Manfred Mann Chapter Three, Vol. 1 (Release Date: 1969)
File size: 53 Mb (Rapidshare) | 12 songs in MP3 format, 128 KbpsGenre: Progressive Jazz Rock with Psychedelic atmosphere
If you ever wondered how Manfred Mann (the band) went from the 60s pop fluff of Do Wah Diddy and Sha La La to the massive progressive acheivements of the Earth Band (think Solar Fire and The Roaring Silence), well Chapter Three's two albums will provide you with a partial explanation. I say partial because while this is a leap forward from the earlier poppy material (the group did have a tendancy for jazzy B-sides though!) the brass-heavy jazz-tinged rock that Chapter Three made is far from being a linear progression that leads to the "spacier" sounds of the Earth band.
Taken on their own merit the two Chapter Three albums are extremely listenable, sometimes fascinating examples of very early progressive jazz-rock … remember that this first album was cut in the summer of 1969. The core of Chapter Three was Manfred Mann (the guy) and his former cohort in the pop band, Mike Hugg. Mann and Hugg formed a formidable double keyboard line-up and the pair also wrote all Chapter Three's material between them, with Hugg also assuming lead vocal duties. The band featured Bernie Living on flute/alto sax and a barrage of guests on brass, while bassist Steve York, who also played on East Of Eden's fascinating debut album Mercator Projected, and drummer Craig Collinge rounded off a highly competent outfit.
The music on this album is particularly "song-based" with most pieces hanging on a verse/chorus format before exploding into instrumental excursions, which are clever rather than flashy. The tone is set by the bluesy opener Travelling Lady and it barely lets up through the album.