Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Manfreds at the Beeb

Even though Manfred Mann's Abbey Road studio tracks are among the best-recorded of all the early British beat bands (even when the dreaded hot valve men intrude upon the band's tight combo sound), I prefer some of the versions on their BBC sessions even more. While I could do without some of the cheesier pop numbers, the group manages to come off much better soundwise than many of their contemporaries (The Who, the Beatles, etc.), whose music suffered from the the typically thin and dry BBC production style. Many of he takes that the Manfreds cut for the Beeb have a lot more energy than the originals. The version of "The One in the Middle" is particularly epic.

The CD was quietly released in 1999, around the same time that a lot of BBC sessions were finally getting legitimately released, and I was unaware of its existence until now. I was missing out on some great stuff, but it's been a pleasure to hear it for the first time.

1. Groovin' [Saturday Swings Recorded 14/10/64]
2. Watermelon Man [Saturday Swings Recorded 14/10/64]
3. Sha La La [Saturday Swings Recorded 14/10/64]
4. I Need You [Saturday Swings Recorded 5/1/65]
5. Look Away [Saturday Swings Recorded 15/2/65]
6. Come Tomorrow [Saturday Swings Recorded 15/2/65]
7. L.S.D. [Top Gear Recorded 23/3/65] Listen
8. Oh No, Not My Baby [Top Gear Recorded 23/3/65]
9. That's the Way I Feel [Top Gear Recorded 23/3/65]
10. The Abominable Snowman [Saturday Club Recorded 4/5/65]
11. The One in the Middle [Saturday Club Recorded 4/5/65]
12. Parchman Farm [Swing into the Summer Recorded 7/7/65]
13. What Am I to Do [Swing into the Summer Recorded 7/7/65]
14. I Put a Spell on You [Saturday Club Recorded 1965]
15. If You Gotta Go, Go Now [Saturday Club Recorded 1965]
16. Watch Your Step [Saturday Club Recorded 1965] Listen
17. It Took a Little While [Saturday Club Recorded 7/12/65]
18. There's No Living Without Your Loving [Saturday Club Recorded 7/12/65]
19. Spirit Feel [Saturday Club Recorded 7/12/65]
20. Tired of Trying, Bored with Lying, Scared of Dying [Saturday Club]
21. When Will I Be Loved? [Saturday Club Recorded 19/4/66]
22. Still I'm Sad [Saturday Club Recorded 19/4/66]
23. Pretty Flamingo [Saturday Club Recorded 19/4/66]
24. Machines [Saturday Club Recorded 19/4/66]

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