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4.5 out of 5 stars
15
The Very Best Of The Fontana Years
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£5.88+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 March 2005
So sang Mike D'Abo as Manfred Mann rose to the top of the UK charts in 1968 for the third and last time. This compilation is book-ended by two Bob Dylan songs (Mighty Quinn, Just like a woman), both of which were among the seven top ten UK hits that Manfred Mann clocked up with Mike D'Abo as lead singer between 1966 and 1969 following the departure of the original lead singer, Paul Jones.
Another of their big hits, Fox on the run, has since become popular in bluegrass music circles. On reflection, it's easy to understand why - its simple, driving rhythm and the rural references in the lyrics makes it ideally suited for adaptation to that style of music. You may not be able to find many pop and rock covers of Fox on the run, but you'll find plenty of bluegrass covers if you look for them.
The other big UK hits during this period were Semi-detached suburban Mr James, Ha ha said the clown, My name is Jack and Ragamuffin man. Two other singles failed - Sweet pea (an instrumental cover of a Tommy Roe song) was only a minor hit while So long Dad (a Randy Newman song) missed the charts completely.
This collection includes all the tracks I've mentioned, together with eight other tracks, which were selected from among their album tracks and B-sides. You can, if you wish, buy a compilation (Ages of Mann - Greatest hits) that encompasses the whole period from 1964 to 1969, including all of Manfred Mann's major sixties hits with either Paul Jones or Mike D'Abo as lead singer, but this is the definitive compilation covering the Mike D'Abo era.
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on 30 June 2014
A decent collection of Manfred Mann's output between 1966 and 1969; the band, after some deliberation, opted to go with Mike D'Abo as the replacement lead vocalist for the superb Paul Jones, and the subsequent material certainly didn't suffer as a result. Of the 18 tracks here, 7 were major hits (i.e Top 10) with 'Mighty Quinn' and 'Just Like A Woman' - both Bob Dylan compilations - being happily joined by 'Ha! Ha! Said The Clown', 'Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James', 'My Name Is Jack', 'Fox On The Run' and 'Ragamuffin Man'. A couple of good examples of what the guys could achieve when allowed to shift their musical focus beyond basic 3 minute Pop/R&B songs comes in the shape of 'A "B" Side' [5:16] and 'Up The Junction Theme' [4:36] ~ both highly interesting, experimental songs.

If you like R&B-tinged pop music then this album is well worth buying; there are also a number of other useful compilation albums which cover the period from 1964-1966 and highlight Paul Jones vocal abilities on tracks such as 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy' and 'Pretty Flamingo', so it's worth checking out what is available at a nice low price.
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on 31 August 2017
top 60s music 60s group
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on 21 March 2011
A very nice collection of the best Manfred Mann line up (1966-1969). Only draw back is the drop of volume in "I Wanne Be Rich". Strange nobody noticed it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 December 2015
When Manfred Mann jumped ship from EMI to the Fontana label in the late sixties, with Mike d'Abo drafted in to replace Paul Jones, they really became a superior pop band, rather than the Jazz-flecked R&B combo of yore. Withd'Abo as lead vocalist, they had several huge hits, including 'The Mighty Quinn', carrying on their tradition of covering Bob Dylan songs and scoring hit records with the results. This collection, cheaply bought, includes some real gems, such as 'Ragamuffin Man', 'Fox On The Run', 'Semi-Detached Suburban Mister James', and is a good primer if you want the hits plus some interesting other stuff. Likeable sixties pop that has Worn Very Well.
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on 19 June 2013
Mike D'Abo had a tough job to replace Paul Jones as lead vocalist, and he did it so well. This album contains some of my favourite tracks from the Manfreds. I have also seen this CD under the title "The World Of Manfred Mann", same tracks, same order. Don't forget to check out Manfred Mann, "The Singles" album, with all the best from the Paul Jones era as well - you will love both of these albums.
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on 13 June 2015
A MUST for the fans of Manfred Mann,AFTER Paul Jones exit. I already have a CD if those early hits but this one has Mike D'Abo lead vocals on these big hits of late 1960s..I had most of these on 45s back in the day. Brilliant to hear all these again..Raggamuffin Man , an all time fave !!..Hit after Hit of great music
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on 28 May 2013
There are a few throwaway tracks on this album but there are also a few classics, especially Up The Junction, which is the best thing the Manfreds ever done. All in all a good value cd
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on 17 June 2013
If you remember this group from the sixties, then this is for you. Good Memories before Manfred Manns Earth Band came to life
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on 9 January 2014
Brilliant, the classics are here plus some rarities .If you don't have the songs in your collection this is a very good buy.
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