Manfred Mann

Up the Junction

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One of the great soundtracks of the 1960s, Up the Junction shows Manfred Mann shedding their pop skin and evolving into a truly awesome jazz outfit, which would later be fully realized in their Chapter Three incarnation. Not that they didn't have some lovely pop gems on this record. The title song, sort of a flipped-out, very very British alternative to "Good Vibrations," is one of Manfred Mann's finest pieces ever, with an excellent vocal from Mike d'Abo, Paul Jones' (Manfred's original vocalist) replacement. But the series of brief jazz-based instrumentals such as "Sheila's Dance" and "Belgravia" are equally arresting, showing off Mike Hugg's drumming and Mann's own piano abilities as never before. Priceless.

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