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Manna / Mirage

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Album Review

Manna/Mirage was the Muffins' first album and remained their best work. It is a fantastic blend of Canterbury prog and Henry Cow-ish intricacy, with a soupçon of improvisation. Completely instrumental, the music can also be linked to Happy the Man for its melodic side. "Monkey With the Golden Eyes" is a nice introductory track seguing into the fantastic "Hobart Got Burned," which starts with a calm atonal improvisation and builds up to a bombastic main theme. Then comes "Amelia Earhart" (16 minutes), a track superior to anything that came out of Canterbury. You must hear it to believe it. Canterbury-type prog never got that good. Finally, "The Adventures of Captain Boomerang" (23 minutes) is a long complex suite, with a humorous touch not unlike some of National Health's material. Manna/Mirage would have become a classic prog album, if only it had come out of Canterbury instead of late-'70s U.S.A. Since Cuneiform Records reissued it on CD in 1991, the album has enjoyed quite a bit of fame in progressive rock circles. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Formed: Unknown

Genre: Rock

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

Almost entirely instrumental, the Muffins' music was a unique blend of Canterbury progressive, fusion, improvisation and much more. The group was formed in the Washington, DC area in the early '70s by Dave Newhouse (keyboards), Billy Swan (vocals, bass and guitar), Tom Scott (woodwinds) and Michael Zentner (guitar and violin). Stuart Abramowitz played drums from August 1975 until July 1976. This group recorded the home and studio demo recordings heard on the Chronometers CD. Zentner and Abramowitz...
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Manna / Mirage, The Muffins
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