on 20 October 2011
How many five star CDs do you have on you racks which don't have a duff track on them?
Unlike the other reviewers, I've been a Man fan ever since I first saw them at Southampton Top Rank in 1971, with Deke's Iceberg band as support. I enjoyed the mix of the ruggedness of Deke's Telecaster playing with the sublime melodic smoothness of Micky Jones's SG, and still do. However, that said, I play these albums much more than any other Man output, and would recommend them to anybody who wants to know about the vibrancy and excitement of the music scene at that time. Yes, there was all the Yes, Soft Machine, Greenslade etc with its technical excellence but these albums just display a rawness and roughness (and realism, I suppose you might say) you won't get anywhere else. You could try the Feelgoods,. Oh and maybe Budgie...
Thank you Deke, there's hardly a day goes by when you don't enrich my life (and make me lose 30 years!)
on 7 November 2010
Not much to add to the two spot on reviews above except to say Iceberg is one of the great "debut " albums ever . Hard Way To Live was a a much loved single. Gorgeous and clever production - backward tapes abound - in your face and toppy unlike most of the recorded through a woolly balaclava hard rock of the early 70s. Again , I wasnt much of a Man fan either - just loved these two albums. Razorblade is simply one of the most memorable guitar riffs.
Buy these now!
It was a long-ago girlfriend (thanks, Linda) who, back in the early 70s, introduced me to the wonderful, slightly mad world of Welsh rock - Man, the Neutrons, the mighty Dave Edmunds, and Manband stalwart Deke himself.
The great thing about Deke Leonard`s music is his happy mix of hard-driving rock - I Just Can`t Win & Hard Way to Live obvious examples here - and more expansive West Coast (California, not Cardigan) sounds. In the Man band he was, so to speak, an earthing influence on their often rambling, trippy, improvisatory music. Well, it was the 70s...
These first two albums under Deke`s own name are far too little known, considering the sheer consistency of good music they contain. The musicians really rock - there is a book to be written about the 60s-80s Welsh rock scene - and Deke`s guitar and voice are thrillingly urgent, and not quite like anyone else you`ll have heard.
The last time I saw him was in the basement of a pub in Islington in the 80s. He was terrific. I bet he still is, in or out of Man.
on 14 August 2008
To start with...This CD has twenty three tracks on it, and as far as I'm concerned, only three of them are disappointing. "Looking For A Man" just goes on a little too long with the same chorus line beginning to irritate after a while. "The Ghost of Musket Flat" goes absolutely nowhere with its drunken guitar work, and leads into the even more pointless "Crosby" (Deke's doggie friend accompanied by more silly guitar). Now, the rest of the stuff is pure Rock Heaven. Everything about the other twenty tracks on these two albums has something to offer. It's well written, well performed, and I spent many a happy day in the very hot summer of '76, and the nearly as hot summer of '77 driving around Cornwall with four of my mates, sweltering in a banged up Mark 1 Cortina Estate with the windows wound down to stop us sticking to the seats, bopping and singing along to these classics. Each time I put this on now it brings back those happy memories, lifts my spirits, cheers me up and makes me remember just how good the 70's were for innovative music. I've never been a big Man fan, but this stuff is amazing and it will be money well spent on owning it. Absolutely foot tappingly brilliant...from "Broken Ovation" to "The Black Gates of Death" there isn't a dull moment...My favourite tracks? "Lisa", "Nothing is Happening" and the driving, infectious beat of "In Search of Sarah and Twenty Six Horses"...and that has to be one of the best titles for a song since Budgie's "Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman"...Stop reading now, get your wallet out and buy it. Find some long country lanes to drive down, wind the windows down, and crank it up. Summer will never feel as good as it does with this on the hi-fi. Trust me.