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Maximum Darkness (Expanded Edition)

Maximum Darkness (Expanded Edition)

13 Mar 2009
4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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11:20
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7:45
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6:23
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13:51
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11:24
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23:56
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5:00
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 13 Mar. 2009
  • Release Date: 16 Mar. 2009
  • Label: Parlophone UK
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:19:39
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001UNYE6M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,020 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Around the time of the release of this fine album, I remember going into Virgin records little shop in Birmingham and browsing through the vinyls. I cam across the section labelled MAN. One of the shop assistants had hand written "the best band in the land" under the artist name. This intrigued me so I browsed the many albums which seemed to fill that section. Maximum Darkness jumped out at me with the wonderful guitar cover and the title. I took a chance and bought it.
It's a mind blowing live album and is the pinnacle of Man's career as a live touring outfit which suited them better than in the studio. I saw Man perform 3 times over the years.
If you are not familiar with Man and want to chance it, then buy this cd. Maybe you will say' the best band in the land' too?
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Format: Audio CD
In the seventies, Man seemed to be on a mission to go through as many line ups as they released albums. While they didn't quite acieve that, this live album sees the unique combination of a set of established band members with a special appearance from the late John Cipollina best known as a member of "Quicksilver Messenger Service".
One interesting aspect of this was that Man went from being a band with two lead guitarists to being one with three. Still they managed this without total disintegration though this album does not really give a full impression of the live line up. It was subject to a lot more post concert studio work than most live albums.
The CD kicks off with a Deke Leonard number 7171-551 which, as is normal for his compositions, it is at the harder end of the spectrum of Man's music. I think that this is the highlight of the album, everthing is really tight and together. This is followed by a couple of non-Man songs which were introduced by Cipollina. The first, Codine is a powerful song anyway and the band do a particularly good job on their version. This is followed by "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" which is OK but sounds some way from the Man that I like.
The last two songs, "Many are Called, but Few Get up." and "Bananas" are well established in the Man live set. The version here of the first of these is not my favourite. It is not so well focussed as the one on the "Padget Rooms" CD. However, I really like the version of "Bananas" here.
All in all, I think that the 1999 party tour is a better live albun than this but it still has a lot of great songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a studio band, I never considered Man to be anything out of the ordinary, and generally don't play their studio albums any more. As a live act, they were almost unsurpassed, certainly in the days I was getting to see them regularly.

Some of their gigs were legendary: some like Greasy Truckers and Padget Rooms have recently been reissued in their almost complete glory - even those who do not like digital reproduction will have to admit that it at least gives the ability to release entire two hour concertsworth of music where on vinyl it was only feasible to get about forty to eighty minutes out, if that.

Other legendary gigs are of the "You had to be there" variety; one, possibly apocryphal tale had the band handing round a joint on stage when suddenly the lights went on and the police and their dogs streamed into the hall, only to find that the object of their labours had mysteriously disappeared.

One I would definitely have loved to be at was the one at Chalk Farm, captured on this particular recording, in May 1975. This is partly because I had heard the stories of how Cipollina's contribution had been so bad that it had to be rerecorded by Micky Jones, so I would have liked to know for myself how true that was.

Despite the edits, for many years the original was my favourite Man album, rough, rambling and rocking, so when the reissues started I began to buy them up (well, the live ones anyway), all the time hoping that Maximum Darkness would come along soon.

Finally, here it is!

I'm guessing that most readers of this review will be familiar with the original recording, so to those I'd just advise no additional expectations of the first five tracks. How do you surpass perfection? For the rest of you, see comments above.
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4 Comments 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
At the time this was seen by many as the live Man album for those of us who were not quick enough to get Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth, which was a very limited edition LP that sold out very quickly. That album is now, thankfully, available of CD (ASIN: B000024VH5) and is the cooler of the two to have but this, I think is the better album and represents some of the best aspects of this ever changing band. There are excellent versions of 7171 551 and the version of Many Are Called... here is better

I do have very fond memories of both this and the Padget Rooms album as my brother had that album and I later got this one. It is a shame that this band is not more widely appreciated
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Format: Audio CD
In my opinion this is not only their best live album but one of the best live albums ever made. I bought it on vinyl originally when it came out and have played it regularly ever since. This remastered version will not disappoint.
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