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The Definitive Collection - Man

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Album Review

Even though the first disc of this two-CD set is a combination of both the Revelation and 2 Ozs of Plastic With a Hole in the Middle albums, it's still considered a definitive collection, since it wholly captures Man's free-spirited feel. Similar to Quicksilver Messenger Service in their psychedelic sound and "groovy" aura, Man's music was novel and, at times, whimsical. Remastered and sounding fresh, this band's plunge into organ-churning psychedelia and far-out lyrics is at its best on songs like "Erotica," "Love," and "Spunk Box" as weird culminations of guitar and vocals slide and merge then suddenly tone down as they melt into slow grooves. Cool hi-hat and ride cymbals tinkle and shimmer behind Mellotrons and other assorted synthesizers, as guitarist Deke Leonard and vocalist Mick Jones take turns exchanging their own versions of unblemished Welsh funk. Disc two features singles from the Bystanders, a five piece-band whose members went on to form Man later. Rich in harmony, this band played a style unlike Man's, brandishing a pop-oriented sound, à la Zombies or the 5th Dimension. Pleasant and sweet, their sound is typical of most British Invasion groups. A slick rendition of Keith's "98.6" is a nice surprise, as well as the nostalgic sounding "If You Walk away" and the school boyish "My Love Come Home." This collection would have been more definitive with the inclusion of "Bananas," Man's best tune, maybe thrown in as a bonus track. Still, the band's essence is well established by the fusion of the two albums, and the Bystanders contributions on disc two are equally amusing.


Formed: 1969 in Swansea, Wales

Genre: Rock

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

Man were one of the most promising rock bands to come out of Wales in the early '70s. Along with Brinsley Schwarz, they helped establish the core of the pub rock sound, but they played louder and also had a progressive component to their work that separated them from many of their rivals. The group originated as a Four Seasons-c*m-Beach Boys vocal outfit, based in Swansea, Wales, called the Bystanders, who began experimenting with a tougher, more progressive sound on-stage. They were encouraged to...
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The Definitive Collection - Man, Man
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