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The Paul Jones stuff is miles better...,
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This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Manfred Mann are one of very few bands who survived a change of lead singer to be as successful afterwards as they were with the one with whom they made their initial trademark sound. (Paul Jones quit in the mid 60s, to be replaced by Mike D'Abo).
They started off as a beat band (with harmonica frequently prominent) and in their later incarnation, although making some good pop songs (notably Mighty Quinn and 'Semi-detached suburban' they sound blander/much less edgy. Many 60s fans will be familioar woth doo wah diddy diddy, prety flamingo and 54321, which start the CD, but songs such as if you gotta go, go now, the one in the middle and hubble bubble toil and trouble are just as good, if not better.
Well crafted songs though most of the Mike D'Abo era numbers are, on listening I much prefer the jones stuff and wish I'd bought a purely Jones era compilation.
having said that, there's not a duff song on here and good value price too. highly recommended.
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Initial post: 20 Jul 2011 17:43:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jul 2011 18:09:52 BDT
Arguable - The Paul Jones line up trod an uneasy path between the pedigree serious 'R & B' of their albums....and the far more lightweight John Burgess picked Pop music of their hit singles ...
'5-4-3-2-1' was originally written by them just as the theme song for 'Ready Steady Go !'
- while Many 'serious' R & B fans simply DETESTED 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do...!'
...and 'Sha La La...La La La La..La La La...' !
Tom McGuinness said when they then went back to the R 'n' B clubs the reaction was...'Awful'...!!
their own 'Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)' despite being a UK Chart hit is often overlooked....while they 'disowned' the 1966 minor chart hit of 'You Gave me Somebody To Love' (completed by EMI with sessionmen & girl backup singers and issued after Paul Jones left the band & they had relocated to Fontana)
Do they sound less 'edgy' later...? - 'Semi Detached' (1966) is the FIRST British Pop Hit single to feature a mellotron...a year before either The Beatles or The Moody Blues used one.
'Funniest Gig' uses tapes of snippets of other songs ('Clown' & 'So Long Dad')...'Your'e My Girl' is almost in one tone only...
....while 'Up The Junction' was the theme song from the Iconic sixties cult film...to which they wrote and recorded the critically acclaimed soundtrack in 1968
they cut more Bob Dylan songs...their 'Mighty Quinn' a UK chart topper being better known than Dylan's 'Quinn The Eskimo' to the wider public
They cut Randy Newman songs ('So Long Dad')....while Mike Hugg's latter songs were covered by The Yardbirds - who also covered 'Clown'.... very badly ! - and Simon Dupree & The Big Sound (Pre their 'Gentle Giant' evolution)
...while Mike d'Abo co-wrote 'Build Me Up Buttercup' (a UK chart topper for The Foundations) plus wrote 'Handbags & Gladrags' (P.P. Arnold, Rod Stewart, etc) while he was a 'Manfred' during this period....
Their albums 'As Is' & 'Mighty Garvey' contained some innovative whimsical pop songs (some similar to The Bonzos) plus deeper wistful tunes like 'The Vicar's Daughter', 'It's So Easy Falling', 'A Now & Then Thing' which were in a similar vein to both Neil Innes & early Syd Barrett (i.e. 'Bike' / 'Funniest Gig')....while Rockers like 'Dealer Dealer' & 'Big Betty' showed they had lost none of their earlier power in what from 1966 onwards was a TOTALLY differing music scene (look at 1965 Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, Hollies, Small Faces, & Moody Blues...then the 1967 versions)
Their jazzier side was still there ('Autumn Leaves')...plus a love of jazz style improvisational instrumentals ('One Way')
certainly Mike Hugg and Tom McGuinness flowered as imaginative songwriters in the latter half of the sixties compared to their earlier more marginalised efforts...
with varied keyboards sounds from piano & organ, to tinkling piano, mellotron etc & varied guitar sounds ('A 'B' Side, etc)...plus innovative use of woodwind instruments & some strong Basswork by Klaus Voormann the 1966-1969 'Mike d'Abo era' Manfreds are often so vastly underrated....they pretty much matched the hits of the Paul Jones era overall & were still having big hits when Manfred & Mike Hugg decided to call it a day in 1969... to do 'Chapter Three'
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