Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Man - Man (1971 uk, sensational guitar bluesy psych prog space rock, 2007 remaster with extra tracks)

The group Man evolved from the Bystanders, a mid-'60s Welsh combo whose blend of Beatlesque harmonies and blue-eyed soul yielded a number of well-received singles, most notably the progressive and poppy "Royal Blue Summer Sunshine Day." That side was indicative of the direction they would take after changing their name to Man. Perhaps due to the eponymous moniker, this album has long been mistaken as a debut effort. However, prior to this title, they had already released a pair of LPs, Revelation (1969) and the somewhat more centered and ambitious follow-up 2 Ozs. of Plastic with a Hole in the Middle (1969). By the time of this platter, Clive John (organ/piano/electric guitar/harpsichord/vocals), Deke Leonard (guitar/vocals), Martin Ace (acoustic guitar/bass guitar/vocals), Terry Williams (percussion/drums), Roger Leonard (acoustic guitar/piano/electric guitar/steel guitar/vocals), and Micky Jones (acoustic guitar/electric guitar/vocals) had settled into what most enthusiasts consider to be a seminal aggregate.

In addition to their exceptional improvisational skills, Man would display a more aggressive sound. The opening track, "Romain," instantly gels into driving blues behind Leonard's woozy steel guitar interjections. "Country Girl" is reminiscent of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, complete with a distinct West Coast county-rock lilt. Both of the extended pieces, "Would the Christians Wait Five Minutes?...The Lions Are Having a Draw" and "Alchemist" are pastiches of well-developed instrumentals, although at times they come off as somewhat dated. There is plenty of inspired interaction, however, especially on the latter song as they unleash some definitive heavy metal licks that could easily be mistaken for seminal Black Sabbath. "Daughter of the Fireplace" is another highlight as a compact and attitude-heavy rocker. [Interested parties should note that Repertoire's CD reissue of Man (2003) augments the original five cuts with the 45 rpm edits/mixes of "Daughter of the Fireplace" -- which has been amended from five-minutes-and-19-seconds to just under three minutes -- and "Country Girl [Single Version].
by Lindsay Planer
1. Romain (Martin Ace, Clive John, Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams) - 6:12
2. Country Girl (Martin Ace, Deke Leonard) - 3:08
3. Would The Christians Wait Five Minutes?/The Lions Are Having A Draw (Martin Ace, Micky Jones) - 12:56
4. Daughter Of The Fireplace (Deke Leonard) - 5:18
5. Alchemist (Martin Ace, Clive John, Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams) - 20:42
6. Daughter Of The Fireplace (Single Version) (Deke Leonard) - 3:01
7. Country Girl (First Version) (Martin Ace, Deke Leonard) 3:05

*Micky Jones - Guitars, Vocals
*Deke Leonard - Guitars, Piano, Vocals
*Terry Williams - Drums, Percussion
*Martin Ace - Bass, Acoustic Guitar
*Clive John - Organ, Piano, Guitar, Harpsichord, Vocals

1969  Man - Revelation (2009 remaster and expanded)
1969  Man - 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle (2009 remaster)
1972  Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day (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

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