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
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
- Handbags & Gladrags
- The Letter
- Mighty Quinn