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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - a proper remaster from Esoteric Records
The Welsh Connection re-introduced Phil Ryan to the line-up (here writing, singing and playing keyboards) and new bass player John McKenzie, who brought a new technical facility to the role. This last studio album of the 1970s often divides fans, with its added ingredients of smooth jazz-rock and a little pop to the usual Manband mix. Bookends The Ride and the View and...
Published 12 months ago by B. Thomson

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not inussued at all
The "bonus" show live ay Berkeley, August 9th 1976 is the same surfaced on the band box "The Live Adventures of Man", so if you have to old CD and the box there's not many new things here. But I don' t know anything about the sound quality because I did not buy the Esoteric reissue
Published 7 months ago by BigWalrus


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - a proper remaster from Esoteric Records, 12 Aug 2013
By 
B. Thomson (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
The Welsh Connection re-introduced Phil Ryan to the line-up (here writing, singing and playing keyboards) and new bass player John McKenzie, who brought a new technical facility to the role. This last studio album of the 1970s often divides fans, with its added ingredients of smooth jazz-rock and a little pop to the usual Manband mix. Bookends The Ride and the View and Born With A Future are the best known tracks but there is plenty of strong material and great performances here, only slightly let down by McKenzie's rather weak Love Can Find A Way.

The remastering is a huge improvement on the appalling 1997 Eagle Records version, which sounded as if it had been mastered from a dodgy vinyl copy. Instruments and vocals sound well-balanced with no distortion on my Mission speakers - the volume just needed a little cranking beyond the usual level to reveal the subtle power behind the intricate production. Now you can hear the late Micky Jones take the Manband out on a real high with his best vocal performance ever on Born With A Future.

The 1976 concert performance included here (from Berkeley Keystone) is stupendous. The Manband were always a world class live act and this outing was no exception. In front of a rather excitable audience, the band play for their lives and the 5 live versions of material from Welsh Connection demonstrate a degree of energy and confidence that could have served them well in the future, had they not decided to break up shortly afterwards. John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service joins the band for the last 4 numbers and makes a probably more significant contribution than on his previous outing with the Manband a year earlier. Although presented in mono, the sound quality is very good with all contributions audible at all times. Terry Williams, in particular, shines on drums.

For this double package, Esoteric have restored the original artwork, the always-essential original Deke Leonard sleevenotes, a new essay by Michael Heatley and B-side I'm A Love Taker. Definitive is probably the word.

Apparently, the 1976 Roundhouse performance, originally released partially as Alls Well That Ends Well, is next up for release. Can't wait!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'sorted' mix, 18 Aug 2013
By 
R. C. A. Pool - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
Sublime re- working of an album that has stood the test of time.
The keyboard/guitar balance has been re-worked -a masterful job.
Even if you already own this, the re-mix makes it sound like a new album.
Do yourself a favour, buy it, turn it up loud and enjoy the ride and the view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The live album makes the difference., 7 Mar 2014
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Mr. Clifton Jones (Matlock, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
Man were always a better live band than studio band, and this, their final studio album was not their finest although it had it's moments. Here the album has been remastered and has had a concert from California from soon after this release incorporated. It is true that the concert is available as a CD and the concert is on the rather dodgy "The Live Adventures of Man". Here, however you have the two in a single package of far better quality, which as far as I'm concerned pushes the rating of the original album (three and a half stars perhaps) up to a full five stars.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars better than it seemed at the time, 27 Sep 2006
By 
freewheeling frankie (north London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
The annoying copying of reviews of one edition of an album to another on this site - PLEASE stop doing this, Amazon - means I can't create the separate review that the Esoteric reissue deserves - I can only do it justice by rewriting my existing review of the Point CD. So a review partly devoted to the bonus live recording added to the Esoteric version will also be found attached to all the earlier versions. All that need be said of these earlier versions is as follows: DON'T BUY THEM - they are all mastered from vinyl (and not very well at that) whereas the Esoteric version is properly remastered from the original tapes and is augmented by a high quality live recording of a complete concert. What follows is therefore now a review of the Esoteric edition:

This was Man's last studio album before they split at the end of 1976. Another album, another line-up: keyboardist Phil Ryan, who had been with the band in the Be Good To Yourself/Back Into The Future days of 1972-73, returned, and new bassist John McKenzie, late of Global Village Trucking Company, joined the core trio of Micky Jones, Deke Leonard and Terry Williams. McKenzie was by some distance the most technically gifted, funky and versatile bass player Man had ever had but his style was also utterly different from his predecessors and helped to crystallise the band's evolution, already brewing over the previous couple of studio albums, into a far more concise and song-based band. This didn't go down that well with some fans and I was quite underwhelmed by the album myself when it came out. This wasn't helped by the fairly weedy mastering of the LP - several of the songs were far more impressive live, despite not being the kind of jamming vehicles a lot of their earlier songs were. I was lucky to hear one of the earlier CD issues without buying it - it sounded worse than the LP. I rarely played the LP and hadn't played some of the songs for decades, despite enjoying this line-up live on four occasions.

Anyway, here comes a proper reissue at last, mastered far better than the LP, let alone the earlier CDs, and ripe for reassessment. The Ride And The View, the only one of the songs here that became a longterm fixture in their live set, is one of Deke Leonard's best songs and has a sharp, concise and witty lyric. Out Of Your Head was the single - it's good but no more than that. New recruit McKenzie's Love Can Find A Way never sounded like a Man song to me and this is the first time I've listened to it properly for over 30 years - it's a lot better than I remember it, a good tune though with a rather by-numbers lyric, but still doesn't sound very like Man. Phil Ryan's proggy title track is a cracker and got even better live. Something Is Happening, again from Ryan, is a nice tune but his vocals are less distinctive than Micky or Deke's - the song is thankfully lifted by some excellent CSN-ish harmonies, along with Ryan's mastery of a wide variety of keyboard sounds. It fades out on a gentle piano coda, which seems to lead logically into the following Car Toon. This is a quality, very melodic, uptempo tune, far better than I remember it, though the portentous theme towards the end goes on a bit; it's a shame this one never found its way into their live set. The original album ends with its best song, Born With A Future, which became a live tour de force over the next year and features another of Deke's snappy and memorable lyrics.

The Esoteric reissue features about 104 minutes of bonus material. First off is the single B-side I'm A Love Taker. This was cut around 1973, seemingly during the sessions for Deke's second solo album, "Kamikaze" - in other words it's not Man at all. It's a punchy if not very tuneful rocker and sounds out of place here. The rest of CD 1 and all of CD 2 are devoted to Man's entire performance at the Keystone, Berkeley on 9 August 1976 during their American tour - over 100 minutes. They're augmented on the last four songs by the extraordinary former Quicksilver guitarist John Cipollina, who had also guested with them on the Maximum Darkness tour the previous year. It's clear from the mix that this is a PA line recording and no remix was possible. The actual recording quality is excellent, warm and punchy but individual instruments, especially guitars, aren't always as loud in the mix as they should be. This is, unfortunately, particularly true of Cipollina's contribution - he's audible, but mixed quite low. The performance, on the other hand, is excellent, with lots of interesting detail and a radically different arrangement of C'mon which hits hyperdrive towards the end. Phil Ryan's mastery of the Minimoog is impressive on several tracks. Out Of Your Head and Something Is Happening were both dropped from the set shortly afterwards, so that live recordings of them are particularly welcome. It will be interesting to compare this set with the extended and remastered version of All's Well That Ends Well, recorded on the farewell tour 4 months later, which is supposedly due out at some point. For now, this Keystone gig is a far more entertaining listen but AWTEW suffers from the same weedy mastering - and CD mastered from the LP - that The Welsh Connection formerly did and the gig I saw at the Roundhouse (not the one on the LP?) was excellent so the forthcoming reissue is very welcome.

So this reissue is well worth buying for the bonus live recording, but hopefully like me you will also find the original studio album, if still not among Man's greatest, much better than you remembered it - I've reassessed it from 3 to 4 stars as a result; much of the live material would rate 5 if the mix was better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
This is a much better album than I remembered from the 70s

Man tightened up the songs and arrangements to make a much more accessible album than normal, no long winded jams on this one

Deke Leonard, in the liner notes, mentions Phil Ryan’s playing as being too polite but for me it’s a mature, reasoned performance from Mr Ryan that helps to bring a hitherto undiscovered quality to the table for Man

Deke still gets his quota of rockier numbers but these are tight, concise and memorable

Mickey Jones provides an all round excellent job

If you’re still wanting the jams and loose side of Man this is still evident in the live performance included.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Replaced old vinyl, 26 Feb 2014
By 
A. J. Harknett (london,england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
Had this for years on vinyl but didn't play it for years so when I saw this on CD I thought I'd give it go . I hav'nt compared it back to back with the vinyl copy but the CD sounds ok but nothing special . So it's recommended if your vinyl is worn out ,or like me your too lazy to put the record on and faff about with the record player turning the record over every 20mins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
Excellent re-mastering of of a great album by one of THE great bands. Great riffs combined with the usual superb playing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A First Class Album, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
A First Class Album by one of the great bands of the 70s, well worth the money. God bless Micky Jones
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not inussued at all, 2 Feb 2014
This review is from: Welsh Connection (Audio CD)
The "bonus" show live ay Berkeley, August 9th 1976 is the same surfaced on the band box "The Live Adventures of Man", so if you have to old CD and the box there's not many new things here. But I don' t know anything about the sound quality because I did not buy the Esoteric reissue
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