Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Man With John Cipollina - Maximum Darkness (1975 uk / us, fine jam guitar rock, 2008 remaster with bonus tracks)



Though Budgie are probably the most well known band to come out of Wales, Man certainly have had a long and respected career as well, with many studio albums to their credit and endless touring over the years. Mostly recognized for their live shows, it's no surprise that Man has released numerous live albums, this one, Maximum Darkness, originally came out in 1975 and recently remastered by Esoteric/Cherry Red. It features the lineup of Micky Jones (guitar, vocals), Deke Leonard (guitar, piano, vocals), Martin Ace (bass, vocals), and Terry Williams (drums, vocals), with guest guitar from John Cipollina, the legendary Quicksilver Messenger Service member.

Having Cipollina on board here only adds to the bands already '60s West Coast psychedelic influenced sound. Plenty of lead guitar excursions abound on tunes such as "7171-551", and "Codeine" has a psych/acid rock/bluesy feel that wouldn't sound out of place on an old Quicksilver or Grateful Dead album. Bluesy hard rock with lots of melody and jangly guitar can be heard on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", while extended guitar jams once again are at the core on the near 14-minute "Many Are Called, But Few Get Up", a hard rocker with effective vocals and nasty riffs & keyboard parts to go along with the fiery solos. One of Man's more popular songs has always been the fun "Bananas", a rousing & quirky hard rocker that features guitar solo aplenty here, Jones, Leonard, and Cipollina weaving and swirling around each other for the near 12-minute duration like a cross between Yes and Crazy Horse.

Esoteric's remaster also includes two bonus tracks, the massive "C'Mon", a rambling, sprawling psychedelic jam that amazingly channels the late '60s San Francisco scene, and the heavy blues rocker "Romain". These inclusions, recorded at the Keystone in Berkeley, California in 1975, really make this a full live album (the original portion of the album was recorded that same year at the London Roundhouse), and not only does Esoteric's remaster sound great, but you also get a jam packed booklet full of information and photos. If you want to discover the jamming side of Man, this is a great place to start. 
by Pete Pardo
Tracks
1. 7171-551 (Deke Leonard) - 11:20
2. Codine (Buffy St Marie) - 7:45
3. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Anne Bredon, Edward Darling, Paul Bennett) - 6:33
4. Many Are Called, But Few Get Up (Clive John, Deke Leonard, Micky Jones, Terry Williams) - 13:51
5. Bananas (Clive John, Micky Jones, Phil Ryan, Terry Williams) - 11:24
6. C'mon (Clive John, Micky Jones, Phil Ryan, Terry Williams) - 23:56
7. Romain (Martin Ace, Clive John, Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams) - 5:00
Tracks 6 and 7 recorded live at Keystone, Berkeley, California, April 1975

Man
*Micky Jones - Guitar, Vocals
*Deke Leonard - Guitar, Vocals
*Martin Ace - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Terry Williams - Drums, Vocals
With
*John Cipollina - Guitar

1969  Man - Revelation (2009 remaster and expanded)
1969  Man - 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle (2009 remaster)
1971  Man - Man (2007 remaster with extra tracks)
Related Acts
1971-73  Help Yourself - Reaffirmation An Anthology (2014 Remaster)
1973  Help Yourself - 5 (2004 release)
1976-78  Tyla Gang - Pool Hall Punks / The Complete Recordings
1967-68  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Lost Gold And Silver (double disc issue)
1968  Quicksilver Messenger Service (2005 japan, 2012 audiophile mini LP replica)
1969  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails (2012 Audiophile remaster)
1969  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Shady Grove (2012 Audiophile remaster)
1969  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Castles In The Sand
1970  Q. M. S. - Just For Love  (2005 japan, 2012 audiophile mini Lp replica)  
1970  Q. M. S. - What About Me (2005 japan, 2012 audiophile mini LP replica)
1971  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Quicksliver (2012 Audiophile Vinyl replica)
1972  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Comin` Thru (2012 Audiopfile mini LP replica)  
1975  Quicksilver Messenger Service - Solid Silver
1973  Copperhead - Copperhead (2001 reissue)
1972  Terry Dolan - Terry Dolan (2016 remaster and expanded)

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