Yes, I am aware Manfred Mann´s Earth Band is already featured in the Classic series, with the follow up to this record, Watch. But I was listening to this remaster and figured what the heck! I know this is one of the best selling MMEB albums, so many of you will know this one. Even if only for the classic Blinded By The Light (another Bruce Springsteen penned track) or the famous cover.
On this remaster 2 tracks are added: a rerecording of Spirits In The Night with new boy at the time Chris Thompson, and the single version of Blinded. Fun thing of this is that some of the tracks are quite long for a pop – prog crossover. Singing The Dolphin Through being an example. Here all members get a chance to shine. And it is a pity that the liner notes of this edition do not shine a light on the guest musicians, as I am quite sure none of the lads is handling the female vocals, or the sax solo on this track…Next track Waiter There´s A Yawn In My Ear is another progressive track. Mann noodling away on the Moog and assorted keyboards before the band joins and adds to the instrumental fun.
Personal favourites are Blinded (of course) but also The Road To Babylon and especially Questions. The first opens with a classic female choir to set the mood for this brooding track. When the mellotron kicks in, the atmosphere is right for the band to take over and enchant with a fine lyric and ear catching melodies. I really like the contribution of that female singing throughout, as it creates a tension that only enhances the arrangement from the band. Questions may also be familiar to some, as it was one of the singles from this. And rightly so, it is beautiful! Opening with piano and the singing of Chris, it touches me everytime I hear it. The bridge is timeless, as is the chorus. What a song…
Which is not saying that the remaining Starbird or This Side Of Paradise are filler. They are not!