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Manfred Mann's Earth Band

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Manfred Mann's Earth Band The Good Earth album cover
3.58 | 207 ratings | 16 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Give Me The good Earth (8:30)
2. Launching Place (5:50)
3. I'll Be Gone (3:39)
4. Earth Hymn (6:18)
5. Sky High (5:14)
6. Be Not Too Hard (4:11)
7. Earth Hymn Part 2 (4:15)

Total Time: 37:57

Bonus Tracks on 1998 & 2008 reissues:
8. Be Not Too Hard (Single Edit) (3:39)
9. I'll Be Gone (Single Edit) (3:29)
10. Earth Hymn Part 2 (Single Edit) (4:13)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mick Rogers / guitar, vocals
- Manfred Mann / keyboards, co-producer
- Colin Pattenden / bass
- Chris Slade / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Linda Glover @ Design Machine

LP Bronze ‎- ILPS 9306 (1974, UK)

CD Cohesion ‎- COMME CD 12 (1987, Europe
CD Cohesion - MANN 007 (1998, Europe) Remastered by Mike Brown & Robert M Corich with 3 bonus tracks
CD Cohesion - MANN 007 (2008, Europe) As above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND The Good Earth ratings distribution

(207 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND The Good Earth reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Somewhat of a let-down after Solar Fire . For unconditional fans only. If you send back the corner of the album with your name on it , you became the proud owner of one square yeard of Welsh Highlands and on the back cover was a photo of where this land was . In a very grimm and depressing welsh semi-industrial valley. Somehow , the artifact of the land might have worked if the location had been better. I don't think this helped the sales of the album , but the music certainly did not.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is more rock than "Nightingales & Bombers": the electric guitar is more present and there are decent solos. The sound of the electric guitar is rather poor. Do not get this album for the sound of the guitar: you will be disappointed. The keyboards are sometimes experimental but unique, as always. The bass sound is very good. There are many relaxing bits. The lead vocals are very good, as always. This is not very sophisticated progressive rock.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a perfect prog album from MMEB.Manfred Mann made quite a bit of publicity when selling this album assuring purchasers of the LP a tiny bit of land from a small remote piece of Welsh hillside. 'Give me the Good Earth' has all the trappings of creative, keyboard laden tracks with the very essential conceptual base to build from.From ' Earth Hymns ( Both parts) to the title track and the wonderful ' Be not too hard' Manfred Mann delivers a beautiful concept album withan equally strong ' Green' message. I recently acquired the CD version and I have to say it was well worth the wait.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars This is my second best manfred mann's earth band, after Nightingale& bombers. One of the true prog albums of the '70. Between messin' and chance, the best period of the band. Excelent instrumental parts of the album , a classic prog rock, listen every time you need a good music in your cd, always. 4 stars for this one.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Sod it, I missed out!

Having bought "The good earth" second hand some years after its initial release, I was devastated to miss out on owning my square foot of land in Wales which was given away with initial copies of the album. I shall endeavour however not to let this disappointment tarnish my review! The site in Wales is still there by the way, and was recently visited by a groups of fans of the band, who found it to be totally unspoilt.

Released in 1974, "The good earth" was Manfred Mann's Earth Band's fifth release. At the time of its release, this album was perceived to be something of a disappointment after the excellent "Solar fire". Certainly there are no songs on it which have gone on to gain recognition as MMEB classics, and unusually there is a complete absence of any Dylan or Springsteen covers.

Track one is however a cover, one of three on the album. Written by Gary Wright (of Spooky Tooth), the track is lyrically from a bygone (hippy) age, including such lines as "Give me the open skies that I can dream on, give me the flowers the birds and bees". The band develop the track well creating an eight and a half minute opus with strong lead guitar work by Mick Rogers and floating keyboards by Mann. Rogers vocals are not as strong or distinctive as his successor Chris Thompson, who might have been able to give the track the extra dimension it seems to lack. The other covers are of songs by New Zealander Mike Rudd. On "Launching Place" and "I'll be gone" Rogers does a reasonable impression of Steve Winwood, the tracks sounding rather like outtakes from a Traffic session.

Side two continues the ecological theme, opening with "Earth hymn", probably the best track on the album. The song has a passing resemblance with "This side of paradise" on "The Roaring silence". Midway through, it bursts into one of Manfred Mann's fine synthesiser breaks before fading with some reverse loops. The Mann/Rogers composition "Sky high" is a good excuse for them to jam together taking alternating leads. "Be not too hard for life is short", to give the song its full title, is taken from a poem by Christopher Logue. This softer ballad has a relative simplicity which contrasts well with the more progressive structures which surround it. The album closes with a reprise of "Earth hymn" in slightly altered format.

In all, while "The good earth" is a decent and highly progressive album, it stands beneath its peers such as "Solar fire" and "The roaring silence" in terms of quality. The performance is exemplary but, seen in retrospect, the choice of material is weaker than we have come to expect of this fine band.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This album was released almost a year later the great "Solar Fire" and for a reason I can't explain, I totally missed it at that time. Now, when you listen to this, you might understand that there were less interest for this work than for its great predecessor. After the Sun, Manfred is tackling the Earth concept. Why not?

"The Good Earth" is not a bad album. Taken as such, it features some pleasant songs, more bluesy and closer to their prior work (before "Solar Fire" I mean). Some good rocking numbers with raving electric guitar ("Giving Me The Good Earth" as well as "Launching Place").

Things get worse with the dull "I'll Be Gone". I guess that the best thing to do to avoid this poor and repetitive song is effectively to move away or to press nextT of course.

The mood is totally different for "Earth Hymn - Part One". Indeed a great hymn, full of energy, great synthesizer part and a frenetic beat during the instrumental part of this excellent rock song. The most sophisticated and the best one as well. On par with the best from "Solar Fire". And the second and more aerial part is also very nice. Spacey keyboards and softer attack, it is a good extension of "Part One". I particularly like the excellent and emotional guitar work which closes this song.

The approach is somewhat similar for "Sky High". But while it starts on a very proggy way, the second half is a bit of a deception. Fully jazz oriented, almost improv should I say. It could have been written by dear Carlos ("Barboletta" period), the guitar being again of great support for this average song.

At the end of the day, this album is more than acceptable. Of course when compared to "Solar Fire", it falls short (but that one was a masterpiece IMO).

Three stars for this good old earth one.

Review by Gooner
4 stars This is a unique one to say the least. In fact, I've always found the vocals very reminiscent to Roy Wood of _The Move_ from the album Shazaam. Keyboards are experimental on this album and the riffing is angular in a King Crimson-ish style. _Be Not Too Hard_ probably the best MMEB single ever released outside of _Joybringer_. Mellotron fans will highly enjoy the keyboard work by Manfred Mann on _The Good Earth_. This album also reminds me of what Badger(Tony Kaye's group) might sound like had they recorded in the studio around the release of _One Badger Live_. Certainly, this is the underdog in their discography and should never garner less than 3 stars. _Good_ for some, but _an excellent addition to any prog music collection_ to my ears. 4 stars!
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is better then I thought it would be. This band certainly know how to create great songs and this album is no exception. I like what it says in the liner notes."The band's popularity live was increasing rapidly and by late 1974 they were touring to packed houses headlining with label mates URIAH HEEP and the up and coming (soon to be supergroup) Rush". Haha.

"Give Me The Good Earth" opens with a crowing rooster before guitar and vocals come in. I like the guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in, and when it ends the song settles down and we can hear birds chirping. It kicks back in around 6 1/2 minutes. "Launching Place" builds slowly with synths and drums. Vocals before 2 minutes.The guitar is prominant 4 1/2 minutes in. "I'll Be Gone" is catchy with this "down home" feel to it.

"Earth Hymn" takes a minute to get going as vocals and a beat come in with synths. Guitar before 2 minutes. It kicks in before 4 minutes to the end. "Sky High" has no real melody and lots of synths early. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in with drums, bass and piano. Synths start to play over top then it's the guitar's turn. "Be Not Too Hard" is a beautiful track. Fragile vocals, synths and acoustic guitar lead the way early. A fuller sound 2 minutes in. "Earth Hymn Part 2" opens with synths and mellotron. Faint vocals come in. There's a bit of a FLOYD vibe 2 minutes in. Vocals 3 minutes. Great sound.

This is one of those albums right on the edge of 4 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Progressive environmentalism?

Starting with Solar Fire and culminating with The Roaring Silence, Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a string of good albums. The Good Earth is the least good out of these albums, but it is still very good and almost as good as the other ones from this golden period.

There were always cover songs on Manfred Mann's Earth Band's albums and most of their biggest hits and live favourites were actually written by other people. The Good Earth stands out in this respect since there is neither a Bob Dylan nor a Bruce Springsteen cover on this album and it also did not produce any big hits for the band. This is ironic in a way since this album is possibly the most accessible of this period (1973-1976), with some songs reminding somewhat of the more commercial music the band produced in their early years (as well as on some later albums). There is, however, a covers on this album too. The somewhat environmentalist title track was written by Gary Wright of Spooky Tooth fame. I sometimes wonder what the connection is between Prog and environmentalism since many Prog bands featured such themes on their albums.

As on most of Manfred Mann's Earth Band's albums, the material on The Good Earth is melodic and catchy. This album is not at all very different from most other albums by the group. It often comes across as an updated 60's pop which is developed in a progressive way with longer songs and some experimental features.

The best tracks on The Good Earth are in my opinion the two Earth hymns, which are up to par with the best from Solar Fire.

If you like this band and this type of music in general, this is an album you should have in your collection. But if you are new to the band there are a few better places to start. Good, but non-essential.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not a bad album, but being placed between two really great works just isn't at the same level. Even if contains more or less same elements as them both (hard rock, blues rock, some folk-rock and prog rock), the music there is heavier and more straight rock.

With characteristic guitar and keyboards interplays, combined with great vocals, album is quite usual MM album. But it missed some complexity, more elegant arrangements. Concentrated on more rocky side, even so expected melodies are half-missed.

Happily, the band corrected their sound on the next album and recorded possibly their best work. Not a bad music for band's regular fans, this album could not be recommended as entry for newcomers. Much better start from previous or next albums, they both are excellent!

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Two steps forward and one step back for Manfred Mann's Earth Band in the mid seventies. Following the ambitious and solidly-executed 'Solar Fire' the band released 'The Good Earth', an uneven effort characterized by more bluesy riffs than prior albums and sometimes lackluster and seemingly improvised jam sessions. The band appeared to have hit a dry spell in terms of arranging and even interpretation, with the entire first side of the vinyl release consisting of rather pedestrian covers from the likes of Gary Wright and the progressive band Spectrum.

The opening "Give Me the Good Earth" is a pretty straightforward bluesy rocker originally penned by Gary Wright for his solo album 'Footprint', recorded while he was still a member of Spooky Tooth and not unlike that band's music from the early seventies. The guitar work here is uninspired compared to the prior 'Solar Fire' and Mann's keyboard work, while plentiful, is also not up to the level of his better work before and after this album.

The next couple of tracks came from the Australian group Spectrum, basically a pub band who achieved some measure of fame in their native country but little exposure anywhere else. I'm not sure where or how Mann stumbled onto them or why he decided to include these songs on the album, other than that they are somewhat in the thematic vein of simple, earthy living that permeates this record. The sound is sort of a mix of the James Gang or Bad Company with a little Grateful Dead mixed in, competent but a far cry from most of the rest of their seventies output.

The back side of the album consists of all original material, most of it credited to Manfred Mann with help from guitarist Mick Rogers and drummer Chris Slade. Rogers distinguishes himself the most on the quietly tense ecology anthem "Earth Hymn" which he interestingly enough did not help write, while he takes a bit of a back seat except for vocals on the jazzy "Sky High" and country-tinged "Be Not Too Hard", both of which he co- authored. The latter of these is much closer in sound to the band's early output, while the former showcases some of the more experimental and ambitious keyboard work from Mann (relatively speaking).

The album ends on "Earth Hymn part 2", musically mostly an extension of "Earth Hymn" and especially the spacey keyboards courtesy of Mann himself.

This is a rather unremarkable album from the band, not poor by any means but a letdown following the much more dynamic 'Solar Fire'. Fortunately the band would get their groove back the following year with the solid 'Nightingales & Bombers', but this one doesn't hold up well over the years and frankly wasn't all that great even when it was new. A three star effort but just barely. Anyone whose only exposure to Manfred Mann's Earth Band was 'The Roaring Silence' is bound to be disappointed by this one, so if that describes you then 'Solar Fire' or maybe even 'Angel Station' might be a better choice to expand your knowledge of the band. This one should be attempted somewhat later.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Manfred Mann's Earth Band's progressive phase continues in 1974 with the album ''The good Earth'', recorded again at The Workhouse in Old Kent, London.The album dealt with ecological concerns and the band promoted it i a unique way.Each one having bought the copy would own the rights of one square foot of the earth in the County of Brecon, Wales, after registering via a coupon enclosed in the album!The album was released in October 1974 on Bronze Records.

Stylistically speaking this was one of Manfred Mann's Earth Band's most uneven works in the 70's.The main reason was propably the selection of songs of the opening side, ''Give me the good Earth'' was a reworking on a track by Spooky Tooth's Gary Wright from his solo album ''Footprint'', while both ''Launching place'' and ''I'll be gone'' were originally written by Mike Rudd, the main man behind Aussie Psych Rocker's Spectrum.So, ''Give me the good Earth'' is actually a raw Psych Rock piece with bluesy guitars and vocals in evidence with a nice after-middle part, highlighted by Mann's Mellotron and the nice guitar tunes of Mick Rogers.''Launching place'' is along the stylings of the band around the time, fronted by the spacey Moog synthesizer of Mann and the some bluesy/melodic guitar moves by Rogers, followed by a very good solo, while ''I'll be gone'' is a simple rockin' piece with a slow tempo and a rather cliche sound.The band's original material is displayed on the flipside and comes on par with the sound of ''Solar fire''.Much more balanced, with Mann's delightful keyboard themes in a jazzy and symphonic vein, these pieces are pretty close to GREENSLADE, featuring lots of keyboard interludes and more quirky bass and guitar parts.Mellotron, Moog synthesizer and acoustic piano come in evidence in moments, containing cinematic textures, Fusion techniques and Classical flavors, the instrumental parts are pretty extended and the vocals are more convincing, the result is music full of grandieur and instrumental efficiency, scanning a variety of styles and setting up a trully progressive atmosphere.

Had this album followed the style of the second side, we would be dealing with a fantastic work of Prog music.Even so ''The good Earth'' is another mark left by Manfred Mann's Earth Band in the 70's prog list, characterized by great keyboard lines and instrumental majesty.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Not the definitive album for them, but certainly one of their best. The first track, "Give Me the Good Earth" is a clever mix of environmentalism, or perhaps just simple living, prog, and that kind of loud, raucous, heavy 70's guitar rock you might expect from Joe Walsh's James Gang. I love th ... (read more)

Report this review (#476656) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album has always been my favorites from the early 70's. Nice blend of "prog" and "rock" for me with inspirationsal keyboards, especially those synth leads. Got me past my Elton John thing (not that there's anyhitng wromg with that). Only one I still have (lost Solar Fire somewhere) and I co ... (read more)

Report this review (#40094) | Posted by | Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My favorite album from that group. All musicians play their best parts and chorus and maybe it's the most acheved album of MM'sEB of the 1st period ( 70'ies) Just close your eyes and listen it with good headphones. ... (read more)

Report this review (#27954) | Posted by | Sunday, May 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of MMEB's finest ever albums and the only other MMEB's album that beats it is nightingales & bombers. It took the band some 4 years to reach this stage, and the first glimse of it was on solar fire. Solar fire was a test run in my opinion for the good earth. The good earth contains more ... (read more)

Report this review (#27950) | Posted by | Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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