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Solar Fire

Artist: Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Label: Polydor
Catalog#: PD-6019
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1973-11
Tracklist
A1 Father Of Day, Father Of Night 9:53
A2 In The Beginning, Darkness 5:19
  Notes:

Percussion [Extra] - Peter Miles

A3 Pluto The Dog 2:45
B1 Solar Fire 5:14
B2 Saturn, Lord Of The Ring; Mercury, The Winged Messenger 6:30
B3 Joybringer 3:23
B4 Earth, The Circle 3:48
Credits

Backing Vocals - Doreen Chanter
Backing Vocals - Grove Singers
Backing Vocals - Irene Chanter
Bass - Colin Pattenden
Design, Photography - Fin Costello
Drums [Fibes] - Chris Slade
Engineer - John Pantry
Engineer [Contribution] - Dave Stephens
Engineer [Contribution] - John Edwards
Engineer [Tape Operator] - Laurie Latham
Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals, Producer - Manfred Mann
Producer - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Trombone - Paul Rutherford
Vocals, Guitar - Mick Rogers

Notes

Track B3 is titled "Earth The Circle Part 2" on the back cover

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
It would be hard to have passed through the 60s without hearing one of Manfred Mann's numerous singles that littered the Top 10 in England—including his most famous "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" b/w "What You Gonna Do," which topped both sides of the Atlantic. But as the South African-born (Manfred Lubowitz) keyboardist entered the 70s, he left the pop world behind, releasing two albums under the moniker Chapter Three. Volume One is an excellent record; brass arrangements outfit its heavy-ish tunes, but it still sounds rooted in the 60s. In 1971, Mann formed the Earth Band with drummer Chris Slade, bassist Colin Pattenden and guitarist and vocalist Mick Rogers. Dubbed Manfred Mann's Earth Band, they churned out four albums in the space of almost two years. Both Glorified Magnified and Messin' (US title Get Your Rocks Off) were solid efforts, illustrating that Mann had indeed assembled one cohesive band. In August, the band scored a Top 10 hit in the UK (and Europe) with "Joybringer" b/w "Can't Eat Meat," a song based on Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" from the composer's The Planets. This concept continued on the ensuing Solar Fire album. An unlikely cover of Bob Dylan's "Father of Day, Father of Night" opens the record; it's an awesome display of prog rock, the stately arrangement evoking the aura of early King Crimson, yet with Mann's organ growling underneath. From here on out, the songs are all group compositions: "In the Beginning, Darkness" rocks heavy over its driving riff, while "Pluto the Dog" gets a little funky. The hypnotic groove of the title track provides an excellent base for Rogers's lead guitar, while "Saturn, Lord of the Ring/Mercury, the Winged Messenger" traverses fusion-inspired realms. Overall, it's a strikingly original album that avoids most of the sins of prog rock, and one that even managed to break into the US Top 100. The Earth Band's next effort, The Good Earth, featured more terrestrial compositions, the instrumental "Sky High" notwithstanding. The album also had the ultimate gimmick: a purchase entitled the buyer to one square foot of land somewhere in Wales!
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