MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND - The Very Best Of: Vol.1 & 2 (1993)
Manfred Mann's Earth Band have tended to represent the lighter side of prog over the years, gradually moving towards more commercial albums as they enjoyed singles success. This excellent collection of many of their best tracks, foregoes chronological presentation in order to ensure the eye catching singles appear first. Thus the excellent early prog interpretation of Dylan's "Father of day, Father of night" is hidden away half way through CD2, while the enormously successful (and admittedly excellent) cover of Springsteen's "Blinded by the light" opens (and indeed closes with a live version) the album. All the singles are here, although it is disappointing to find that room has only been found for the edited version of "Davy's on the road again". With the collection extending to 2 CD's, space is however available for some less well known, but nonetheless excellent MMEB tracks such as Bob Marley's "Redemption song" from "Somewhere in Afrika", and "Singing the dolphin through" plus "The road to Babylon" from "The roaring silence". While MMEB are not short of song writing talent themselves, their forte has always been their ability to transform the works of others, and in particular Dylan and Springsteen, into prog pop classics. In addition to those already mentioned tracks, "For you", "Spirits in the night" and of course "The mighty Quinn" offer further worthy examples of such interpretations. In all, a good diverse representation of the band's work. There are of course notable omissions, (personally I reckon "Waiting for the rain" should be number one on any draft listing for a MMEB compilation), but you can please some of the people etc.
DISC 1: 01. Blinded By The Light (Ext.Version) 02. Questions 03. Davy's On The Road Again 04. For You 05. California 06. The Mighty Quinn 07. Somewhere In Africa 08. The Runner 09. Lies (Through The Eighties) 10. Joybringer 11. Demolition Man 12. You Angel You 13. Don't Kill It Carol 14. Spirits In The Night 15. Angels At My Gate 16. Third World Service
DISC 2: 01. Singing The Dolphin Through 02. The Road To Babylon 03. Martha's Madman 04. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 05. Redemption Song (No Kwazulu) 06. Father Of Day, Father Of Night 07. California Coastline 08. Tribal Statistics 09. Nightingales And Bombers 10. Solar Fire 11. Tribute 12. No Guarantee 13. Blinded By The Light (Live)
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