Manfred Mann

The Singles Album

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This 25-song CD (originally a shorter LP called The Singles Album) is a handy collection of the band's most well-known English tracks from 1963 through 1966, plus their B-sides and some songs off of EPs that charted high in the U.K. Except for the final three songs -- "Groovin'," "Can't Believe It," and "Did You Have to Do That?," none of which are that easy to find on compilations -- it's all assembled in chronological order from their debut single "Why Should We Not" to 1966's "You Gave Me Somebody to Love." The notes by John Tobler are a bit superficial, and the American EMI Manfred Mann: The Definitive Collection is a little more adventurous. Also, the sound here doesn't match the presence and clarity of more recent 24-bit transfers. Nonetheless, this is a respectable compilation for the novice or the casual fan. The presence of the B-sides, including lost gems like "What Did I Do Wrong" (a killer Chess-style blues number written by Tom McGuinness) and the Goffin/King-authored "Oh No Not My Baby" (one of Paul Jones's greatest R&B-style performances), assures that one gets a truer picture of the band's output and their focus on R&B, jazz, blues, and folk, than the A-sides by themselves would provide.

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