History Of Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann was a popular British Beat, R&B and pop band of the 1960s. The band was named after its South African founder and keyboard player. Mann later formed the Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in the 1970s which became highly successful.
The band was originally called Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers and it was formed in December 1962 in London by Manfred Mann and drummer Mike Hugg. Mike Vickers on lead guitar, Dave Richmond on bass, and Paul Jones as the lead vocalist and harmonica player completed the band which has changed its name to Manfred Mann and The Manfreds. In 1963, the band signed up with HMV Records and changed their name to Manfred Mann after the producer of their label recommended it.
In 1964, the band was asked to provide a new theme tune for the ITV pop music TV series Ready Steady Go! And their song 5-4-3-2-1 rose to number five on the UK charts. Shortly after this song was recorded, Richmond left the band and was replaced by Tom McGuinness. He was first of the many changes the band would have in its line-up.
Manfred Mann continued to have hits with self-written and cover songs. They gradually moved away from their blues-based music to a successful pop-soul mix. They had a lot of success doing covers of Bob Dylan songs. They reached number 2 in the UK with the controversial song If You Gotta Go, Go Now. Many TV and radio stations either banned the song or played edited versions. Just before this song was released, Paul Jones announced his intentions to leave the band to pursue a solo career.
Jones stayed on for another year during which time Mike Vickers left Manfred Mann and was replaced by Jack Bruce of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Jones was replaced by Mike d’Abo and this was one of the few times when a band has changed its lead singer and still managed to get hits. Jack Bruce left Manfred Mann to form his own band and was replaced by Klaus Voorman and McGuinness started playing the guitar. In order to complete the changes, the band changed labels to Fontana Records.
The band’s first single with Fontana Records was Dylan cover, Just Like A Woman, which was apt as Manfred Mann has changed to a softer acoustic pop sound with a hint of surrealism in their lyrics and Dylanesque social comment.
However, the band was only getting hit singles and the albums were failing to reach the charts. Frustrated with this, Manfred Mann ultimately split up in 1969.
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