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Mighty Gravy
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  • Manfred Mann always used the long-play format to showcase its virtuosity and range of influences away from the world of pop singles. This was evident early in the band's career with albums such as The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, which was a hardcore R&B album, far removed from the pop sensibilities of singles like "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and "Sha La La." The contrast between this album and their singles output of 1968 is not quite as stark, as the LP contains pop material such as "It's So Easy Falling" and "The Vicar's Daughter." More unorthodox selections include "Cubist Town," "Harry the One-Man Band," and "Country Dancing," which showcase the eclectic side of the group. The album failed to chart in the U.K., which is surprising considering Manfred Mann's popularity in 1968 -- three British Top Ten singles. Perhaps the inclusion of one or two more hits like "Ha Ha Said the Clown" would have attracted more sales. In the U.S., the album was released as The Mighty Quinn and mixed some tracks from this album with older single material. The result is a more balanced affair, with the hits providing a welcome contrast to the more highbrow material. However, the U.K. record business was intent on not duplicating singles on albums -- a tradition that became rare in the 1970s. ~ Rob Flanagan
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