Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Earth Band turns to pop music!
S. Mcausland | Lake Worth, FL USA | 09/30/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded in 1977 by Manfred (keyboards and synths), Chris Thompson (guitar and vocals), Dave Flett (lead guitar), Pat King (bass), and Chris Slade (drums). Manfred must have felt a need to decide in which direction the Earth Band was going to proceed after the success of Roaring Silence, and that direction was toward pop. The only vestiges of the firey Earth Band can be heard on the last 3 songs, and as good as they are, don't match the intensity heard on Nightingales-Bombers or Roaring Silence. The other compositions that constitute the album are meticulously produced and, as in the case of Circles, crystal-perfect, delicate and rather generic. They retain a sterile, prefabricated atmosphere that lend well to Thompson's incredible vocals and Flett's honed guitar. Now that Colin Pattenden's fat bass lines have been replaced by the anonymous but professional sessionism of new bassist Pat King, drummer Chris Slade is left with little leeway in which to assert his signature drumming - and ends up, like the other musicians on the album, sounding like a back-up musician rather than an Earth Bander. The two exceptions to this portentiousness are Davy's On The Road Again and The Mighty Quinn (both recorded live), where the chemistry fits just right, where the arrangement once again proves beyond a doubt that Manfred is a monster at the Moog and that the signature oddball arrangements and atmospheric topography of the Earth Band can still soar. And, as prettily drab a song as California is, Manfred does ride it out with one of his best, although tamer, synth solos. A song like Chicago Institute is as benign as it is forgettable, even if you can still hum the guitar riff years later. Overall, I give Watch an A for effort, but a C for the final product. I think part of what swayed the Earth Band in this lushified direction must have been the realization by Thompson that singing rock ballads appealed much more than performing complex art-rock instrumentals, and with such a voice as that, how could Manfred refuse...? Dave's solos, over-burdened but zealously executed on Roaring Silence seem less spastic but also less passionate here. The overall protrait is one of a band which has become too fixated on the formula of recording cover songs that lend themselves to the pop market, sacrificing the signature Earth Band sound. At least on Roaring Silence there was a balance between instrumental prowess and songcraft. And, alas, it is only worse on the next album, Angel Station. But the old solar-flare of the Earth Band does shine in Davy's On The Road Again and the arrangement of Quinn The Eskimo recalls the almost forgotten musical prowess of Nightingales-Bombers era Earth Band. The CD is worth owning just for those two songs alone."
Manfred Mann Watch
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very good,diverse titles, great musicianship here.Especially "drowning on dry land".This song makes blinded by the light seem weak. If they re-issue, jump on it. Excellent guitar work.Lost this and all in flood, Irreplaceable!"
If you know this from Germany
Gary Lunsford | Auburn. CA | 01/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"856th ASA Co, Frankfurt W. Germany - you know this is special stuff, magical, clean clear rock and roll. Garylunsford@mindspring.com"