Manfred Mann - Mighty Garvey (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:53 AM

Mighty Garvey! is an album released in 1968 by Manfred Mann. It was the second and last recorded by the band (not including compilations and the soundtrack album to the film Up The Junction) after the change of direction and personnel of the previous As Is. It continued a transition away from jazz and blues and towards self-composed art-pop.

Despite including two UK 'Top 5' hit singles (Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" and Tony Hazzard's "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown"), the album did not chart and the band split up the year after. The group's continued pop success with material by established songwriters such as Dylan and Hazzard made it averse to the risk of releasing self-written singles, a state of affairs that had prevailed ever since the success of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", even though the group's first hits had been self-composed, at least one example of drummer Mike Hugg's new-found productivity had been seen as potentially chart-worthy and singer Mike d'Abo was able to provide other artists with hits such as "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Handbags and Gladrags". The resultant pop image did not encourage album sales to "serious" listeners, particularly when trends were turning from baroque pop to hard rock. So, like contemporary releases by The Kinks and The Zombies, Mighty Garvey became a record esteemed more in retrospect than at the time. It was later re-issued in 2003, with bonus tracks.

The group's commercial compromises also led to "self-knocking", and its recordings developed an ironic distance that on Mighty Garvey sometimes invites comparison with The Kinks, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, Frank Zappa or The Bonzo Dog Band. Even on Hugg's intricate and sentimental "Harry the One Man Band" the vocal track finally dissolves into schoolboy mirth and silly noises.
The group made full use of the new possibilities of multi-tracking, overlaying complex and inventive textures of flutes, keyboards and vibraphones, while the group's backing vocals, originally limited to a tribal unison, began to take on an almost Pet Sounds complexity
01. Happy Families – 2:18
02. No Better, No Worse – 3:02
03. Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey – 2:54
04. Country Dancing – 2:53
05. It's So Easy Falling – 3:20
06. Happy Families – 2:09
07. The Mighty Quinn – 2:52
08. Big Betty – 3:06
09. The Vicar's Daughter – 2:18
10. Each and Every Day – 2:47
11. Cubist Town – 3:21
12. Ha! Ha! Said the Clown – 2:27
13. Harry the One-Man Band – 3:11
14. Happy Families – 2:16

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