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Manfred Mann - Manfred the Musicmann
(Fontana WPY-701.578 Hol-67 EX 275:-)

An R&B band that only played pop to get on the charts, Manfred Mann ranked among the most adept British Invasion acts.

The departure of frontman Paul Jones left Manfred Mann with a large void to fill in the summer of 1966. The new line up featured Mike D'Abo as vocalist and was augmented by Klaus Voorman on bass, with Tom McGuiness switching to lead guitar. Released in October 1966, AS IS (here renamed MANFRED THE MUSICMANN) continued the pop sensibilities of their previous album, MANN MADE, with the group firmly removed from its original R&B roots.

Original Dutch pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
McCartney, Paul - Unplugged
(Parlophone 7964131 EU-91 VG+ 275:-)

“This is how we started out you know,” Paul McCartney said during the 1991 all-acoustic performance captured on Unplugged: The Official Bootleg, referencing the Beatles' humble skiffle-band beginnings. And the stripped-down live recording indeed offers a peek at his roots, but it made major waves in a larger context, helping to popularize MTV’s whole Unplugged phenomenon.

Original European pressing; limited edition (#60443).
Moody Blues - The Magnificent Moodies
(Decca LK-4711 UK-65 VG+ 275:-)

Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion.

The Moody Blues' debut album is steeped in American soul. The covers include songs by James Brown, Willie Dixon and Chris Kenner, plus the chart-busting "Go Now" (originally recorded by Bessie Banks), interspersed with a brace of originals by lead singer/guitarist Denny Laine and keyboardist Mike Pinder.
Mott the Hoople - Mott the Hoople
(Island ILPS-9108 UK-69 VG+ 500:-)

Mott the Hoople were one of the great also-rans in the history of rock & roll. Though Mott scored a number of album rock hits in the early '70s, the band never quite broke through into the mainstream. Nevertheless, their nasty fusion of heavy metal, glam rock, and Bob Dylan's sneering hipster cynicism provided the groundwork for many British punk bands.

Mott the Hoople's eponymous debut album shows off their combination of Stonesy swagger, Kinks-ian crunch, and Dylanesque cynicism, and is one of the great blueprints for hard rock.
Mott the Hoople - Rock n Roll Queen
(Island ILPS-9215 UK-72 EX 300:-)

ROCK AND ROLL QUEEN is an excellent introduction to Mott the Hoople's pre-"All the Young Dudes" background, with tracks that one would consider truly representative of their early powers - the title track, of course, the claustrophobic hard rockers "Walking With a Mountain" and "Thunderbuck Ram," and the grinding "Death May Be Your Santa Claus".

Original UK pressing on pink rimmed Island 'palm tree' label.
Music Emporium - Music Emporium
(Psycho PSYCHO-11 UK-83 EX 275:-)

The Music Emporium's sole release is a fair psychedelic obscurity, best when it goes heaviest on the dreamy melodic elements and Carolyn Lee does the singing. "Velvet Sunsets" and "Gentle Thursday," for instance, sound a bit like a garage version of a mixture of the Jefferson Airplane and the United States of America. The more upbeat items, on which Music Emporium leader Casey Cosby takes on the lead vocals, are lumpier, more awkward late-1960s hard rock/psychedelic efforts. Originally a super-rare pressing of just 300 copies!

1983 unofficial UK pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Mötley Crüe - Dr Feelgood
(Elektra 960829-1 Ger-89 VG+ 350:-)

For anyone coming of age in the 1980s, the rise of glam metal served as a rite of passage which most of us would rather forget...we have consigned these bands to mothballed oblivion for trafficking in lyrical cliches and fancified guitar fluff. Perhaps the only such band that deserves to escape that fate is Motley Crue. A&R opportunists and image consultants be damned, these Metal diehards have managed to keep their priorities straight by staying true to their legion of fans.

Mötley Crües best-selling album also turned out to be their last massive seller. Nevertheless, the album is full of great tunes, great music, and provides a damn good time for everyone to enjoy!
Mötley Crüe - Theatre of Hate
(Elektra 60418-1 US-85 EX 400:-)

For anyone coming of age in the 1980s, the rise of glam metal served as a rite of passage which most of us would rather forget...we have consigned these bands to mothballed oblivion for trafficking in lyrical cliches and fancified guitar fluff. Perhaps the only such band that deserves to escape that fate is Motley Crue. A&R opportunists and image consultants be damned, these Metal diehards have managed to keep their priorities straight by staying true to their legion of fans.

"Theatre of Pain" as released in the aftermath of lead vocalist Vince Neil's arrest for manslaughter on a drunk driving charge. The album marked the beginning of the band's transition away from the traditional heavy metal sound of "Too Fast for Love" and "Shout at the Devil", towards a more glam metal style.
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