A Yawn in Your E-Mail - October 2002
After all the news I gave you last month what more can I tell you? Well there's good news and bad (well slighly disappointing) news:
Well the good new is that the Funk Star Deluxe/Manfred thing with a new keyboard solo thrown in
as baggage in Denmark went into the charts at number 2. If you live in Denmark you will know that already.
Also on the good news front there is to be an 'Ultimate Best Of' album released. Not another 'Best Of' I hear you scream! Well as a matter of fact
yes, but with a difference because for the first time ever CD1 is sixties and CD2 Earth Band. CD1 will include as a clever move Dhabi's version of
his Handbags and Gladrags a huge hit just recently for the Stereophonic. The Funk Star Deluxe reworking of Blinded may feature on CD2 as well as possibly a couple of live tracks.
Then there is the DVD, not sure when but amongst the goodies on this will be some of the Budapest stuff.
As well as the Wednesday. Thursday and Friday night U.K. gigs in November, The Brook at Southampton has been added on the Saturday.
On the subject of bad news, the Boxed Set, which I may have mentioned once or twice will not be out until the New Year so as to make way for
the 'Ultimate Best Of'. Still all good things are worth the wait and if this isn't worth it I give in.
The Boxed Set
CD1 includes Chapter III's version of Mike Hugg's 'Messing Up the Land' along with a couple of other previously unheard Chapter III tunes, one of
which will also be familiar to MMEB fans. Then you get all the 'Stepping Sideways' stuff, including three previously unheard songs not to mention a
kind of country Blues take on 'Mrs. Henry' and a much longer 'Jump Sturdy'. There is a totally different version of 'Ashes to the Wind' as well. There
is just one unheard track on CD2 and two on CD3, all songs you have not heard MMEB do. Amongst these is a Mick Rogers song sung by Chris
called 'Better Place'. This was the only useable unreleased song sung by the wonderful C.T. that we could find. CD4 is my favourite containing loads of stuff from the 90's through to last year.
Andy's Compilation (for personal consumption)
So I did this compilation just for me and just for fun the other day. It is all because of this jazz thing going on in our house just at the moment. I took
bits of Manfred Mann jazz from the 60's the 70's even the 90's and put it onto one CD. Nothing clever in that I know except that it works suprisingly
well. It could also get some of you out there discovering new depths or not as the case may be. So here it is your Do It Yourself album. All you
need is to buy all the source albums you don't already own, a CD writer if you haven't got one and half an hour later you will have a cool jazz album to play in the car/bath/late at night with the lights turned down.
I open with 'Hymn from Jupiter'and the album Masque. This is good because it combines Manfred's trade mark moog style with lots of jazz and rock
undertones around a classical theme. Manfred became famous for doing this with 'Joybringer' and has always loved to treat classical themes to a
jazz or rock influence. Much of the new stuff he is doing now is around this idea although very different from 'Hymn'. The short theme from 'Up the
Junction' works well next with some nice jazz organ to a strong brass section. I don't think Manfred uses organ enough as a lead nowadays. I
always remember the pre moog solos at Chapter III concerts. So loud and so exciting. 'My Generation' the famous WHO song now reworked I think
rather well by Oasis (well they did a storming version of it on Top of the Pops a couple of weeks ago) is next. Interesting mid sixties take on the
band and a good example of how different the music they wanted to play was from what they were known for. To put it into context 'Pretty
Flamingo' was number 1 and Paul Jones had worked out his notice. Jack Bruce on of the most famous bass players of the last few decades
arranged this and a few other covers of well know hits. 'I've Got you Babe', 'Still I'm Sad' and so on. All were strong examples of the new brass
section that gave the band a kind of Mann Hugg Blues Brothers look again. All were jazz and gave Manfred and Mike Hugg a chance to shine.
Manfred mostly on organ and Mike on drums and vibes. Here I include earlier jazz like the wonderful 'Bare Hugg' with the brilliant Mike Vickers doing a Rowland Kirk and therefore almost Tullesque flute solo.[Top]
Mike was also a great sax player and he and Mike Hugg did a jazz thing together a few years ago which as far as I know is still to seethe light of
day. 'Autumn Leaves' creeps forward in time to Klaus Voorman of Beatles and Plastic Ono Band flavour. More covers, some unreleased until a
year or three ago, this time wilder and looser and this time the bands first ever bass player Dave Richmond back on double Bass. I loved these
sessions because they sound like they are having so much fun. 'Mann in a Jam' sneaks into all this as it is the 80's equivalent of the sixties B side.
For some reason I missed out Chapter III but included two tracks from 'Plains Music', both on the box set to proof how much I love them. 'Salmon
Fishing' with some great piano and 'Instrumedicine Song' which is I think the most perfect thing Manfred has ever done and yet so simple. 'For
Adults Only' fits so well with these tracks and then there is 'As Above So Below' and the 'Yawn' itself. I admit it, sooner or later much as I love
organ and especially piano now and again, I need to hear some Moog. So there is the idea it makes into a very good album to play in the car. It is
surprising to some, very Manfred and great fun and makes a nice change. You may find you discover or rediscover new things about Manfred's
music. If you have done a good for fun compilation let us know about it and why it ended up the way it did.
It is a small world you know. My daughter came back from her primary school the other day with the autograph of a man who had come in to show
the kids percussion and drums. He told them he had been on Top of the Pops and toured the world with many bands. She couldn't remember his
name of course but came home the next night with the information. It was a guy called Geoff Britain she told me. So guess who has Geoff's autograph now!
See you next time or maybe at Dudley next month.