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Manfred Mann's Plains Music

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Manfred Mann's Plains Music Plains Music album cover
2.65 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kiowa C. Minor (3:15)
2. Medicine Song (4:15)
3. Wounded Knee (4:51)
4. Laguna F Minor (4:55)
5. Sikelele I (3:43)
6. Hunting Bow (1:37)
7. Instrumedicine Song (4:06)
8. Sikelele II (4:03)
9. Hunting Bow Major (2:39)

Total time 33:24

Bonus track on 1992 CD reissue :
10. Hunting Bow (Reprise) (1:37)

Bonus tracks on 1998 remaster:
10. Salmon Fishing (3:59)
11. L.I.A.S.O.M. (3:49)
12. Medicine Song (re-mix) (4:13)

Line-up / Musicians

- Noel Mc Calla / lead vocals
- Manfred Mann / keyboards, arranger & producer
- Barbara Thompson / saxophone
- Peter Sklair / bass
- Ian Hermann / drums & percussion

- Smiler Makana / African hunting bows
- Kelly Petlane / pennywhistle
- Doren Thobeki / vocals
- Walter Sanza / vocals
- Chief Dawethi / vocals

Releases information

All material, except Sikelele & Sikelele II are original red-indian tribal chants.

Artwork: Arnold Dobbs

CD Rhythm Safari ‎- CDL 57123 (1991, US)
CD Kaz Records ‎- KAZ CD 902 (1992, UK) With a bonus track
CD Cohesion ‎- MANN 017 (1998, Europe) Remaster by Mike Brown & Robert Corich, 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MANFRED MANN'S PLAINS MUSIC Plains Music ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Indian reservation

"Plain's Music" is actually by Manfred Mann's Plain Music, not by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The difference is important, as this album bears no relation to MMEB. The "plains" in question are those of North America, the music being "the melodies of the North American plains Indians". The sleeve notes however also bear the disclaimer "we do not pretend that (the album) is in any way representative of the original ethnic music which was the source material".

So what do we have then? In fact "Plains music" is a sparse, jazz tinged album, of light melodies, and singing which sounds more African tribal than Indian. The nearest vocal comparison I can offer is Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The tracks are however largely instrumental with sax, flute, piano, and what I take to be acoustic guitar being the dominant sounds. I hesitate over the guitar, as no guitarist is actually credited, the nearest being either Mann's keyboards, or "African hunting bows". Manfred Mann had of course dabbled with tribal sounds some nine years or so before, on MMEB's "Somewhere in Afrika", but the results then were somewhat different.

The music throughout is soft, to the point of being understated, but the jazz influence sits reasonably well with the tribal sounds. The tracks are short, and tend to fade rather abruptly without concluding satisfactorily. It did occur to me that had they been joined together to form longer pieces, the overall effect may have been improved. The album as a whole is also very short, lasting around half an hour, if that.

A pleasant, but undemanding album. Fans of MMEB's powerful prog rock sound should however approach with considerable caution.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars First off if you want to listen to Manfred Mann's Earth Band delivering great African ethnic sounds then get Somewhere In Afrika from 1982 and play side two of the album. Pretty decent music and very appropriate for the times in Southern Africa. Secondly if you want to listen to North American ethnic music then don't listen to Manfred Mann's Plains Music either because I must stress, the majority of the music on this offering is second rate African ethnic music at best.Granted there are some decent tunes like ' Wounded Knee and Kiowa but Sikilele I and Sikilele II are poor versions of something Jaluka or even Savuka may have produced with the great Johnny Clegg.' Medicine Song' has some nice upbeat melody with Noel McCalla on vocals ( He sang on Smallcreep's Day for Mike Rutherford). I guess 'Plains' music could relate to both continents but I am pretty sure the missive of this album was supposed to have focussed on North American Indian themes. The album excluding bonus tracks is about thirty minutes long so I am afraid not much to offer all round. Far better to recommend Manfred Mann's Earth Band for some great progressive works. Confusing review? It is meant to be, I still cannot work this one out. Watch out for the Kenny G type sax too on ' Salmon Fishing'. Keyboard work as always exemplary as one would expect from Manfred Mann.
Review by b_olariu
3 stars Manfed Mann's Plain Music is a special point in time in Manfred long career, mainly because this time is not a studio album or another project is just an album where songs derived from traditional music from North American Plains indians and is one of Manfred favourite albums aswell. The songs are constructed on piano and then developed as we can listen tot hem today, the musicins involved bringing each one some ideas aswell. All pieces are concentrated about inddians from North America with one exception Sikele who is about South African Xhosa Stick Fighting Song. The musicins involved are almost all from Soth Africa, included Noel Mc Calla on vocals who will find him later on on some Manfed Mann's Earh Band albums from the '90's. the atmosphere and rhythms are very strong releated to african music, maybe is right to say that this album is no progressive almost at all but more world music very musch similar with what peter Gabril done many times or even Paul Simon decades ago. So, overall not much to talk about, is ok , nothing special, I can listening to the album but not very often, is very easy to digest if you can enjoy this music. 3 stars. This is one of the chapters from Manfred career thet I'm not totaly atached about as I'm with Earth Band or his first jazzy band from the '60's, anyway some spins are worth from time to time.

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