(All Album Reviews by ffroyd)
The Welsh group Man have always been a great band but also one of the most misunderstood. They occupy that rare ground between straightforward rock and progressive/art rock. Maybe they lean a little more on the prog side, I donít know. I canít say that Iíve ever been a huge fan of Man but Iíve always thoroughly enjoyed their music since I first heard them in the 70s. I had the albums Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics and Slow Motion and they were both played on a regular basis. Aside from a few years in the 80s, this band has remained together and continues to release decent music to this day.
Sixty Minutes With is a compilation released by the voiceprint label, who have put out a series of these albums all with exactly the same title and all looking similar. Other artists represented in this series include Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Mountain, Gong, Synergy and Astralasia among many others. These CDs are meant to serve as primers for these artists and do quite a good job. This one contains a great selection of tracks from throughout the bandís career.
The disc starts out with ďRomainĒ from Manís self-titled third album. Thereís some great slide guitar on this track. The second tune is ďMany Are Called But Few Get UpĒ from the 1971 album Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In? The sound quality on this track is a little questionable, with lots of vinyl scratching noises. You would think if they were going to make a transfer from the record that they could have gotten a cleaner copy. Itís still a great song though. This is followed by ďBananasĒ originally from everybodyís favorite Man album (and title) Be good to yourself at least once a day. While this is a 15 minute tune, itís always seemed much shorter than that.
Next up, from the album of the same name we have ďThe Welsh ConnectionĒ, a really smooth track with some tasty guitar work. Then we go into a spirited live rendition of ďCímonĒ which appeared on the 1973 album Back Into The Future, possibly my favorite from them. Iím not sure if this is an edited version since itís a lot shorter. Maybe itís from one of the many live albums that they released. ďThe Wings Of MercuryĒ is a piece from Manís 1992 comeback record The Twang Dynasty and was dedicated to the late John Cipollina who played guitar with the Quicksilver Messenger Service.
ďCall Down The MoonĒ is the title track from the bandís 1995 album and has a nice steady beat with some cool piano work. The final track on the album is a single edit of the title track from the bandís latest effort entitled Diamonds And Coal. This track is evidence that we havenít heard the last of Man and they are still a viable commodity in the music world.
Iím sure many long-time fans of the band could have probably come up with a better selection of songs for a career-spanning sampler but this is more than adequate. Thereís a lot of stuff here I wasnít familiar with and it makes me think I might need to dive a little further into the extensive back catalogue. Overall, this should be a good introduction to anyone interested in checking out Man.