Manfred Mann was an English R&B/beat band from London that released a string of singles and two albums on His Master’s Voice during the mid-1960s with original vocalist Paul Jones, followed by three albums with accompanying singles on Fontana between 1966 and 1968 with singer Mike D’Abo.
Guitarist/bassist Tom McGuinness later teamed with Bluesbreaker Hughie Flint in the folk-rock combo McGuinness Flint. Keyboardist Manfred Mann and drummer Mike Hugg subsequently formed Chapter Three, releasing two albums at the turn of the 1970s before Mann launched the longer-running Earth Band in 1972.
Members: Manfred Mann (keyboards), Mike Hugg (drums), Paul Jones (harmonica, vocals, 1962-66), Mike Vickers (guitar, saxophone, flute, 1962-65), Dave Richmond (bass, 1962-63), Tom McGuinness (bass, guitar, 1963-69), Jack Bruce (bass, 1965-66), Michael “Mike” D’Abo (vocals, 1966-69), Klaus Voormann (bass, 1966-69)
The band grew out of the Mann–Hugg Blues Brothers, formed in 1962 London by South African expat keyboardist Manfred Mann (b. 1940) and Gosport percussionist Mike Hugg (b. 1942). Before leaving Johannesburg, Mann cut two albums circa 1959/60 with The Vikings, one of South Africa’s earliest rock n’ roll bands.
Mann–Hugg played a set comprised of jazz and blues covers. Gradually, their lineup stabilized with guitarist Mike Vickers, bassist Dave Richmond, and singer/harmonica player Paul Jones. Vickers (b. 1940) originally played flute and sax, instruments he would eventually reincorporate. Jones (b. 1942) was asked months earlier by Brian Jones (no relation) to front an embryonic Rolling Stones.
After performing as Manfred Mann & the Manfreds in the autumn/fall of 1962–63, they shortened their name to Manfred Mann and signed to His Master’s Voice. During the second half of 1963, they issued their first two singles: the Mann original “Why Should We Not” (b/w the Mann-arranged traditional “Brother Jack”) and the Jones originals “Cock-A-Hoop” (b/w “Now You’re Needing Me”).
Their breakthrough came in January 1964 with the Jones-Hugg-Mann composition “5-4-3-2-1” (UK #5), commissioned as the replacement theme for the ITV music program Ready Steady Go! It was backed with the Jones-penned “Without You.” Soon afterwards, Richmond cleared way for bassist Tom McGuinness (b. 1941), a friend of Jones who’d played in The Roosters with a young (pre-Yardbirds) Eric Clapton.
(More to come…)
- The Five Faces of Manfred Mann (1964)
- Mann Made (1965)
- As Is (1966)
- Up the Junction (1968)
- Mighty Garvey! (1968)
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