Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – The Roaring Silence (1976)

ManfredMann_RoaringSilence4 out of 5 Stars!

When I was in high school back in ’76, thanks to the mega-hit “Blinded by the Light” continuously popping up on every radio station known to mankind, I finally became aware of this underappreciated U.K. band, one that I soon discovered had released numerous albums before its brush with fame in America. After I purchased The Roaring Silence and realized the three-and-a-half-minute track I had become used to hearing on the radio was actually an edited version from the original seven-minute tune, the lengthier arrangement more progressive in nature, I swiftly dove into the band’s previous releases and unearthed (pun intended) some fairly enjoyable Hard Rock/Progressive Rock albums. Therefore, The Roaring Silence seemed a transitional album for a group looking to expand its audience/fan base. And the ploy obviously worked, at least in my case.

With a seemingly perfect mixture of AOR and Prog-Rock on tracks such as the aforementioned “Blinded by the Light,” as well as “The Road to Babylon,” “Singing the Dolphin Through,” “Questions,” “This Side of Paradise,” the instrumental “Waiter, There’s a Yawn in My Ear” (which obviously inspired the cover art), and “Starbird,” where the second half of the track turns into another energetic instrumental, this platter had me enthralled for weeks. I also couldn’t help noticing how Mann’s unique synth sounds, some snappy and tasty guitar solos from Dave Flett, the often-jazzy drumming from Chris Slade and the melodic bass runs from Colin Pattenden, and Chris Thompson’s instantly recognizable vocals gave the Earth Band its unique style, which continued on to the next album, Watch, another AOR-mixed-with-Prog-Rock corker.

So because The Roaring Silence introduced me to this unique-sounding band, ushering into my life a fairly sizable “back catalogue” of releases for me to explore, this particular well-produced platter continues to remain one of my favorites.

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