Search - Harvey Mandel :: Mercury Years

Mercury Years
Harvey Mandel
Mercury Years
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

You never forget your first love, and if you're a musician, you hope the public never forgets your first recordings. It's been years since Harvey Mandel's initial titles as a frontmam--1968's Christo Redentor and '69's Rig...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Harvey Mandel
Title: Mercury Years
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Release Date: 10/24/1995
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Electric Blues, Modern Blues, Blues Rock, Rock Guitarists, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 731452827524

You never forget your first love, and if you're a musician, you hope the public never forgets your first recordings. It's been years since Harvey Mandel's initial titles as a frontmam--1968's Christo Redentor and '69's Righteous and Games Guitars Play--were available, though they're treasured by guitar devotees. Now, they're back, thanks to this revelatory two-disc. The trio of titles, which originally came out on the Philips label, are ambitious, mostly instrumental projects that match the future Canned Heat member and Rolling Stone session man with strings, brass, and an eclectic assortment of songs and sidemen. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

At Long Last...These Albums Are Back!
Jon G. Jackson | Santa Rosa, CA | 07/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Harvey Mandel has never been better than he was on these early albums. My favorite was always "Games Guitars Play," but there were songs on *all* of his Mercury albums that still come to me when I'm just driving down the road. For years, I've held on to my old vinyl copies...but (finally) here they are on CD! I'd like to say "it was worth the wait!" Who am I kidding? This collection was *WAY* overdue. Hey...but here it is! Not just a "best of" from those years (which inevitably would leave out something essential), but COMPLETE! Harvey's guitar was quieter than some, and tasteful...but, man, could he play! He left his mark on me early on, and I still feel it each time I pick up a guitar of my own.I have a great memory associated with Harvey's music. It comes from Hilo, Hawaii, in 1971. My first wife and I were going to college there. She was getting a degree in English literature, but for reasons I no longer recall she was also gathering some hours at a local elementary school as a substitute teacher. One day, she took "Games Guitars Play" to class with her, and she had her students do a spontaneous writing assignment as she played "Capurange" on the school phonograph. I, of course, was fretting as to whether the phonograph needle would forever ruin my album! But, all went well, despite the fact that several other teachers were seriously perplexed, not sure at all what they thought of such a radical approach to the concept of education! It's possible, of course, that some of those students were forever "marred" by the experience....I do remember several of these songs getting some airplay in the late 60s. But nowadays, most people I know can't remember who Harvey Mandel was. Or, if they do, they only know the later albums. This early stuff (in some ways like Rod Stewart's early Mercury years) was wonderfully groundbreaking. Far more than mere nostalgia. Recommended!"
Harvey's psychedelic Mercury Years.......
P.J. Le Faucheur | Canada (ex- U.K. resident) | 01/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This boxset comprised of the three main albums of guitarist Harvey Mandels career in the late 60s/early 70s. They were "Righteous", "Cristo Redemptor" & "Games Guitars Play". The first two albums were fairly low key with lots of orchestral interludes, big band arrangements by Shorty Rogers and the occasional burst of brilliance from Mandel's guitar as is the case with the track "Jive Samba" Out of the 3 albums the one with the most impressive guitar work was always "Games Guitars Play", done in 1969. Like the one reviewer has already said, I too have precious memories of playing the original vinyl version of Mandels "Games Guitars Play" included on this fantastic compilation----The year was around 1970 and I had just discovered Harvey from listening to Canned Heats "Live In Europe 1970" LP. His solos on this recording were very unhurried in sort of JJ Cale fashion. Harvey also played with authority and much confidence on John Mayalls LP "Back To The Roots".
But this compilation set "Mercury Years" is the best EVER for those who seek a good representation of Harveys best work. He is INSTANTLY recognizable by his use of minor key phrasing and slightly angular Eastern scale patterns...nobody else quite sounds like him! It's true that he WAS fret-tapping long before Van Halen was born. If you listen to his version of Gene Ammons "Cap'urange
and "Dry Your Eyes" you will know what I mean about Harveys use of Middle Eastern scales.(real dreamy guitar solo on this track) The song also has a distinct George Harrison feel to it with some fine vocals by Russell Dashiel. You can tell Mandel was influenced heavily by jazz musicians as well as blues & country players. Nice version of Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk" on here too. My favourite though is his version of Horace Silvers classic "Senor Blues"! What an ultra-cool way of phrasing he uses on this song!...He just takes his time, doesn't rush.Some wonderful bass playing from Canned Heats Larry Taylor as well on this CD. Mandel rounds things off with a country flavoured instrumental version of Joe South's big hit "Games People Play" hitting some nice double bends. It's quite a long solo but it's still a shame they have to fade it out towards the end.

I have kept my own CD boxset of *"Mercury Years" as unmarked as I can because I value it like gold dust.
** However i'm pleased to see that they've now re-released all the albums featured in this set on two-fer CD's. Great news indeed!"
Want to Know Where Alot of Today's Riffs came from, Harvey!
P.J. Le Faucheur | 05/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection of Mandel's showcases, well innovation is an understatement. Long before anyone, even Hendrix was using feedback, longer before Van Halen was tapping on the neck, Harvey had these techniques in the bag and on record. This compilation is still so fresh and colorful, it's hard to believe it was over 30 years ago..I saw him recently and the fire still burns bright, and with some of the gadget that this age has to offer, Yow! He's still in a class of his own.."