Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg's short-lived jazz-rock experiment released a second album in 1970, with the cumbersome title of Manfred Mann Chapter Three Volume Two. It followed the same formula as their debut - dark, brooding, grooves with lots of tasty keyboards and big, blaring horn sections. The second album was perhaps a bit more daring and experimental, potentially not quite as consistent, but with some superb highlights. The most impressive track was the fifteen-minute-plus "Happy Being Me", which began as a hard-driving number with a catchy wordless refrain before drawing out into a series of long, free-form solos from all instruments.
The band had two very interesting albums under their belt, but their sound was never going to result in any sort of radio play or hit songs. More importantly, such a large ensemble was massively expensive to maintain, and Mann and Hugg were financing it from their own pockets. Unable to break out of the club circuit, they called it quits and the experiment ended. Mike Hugg began a solo career, and Manfred Mann formed a new group, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, with which he was able to have a great deal of commercial success over the years.
Manfred Mann Chapter Three (1969) <|
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