Tag Archives: Manfred Mann

Rocks In The Attic #508: Manfred Mann – ‘Mann Made’ (1965)

RITA#508This is album number two for Manfred Mann – another one of those mid-sixties beat combos that sort of belong in that decade, having never really enjoyed a career revival.

Listening to an instrumental like The Abominable Snowman on side one, or Bear Hugg on side two, there’s an aspect to them that sounds like the ‘swinging London’ you would see in films of the day, and while this sounds like a critique of their work, it’s really just that they have that classic heavy R&B sound that’s so representative of the city at that time.

The only thing that would make the record more London-esque would be a cover photo of them hanging out of the back of a Routemaster London bus, while a pigeon flies into the bowler hat of a businessman passer-by.

The band might be named after their keyboard-playing founder member, but the one thing that sets them apart from other bands at this point is vocalist Paul Jones. He would leave the band after this record, to go solo, while Manfred Mann would soldier on with his replacement, Mike D’Abo.

Hit: Since I Don’t Have You

Hidden Gem: You’re For Me

Rocks In The Attic #467: The Kinks – ‘Kinks’ (1964)

RITA#467.jpgA couple of months ago, I got so sick of having no Kinks records in my collection I resolved to do something about it. But there was a problem – after nearly twenty years of collecting, I had never seen any Kinks records in the wild. They do exist, don’t they? I haven’t just made them up in my head?

So, what do you do when you can‘t find an animal in the wild? You employ the services of a poacher. Onto Discogs I went, and I found some very nice recent reissues of the first three albums – Kinks (1964), Kinda Kinks (1965) and The Kink Kontroversy (1965) – all on lovely red vinyl. I paid my money and very soon, just like the dentist-cum-hunter who shot and killed Cecil the lion, I had my prize. By the way, Cecil The Lion sounds so English, it could almost be the title of a Kinks song.

Of all the beat explosion bands that emerged in the wake of the Beatles, the Kinks might just be my favourite. Their run of ‘60s singles – from You Really Got Me in 1964, though to Lola in 1970 – is bloody strong, and of such a high quality they really should be seen as equals to the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. They’re quite often not though. They tend to be considered as poor cousins, one rung down on the ladder with the likes of the Hollies, Manfred Mann and the Animals.

In Ray Davies, the Kinks had something that those premier bands could only dream of – a one-man Lennon & McCartney and  a remarkably consistent songwriting machine. Only Pete Townshend comes close in being the singular visionary for one of those top ‘60s band – and as far as I’m concerned, the strength of Davies’ songwriting blows him out of the water.

As a debut album, this record is very similar in tone and content to its contemporaries, being comprised mainly of R&B and rock n’ roll covers, together with a previous few examples of original material. The two standout songs on the album – You Really Got Me and Stop Your Sobbing – are exactly that though – standout songs. They’re absolutely fantastic. Stop Your Sobbing might be more famous for its cover by the Pretenders (it was never released as a single by the Kinks), but it’s still a great song.

The record is also notable for the non-Kink personnel who played on the sessions – namely Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin on guitar, and Jon Lord from Deep Purple on piano. Crikey!

Hit: You Really Got Me

Hidden Gem: Beautiful Delilah