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You ain't seen nothing like the mighty Quinn
on 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.