The Best of Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Doug Stone
Remakes can be atrocious wastes of wax: subpar carbon copy re-treads dressed up as calculated idolatry, or deconstructionist reconfigurations basking in the laziness of lyrics already written. However, two of the greatest rewrites in history belong to Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The treatments of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light" and "For You" included here create a wholly unique variation on the stark, earthy originals by flipping the tracks and exposing the soft, white underbelly, then piling on excessive musical ornamentation like a master filmmaker visualizing a novel, blowing the inspiration at the nucleus into a bowdlerized paronomasia of sonic perfection. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Doug Stone
Remakes can be atrocious wastes of wax: subpar carbon copy re-treads dressed up as calculated idolatry, or deconstructionist reconfigurations basking in the laziness of lyrics already written. However, two of the greatest rewrites in history belong to Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The treatments of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light" and "For You" included here create a wholly unique variation on the stark, earthy originals by flipping the tracks and exposing the soft, white underbelly, then piling on excessive musical ornamentation like a master filmmaker visualizing a novel, blowing the inspiration at the nucleus into a bowdlerized paronomasia of sonic perfection. Pages have already been written about "Blinded By the Light," dissecting the rock critique jargon and roiling synthetic imagery. But it's the Earth Band classic that poured this bizarre stream-of-consciousness into the mainstream. Totally tubular and totally '70s, MMEB's "Blinded By the Light" is unquestionably one of the greatest left-field singles in history. Meanwhile, the awesome "For You," though more, like, totally '80s, comes across as nothing less of a masterwork. Hot licks and the always tasty voice of Chris Thompson make the whooping ELP keys bearable. "Spirit in the Night" is not as great a departure from the Springsteen standard, as "the Boss" himself began leaving his folk roots plane to reach a more bombastic base of inception (David Bowie performs a wild rendition of "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City," all of the aforementioned from Springsteen's monolithic debut). Though consequently not as grand as the above epiphanies, "Spirit" nevertheless stands as a very strong piece. In fact, as the many glorious moments of MMEB pile on top of each other, one realizes what a discerning ear this African scion possessed, and what a wicked ensemble he surrounded himself with to realize these brilliantly blinding pastiches. Manfred Mann understood the nuances of Springsteen's Dylan discipleship, even as the band itself cleverly interpreted Robert Zimmerman's works. The distracting live read of "Quinn the Eskimo" goes on just too darn long, but "You Angel You" soars sublimely. "Davy's on the Road Again" and "Hollywood Town" also remain within the realm of enjoyableness, through expert over-embellishment. Sadly excluded is Randy Newman's "Living Without You," later reconstructed itself by Zebra. These erudite linear notes discuss too many other numbers not included (luckily, that annoying Olympic "Runner" song is omitted), still leaving a very listenable amalgam of tight prog (usually a contradiction) and a worthy addition to any personal library.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/3/2007
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227998776
  • Catalog Number: 125180
  • Sales rank: 13,042

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Manfred Mann's Earth Band Primary Artist, Organ, Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Band, Track Performer
Manfred Mann Indexed Contributor
Trevor Rabin Guitar
Barbara Thompson Saxophone
Chris Thompson Guitar, Vocals
Geoff Whitehorn Guitar
Dyan Birch Background Vocals
David Boswell-Brown Cello
Geoff Britton Drums
Doreen Chanter Background Vocals
Irene Chanter Background Vocals
Graham Elliott Cello
Dave Flett Guitar
Ruby James Background Vocals
Pat King Bass, Background Vocals, bass pedals
John Lingwood Drums, bass pedals
Suzanne Lynch Background Vocals
Robbie McIntosh Guitar
David Millman Viola
Anthony Moore Synthesizer, Guitar
Jimmy O'Neill Rhythm Guitar
Colin Pattenden Bass
Mick Rogers Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Chris Slade Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Steve Waller Guitar, Vocals
Christopher Warren-Green Violin
Nigel Warren-Green Cello
Jimme O'Neill Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Mark Smith Background Vocals
Manfred Mann Chapter Three Track Performer
Martha Smith Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Manfred Mann Producer, Executive Producer, Producer
Geoff Whitehorn Contributor
Dave Flett Composer
Anthony Moore Producer
Arthur Levy Liner Notes
Chris Clermont Composer
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