowess, the opening "Prelude/The storm" is an ambitious scene setter with clear delusions of grandeur. Things continue to build towards a seemingly limitless crescendo before easing off to an altogether more relaxing, almost ambient phase. As we move into "It is as it must be" (originally to be titled "Shit on the world" till the record company took fright), we begin to uncover what would become the essence of the band. Here we have a heavy, bluesy guitar driven riff laden number with the first vocals of the album. Apart from that brief vocal excursion, the track is primarily an elongated jam featuring lead guitar and harmonica.

In another example of wonderful incompetence, the record company took exception to the title of the third track. It was therefore changed from "Spunk rock" to "Spunk box" (a record company employee misunderstood the instructions and changed the wrong word!), although the former title has prevailed over time. In view of the way this track has been extended and developed in the live arena, the version here may sound a little tame. It remains though one of Man's signature numbers.

"My name is Jesus Smith" is the most commercial track on the album, reverting to the Bystanders (from whom Man evolved) light pop rock style with pleasant harmonies. Midway through, the song bizarrely transforms into a hoe-down style country piece.

"Parchment and candles" was reputedly performed on a harpsichord belonging to producer/song writer Tony Hatch, who took exception to the band using it without his permission and threw an Elton John style tantrum. The piece itself is a brief reflective instrumental, quite unlike what we have come to expect from Man. The album closes with a Budgie like romp through "Brother Arnold's red and white striped tent". Not a particularly memorable track by any means, but fine all the same.

In all, an album which sees Man starting to find a clear direction, while still experimenting with a few disparate styles. An enjoyable excursion.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars By this, their second album Man were starting to get more adventurous and the longer tracks were starting to appear, side 1 of the original vinyl version only has 2 tracks for example.

Prelude and The Storm pretty are pretty much one track, Prelude opening with tympani, organ and some harmonies, no words, just ahs if you catch my drift before giving way to piano which segues into The Storm. Slowly strummed guitars and seagull effects build up with the introduction of further instrumentation and effects on this more or less ambient piece into something that replicates a storm. It gradually fades into something more structured, sweetly picked acoustic and electric guitar, light drum work and those ah vocals are back. What this part has to do with a storm beats me, perhaps the calm after the storm is over? We then revert to the theme introduced at the start of The Storm. Unfortunately it hasn't stood the test of time too well and I can't see the current incarnation of Man being in any hurry to resurrect it.

It Is As It Must Be is better. Heavy bluesy psychedelic rock is the order of the day. It's a bit repetitive until it speeds up midway but the band start introducing longer guitar solos which are a staple of later Man songs.

Side 2 kicks off with Spunk Box, later to be known as Spunk Rock in its numerous live appearances. Much shorter here than it ever was live but it's still a lively bluesy rocker.

My Name is Jesus Smith is more commercial and has an American West Coast feel to it, where Man have drawn much influence from over the years. It's a bit weak but fortunately not too long.

Parchment and Candles is a twee instrumental which could have easily sat on their first album and it sounds very dated with it's 60's style harpsichord so prevalent on many 60's songs. It could easily be a soundtrack to one of those 60's TV shows like Randall and Hopkirk.

Brother Arnold's Red and White Striped Tent is better. It's another bluesy rocker which like Spunk Box and It Is As It Must Be looks towards the future development of the band but ultimately lacks the spark of future work.

Overall then 2oz of Plastic With a Hole in the Middle sees Man bridging the gap between their more commercial 1960's psychedelic tinged debut and with what was to come in the 70's, the American west coast influenced psychedelic jam band. As a result it's quite experimental in places, some of it works, some doesn't but it's a step in the right direction even if the overall results were less than spectacular. 2 stars.

Review by DangHeck
3 stars The second album by Welsh Psych-Prog band Man, 2 Ozs. of Plastic with a Hole in the Middle (a simple, yet clever title), was also the second of their albums to be released in 1969 following their debut, Revelation. Many recognize this year as a major turning point for progressive music, signaling the slow departure from the Avant-garde-inspired Art Music explosion within the Psychedelic movement from '66-'68, toward the longform Romantic-Classical stylings of what we now know as early (Symphonic) Progressive Rock. With the establishment of this latter compositional form, from bands like The Moody Blues and The Nice, more and more eclectic combinations occurred, resulting in such important, groundbreaking albums like In the Court of the Crimson King, Uncle Meat (The Mothers of Invention), Hot Rats (Frank Zappa), Abbey Road, The Chicago Transit Authority (Chicago), Tommy (The Who), Trout Mask Replica (Captain Beefheart), Monster Movie (Can), Phallus Dei (Amon Duul II), Valentyne Suite (Colosseum), Volume Two (Soft Machine), Mercator Projected (East of Eden), Sea Shanties (High Tide), Family Entertainment (Family), Deep Purple, Songs for a Tailor (Jack Bruce), blah blah blah, so on and so forth... Anyhow, I'll get off my weird, history-obsessed soapbox and onto the actual review haha.

And even in 1969, what a remarkable thing to not only start off one's album with a 12 minute song, but then filling out the remainder of side A with an 8 minute song to follow! In this first track, "Prelude / The Storm" , instrumental piano balladry is married with shimmering guitars, which frankly sounds surprisingly modern! When you know how Paul McCartney did it in '66, you have to wonder if they found new ways to resemble echoing seagulls haha. Psychedelia certainly shan't be damned here. Wondrous, lovely music. In the fourth minute, we crescendo to heavenly heights. A little Progressive Folk Rock perhaps? It really grooves! So much to love. Nothing in this stormy prelude could prepare us exactly for the very contemporary Blues Psych bombast that is "It Is As It Must Be", and really, can't we just all agree on this one thing? /s. What a turn! And here we also get the equally of-the-time vocals of... someone... and the beautiful, clear-as-mud fuzz tone from lead guitarist Micky Jones (no, not guitarist Mick Jones of The Clash, nor guitarist Mick Jones of Foreigner). Even in this very timely Blues Rock, we have just plain excellent performances all 'round! The rhythm section is ablaze and all the lead performances are exemplary; I really enjoyed the track, yet I must acknowledge the lack of proggings [and in this, it is certainly not alone].

Onto side B! We now have "Spunk Box", and with this title my mind goes places, but with the lyrics... Is he horned up and ready to go, or is this guy severely suicidal, or just going to off himself because of...? The results, I can imagine, could vary [picture a toothsome, though cringing emoji here; thanks]. Either way, weird, if not straight-up not good lyrics. Fun, though, somewhat reminiscent of Led Zep early on, and then after minute 3 we get a shocking lot more (not sure how to describe it other than 'lilting')! I mean, it's not not Prog haha. "My Name is Jesus Smith" is up next, which feels like yet another contemporary sentiment. These folk seem to share distinct fondness for American musical idioms as John and George Beatle (of the infamous Beatle Family Band). A spruced up Rock 'n Roll is here, matched nicely with close Pop Rock vocal harmonies and a beefed up rhythm section (one definite consistency here). Still in these Americas, as we approach the end, we get more or less some Appalachia, with Country-Western affectations and... ok, I'll stop talking out of my ass haha. I'm on to something with that, though.

As we approach the end, we get the Baroque-flavor interlude(?), "Parchment and Candles", which once again lilts, this time to the sound of soft, right-panned harpsicord. Love it! These are the sort of tracks I love to randomly happen upon in a shuffle of songs. Understated, perfectly short. This is followed by "Brother Arnold's Red and White Striped Tent", a second moment of admittedly harsh juxtaposition; gritty Blues Rock with ringing lead guitar and a marching backbeat. The title doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? All falls away to a really fantastic solo section of Hammond and electric guitar, the latter sometimes resembling what we might identify with Tony Iommi later on. It was good, but another [in fact the weakest] lull in everything this album could have been.

I'm giving it an awfully optimistic True Rate of 3.5/5.0. Its high points were awfully high, despite it not fitting within the Progressive idioms discoverable in those great, momentous albums listed above. I regret nothing haha.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Recent acquisition on the Man back catalogue on vinyl has proved that one of the greatest bands to emerge from Wales had a) a big list of albums and b) the quality of them is fairly consistent blending good with mediocre tracks on a regular basis. The arrival in the post on "2 Ozs. Of Plastic Wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1031844) | Posted by malcra | Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A vast improvement from their debut platter. Still heavily influenced by their west coast pysch peers, the performances have tightened and great experimental ideas were flowing. The LP starts with the magnificent Prelude/The Storm - which lasts for over 12 minutes (Please note that track time ... (read more)

Report this review (#110385) | Posted by kingdhansak | Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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