Platform End #10 - Autumn 1996
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And so we stagger into double figures! Welcome to all our friends old and new to the tenth Platform End. Thanks to the new album and summer festivals we have acquired quite a few new members over
recent months. The more the merrier of course, so please make sure people know we exist. So many of the letters we have received were from people delighted to find that there was a fan
One of the nice things about the band being back on the road again is that it has given Carol and I the chance to meet quite a few of you Platform Enders as well as meeting lots of new folk who share our love of music even if Earth Band are not their particular favourites.
We have as I said had loads of really nice letters from all over the world (never realised how appropriate the MMEB Logo is until we got landed with this).
We have included as many interesting letters as space permits so please keep writing.
I managed to get to all but one of the U.K. warm-ups but work commitments and cost have prevented us from getting over to Europe to see any of the festivals so if you were lucky enough to be there, drop us a line and share the atmosphere.
Thanks to everybody who has taken time out to write to us and for all your kind comments and encouragement. This more than anything else makes our efforts seem worthwhile. Here is to Issue 20!!
Carol & Andy
THE BEST OF MANFRED MANN'S EARTHBAND
Not again, another ’Best Of M.M.E.B.’ This one is a U.S. release putting Earth Band on CD. there for the first time (I think), to be followed by the U.K. versions of most of the albums via Twinbrook Music 227 West 29th Street, New York NY 10001. (As I have not received copies of the reissues I cannot be certain they will all be the UK versions).
Anyway, to this new compilation which limits itself to the Warner output from Nightingales and Bombers through to Chance, it is one of the best presented and packaged C.D.’s we’ve had. Most of the songs have appeared on other compilations. The most notable track here is Dylan’s ‘Quit Your Low Down Ways’, previously only available on the U.S. version of ’Nightingales And Bombers’.
It is hard to understand why this wasn’t issued elsewhere as a single at the time. Other tracks are ‘Blinded’, ’Spirits’, ’Questions’, ‘Circles’, ’Davy’, ’Mighty Quinn’, ’You Angel You’, ‘Hollywood Town’, ’Don’t Kill It Carol’, ’On The Run’ and ’For You’. The sound quality is very good and time and care has gone into the cover design and CD. booklet even if the Fan Club sadly gets no mention!
FOUR MANFRED MANN ORIGINALS - EMI
This is a must for the collection if you have any interest whatsoever in the pre-Earth Band career of Manfred Mann. Firstly it is a boxed set of four C.D.’s all in miniature reproductions of the covers they were released in, and nice they look, even if one of them. ’Pretty Flamingo’ has one of the worst ever covers to grace a Manfred Mann album. You also get a fold out booklet containing lots of pictures and an informative and almost accurate account from Andy Davis of Record Collector of the formative years of Manfred’s career. Most important to the serious student of the 60’s Manfred, the four albums included here were all issued only in the states on Ascot/United Artists. Original Vinyl copies can change hands nowadays for quite a lot of money. Musically they demonstrate well how Manfred Mann started out as a powerful R&B/Jazz band whose music stands up as well now as it did then and how that band slowly evolved into something much more ’POP’ based although it wasn’t until Paul Jones moved on that the transformation was complete. Somehow as much as I still love most of the songs here included you cannot help being left with a promise unfulfilled.
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a collection of the one of the finest bands of the 60’s however, this is truly hard to beat Box includes:-
McCALLA: ‘HOT FROM THE SMOKE'
By no stretch of the imagination is this a new album anymore, but at last I have heard it, touched it, and its another high quality helping of soulful, jazzy sort of Rock and something wish I knew what. If you liked the last one you’ll love this. Well done Noel.
PLATFORM END THE VIDEO
We will shortly have available courtesy of MMEB and the Grapevine label a 15 minute approx. video featuring interviews with members d the Band, an acoustic version of ‘Tumbling Ball’ and both extracts and the complete ‘Nothing Ever Happens' video of the single. The short video ends with an acoustic version of ‘For You” performed at the \Workhouse. The video was originally made to promote ‘Soft Vengeance’ and the 1996 Festivals and European Tour and has never been on sale to the public. so this is you chance to own a very Limited Edition MMEB video exclusively available to Fan Club Members at £7.99 sterling. Please send your order to the normal Fan Club address.
As I am a 17 year old student studying ‘A’ levels at college, the music I tend to listen to is that of hard, thumping club music that drives my parents wild. My music collection is far from
varied and so I was reluctant to listen to the new album “Soft Vengeance" by a group with whom I considered to be for the older generation.
Andy is my Uncle and his love for Manfred Mann's Earth Band has never in anyway encouraged me to sit down and listen to their music. When I finally heard “Soft Vengeance” for the first time I was taken aback by the tracks on the album especially ‘Pleasure And Pain’ and ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ but ‘Shelter From The Storm’ stuck in my mind the most as this is clearly my favourite. Not every track appealed to me as much as these but I could definitely see myself buying this CD as I am sure my friends will agree with me when I play it for them for the first time. If the Earth Band were granted more airplay then I am positive that more teenagers such as myself would take an interest in their music and not stereotype this 70’s band without first hearing their music.
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I started following Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1976. The single ‘Blinded By The Light’ had just been released and I immediately fell in love with the song. I bought the single, which obviously led to the album. It was exciting to hear the ‘Roaring Silence’ for the first time and I knew then that I would be a fan of Manfred’s for a long time to come.
About a month after I bought my copy of ‘The Roaring Silence', I heard they were playing a concert at the Music Hall in Boston. I had to go, but I had no idea how. It was on April, 2nd 1977 and my very first concert. A few friends and I managed to get there and pay the ticket fee in penny rolls. The tickets were only $6.50 but at only 50 cents per roll that made quite a few rolls. Gary Wright and John Miles were featuring as well which made the show all keyboards. It was the best concert I’ve seen yet. I didn't know very many of Manfred’s tunes but decided I would collect everything I could. (What a challenge lay ahead!).
I began my hunt for albums in the obvious places - record stores. I had yet to learn about second hand stores and trading. I got a lot through catalogues and in the bins but it soon dried up. I found a few second hand stores I frequented and really collected quite a bit. I made friends with the the employees who would set aside any Manfred material that came in. One such article was the Aware magazine. The issue that was given to me contained an article about Manfred and his past and was well written by Greg Russo (I’m sure you are all familiar with him by now). I decided to write to Greg care of the magazine and ask him how he met Manfred and also how he became a fan. He replied quickly and gave me some good information. However, I knew l couldn’t use his methods to meet Manfred so I decided to write a fan letter to the Workhouse Studio in London. I had never written a fan letter before and felt really stupid doing it but after nine years I had to get more information than I was currently getting. It turns out that I ended up meeting a very dear friend through that letter. Manfred had given my letter to Barry Winton to send me some stuff and Barry was impressed with my collection as he knew I was a fan. He wrote to me and told me if I wanted to meet Manfred he would introduce me.
Four months later I was in London at the Workhouse shaking hands with Manfred Mann! Mick Rogers was there that day and I only recognized him because of the Runner video. I didn’t even say hello, all I could say was “You were the one in the video!” I only stayed In London ten days the first time and met most of the Earth Band. Those I didn’t
meet I was able to talk with on the telephone. Steve Waller invited us to his flat and gave me t-shirts, pins l and an autographed picture of the band (from Angel Station video
shoot). The photo is my most prized possession. My second visit to London I was there two months and got to the Workhouse a number of times. l got to hear ‘Killer On The Loose’
being mixed as well as meeting many, many people who work with Manfred. I got to go out to dinner with various band members, the most memorable being dinner with Mick Rogers and John
Lingwood. I have had a dream come true, which is more than most people can say. I just hope to be able to go back to London some day and meet them all
again. Mostly I would like to see another gig as I have only seen them live once. I hope Manfred continues to make great music for many years to come!
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OPEN AIR FEELING 1996
It’s a wonderful hot and sunny day; a slow fresh breeze is moving the leaves in the trees. Blue sky, no clouds above this little place, called Gampel in Switzerland. I’m laying on the Good
Earth’. Big and high mountains around me. Enjoying the summer feeling, I’m listening to the music in the air: it’s the Open air feeling.
Around sunset time the ‘Master of the mini moog’ and his Earth Band are on stage. They began with the new track ‘Pleasure and Pain’. Two hours later ‘Davy’s On the Road Again’. Between this, they played new tracks from ‘Soft Vengeance’ and many of the jewels from the last 25 years.
‘Martha’s Madman’ sounds different from gig to gig. The ‘Demolition Man’ just as well. I was very surprised and fascinated about Mick Roger’s guitar playing. The voices from Chris Thompson and Noel McCalla are an important component of the whole Earth Band sound. Manfred made the sound foundation for all the songs and all the wonderful solos.
Well I hope to hear more just from him, perhaps at an indoor gig.
Thank you, Manfred Mann, for your music through all the last years, it’s more than 30 years now. I hope probably not just me, that we don’t have to wait another ten years for the next few Earth Band tracks. It’s up to you.....
What still to say after all?
Come all within
Come all without
Everybody’s listening to the MMEB sound!
(That’s not a TV commercial)
Best Wishes from Switzerland
MMEB UK TOUR - SPRING 1996
When news broke of the Soft Vengeance album and tour I was rather excited, having not yet seen Earth Band play live. Better still, all six of the UK dates were within reasonable driving
distance of my home town of Birmingham. Having such a choice was nice: if money was no object I could have attended them all, but I restricted myself to three – in Stoke, Brierley Hill and
London. Also it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and I don't think there is any band I’d want to see more than three times in one week. I doubt I’ll ever get near Barry
Winton’s tally of 80+ Earth Band gigs!
After a near miss on the Stoke one-way system, I parked up and was chuffed to find that the Wheatsheaf was just around the corner. With a foot-high stage and space for less than a few hundred, it seemed hardly the location to mark Manfred’s first show with Chris Thompson in a decade, but hey ho, a gig’s a gig!
Brierley Hill/s Robin, is vastly superior to the Stoke venue, with sensible promotion that was enough to sell out the gig. Nick Roberts, a great guy I met at the The Good Earth filming last October,
had travelled up from Swansea without a ticket, but still he got in! There were loads of other Platform Enders here tonight, along with Chris’ young son Daniel, who joined dad on stage
I’d been to the Bottom Line Ioads of times to watch Thompson front the SAS Band - this was to be the first non-SAS gig I’d seen there. Another venue with the right reputation, this one sold out too. , I was mightily impressed by the performance, from the opening instrumental (whose only familiar moment was a snippet of ‘Joybringer’ onwards). I admire bands that play songs they don’t record, another example on this tour being ‘Times They Are A Changin’. Other Dylan tunes in the set were ‘Father of Day’, ‘Quinn’ (no surprises there), and one of my favourites off the new album, ‘Shelter From The Storm’ sounding stunning with lead vocals from Noel, Chris and Mick.
I could be wrong, but I don’t remember hearing more than four songs from Soft Vengeance - the first four on the CD! One of these ‘Play With Fire’, featured more excellent rearrangement in the form of Arthur Brown’s ‘Fire’. Spookily enough this is the third song with Arthur Brown vocals to have been done by Thompson! (For train spotters like myself, the other two are 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place' and 'The Tell Tale Heart'). The rest of the Earth Band set was Greatest Hits based and they kept the same set each night.
So well worth all the petrol - here's looking forward to the next tour!
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ANTIPODEAN MANFRED – COLLECTING MANFRED DOWN UNDER
With any recording artist, releases often vary from country to country and Australian issues of Manfred Mann’s work are no exception. This article takes a look at the Aussie gear that differs from the English discography.
MY LITTLE RED BOOK/ SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING (HMV) - Released in 1965, sometime after OH NO, NOT MY BABY and before IF YOU GOTTA GO, GO NOW, this single was not released in the UK, but did come out in the USA.
HI LILI, HI LO / YOU DON’T KNOW ME (HMV) - Also a 1965 release, coming out around November / December, just a month or two after IF YOU GOTTA GO, GO NOW
SEMI-DETACHED SUBURBAN MR. JAMES / EACH AND EVERY DAY (PHILIPS) - Again a different B-side to the UK issue which contained MORNING AFTER THE PARTY.
LIVING WITHOUT YOU CALIFORNIA COASTLINE (PHILIPS) - Again a different flipside with TRIBUTE being used in England.
BE NOT TOO HARD / I’LL BE GONE (BRONZE) - I’LL BE GONE replaced EARTH HYMN PART 2A as the B-Side. SPIRITS IN THE NIGHT/ QUESTIONS (BRONZE)
QUESTIONS was not released as a single in Australia.
DON’T KILL IT CAROL / YOU ARE - I AM (BRONZE) - Yet another different B-side. In the UK DON’T KILL IT CAROL was coupled with BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, though I confess I don’t know why. Perhaps for the picture disc (which wasn’t released here)?
Its worth noting that only a couple of the Aussie single releases had picture sleeves (Redemption Song and Geronimo’s Cadillac), unlike some European countries where believe virtually all the Earth Band singles had them.
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WHAT A MANN (PHILIPS) The Aussie release cover photo was the one taken in the York Train Museum and used for a time on copies of AS IS in the UK. Only the alcove sleeve made and appearance here on AS IS.
THE MIGHTY QUINN (PHILIPS) The Australian equivalent of; MIGHTY GARVEY. For those of you who have seen the US release of the same name this is identical except for the back cover photo which, on the Aussie release is black and white, but on the US cover is colour. For those of you who haven’t seen this LP the track listing is as follows:
HA HA SAID THE CLOWN
SEMI-DETACHED SUBURBAN MR. JAMES
EVERY DAY ANOTHER HAIR TURNS GREY
THE VICARS DAUGHTER
IT’S SO EASY FALLING
EACH AND EVERY DAY
NO BETTER, NO WORSE
MESSIN’ (VERTIGO) – Of interest to Vertigo collectors because it was released on the swirl label, inlike the UK where it came out of the spaceship label.
THE ROARING SILENCE (BRONZE) – After the success of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, THE ROARING SILENCE was re-released with an extra track, SPIRITS IN THE NIGHT with Chris Thompson’s vocals. The cover was also changed to a blue-grey colour and instead of the lyrics being featured on the back they were put on an inner sleeve. I understand Canada had a similar version.
It’s probably worth mentioning that the first Chapter 3 album, wasn’t released on Vertigo here, but on Fontana instead. There are also minor differences from the UK release on the rear cover of SOUL OF MANN.
COME TOMORROW (HMV) Released in 1965, this record contained HUBBLE BUBBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE, SHA LA LA, COME TOMORROW and OH NO, NOT MY BABY,.
PRETTY FLAMINGO- (HMV) Released in 1966 between MACHINES and INSTRUMENTAL/ASYLUM, It featured MY LITTLE RED BOOK, IF YOU GOTTA GO, GO NOW, Hl LILl, Hl LO and PRETTY FLAMINGO.
JUST LIKE A WOMAN (PHILIPS) The most sought after of the Aussie EP’s, it contains JUST LIKE A WOMAN, l WANNA BE RICH, TROUBLE AND TEA and LET IT BE ME. I believe France had a similar release.
MIGHTY QUINN (FONTANA) A selection of hits featuring MIGHTY QUINN, SEMI-DETACHED SUBURBAN MR. JAMES, MY NAME lS JACK and HA HA SAID THE CLOWN.
FOX ON THE RUN (FONTANA) Released around the time the group called it a day, this record was made up of their two singles. FOX ON THE RUN, TOO MANY PEOPLE, RAGAMUFFlN MAN and A ”B” A SIDE.
So there you have the more interesting items of the Australian Manfred discography. I should also make mention of a compilation D’Abo era Manfred Marin tracks that was released in September 1994. Among the 22 tracks on MANN MADE HITS AND OTHER DELICACIES 1966-1969 are all the songs from the AS IS album which, to the best of my knowledge are unavailable elsewhere on CD.
Hope that has whetted your appetite a little!
(With thanks to MICK MALONEY)
Dear Andy and Carol,
I just thought I Should write in to say how much I enjoyed the recent Earth Band gigs. I attended two shows, the first at the Robin Hood in Dudley. I arrived at 7.00 pm. without a ticket only to discover that the gig was sold out. Thankfully after onlya few nerve wracking minutes the barman brought news of somebody with a spare ticket which was duly snapped up.
On the way through to the hall I couldn’t resist purchasing a copy of the long awaited new album. Once inside, I recognized a few fellow fan- club members and went over for a chat. The haII soon
filled to capacity and the ‘band came on at around 9:30 pm, opening with an instrumental which merged into ‘Joybringer’. They went onto play a set that consisted of a mixture of songs from the
new album and old favourites.
Ten years had passed since I had seen them previously but they sounded as fresh as ever. Particularly impressive were Noel McCalIa’s vocals which were a complement to the raw power of Chris Thompson. Mick Rogers was on blistering form, highlighted by his guitar playing on ‘Father Of Night’ and ‘Demolition Man’. Steve Kinch and John Trotter provided a good solid backbeat and after two encores the well satisfied audience melted away into the night. On the way out I overheard muttering of ’briIIiant', ‘amazing’ and ‘I never knew they were that good’. The following evening I went to the Filling Station in Newport, arriving much earlier, to be sure of getting in. As I approached the pub I could hear the sound of instruments being tuned up which included some familiar riffs. The venue was much smaller than the previous evenings and the stage was only just big enough to accommodate the band and their instruments. The only people present were the band and Andy from the Fan Club. Andy asked me if I had ever been to a sound check, to which I replied ‘No’ so
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we went over and sat in front of the band whilst they ran through a few numbers. l thought of all the time I’d spent listening to Earth Band albums over the years and here they were, playing in
front of me in a pub in Newport!. I had to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
Later on, as the pub started to fill an atmosphere of eager anticipation built up amongst the many Earth Band fans who had come out of the woodwork to see their long lost but not forgotten heroes playing again. The. band came on and played the same set as the previous night, only this time the instrumental introduction was much longer with. Manfred letting rip on the keyboards. The gig was even better than the night before and if rumours of some more U.K. appearances in the Autumn turn out to be true, then I shall be among the first in the queue to see them.
The new album, as with all Manfred Mann’s Earth Band albums takes a few plays to get into, but goes on to provide endless hours of listening pleasure and I feel that Soft Vengeance sees them right back to their best. Long may they continue.
Ed. Notes: Sorry Nick, no UK gigs this Autumn, perhaps if we’re lucky early next year!
Dear Andy and Carol,
Just a few lines too say how much we enjoyed the excellent gig at the Wheatsheaf on Thursday. We being myself and wife Sandra. To say it was excellent was an understatement: The band were in fine form great to see Chris back again. The guys played brilliant, particularly Manfred as usual. Plus all the vocals were great as well. I’ve been in to all Manfred’s music since the 60’s. My wife (aged 32) obviously knows their hit songs, but had never heard anything else by them so she went along with an open mind.
I think she was pleasantly surprised. In fact amazed how good they were live. She’s always liked Manfred’s songs anyway. Anyway we hope they’ll come back around this way soon and we’ll be there
again. It was worth every penny. A chance in a million. Hope they come back again soon.
Steve and Sandra Ball (Aged 40)
Stoke On Trent
PS. We were right at the front.
Dear Andy and Carol,
Thank you very much for your letter dated 18th June. It is so good to know that a Fan Club such as yours can deal with enquiries, moans etc. I would like to take you up on your very generous offer of publishing my details in the next issue of Platform End. Incidentally I may have found another fan who might join the fan club. I have given him the relevant details. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Neil Wade Derby.
Ed. Notes: Poor Neil missed the gig at Stoke On Trent because he and his brother have disability/mobility problems, and were unable to get there. Neil would like to hear from anybody locally who might be able to help him and his brother get to future Earth Band gigs. His address is:-
3 Basildon Close,
Just a few lines to saw how nice it was to meet yourself and Graeme at the Bottom Line on Sunday 2nd June, how much we enjoyed the 2 concerts we were able to attend and our feeling about the new album.
I've seen the Earth Band now about a dozen times over 23 years and they’ve never let me down - always brilliant - always sorry when it’s over - always wondering when the next time will be. Dudley
was no exception, except we only had to wait 2 days. Soft Vengeance is the best album I’ve bought in ages (no surprise there), our favourite tracks being Shelter From The Storm, Tumbling Ball,
Complete History’ and the completely brilliant Pleasure And Pain’, which for its overall atmosphere and musicianship rates amongst the best since ‘Father Of Day, Father Of Night’. In closing this
letter I would just like to say thank you and well one for keeping us up to speed with all things Manfred.
Graeme & Lois Paylor
Dear Andy and Carol,
For nearly ten years we are every year a few day on the Wirral without knowing of the Earth band Fan Club.
Karen and myself are both fans of MMEB since the mid seventies.
Since 1977 we took every opportunity to see Manfred and the band live on stage, and it was in 1986 during The Criminal Tango tour when we had the luck to stay with Chris Thompson, Steve Kinch and John Lingwood for two hours in the Holiday Inn Hotel Bar Inn after the gig in Kassel. Accidentally we stayed in the same Hotel as the Earth Band.
At the 25th July we will see them live in Tubingen near Stuttgart and you can imagine we are very excited. We will be again on the Wirral on Saturday 31st Aug and Sunday 1st September and would be very pleased if we can meet you.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Helmut and Karen Keesling
Ed. Notes: It was great to meet you both, hope you had a great holiday, we both look forward to our next meeting.
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Dear Andy and Carol,
Many, many thanks for your interesting and friendly letter, and for the Platform End.
I feel very happy when l read the magazine. Of course the most interesting is Manfred's own article, but also all the other._It is great to take part of a great artist and musician and
Manfred Mann’s world of thought and ideas.
All the other stuff in the magazine is very good quality too, with very good photographs and very good edit by you.
I know that Manfred play unreleased songs on the concerts. Specially I remember the concert here in Oslo in 1976, when the release of ‘Roaring Silence’. That was the first time I hear Davy’ and ‘Davy’ came out on ‘Watch’ in 1978. I’m very sorry because I’m not had chance to visit the Festival in Hemsedal, my car said no already the day before the Festival and I don’t find other possibilities to take the journey to this place. Hemsedal is, as I say before, not the centre of the universe. I hope that Manfred will have concert IN A CITY in the near future.
Dear Andy and Carol,
Thank you very much for writing to me so soon concerning the Fan Club which I am keen to join. I thought Platform End was highly professional and wonder whether you would kindly provide me with Issues 7 & 8. I have been a fanatic of the
group since about 1980. If you are planning a get together or similar as mentioned in the newsletter then I would happily try and come along. One feels a little isolated as an MMEB Fan in this neck of the woods. Many thanks again,
NOTES FROM AMERICA
By Greg Russo
“Mannerisms – The British Radio Tour”
This past February, I promoted my book “Mannerisms” on radio stations throughout England: Shrewsbury, Liverpool, Lincoln, Leicester, Chatham, Bristol and London. Since these programmes were scheduled at all different times of the day, l hope that some of you had the chance to hear them.
group since about 1980. If you are planning a get together or similar as mentioned in the newsletter then I would happily try and come along. One feels a little isolated as an MMEB Fan in this neck of the woods. Many thanks again,
NOTES FROM AMERICA
By Greg Russo
“Mannerisms – The British Radio Tour”
This past February, I promoted my book “Mannerisms” on radio stations throughout England: Shrewsbury, Liverpool, Lincoln, Leicester, Chatham, Bristol and London. Since these programmes were scheduled at all different times of the day, l hope that some of you had the chance to hear them. If not, you can obtain copies by writing to:
All of these interviews went extremely well, and: the two that really standout in my mind are the ones from Liverpool and Bristol.
After doing an evening show in Shrewsbury, I took the train the next morning to Liverpool where Andy Taylor would pick me up. Here I am waiting for Andy to arrive, and to my surprise, Mick
Rogers steps out of the car! I thought that Andy and I were going to do the interview, but seeing Mick and finding out that he was appearing on the show as well definitely made my trip
worthwhile. I have spoken to Mick a few times at MMEB gigs but the weekend that I spent with Mick and Andy, his wife Carol and their two children was a fantastic experience. Mick and I
discussed his musical career with and without the Earth Band. I gave Mick a copy of “Mannerisms” for his enjoyment.
The “Late Night West” interview in Bristol was hosted by none other than Mike D’Abo, the man who was faced with the difficult task of replacing Paul Jones in the original Manfred Mann 60’s group. I spent the entire programme discussing all aspects of Manfred’s career with Mike and we got on very well. As it turned out, d’Abo is extremely
knowledgeable about Manfred’s entire career, and the interview turned out to be extremely informative and good fun for everyone. During the programme I premiered two unreleased Fontana recordings (”Budgie” and ”Sitting Alone In The Sunshine”), and you had to see Mike singing along with these songs in the studio for the first time in almost thirty years! Mike, with his helpful and trusty volunteers like Col and Tree Browne, ”Late Night West”, runs a highly professional and entertaining show. It’s definitely miles ahead of standard radio fare. Mike will be taking about 4 months off from ”Late Night West” to give more time to his other projects (His Mighty Quintet and The Manfreds), so lets hope he comes back stronger than ever.
Two CDs featuring Manfred Mann guest appearances are now available. Manfred’s keyboards playing on the song “Cherry River” from the Good Rats album “Birth Comes To Us All” is now on CD
through Fireball Records in the US. From Canada comes Wiseguys International’s “Looks Like Ringo, Sounds Like John”, a disastrous album from Ringo Starr impersonator Chris Tassone.
Manfred appears on the track “The Wise Guys”. Its a nothing appearance, but interesting to note nonetheless.
Upcoming for October 7 is a repackage of “Ages of Mann”, and the budget compilation “The World Of Mann”, which will include some d’Abo era hits with some album tracks.
For those keeping up with the latest in computers, Crossfire Publications has a page on the Internet here is the information:
for e-mail: email@example.com
That’s about all for now. See you next time
Gregs view of Soft Vengeance
Platform End No 11 - Winter 1996
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On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, A copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!
On The Second Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Two CD Singles, and the Soft Vengeance CD!!
On The Third Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!
On The Fourth Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Four Compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD1!!!
On The Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles,and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!!!
On The Sixth Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me,Six Live CD’s, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends,Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!!!!
On The Seventh Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Seven Live Gigs On Merseyside, Six Live CD’S, Five Gold Discs. Four Compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!!!!!
On The Eighth Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Eight
New Songs Recorded in a week! Seven Live Gigs On Merseyside, Six Live CD’s, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!!!!!!
On The Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Nine Days of MMEB special featured Artists on VH1, Eight New Songs Recorded in a week! Seven Live Gigs On Merseyside, Six Live CD’s, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CDllllll!!!
On The Tenth Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Ten videos in a boxed set from present day to 1973, Nine Days of MMEB special featured Artists on VH1 , Eight New Songs Recorded in a week! Seven Live Gigs On Merseyside, Six Live CD’s, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CDllllllllll
On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me, Eleven good reviews of Soft Vengeance from the normally tasteless Philistines who review these things in magazines like Q and Vox, Ten videos in a boxed set from present day to ’73, Nine Days of MMEB special featured Artists on VH1, Eight New Songs Recorded in a week! Seven Live Gigs On Merseyside, Six Live CD's, Five Gold Discs. Four compilations, Three Platform Ends, Two CD singles, and a copy of the Soft Vengeance CD!!!!!!!!!!!
On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas I woke up!
your encouragement this madness would never happen and Martha would be save in her bed this Christmas. Happy Christmas to all our friends old and new and all the Very Best for the New Year.
Andy and Carol
MORE STOCKING FILLERS
EMI continue to bombard us with compilations, there is rather a good CD materialised in the shops containing most of the 60’s HMV R&B recordings, under the rather confusing title of ‘Groovin With The Manfred’s’, because of course nowadays there is a Manfred’s! This however, is definitely full of original 60’s R&B, so if you have not yet checked out the early 60’s R&B this would be a good excuse. However, just in case your taste is more for the Top 20 stuff, Polygram have what at first sight is a new hits compilation featuring both EMI and Fontana material. Closer inspection reveals this to be the rather dull and unimaginative Ages Of Mann Greatest Hits album with a much needed face lift.
For all those writing asking about the availability of Earth Band back catalogue, the Liverpool HMV and Virgin stores are stocking a wide selection and I would guess this is true for most of their major stores as well as those of Andy’s Records. I can’t speak for Europe but huge amounts of back catalogue CD’S are being sent out, I am led to believe these have now been Virgin branded, whilst over in the States at long last you should be able to buy some of the back catalogue, details in Platform End issue No. 10. Don’t forget if you are stuck for a late Christmas present we have our own Video price £7.99 sterling. Fifteen minutes of Interviews and Music but be warned we have very limited quantities, exclusive to Fan Club Members.
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SOFT VENGEANCE IN THE MAKING
By Ian Tompson
It was a cold frosty January morning back in 1992 as I drove down to the Workhouse Studios which is situated down the Old Kent Road. The road was looking it’s usual charming unsmart self with its decaying graffiti riddled buildings lining the route, how the Workhouse blends in so well!! This day was like no other, it was the start of the new Earth Band album. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band had just finished a successful European 1991 tour in which they had performed material for the new album, so they were well rehearsed and keen to start the recordings.
The scene was set, the SSL console sat in front of me waiting, in anticipation, Manfred’s keyboards already set up to my right, Steve Kinch on Bass would be to my left, and Mick Rogers to my right, and with Clive Bunker in the Studio Live Room surrounded by Drum Kit and Microphones.
Clive arrived first, not because he was keen but he had more to set up and fiddle with than the other boys with bits of wood with strings on. Steve and Mick turned up and headed straight for the kettle, shortly followed by Manfred who acted as if he owned the place, oh yes, he does, doesn’t he!! The master plan, as discussed on the tour bus the previous year, was to record the songs live, altogether, like in the good old days. Wait a minute though! There’s someone missing, oh only Noel McCaIIa late again. Well actually he’d already put some guide vocals down onto an eight track along with a few keyboard and click tracks for the band to play along to, so he wasn’t required at the start.
The first song to be recorded was Pleasure and Pain, with the multi-track tape in record and the click tracks a rolling, two bar count in and they’re off, the start of the Earth Band album.
Two to three weeks later and a few laughs along the way, 3 or 4 versions of ten songs had been recorded. The best take would be chosen and worked on and there you have it, the album’s backing tracks or so I thought at the time. What was to follow no-one warned me about, I would have had to of been Mystic Meg to have known.
Weeks went by with Noel singing lead vocals time and time again, all keyboard parts were tried along with guitar parts and solos, the summer of ’92 arrived and soon went, I’m sure you know the feeling. It was Autumn, Manfred started having doubts about the whole thing, was the album good enough? What direction are we going in? Apart from around and around! It was clear he needed help outside of the band to produce the album. A few producers appeared knocking at the door asking for a job, the right man turned out to be Richard Burgess, not because of his well respected credits, but because he lived just around the corner from the studio.
Richard’s first job was on a new selection of songs and his brief was:- Make them anyway you like, so if you want to use other musicians, then do it, except keyboard players of course!
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The first track Richard worked on was ”Nothing Ever Happens’, you should know it by now, and that was finished quite quickly. All that was needed now was to edit it, try a few edit ideas of Manfred’s, then a few more. Good job I like editing on the 1/2”, because I got plenty of practice on this song. The next song Richard got his teeth into was Sexual Jealousy, my personal favourite, NOT!! Yes that’s Noel doing all the vocals in the opera section. The initial backing track was to be changed several times to a more live feel for the album at a later date. Songs were being finished and there was a growing air of confidence that the album would be finished later in 1993. Manfred’s exact words: ”I can't see any hold ups now we've got the songs, the album will be out at the end of the year”. One of the boys laughed ”Yes but which year?” ”This year Ian! Put your money where your mouth is then, if you don’t think it will be finished". Came the strong confident reply from Manfred. The wager was made, the Gauntlet thrown down, this was one bet I didn’t want to win, but of course I did, easily.
We got out of studio life in the Summer ’93 to do some festivals in Europe, again a good turn out and very well received, but the Summer came and went so quickly. Back to the studios. We had two studios working on the album now, Richard working in one, and Manfred and I working in the other. Time went by, more songs were worked on, parts changed, re- recorded, thrown out, then recovered and
so on. Manfred was going through another one of his doubting stages, are the keyboard solos any good, what about the guitar solos and then the drums and the vocals, not forgetting the bass lines. In the summer of ’94 a cassette landed on the door mat with another singers songs on it. This guy had a really deep powerful voice on tape, perhaps what Manfred had been missing on one or two of the songs, it was an avenue in which he had to pursue. Enter Bobby Whitlock of Derek And The Dominos fame. He flew in from America for two weeks to record some new songs and try some old ones while he was here. Bobby is a quietly spoken, tea-total chap, NOT” He tells some great stories and did his best singing his heart out for the album, but alas he decided to fly back to America before finishing the job. Where was Manfred going to find another singer for these songs now. We needed someone with a strong rock vocal, a knowledge of the Earth Band sound, someone who has sung all the way to number one in the American charts.
Welcome back Chris Thompson. ln all the years l’ve been working down at the Workhouse I’d never met Chris before, so what an honour it was for him. As soon as he started singing that old familiar voice of the Earth
Band we all know and love had returned. Some songs had to be totally re-recorded i.e. Pleasure And Pain was now in the wrong key for Chris, than for Noel, but the album was back in top gear coming together very nicely. Having two strong singers on the album, how could it fail, the fans should love it! The first half of ’95 was very productive.
With the light at the end of the tunnel and I could hear the Champagne corks a popping, the release date for the album, could have been Autumn '95 but to allow record companies time and everybody to be happy with the final product release date of late Spnng’96 was chosen.
Christmas '95 everybody had a DAT
of different versions of all the songs, to choose their favourites. A few more late indecisions by Manfred, more editing and remixing and the album was finished. The next day, before anybody could change their minds, Manfred and I cut the album at the Townhouse Studios. The Champagne delivery must have got lost somewhere, because all that was on offer was a warm bottle of lager. Oh Well!!
To conclude this brief insight of the making of Soft Vengeance, why did it take four years to make? This is a question I get asked time and time again. Well the Band did tour in the summer of ”92 & ‘93 and a few holidays were taken which does stop the flow, but at the end of the day Manfred was looking to make a well crafted album which I personally think he succeeded in doing. This makes you go down every possible Avenue and pick apart the molecular structure of each song and make decisions on which path and direction to
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take. Manfred is well known for his indecisions, so you can totally lose the plot. Manfred was correct in questioning everything we did because for example the majority of those backing tracks we did in ’92 just weren’t good enough, only one was used on the album Shelter From The Storm. The album came together due to endless fiddles, remixes, editing, soul searching, personnel changes etc. There were times when I just wanted to hide under the SSL console and hope it would all end, but also there were times when Manfred wanted to take a meat cleaver to the back of my head for the unhelpful comments that I often made, but it all came together somehow. There are still a few changes and versions of songs that I prefer, than those on the album but overall it’s not bad is it? Despite what some critics and press say.
So what’s my favourite songs on the album I hear you ask? Adults Only, Nature Of The Beast, Shelter From the Storm, (although not the version on the album).
The song I love to hate is Sexual Jealousy with all its parts 17 to 24, I know a lot of people really like this track but my CD. player will skip it every time, I’ve heard the album more times
than Barry Winton. So onto the next project, on the road with the Earth Band!!
IAN TOMPSON THE (INVISIBLE) ENGINEER SOFT VENGEANCE
NOTES FROM AMERICA
By Greg Russo
“Soft Vengeance" - The Official Review"
Q and Mojo magazines have said that “Soft Vengeance” is slick, bland and/or out of date, and that Manfred only covers songs to make a profit. Nonsense!
Suggestion: Forget what Q and Mojo have said about “Soft Vengeance”. After all, the fans are the ones that decide what albums are good and which are awful by sales figures. Reviewers get hundreds of free albums and listen to everything once, fans live these albums and play them often. Such is the life of a veteran musician like Manfred Mann. Bands like Jethro Tull and MMEB are compared to their prior commercial artistic triumphs instead of being evaluated on the album at hand. Without further ado, let’s review “Soft Vengeance” track-by-track from an objective fan’s viewpoint, without any
preconceived notion’s of Manfred’s past work...
After a short time, you realise that this album is actually about human relationships. What’s that again? Yes, human relationships - the thing that Manfred has avoided doing on record since the ‘60’s. In this sensitive, politically correct time
(boy, I hate that phrase!), it would be interesting for all of us to hear Manfred’s take on the issue. Manfred’s version is “Soft Vengeance”.
“Pleasure And Pain” starts the album off nicely. The song was co-written by Holly Knight and Peter Chapman, the former a veteran US ‘80’s hit songwriter and the latter one - half of the Chapman- Chinn production team (noted for Sweet, among numerous others). This song was written for the Australian group The Divinyls in 1986, and their version was a moderate success in the US. The Earth Band version is done at a slower pace than the original, but its effect is much more powerful. Chris Thompson’s emotional vocals work extremely well, and at the end of the song, there’s a seamless transition from Manfred’s lovely Moog solo to Mick’s solo. This is what Earth Band fans love, the interaction between Manfred and Mick.
The next track “Play With Fire”, is certainly a surprise to most fans. Yes, it’s the Rolling Stones ‘66 classic done in a very updated arrangement. Thompson handles the strong vocals, well done, and it features synth sounds that Manfred has not played for nearly 20 years! The first single “Nothing Ever Happens”, follows next, and is extremely commercial. This song comes from Scottish pop group Del Amitri from late 1989, and this was their first big hit. As with most Manfred Mann covers, not all
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the verses have been used, and it works better this way. Noel McCalla takes the vocal reins this time, and it’s hard to get this song out of your head once you hear it - it’s that memorable!
Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm”, is track four, and since it’s originally from 1975, Dylan’s lyrical imagery is presented in a more compact form. The arrangement on “Soft Vengeance” differs a bit from the live Earth Band arrangement, but it’s equally effective. On this one, McCalla, Thompson and Mick Rogers alternate vocals - it’s a calculated move, but it works so wonderfully that you wish they’d do it live that way. During the middle of the song, a quiet passage leads to a dual vocal section and in which the three vocals overlap and reach an exciting climax, in which Manfred and Mick trade solos. This is the type of playing that people have been looking for on a MMEB studio album, and Manfred doesn’t disappoint here.
“Tumbling Ball”, is another commercial song from an unlikely source: little known songwriter Mark Spiro. Spiro recorded this song on his MCA album in 1984, but it does not compare to this presentation with Thompson’s vocal. Very well constructed and arranged, “Tumbling Ball” would be a fine single candidate, and Mick just tears through the mix to provide a riveting solo. In addition, the bittersweet Moog ending is a nice contrast. Perhaps if the song was edited it would stand a good chance of selling as a single.
Robert Cray’s “The Price I Pay”, is a 1992 example of the slick pop/blues that he offers, and the Chris Thompson-sung Earth Band version takes some of the gloss off Cray’s take to explore the essence of the song. Working as the song’s hook, Manfred’s keyboard line slides throughout the song nicely. While not as overpowering as the previous tracks, a change in song style at this point in the album is welcome.
Cyril Shumann’s “Lose The Touch” is the real sleeper on the album. A highly underrated song, it really grows on you with repeated plays. Done at a low simmer, it keeps warm until the chorus when it kicks into gear until it goes down for each verse. Noel’s vocal is accompanied by some backward tape effects, which is another interesting technique that we haven’t heard from Manfred since ‘70’s MMEB albums. Mick alternates guitar solos during the break, which is something he hasn’t done in a long time and it’s great to hear. Manfred’s instrumental, “Adults Only”, is the aural equivalent of a couple “doing the dirty”. Its ups and downs certainly follow in the same manner as a sexual encounter.
And Manfred’s excellent flurries of Moog notes create the excitement that make this track a notch above standard instrumental fare. A quiet piano into leads into a furious Moog section, and then the quiet piano returns again.
Well that bring us to “Wherever Love Drops (Part One)”, a “collaboration” between Manfred and Russell Hoban in which Mr. Hoban discusses the size of this private part and his sexual prowess. It’s certainly not going to go over well with the ladies, but it’s one of those eccentric touches that Manfred includes in his albums to make sure we’re paying attention!
After a 10 second interval (Perhaps to recover from all this sexual activity), we have more sexual material to contend with “The Complete History Of Sexual Jealousy”. Written by Nicholas Currie and recorded in 1988 by his stage Momus as “A Complete History Of Sexual Jealousy (Parts 17- 24),” the difference between his version and Manfred’s is astounding. While Momus’ version has minimal instrumentation, the Earth Band version has a great Noel McCalla vocal and a beautifully layered choral arrangement. There are loads of keyboard layers as well. and it’s infinitely more creative than the original. despite being two minutes shorter.
99 lbs" is next. and was. written by Don Bryant and recorded by fellow Hi Records artist Ann Peebles (“I Can’t Stand The Rain”) in 1970.
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This is not really and Earth Band track, its more of a “Chris Thompson and Friends” affair. After all, the piano track is not even by Manfred, and he’s the keyboard player in his band, isn’t he? Still, this is a funky song with some nice deep Moog lines. The ending is atrociously edited by Thompson, leaving Manfred’s contribution a misguided afterthought. I believe that this song should not have appeared on the “Vengeance” part of the album, and it should have been switched with “Play With Fire” for maximum effect.
“Play With Fire” shows more vengeance than “99lb” for sure. While this version is superior to the Ann Peebles version, Mann and Thompson should have done much better and they know it. Next Case.
Another Cyril Shumann song, “Miss You”, comes next. Noel’s double tracked vocals come across fine, as do Mick and Manfred’s contributions. A nice compact Rogers solo gives this insistent song the edge that it needs, and after a guitar/Moog dual riff, the song collapses in an unusual fashion. It’s surprising that they left this in, but it’s good to see that they’re human!
“Nature Of The Beast”, was written by Holly Knight (yes, the same one from “Pleasure And Pain”, though Manfred didn’t know this - look at the sleeve notes!), and recorded on her self-titled solo album from the mid-80’s. If any song on the album sounds out of date, it’s this one, but it’s so good you have to love it anyway. Even though it’s the Earth Band, this sounds like Night reincarnate,
with Chris Thompson and assorted female backing powering their way through this AOR (album oriented radio) track. The
song reminds one of a Bruce Springsteen/Bryan Adams hybrid Without the grating vocals that ruined both of those artists (sorry if you like either one of them!). At its end, alternating Mick and Manfred solos bring the song to its exciting close, and we’re ready for the second part of “Wherever Love Drops”. The second phase of “Wherever Love Drops”, presents the further sexual escapades of Mr. Hoban and more of Manfred’s quirky sense of humour. This written by Mann, Hoban and Anthony Moore, another partner in crime from MMEB’S ‘70’s glory days. Manfred really tears into his piano at the end, and before you know it, “Soft Vengeance” is over. Except for “The Complete History Of Sexual Jealousy” (produced by Richard James Burgess and Manfred) and “Nothing Ever Happens (produced by Burgess alone), the entire album was produced by Manfred. This is a vast change to what was originally reported by Platform End, in that Burgess was supposed to produce the whole thing.
When the live approach to recording the tracks didn’t work in the end, Manfred took over the project upon Chris Thompson’s return to the band and made it this way. Of course, I would have mixed the album a bit differently, as some of the interaction between Manfred and Mick tends to get lost in the shuffle at times.
In fact, the album is not slick; it has been overly edited. Still, it’s a bit unsettling to hear these songs cut and pasted together, especially since they’ve been playing most of them for over 4 years! One example is “Nothing Every Happens”. The album version is obviously edited, as the single’s TV Mix illustrates. The ‘TV Mix’ shows that more than 20 seconds of the album version were edited out, as this unusual mix (only the CD single) has some nice bass and keyboard fills that did not end up on the album. My feeling is that the whole song should have been left intact on the album, and it would not disturb the continuity of the album one bit. The verdict? “Soft Vengeance” is radio-ready, but the fragmented state of radio is not ready for what Manfred has to offer. Whatever out of date feeling that the album presents is because it deals with a forgotten craft: songwriting. Manfred shows that the old fashioned “verse- chorus- verse-chorus-bridge- chorus-solo” song construction works much better than the meandering sludge that passes for new “songs” in today’s post-grunge rock bands. Of course, most of the songs on “Soft Vengeance” sound like ‘80’s songs - many of them were written in the “80’s using tried and true songwriting methods, and they are infinitely more memorable that current output. Vocally the performances are impeccable.
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Chris Thompson’s vocal combinations with Stevie Lange, Dyan Birch, Maggie Ryder, Linda Taylor, Carole Kenyon and Janice Hoyte are nothing short of stunning and Noel McCalla’s has proven on this album that he is equal of Thompson in every way. Noel’s phrasing and emotion comes across on his tracks in the same way as Thompson’s tracks, so the album flow together very well.
“Soft Vengeance” will definitely satisfy the fans, even though after all this time, we should have received a 4CD box set! Manfred could not have done much better and given the proper promotion and availability the album should be a consistent seller for many years to come.
Dear Andy and Carol,
At the inlet of the last MM- Album ’Soft Vengeance’ I read your address and thought of getting contact with you and your Fan Club as well as with the band itself, if possible. I am a big fan since 1981 when I saw the band first in Southern Germany, Ravensburg Oberschwabenhalle during the Chance tour. Since that wonderful concert I’ve seen the band another four times in Switzerland - Out in the Green, Frauenfeld, Gurtenfestival, Bern
and in Germany in Gorky-Park, Ulm and Open-Air Riedlingen! Every concert was a perfect rock- show and better than most of the many other bands I’ve seen so far! As I’m a musician myself (drums/vocals), I think I know what I’m talking about. Well I guess you know all this and I don’t want to talk too much and waste your precious time.
The reason I’m writing is: I think I have some very nice live pictures of the band in Riedlingen. I took them during the concert on 6.7.96. It could be a gift for the band if they are interested. Also if you have interests in pictures just let me know! Yours Dirk Meiners Friedrichshafen/GERMANY.
Ed. Notes: The group all read our Fanzines and like us we are sure that they would be very interested in seeing your pictures if you would like to send us some more. Thanks.
Dear Andy and Carol,
I have enjoyed Manfred Mann’s music for quite some years, and I must say that I just can’t find words for my feelings. He dominates my record collection, but mostly with Earth Band. It's funny because my friends just don’t know him, and they shake their heads hearing his name. Well, I have to forgive them, thus they don’t know any better. But hey!! They are beginning to like some of it..... slowly but surely I will convert them.
I’m 29 years old and have a daughter of 4. For a living I’m a Cabdriver in Copenhagen and soon hope to start studying computer stuff.
Soft Vengeance is driving me crazy at the moment. IT’S JUST SO DAMN GOOD!! I was walking to my local music store and suddenly I find myself howling at the ceiling, people turned to see this freak. I went over to the guy behind the desk and asked if this was new Manfred because I never had seen it before. The dude just
said ”then its probably new”. What a moron.
Two minutes after I prepared my amplifier to bring me the gooooods, I sat down and waited for the first waves of delightful sound and suddenly I was in another world, although my firsts thoughts was betraying me and spoke to me about the Wilderness of Criminal Tango, Somewhere In Africa, Chance and Angel Station, I soon found myself back on track. Just hearing Chris’ voice again turned me into a crying baby!!
I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this letter, and as soon as possible return an answer.
And now Andy.... take Soft Vengeance and tune in on the Complete History of Sexual Jealousy’ It’s just fabulous!!!!
Keld Guldhammer Thomsen Copenhagen NV/DENMARK.
Ed Notes: Really enjoyed your letter Keld, Write again soon”
Dear Andy and Carol,
Great to meet you at the Nottingham Gig at last, what a thrill it was to see the Earth Band and get Pat Kings autograph. The concert was everything I expected and sounded so powerful. I liked the small venue, because I could actually see the band up close, very close as a matter of fact, I was nearly on stage with them. I bought the new CD yesterday, all I can say is that it sounds superb, if that's not top chart material I don’t know what is, but I suppose all the cretins of the music papers will slag it off as usual, I suppose they'd rather talk about Gina G!!
Dean Stanley Sheffield/England.
p.s. Where can I get one if“ tour T-Shirts from?
Ed. Notes: Well Dean we hope to have some T-Shirts soon, ones left over from the European tour so we’ll keep you posted.
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Platform End No 12 - Spring 1997
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So here we are again Platform End No. 12 our first of 1997. More and more members have been joining our ranks over the last few months and it was great meeting old and new friends at London's Little Empire and The Robin Hood, Dudley, Birmingham. We've also been getting loads of letters and phone calls, there have been times when the desk was disappearing under mountains of mail. Thanks to everyone who has written or called and thanks also for patience in waiting for our reply, we do try to answer all queries but sometimes the back log is frightening, but don't let that put you off writing 'cause we love it!
It was great to see so many Fan Club Members at the last gigs and its got me thinking again about some kind of a get together. If enough people are interested we could perhaps meet up somewhere in the Midlands maybe in the Autumn. So drop us a line and let us know. The level of support would determine what we could do and what the cost might be and who knows maybe we could get a few special guests to come along, over to you!
1996 was a good year. A new album (at last), lots of live shows and our own Video plus lots of re- issues whilst amongst the many contributors to Platform End were Ian Tompson (invisible Soft Vengeance Engineer)
and 1997 sees an extensive calendar of festivals across Europe and during the summer months kicking off in Germany in May, (there is one Swiss gig in March). A provisional list of dates are included with this issue but please check and confirm before travelling.
There is a strong possibility of the much requested Live album becoming a reality, taken from the
indoor concerts in Germany last Autumn. In the studio Manfred has been reworking a couple of tracks from Soft Vengeance that may or may not emerge as singles in the future, whilst thoughts are now turning to the next album. Platform End have articles promised by Ian Tompson who is following up his Soft Vengeance article with a look at life on the road. John Trotter will be revealing all about his audition with the Band, whilst Pat King who as well as playing bass 1977-81 designed the Angel Station Chance tour programmes, has vowed to dig deep into his photo library for us, who knows M.R. may yet finish his article.
We have very few videos left and have been quite relieved that everybody so far is pleased with what they have got. If you haven't got a copy yet then send your order in quickly, I understand we can order another batch but there is a minimum quantity to make it worthwhile, so if your video takes a while its because we have ordered more.
Thanks this issue, go to all our contributors plus a special thank you
to John Trotter who sent me loads of photographs from last year. To Graeme, The Beaver Yates, for all his hard work as our treasurer (he may soon be after your money), and all of you who have written or sent us photo's and clippings, they will get used.
Until the next time - Rock 'N' Roll.
Carol and Andy Taylor
Paul Jones on C.D.
Whilst out and about for the last two Earth Band gigs, I was given the first two Paul Jones CD's. The first contains his first post Manfred solo album plus singles /'B' sides and some unreleased bits. The second, the album 'Love Me Love My Friends', again with singles and unreleased tracks added. I was once many years ago the proud owner of both these albums which along with the Mike Vickers 'Wish I Was A Group Again' L.P. got lost somewhere down the line. Both CD's have got a lot going for them and are well worth tracking down. I particularly like the 'Love Me Love My Friends' album which has a lot of humour mixed in with the musical offerings and has a very off beat feel to it. The 'My Way' album includes 'She Needs a Man' previously recorded by Manfred Mann for the 'Machines' EP and an intriguing early version of 'I Can't Hold On Much Longer' later to become a Blues Band classic. Amongst the bonus tracks is the bluesy Sonny Boy Williamson featuring just Paul and ex-Manfred and Cream's Jack Bruce on double bass.
I understand there are to be two more CD's to complete the set. Packaging is well done including the classic photo of Paul handing over the job of lead singer to Mike D'Abo.
So When Did You First Starting Singing Manfred?
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GREG RUSSO’S BOOK
We have been advised that some members have had trouble obtaining Greg Russo's book 'Mannerisms', if you are one of them John Arkle has a limited number of books at the special price of £17.50 so please write to him direct at:
I do remember once on a very bad day threatening to give up the Fan Club and join the Spice Girls Fan Club instead, so I couldn't help smiling when according to a newspaper the girls have recorded the Manfred Mann 1964 hit 5-4-3-2~ I. It is to be used as the theme for the new UK. Television Channel 5 soon to be launched. The song penned by Manfred along with Paul Jones & Mike Hugg was the first hit for Manfred Mann, their third single release and was used as the theme tune for Ready Steady Go. The newspaper went on to say that the Spice Girls version could well be released as a single, so l suggested
to Carol that in line with my usual high level of dedication, I should arrange a shoot with the Girls for Platform End.
I would remind you at this point that the target release date for Platform End 12 is April 1st, All Fools Day, so believe what you want!
All the same my advice to you all is to watch this Spice!!
DIARY OF A MADMANN
Before about 1963 music played little or no part in my life. There was Gilbert and Sullivan of course, in those days, as at now, I loathed sad endings to anything and I'd been subjected to The King and l at the cinema (he dies at the end!!), and my only other trip to the movies was to see the epic The Ten Commandments (Moses goes up the mountain to die!) all no doubt a good grounding for some of the moody and miserable music Earth Band would have me listening to a couple at decades later. In an effort to cheer me up my parents who had a soft spot tor light or comic opera took me to see Yeoman Of The Guard, the only Gilbert & Sullivan production in which the comic hero who had made the audience roar with laughter throughout, dies at the end from a broken heart. On television the Black and White Minstrel Show gave me a taste tor Al Jolson music although I was quite unaware of this at the time, as l was also unaware that anybody might be offended by white people painting their faces black. In my family's defence, I grew up in a protected environment where the idea that people might be unpleasant to others because of the colour of their skin was inconceivable, (lt still, is!). I remember hearing a Chuck Berry song 'Riding Along In My Automobile' around this time but although I liked the sound I wasn't bothered enough to investigate and it was years later before l even found out it was Chuck Berry.
I remembered the song though! In 1963 the Mersey Beat was really starting to happen and I would love to go on now to relate some of my experiences at this uniquely historical time. The Silver Beatles played one of their first gigs at Litherland Town Hall on the outskirts of Liverpool about two minutes from where l lived tor about 14 years. So the highlight tor the Taylor family was my father queuing for petrol behind Billy J. Kramer, it you aren't sure who Billy was look it up yourselves. ln the South of England the R & B scene was also beginning to take off. Manfred had arrived from South Africa and was doing his Piano Man bit in bars and being tired tor playing too loud. Looking to make a career as a teacher of music theory and maybe a journalist he had bumped into Mike Hug later to become much more famous as Mike Hugg and unknown to me things were starting to happen. I didn't know Long John Baldrey was a great and well respected Blues shouter. Names like Alexis Corner, Graham Bond, John Mayall, had no meaning to me. l hadn't even heard of Pete Best or P Sutclitte, but l had heard at John, Paul, George & Ringo, without a doubt it was the Beatles who started my love at Pop/Rock music and my interest in music of any kind I could never understand why all those silly girls had to scream all the way through a song. To fuel my new found interest the BBC launched a new show . . Top Of The Pops at the start at 1964 just as l was recovering from a bad dose of Chicken Pox.
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We were allowed to watch this new show partly under sufferance and partly because there was still some damned good music around Ken Dodd and The Bachelors for example! One week early in the new shows history I watched five dirty scruffy and dare l say it ugly chaps singing on some windy cliff top about Not Fading Away. This was nothing to do with the nice smart clean cut Mersey Sound and l was deeply shocked and horrified that such scruffy people could be on television and even more horrified that I liked it!
A week or so later or so my memory tells me, another wild and woolly bunch also out in the wind (was it a dockyard or something?! were counting down their first hit. My disabled Mother muttered a few well chosen insults, l politely agreed and turned the sound off. What rubbish!
Rubbish or not it must have had quite some impact on my subconscious. I hadn't got a clue what R & B was or who this Manfred Mann chap was except that he was good with Maraccas and a Mouth Organ! l remember having a serious conversation with a mate in school as to what an odd sort of outfit this was we wondered why Manfred hadn't thought of a name for the odd looking bunch who made up his group. Wayne Fontana had his Mindbenders, Brian Poole had his Tremeloes, Billy J. Kramer his Dakotas, (l told you to look him up), but Manfred's men were unnamed. Even more confusing it turned out Manfred wasn't the pouting posing one in the middle but the somewhat eccentric keyboard player. Later on album sleeves would explain that there wasn't one Manfred but Five and it was all very diplomatic, but nobody ever believed all that.
Nowadays, with people writing to us from all over the world l have determined that we have three categories of Fan:
A. I heard Do Wah Diddy and that was it. These sad people are usually well over 40 for obvious reasons and now agree the song is a horrid commercial mess that they've grown out of and either only ever play it in private when nobody is looking - which they do quite often - or start a family specially because children (if mine are typical! love it and play it over and over again.
B. I heard Blinded and l was hooked. Didn’t mean to jump forward - but here we have serious, cool, studious, hippy type people who unless American and from somewhere around New York have never heard of 'Do Wah Diddy'. These are sad people but not as sad as A.
C. People who've bought on intelligent and meaningful Earth Band album by accident and after a few plays have discovered what great music really is. Typical albums are Solar Fire and The Good Earth.
Such fans are of superior intelligence and also very SAD!
l unfortunately am one of the sad A. categories. l loved 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy', loved the way the band performed it and encouraged by my sister (now a highly respected Prof. in Psychiatry, specialising in the criminally insane, who fancied Jones like mad). Her copy at 'The One In The Middle' is still pride of place in my collection not because it is a favourite or mint (l have a better copy), but because I stole it from Sister and for once got away with it!
Nevertheless, whilst everybody was raving about 'With God On Our Side', apparently including Bob Dylan, a moody and miserable protest song in which lots at people die and those that don't almost certainly will at sometime in the near future l was listening more and more to
'Watermelon Man' and that wonderful Sax solo. Although l will always have a soft spot tor the Beatles and still love much of their music it was The Stones, The Animals and of course the Manfreds who were stirring up the real music in me. Later on I would check out Alexis Corner. Graham Bond, John Mayall and overdose on R & B right back to its origins. My first real taste however was the album 'The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann'. l've said it before and I'll go on saying it - few albums stand up in the late 1990‘s recorded in 63/64 as well as this one. It is a wonderful concoction at Blues and Jazz with a hard edge and gained the band a reputation for musicianship far superior to any other contemporary band at that time.
Articles would marvel at Vickers ability with flute and Sax, unusual instruments in Pop bands at that time. Manfred's superb jazzy keyboards and Jones' the perfect front man. Perhaps more in retrospect did we realise what a good drummer Mike Hugg is as well as again the unusual use of vibes in a pop band. This rather serious studious musicianship tag stuck to the band. For whatever reason however, Manfred Mann began to slowly move away from the R & B/ Jazz routes loved by their fans. Fans like me had to survive some fallow years before things would be as good again. That however is another Chapter and so if you will excuse me I'll turn up 'Smokestack Lightning' - whoops I've gone and put 'Do Wah Diddy' on by mistake.
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EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS
By Graeme Yates
The Earth Band's very own Mick Rogers became involved with Eddie The Hot Rods in May 1995 laying down an album in a very short period of time. The album may be a little dated in some respects, but its quality lies in its directness which is doubtless partly a reflection of the speed in which it was recorded, with that freshness being retained.
The story goes that Mick was going to do some production work, but ended up finding the band short of a guitarist! Consequently, if you like Mr. Rogers' playing with a live ”feel" coupled with the honest hard work then you need look no further. In fact the album is littered with trademark Mick licks and plenty of easily recognizable backing vocals.
As a bonus, Mick steps up to the microphone as lead vocalist on 3 tracks, "Just Do It", "(On No) What You Gonna Do" and the title track Gasoline Days". Although Mick was not responsible for any song writing duties if, like me, you're waiting to hear more of Mick's vocals and guitar and hoping his long awaited solo deal in Germany is confirmed soon, then this album is also to be recommended.
l'll save you a boring track-by-track breakdown except to say its punchy with most tracks clocking in at about the 4 minute mark and three being less than 3 minutes long. Mick also played some gigs in Europe with the band a few pictures are featured on the sleeve. It would have been interesting to have heard Mick on the classic Rods track “Do Anything You Wanna Do", for example as covered in Criminal Tango" (got any tapes Mick?).
All in all, I'm sure Mick enjoyed playing with the band and having witnessed him live last year with Earth Band and the totally brilliant show at Southampton in February, (I know I'm biased, but I think the technical description of the performance that night is shit hotl), who's to say he hasn't benefited by playing some different songs with some musicians from a new wave (as was) background.
The album hasn't been totally conspicuous in the racks, so if you are having trouble finding it, I can always recommend Track Records, 15 High Ousegate, YORK. YOl 2RZ Telephone 01904-610637 both for the speed of service and their efforts to track something down for you. The CD was released by Creative Man Discs, PO Box 2903 LONDON. N1 3NE (Cat. No. CMCDOOS).
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Born in the United Kingdom, Chris Thompson was raised in New Zealand. He initially studied as a teacher and became a professional musician in 1971, moving back to the UK in 1973.
The following year Chris joined Manfred Mann's Earth Band and was with them until 1986. During that time he enjoyed a number of hit singles including "Blinded By The Light” and "Davy’s On The Road Again”, the former being a No. 1 around the world. Albums recorded with the Earth Band include "The Roaring Silence" (1976). Watch" (1978), "Angel Station" (1979). Chance" (1980), "Somewhere In Afrika" (1982), ”Live In Budapest“ (1983), "Criminal Tango” (1986) and most recently "Soft Vengeance” (1996).
In 1979 Chris formed his own band "Night" which released two albums "Night” (1979) and ”Long Distance" (1981), and produced two Top 20 hits Hot Summer Nights" and "If You Remember Me".
In 1989 the Wimbledon Tennis Championships brought about another success for Chris when he wrote and performed the official championship song ”The Challenge”, which became No. 1 hit in Germany. ”The Joker", theme song from the television series Jolly Joker", was also a Top 10 hit in Germany in 1991. In 1994 he sang the theme song from the successful German TV. series "Florida Lady". This series also gave birth to a brand new recording of "Blinded By The Light”.
Chris has also recorded three A" solo albums - "Radio Voices" (1983), ”High Cost Of Living" (1986) and "Beat Of Love" (1989). Over the years, he has contributed songs and/or vocals to albums by such artists as: The Doobie
Brothers, Tina Turner, Elton John, Roger Daltry, Brian May, Barbara Dickson, Ossie Osborne, Rita Coolidge, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Tyler, Isaac Hayes, Jan Hammer, Jennifer Rush, Elkie Brooks, Heart Starship, Procol Harem, The London Symphony Orchestra, Peter Maffay and Ray Charles. Of particular note was the No. 1 hit around the world, "You‘re The Voice", written for John Farnham.
Chris has toured extensively throughout America and Europe with Manfred Mann's Earth Band from 1975 - 86, and then with Night, also throughout America and Europe from 1979 - 83. Since 1986 he has been working in Europe under his own name, and also recently with the Alan Parsons Project. He has also made a new album together with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, released in 1996.
Chris has also worked in advertising singing for the following successful T.V. product campaigns: Rank Xerox. Mandate, De Beers. A.D.T., Bayer. Camel. Tennents Pilsner. Twix. Kellogs Cornflakes. The Daily Mail. Peugeot 205. Abbey National. Budweiser. Mountain Dew, Toy-R-Us, Pringles Crisps, B&Q. Betty Crocker (USA), ”Ice Capades" (nationwide USA), "We have to Fly" for Delta Airlines and ”Move Better in the Nite" for Michelob Beer (nationwide USA).
ARTISTS THAT HAVE RECORDED
CHRIS THOMPSON SONGS
The Doobie Brothers
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THE BROOK SOUTHAMPTON 1997
By Martin Wilson
Welcome to a new year, and another tour of Manfred Mann's Earth Band. For those who were not there, you missed the best performance I have ever seen. Even Barry The Earth Man Winton agreed it was one of the best he has witnessed, and he has seen over 100 concerts.
The venue in question was The Brook in Southampton, a small place on par with The Mean Fidler in London. Although the place was not packed, the crowd made up for it in enthusiasm.
They started with the usual instrumental part of 'Joybringer' leading into ‘Shelter From The Storm'. Considering they had not played live for six months or so, you could tell they were in top form.
It was only the second time I had heard 'Nothing Ever Happens' played live, and it is quickly becoming a favourite. This is a superb live track and. it had the crowd and myself singing along. When I heard Manfred had covered this I could not imagine how he would go about re-arranging the song. As I have bought all of Del Amitris CD’s, I know they have written some great songs. So to tackle their biggest hit was brave. From the same CD single ‘Nothing Ever Happens' is a track called Evidence', one for Manfred to try next perhaps?
Back to Tuesday 21st January. ‘Martha's Madman'. Well what can I say? Chris Thompson sang brilliantly, John Trotter and Steve Kinch smoothly gave us the rhythm. Mick Rogers strummed and plucked his guitar as only he can, and Manfred rediscovered some old knobs on his moog and simply blew me away.
It has been a while since I have heard sounds like that from his keyboard. Wonderful! An old song put back into the set 'You Angel You' with Chris, Noel and Mick singing. It is one of my favourite tracks Earth Band. have done. Although different to the album version, there was a great guitar solo rather than various keyboard sounds. It was fabulous to hear this again and played so well. 'Pleasure And Pain' was next, a great song. I heard this the first time in Lewisham in 1991, when the band first played the track. There are a few changes to the intro, but still is a magical track and beautifully played.
Manfred then announced that there will be a live album coming out. When and exactly What this will be is not quite clear, hopefully not another ‘Budapest‘!!! As the band have not released 'The Times They Are A Changin', we would. get to hear it on the said Live Album. With a little luck it will be the same as we heard that evening. I love this, it is so catchy, it should be a single. I especially like the instrumental part in the middle, the keyboard is brilliant.
Onto the classic "Father Of Day', Mick Rogers blew us away, brilliant guitar solo, possible one of the best I have heard. Well done Mick!
After all the applause had died down, the first few bars of 'Medicine Song’ started. John Trotter was playing a different drum pattern to this than before. It gave the song a new feel and with Noel‘s vocals immaculate as ever, it was a joy to hear.
'For You' a semi acoustic version you could say. Chris Thompson excelled himself. the arrangement allows Chris to sing with a bare minimum of backing, to the full band.
Next was 'Miss You' I can not help but move to this. It thunders along, and is much better than the album version. Plus a great synth solo by Manfred (who else), made it the best
song of the set. Using the instrumental part of 'Tumbling Ball' the band go into ‘Blinded By The Light' very neatly done as well. Played superbly and with the audience sing their hearts out. everybody enjoyed this.
Finishing with a great Rock'n'rolling rendition of 'Davy’s On The Road Again‘, also with the crowd joining in.
When the band came back for their first encore, Chris Thompson with Noel McCalla and Mick Rogers s sang ‘Redemption Song' with the extra vocals it gave a nicer feel to the song.
Then it happened. Noel 'The Shades' McCalla took the place by the scruff of its neck and gave us 'Demolition Man'. This was incredible, Noel gave it everything. What this man can do with his voice is amazing. This is how ‘Demolition Man‘ should. be sung, knocked spots off every other version I have heard.
The band disappeared off stage only to come back and end with ‘Mighty Quinn'. Magnificently played. and the audience were not bad either. A brilliant way to end the evening.
As it was the first time I had seen this line up with Noel and Chris, I was amazed how well it worked. Judging by the reaction of those around me. they seemed to really enjoy it. I spoke to a few of them and they would come again. The Earth Band certainly made an impression on some people maybe some future Platform Enders. They certainly impressed me!
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Thank you very much for the issue (Winter 1996) to show me what's going on in the "Platform End" (good name for the Fanzine). After reading it I asked myself what can I tell more about the "Soft Vengeance" album. My favourite songs are 'Pleasure And Pain’, Nothing Ever Happens', 'Shelter From The Storm', and of course Tumbling Ball', which touched me really deep in my heart, perfect lyrics sung by Chris Thompson!! Also the instrumental part 'Adults Only' a silent piece but therefore sooo powerful. Not to forget 99lbs', superb when I heard the women's voice it sounded like "Tina Turner's", last but not least 'Miss You'. Very strong album please continue that creative way!!!!
Well so I tell you about myself, how I get in touch with this great music. I remember, back in 1976 in the classroom, a colleague of mine was drawing, it was the sign of the "MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND", he copied if from the album 'Glorified Magnified' and so I asked him about this album and the band, for me unknown that time. The first MMEB album which I bought was "WATCH"- great album. Two years after a second one become my own "ANGEL STATION". Great for a few months I was just listening every free hour this album. I think I knew the lyrics much better than my lessons that time in school!!! "Don't Kill It Carol', 'You Are I Am', 'You Angel You' and 'Angels At My Gate', still know the lyrics of that one by heart today. Then l started to listening and buying older albums as follows: Glorified Magnified', 'Messin', 'Solar Fire', 'Nightingales And Bombers' and 'The Roaring Silence', all good albums. 50 the Manfred Mann's Earth Band became in my eyes not only the best band, the Earth Band Sign is a stamp for perfect QUALITY MUSIC. A very good instrumental part which I think needs to be mentioned is "Waiter There's A Yawn In My Ear", a masterpiece where even the keyboard started to bark like a dog.
I was disappointed when I read that Chris Thompson should leave the band after "Angel Station". He was forming his own band. So I kept my eyes and ears open. Then in a disc store in town I discovered NIGHT" lead singer - Chris Thompson and LP of Planet records, a year after "LONG DISTANCE" with "Love Is On The Airwaves" showed
up. "Out Of The Night" a third album in 1983. Let's come back to the MMEB in 1980 "CHANCE". A top album and Chris was back to sing, a very reasonable surprise. Every song had Hit-quality. Hearing some rumours (normally they became true), MMEB with new album on tour in 1982. "Somewhere in Afrika" together with Chris Thompson. So on 24th February, 1983 a big date in Luxembourg's history of rock concerts, the famous EARTHBAND live in Differdange. it was my first concert I ever listened to - it was DAMNED GOOD !!!! The people which weren't there, no excuses there own fault. I still have original articles & comments of the 1983's concert. A short interview with Manfred Mann after the concert. done by our daily main newspaper. From that day on I sweared, getting the sentence of the 'Redemption Song' in my mind how long shall they kill our prophets as long as you should play this perfect music - you should have your prophets ALL AROUND THE WORLD !!! And the sound went on "Criminal Tango". "Masque" (more jazzy) where next. 1991 “Plains Music” came out, different styles this time Indian. Every way in music Manfred touched turned into fortune.
Noel McCalla‘s voice gives a very good touch and emotion to the Apache medicine song, so it has higher value. Another Solo-album of Chris Thompson came out in 1991, called "Beat Of Love" produced
by Harold Faltermeier. Following Chris musical road, I heard him again on Alan Parsons album "Try Anything Once" giving his lead vocals for "Back Against The Wall“, & "Turn It Up". Next good
news was that the EARTHBAND should come to Luxembourg again for 5th July, 1993 playing in r the discoclub "Visage" in town, told by a local radio station ELDORADIO". From the old EARTHBAND it was
just Manfred Mann himself well known all the other faces were new, even Noel McCalla. l was really looking forward how he should sing live on stage because we were adapted to Chris' voice. Noel
has very good lead vocals too, we lived a super- concert it was just a matter that we were waiting 10 years for it in the discshops who Noel McCalla is nobody heard about him!!! Another year
another chance, in January 1996. I read in a TV magazine that Chris Thompson should be special guest in Mathias Holtmann's show ‘extraspat". So it was a long time ago hearing not anymore about
Chris. I switched my video on but I was also live watching the show. I was very astonished that good "old" EARTHBAND is coming together, and Chris should sing a few songs on a new album the Band
goes on tour in 1996 again. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears, tears of happiness were coming up in my face. - THAT‘S GREAT !!!!! The following weeks I was asking when the MMEB-tour should
start and do they come to Luxembourg. I bought “SOFT VENGEANCE" in May. 1996 14 songs for a new album can only be good quality. After the short keyboard intro of “Pleasure & Pain" 1 was sure
to hold a new MMEB - treasure in my hands. It sounded back to the 7oies you can put in one row with Watch. Angel Station, Chance. This sound were kept alive. On 16th October 96 the
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concert took place in Luxembourg town, in the "ATELlER" a nice music club it was superb atmosphere and also good for the BAND to get in contact with fans. Most of the people, myself included mentioned after the concert (2 hours) that it was to short, just 4 new songs were played - we expected more after 25 YEARS EARTHBAND (1971-1996), but there should be a next time as Chris’ said: YOU ARE DAMNED GOOD !!! I Wish ALL THE BEST to the EARTHBAND. Hope to see you soon again, with a new album in your luggage.
AMANDLA AWETHU, MANFRED
THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED. WIRTH PAUL
Dear Andy and Carol,
For 23 years I have followed MMEB. It was only when I was told by a work colleague that they had recently appeared in Newport, Wales that I realised the band were still touring. It was 14 years since I last saw my lifetime passion perform! This made me determined to seek out further information of where MMEB may well be appearing again. So I contacted Manfred 's Workhouse Studios in London. It was from here I was given the Fan Club's details and so decided to contact Andy and Carol. This turned out to be the best move I have ever made! After a telephone call we received lots of information and all the back copies of Platform End, these have made fabulous reading. I was pleased to find that the band were playing in Dudley at the Robin Hood. My fiancee and I arrived at the venue at 6.30 p.m. having travelled up from Bristol. As we entered the bar to my surprise the first face we saw was that of Mick Rogers, slowly realising so too were most of the rest of the band. Christmas had arrived late!! We introduced ourselves to Andy and were made to feel extremely welcome. We were then introduced to some of the band by Andy. Needless to say we collected the autographs we could and guarded them as a prized possession! As we entered the hall I purchased a T-Shirt, we tried to gain our position at the front of the hall to get a good view of this long awaited concert. We were joined by Andy and Graeme and awaited the arrival on stage of my heroes! Brilliant! Fabulous! What other words could describe this band. The evening was well worth the trip
from Bristol to meet my heroes, Andy and Graeme and other new friends. To those who helped make this evening wonderful, Thanks. This will be the start of many more to come I hope.
Linda Cox & Terry Strong
Thanks for writing and it was great to meet you, but don’t you have vineyards in Bradley Stoke?’ Ed
Dear Carol and Andy,
It's a pity that you told me that there will be only two "warm up" gigs in England. Before our telephone call Elke and I planned to come one week to England this summer for Holidays and to see a show of the Earth Band, but between the 3rd and the 1oth of May we will be in Eire and we have already booked the flight back to Frankfurt. There is no opportunity to change the times. Would you be so kind to give me information if there will be other shows during the Summer or Autumn in England? It would be nice if we can meet you before an Earth Band show somewhere in Europe? Will you come for a show to Germany? I send you with this letter a few not all - copies of tickets from the Earth Band Tours between 1979 and 1996. If you are interested, I can make colour copies for the magazine. I put two concert magazines, an original concert programme of an festival in 1991 (it's for you!) and a few reportings about the Earth Band concerts to this letter. Are you interested of old concert reportings or concert programmes of the tours 1981 and 1983? It's not easy to do a "Platform End" magazine. We send you two bottles of our local wine. We hope the time from writing the magazine up to the posting will be to much better with the wine. If you like to come to Germany let us know, you are always welcome. Perhaps you will like the surroundings - like a lot of other persons - because every year are Visiting a lot of people from all over the world this area, one reason is the wine, the second the warm climate with the nice nature and the others (we can't remember, because we don't notice this while living here!).
I like to say thanks for all and hope to see you soon. Please let me know about informations of more shows or if you wish to have more reportings
Dieter Rohn + Elke Schwabl
‘If ever a Platform End has come close to driving Carol & I to drink, this is the one. Your local wine is wonderful and came at a very good time. Now we can blame all the mystikes un you’ ill.
TO ANDY TAYLOR
DEAR ANDY AND CAROL, ANOTHER FINE PLATFORM END WlTH SOME INTERESTMG ARTiCLES', BUT ONE IN PARTlCULAR, THAT FROM GREG ROSSO, lS THE ARTlCLE THE FAN CLUBS OPINIONS‘ OR SOLELY THAT OF GREG’S'? l WAS
WOMDERMG WHETHER GREG ROSSO WOULD LlKE TO JOIN OUR EDlT SPOTTING SOClETY, WE’RE A BUMCH OF SAD BASTARDS WlTH NOTHING ELSE BETTER TO DO THAN SEE lF WE CAN SPOT AN EDlT IN A RECORDMG AND THEN WRlTE
FACTLESS ARTlCLES‘ IN AN INFORMATlVE WAY MAKlNG lT SEEM WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE TALK ABOUT. GREG’S ABlLlTY TO READ CREDlTS' OFF ALBUM COVERS AND ASSUME THE RECORDING PROCESS FROM THAT INFORMATlOM
ALONE lS QUlTE INCREDlBLE ' CORRECT US (IF WE’RE WRONG BUT OUR SOClETY SPOTTED A FEW EDlTS IN YOUR ARTlCLE, WELL DONE ANDY KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, BUT BE A BlT MORE RUTHLESS NEXT TlME!!
EDlT SPOTTING SOClETY
SOMEWHERE OUT THERE
‘Thanks for writing Ivor, I find Platform End works better after two excellent bottles of German Wine, cheers!’ Ed.