M is for Mann (Aimee and Manfred)

Thursday 23rd May

Aimee Mann is an American singer-songwriter who came to prominence in the late nineties.  She has released only a handful of albums, with songs of love and sorrow sung quietly with erudite and clever lyrics.  Hers is a small voice, no Britney or Rihanna with their histrinoics and big personalities, just a small voice singing honestly and simply.

Manfred Mann has enjoyed a long career with at least two golden periods.  Manfred was actually the keyboard player and the band were named after him because of his somewhat unusual name.  They emerged from the early sixties blues scene in London, and with Mike D’Abo as lead singer had a string of hits.  Mike was later replaced by John Paul Jones and the hits kept coming, but they were never massive they were just there, part of the scene. They were particularly clever at re-interpreting and commercializing Dylan songs , even making a hit out ‘Quinn the Eskimo’, an obscure song not officially released by Dylan until much later.

As the sixties morphed into the seventies and most sixties pop groups faded away Manfred Mann morphed into Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and took on a harder more political edge and released a string of brilliant albums and singles in the mid-seventies, even repeating the Dylan trick with ‘You Angel You’.  There was a trio of albums ‘Angel Station’, ‘Somewhere in Africa’ and ‘Plains Music’ that are brilliant and every song resonates with vibrancy and feeling.

So another old favourite, look out for them on you-tube, try ‘Tribal Statistics’ for starters.

Front Cover '76 Tour Programme