1976 was the breakthrough year for the Manfred Mann Earth Band, with their album The Roaring Silence breaking big in the US thanks to the hit single "Blinded By the Light", a hard rocking proggy cover of a Bruce Springsteen song. Elsewhere on the album, the Earth Band put together six other commercial yet progressive tunes that featured the melodic vocals of Chris Hamlet Thompson, the sinewy lead guitar work of Dave Flett, and the underrated keyboard stylings from Manfred Mann.
"Singing the Dolphin Through" is an alluring song that is highlighted by Thompson's charming vocals as well as the synth & Mellotron work from Mann. The keyboard maestro comes back for more fun with his Moog synthesizer on "Waiter, There's a Yawn in My Ear", a full blown prog-rock instrumental tour-de-force that will please fans of ELP, and also features a ripping guitar solo from Flett, as well as intricate rhythms from drummer Chris Slade and bassist Colin Pattenden. "The Road to Babylon" is a catchy hard rock piece showcasing Flett's searing lead guitar work and the powerful pipes of Thompson, while "This Side of Paradise" is a quirky little pop number that has a wild Moog solo from Mann.
The band goes for the prog jugular again on "Starbird", featuring hot lead duels between Mann's Moog and Flett's smokin' guitar, as well as soaring melodic vocals from Thompson. On "Questions", a moody and introspective number, Flett's tasty guitar solo and Mann's piano complement the emotional vocals from Thompson, ending the album on a mellow yet majestic note.
The remaster contains two bonus tracks, one a reworked version of Springsteen's "Spirit's In the Night" , which originally appeared on the Nightingales and Bombers album, here with vocals from Thompson instead of Mick Rogers. The other is an edited version of "Blinded By the Light", which is minus parts of the guitar solo. The overall sound and packaging on this remaster is stellar, thanks to Creature Music, who have really done a fine job on the Manfred Mann's Earth Band back catalog in recent years.
1. Blinded by the Light
2. Singing the Dolphin Through
3. Waiter, There's a Yawn in My Ear
4. Road to Babylon
5. This Side of Paradise
8. Spirits in the Night (bonus track)
9. Blinded by the Light [Single Edit]