Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – The Roaring Silence

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band liked to have control of how their songs sounded. I don’t know of one song or album by them that wasn’t produced by the band; I don’t think they ever used outside producers.

In addition fto often incorporating excerpts from classical music into their own compositions, they were also notorious for doing their own renditions of other performers’ songs, but I would never say that Manfred Mann’s Earth Band ever plated covers. Whenever they played any music written by outsiders, the song was always rearranged and made into something totally unique; something that stood apart from the original. They always made whatever they played uniquely a Manfred Mann’s Earth Band song.

Case in point: “Blinded by the Light”, a song written and originally performed by Bruce Springsteen. The version appearing on Manfred Mann’s “The Roaring Silence” is a total prog rock reimagining of Springsteen’s gritty R&B version it isn’t played to quite the progressive rock extravagance of the rest of the album the Earth Band’s fourth album but it is still a significant departure in that direction from what Springsteen had laid down.

“Blinded by the Light” may have been one of the biggest hits for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, but it is far from their best song, at least in my opinion. On this album alone, the thematic weaving of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite into “Starbird” and Manfred Mann’s synth keyboard wizardry on the instrumental “Waiter, There’s a Yawn in My Ear” always leave me in awe. It’s the seldom heard deep cuts on “The Roaring Silence” that make it one of my all time favorites albums.

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