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Chance (Remastered)

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

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Album Review

Manfred Mann's 1980 album is a strange mix of topical songwriting, progressive rock, and power pop — from its opening seconds, the Earth Band is pressing serious messages and social commentary on their listenership amid swirling prog rock keyboards and catchy guitar hooks and choruses. The whole package is challenging in ways that should have put them on the cutting edge of rock music at the outset of that decade, but one suspects that Mann and company were too musically adept and sophisticated for their own good — a little dumbing down and maybe a little less musicianship on display would have made them more accessible to the coming MTV generation. As it is, the album has held up remarkably well across a quarter century, however, even if it now seems an uncomfortably accurate warning of the way the world would go, in terms of politics and society, in the decades to come. It would also be three years before another Earth Band album was forthcoming, and that one would be steeped in world music sounds. [Chance was reissued in Japan and elsewhere in 2006 in an expanded edition (in a mini-LP CD format in Japan) with four bonus tracks adding 14 minutes to the original album's running time — these include one outtake, "A Fool I Am," and the single versions of "Adolescent Dream," "Lies (Through the 80s)," and "For You."]

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An R&B band that only played pop to get on the charts, Manfred Mann and its various permutations ranked among the most adept British Invasion acts in both styles. South African-born keyboardist Manfred Mann was originally an aspiring jazz player, moving toward R&B when more blues-oriented sounds became in vogue in England in the early '60s. Original Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones was one of the best British Invasion singers, and his resonant vocals were...
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Chance (Remastered), Manfred Mann's Earth Band
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