Guide to British Music of the 1960s
CD Review: Manfred Mann - Mann Made
Manfred Mann's second LP was released over one year after the first and it is
quite different to its predecessor.
By now the band had had a stream of successful hit singles and the second LP has
a much more poppy, commercial direction. However, it still contained 13 "new"
tracks and there were no singles included. The elements of jazz and blues remain
on a couple of tracks such as the standards Stormy Monday and Bobby
Parker's Watch Your Step.
However, there is also a move towards a more soulful and even gospel sound. By 1965 Motown was
having a major influence on British music with the Beatles, the Small Faces, the
Action and all others all bringing the Detroit sound into their live set and
their recordings. Check out the band getting into the Motown groove on The
Way You Do The Things You Do.
There are only five originals amongst the 13 tracks even though the previous LP showed the band was quite capable of writing their own tracks. The inclusion of cover versions on LPs was certainly how things were at the time. The first Who LP had a lot of cover versions, the first two Rolling Stones LPs were primarily covers and the Beatles were still releasing numerous cover versions up to Beatles for Sale in 1965. This was despite all three groups showing that they had accomplished songwriters in their midst. The chart hits were mostly cover versions with record companies still feeling that group compositions would not work. Paul Jones contributes I Really Do Believe which has a distinct gospel feel. After the blues of the first album, the bluesiest track here is Tom McGuinness' LSD, not the same as the Pretty Things track of the same title.
The five band members were great musicians. Manfred Mann's keyboards pin down many of the tracks and are really evident on The Abominable Snowman where he trade licks with Mike Vickers' jazzy guitar and Paul Jones' I Really Do Believe. Mike Hugg plays some wonderful cymbal on Watch Your Step which starts with a wonderful bass intro from Tom McGuinness. McGuiness had switched from guitar to bass when he replaced Dave Richmond and the first time he played the bass was his first gig with Manfred Mann! Mike Vickers contributes some wonderful guitar but he also showed that he is accomplished on brass with his duel saxophone on The Abominable Snowman. Paul Jones was (and still is) one of the best blues harp players around. He is underrated as a singer as Mann Made shows how he can turn his voice to different styles to great effect.
Like the first album there are instrumentals amongst the tracks which reflects the jazz background of some group members. Bare Hugg is a Mike Hugg composition where he plays vibraphone as he does on another instrumental The Abominable Snowman.
The CD sleeve notes from Tom McGuinness give an insight into the recording process about Abbey Road. The EMI studio was very formal with set starting and finishing times until the demands made by the Beatles changed everything.
LP Release: 15 October 1965 His Master Voice CLP 1911
Highest UK Chart Position: 7
CD Release: Umbrella Music UMB CD2
CD Release: 18 May 2018
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