Guide to British Music of the 1960s

May 2019

CD Review: Manfred Mann - Radio Days Volume 2 The Mike D'Abo Era 1966-1969

 

The second of the Manfred Mann Radio Days CDs covers 1966-1969 when Mike D'Abo had replaced Paul Jones as the band's lead singer. This was seen to be a difficult task as Jones had had a very strong profile. At the same time, Jack Bruce had left to form Cream. He was replaced by Klaus Voorman who had become very friendly with the Beatles during their Hamburg days. Indeed, it was Voorman who had discovered the Liverpool four and taken his friend Astrid to see them.

Almost all of the tracks are taken from BBC Top of the Pops discs. These were recorded as radio programmes and had no connection with the popular TV programme. The discs contained "live" sessions and interviews and were intended for use by radio stations in the US and Europe. There are a couple of tracks taken from BBC Light Programme, later BBC Radio 1 Top Gear and Saturday Club sessions.

There is a very different feel to this second volume compared with the first "Paul Jones" CD. There is an overall much "poppier" feel and not the mix of styles from previously. There is less of the blues or jazz although I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man appears in both volumes. This is much more of a commercial Manfred Mann moving away from their roots

The band is still choosing writers outside the group for their singles. Bob Dylan contributes two tracks with Just Like a Woman and Mighty Quinn. This was despite having accomplished writers within the group. Mike D'Abo in particular was writing for Immediate and had already scored a minor hit for Chris Farlowe with Handbags & Gladrags (the Stereophonics cover of this was used as the theme for The Office). The Manfred Mann version of this classic is a real stand-out track.

Alongside the singles and the tracks written by the band there is an abundance of cover versions including a jazzy Fever and a version of the Beatles' She's a Woman. There is also a wonderful version of the Boxtops' The Letter. Elvis Presley's Hound Dog is a little more unusual.

The band was a very different entity during the D'Abo years compared with the Paul Jones era. They were established and a regular fixture in the charts even if not all the singles were big hits. There was less talk of touring and the band was much more of a studio act. At the same time, band members were undertaking projects outside the group so they only really got together for recording and promotion of the singles.

Next to Volume 1, this CD acts as a wonderful overview of the evolution of Manfred Mann, showcasing the singles, more obscure tracks and the songwriting talents within the group.

CD Release: 10 May 2019

Umbrella RADCD2

Essential Tracks

  • Handbags & Gladrags
  • The Letter
  • Mighty Quinn
Track Listing

Disc One

  1. Mohair Sam
  2. Mike D'Abo Interview
  3. Just Like a Woman
  4. Wang Dang Doodle
  5. Manfred Mann Interview
  6. Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James
  7. Morning After the Party
  8. Ha! Ha! Said the Clown.
  9. The Nitty Gritty
  10. Sweet Pea
  11. Hound Dog
  12. Manfred Mann Interview
  13. So Long, Dad
  14. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
  15. Manfred Mann and Mike D'Abo Interview
  16. Mighty Quinn
  17. Handbags & Gladrags
  18. Cubist Town
  19. Sleepy Hollow
  20. Manfred Mann and Mike D'Abo Interview
  21. My Name is Jack
  22. The Vicar's Daughter

Disc Two

  1. Each and Every Day
  2. The Letter
  3. Mike D'Abo Interview
  4. Fox on the Run
  5. Fever
  6. Abraham, Martin & John
  7. So Long
  8. Clair
  9. Sentimental Journey (Mike D'Abo solo)
  10. Ragamuffin Man
  11. Oh What a Day
  12. The Last Goodbye (Mike D'Abo solo)
  13. Just Like a Woman
  14. Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James
  15. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
  16. Mighty Quinn
  17. Manfred Mann & Mike D'Abo Interview
  18. My Name is Jack
  19. Orange Peel
  20. She's a Woman
  21. Summertime
  22. You've Got It Made

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