Manfred Mann Archive Releases In May on Vinyl & CD Format

9 April 2019 Music News Recommends

Manfred Mann Archive Releases In May
Vinyl & CD Format

After the critically-acclaimed reissues of the Manfred Mann HMV / EMI albums in 2018, comes ‘Radio Days’, four volumes of recordings consisting mainly of sessions cut for the BBC in the 1960s through to the early seventies. The sets include several previously unreleased tracks, as well as demo recordings, film soundtrack music, and even advertising jingles, and affords remarkable insight into one of the most mercurial (and commercially-successful) bands of the era.

The four titles will be available in CD and heavyweight vinyl formats. All come with the ‘Artist Approved’ logo, signifying the full approval and participation of the band members. The four sets, much of which have been sourced in large part from BBC Transcription Discs, have been annotated by journalist Greg Russo, author of ‘Mannerisms: the Five Phases of Manfred Mann’ and detailed recording information is included.


‘RADIO DAYS – The PAUL JONES Era’ (Umbrella Music RADLP 1) is a double CD / double vinyl set, and represents the first complete collection of existing BBC recordings made by the original Manfred Mann line-up, with vocalist Paul Jones between 1964 to 1966 (Some early sessions no longer exist). Recordings from pre-Radio 1 music shows such as “Saturday Club”, “Saturday Swings,” “Top Gear,” “Pop Inn,” “Easy Beat” are featured here, along with band interviews conducted by presenters such as Brian Matthew and Don Moss. Included are sessions featuring the legendary bassist Jack Bruce, who was briefly in the Manfred Mann line-up before forming Cream later in 1966.


‘RADIO DAYS – The MIKE d’ABO Era’ (Umbrella Music RADLP 2) is a double CD / Triple vinyl set, and covers the period from August 1966 through to the band split in 1969. As well as d’Abo replacing Paul Jones, Jack Bruce had also left, his place on bass being taken by Klaus Voorman, designer of The Beatles ‘Revolver’ album sleeve. The band’s musical focus in this era shifted in a more mainstream pop direction. Manfred Mann had been one of the first British bands to acknowledge the songwriting skills of Bob Dylan, and ushered in the d’Abo era with a version of Dylan’s ‘Just Like A Woman’, and would take a Dylan song to number one in the UK singles charts in 1968 with ‘The Mighty Quinn’. The Manfreds desire to innovate was further evidenced with their use of Mellotron on the single ‘Semi Detached Suburban Mr James’ the first time that the instrument featured on a UK pop recording, beating The Beatles‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ by several months.


‘RADIO DAYS – MANFRED MANN CHAPTER III’ (Creature Music RADLP 3)  is a fascinating release, subtitled ‘Radio Days & Rarities’, released as a double CD or triple vinyl package. As well as featuring radio sessions by the-then new Manfred Mann / Mike Hugg project, Chapter III, it also includes  some material recorded for Australian and Swedish radio sessions, demo recordings, and music cut for advertising campaigns for Michelin tyres, Ski Yoghurt and Nescafe coffee, as  well as excerpts from the soundtrack of the movie ‘Venus in Furs’.


‘RADIO DAYS – MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND’ (Creature Music RADLP 4), again available as a double CD or triple vinyl set, features the early Earth Band quartet format in concert from the Paris Theatre and Golders Green Hippodrome, as well as sessions for John Peel and Pete Drummond of BBC Radio 1. By now, Manfred Mann was turning his melodic and improvisational talents in an inventive progressive rock direction. As well as strong original compositions such as ‘Mercury, the Winged Messenger’ and ‘Messin’’, his predilection for Bob Dylan material was still present with versions of ‘Father of Day, Father of Night’ (from Dylan’s ‘New Morning’ album of 1970) and distinctive Earth Band takes on ‘The Mighty Quinn’.