MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND - Mann Alive (1998)
'Mann Alive' - The long overdue live album for the loyal Earth Band fans around the world. For those of you who have experienced the Earth Band live in one or more of its progressive forms over the decades, you may have wondered why there hasn't been more live albums. Well its partly because Manfred doesn't believe that live on tape can be right. Its only live when you are in the concert hall and its very difficult to capture the true atmosphere on tape. What makes a Live Album Special? Well many of the so call live albums are heavily overdubbed back in the studio. This is done for many reasons, sometimes for technical faults but usually for ego and insecurity problems. This is not what the band and the fans wanted, but a true representation of the live gig to playback time and again, even if there were faults and imperfections.
So the decision was made to record night after night during the Soft Vengeance European Tour, initially not for general release but for Manfred's personal record. It soon became apparent that the recordings would make a good live album, that we shouldn't keep to ourselves. When we had recovered from out tour hangovers, the arduous process of choosing the best version of each song was undertaken. This turned out to be an extremely difficult process and a few personal differences appeared, but that's musicians for you. In the end it came down to one Mann's choice. More technical wizardry could have been experimented with in the Workhouse Studio cauldron, but then the album may have become a so called 'over produced album'. There are musical and technical flaws scattered across the recordings which make a few musicians cringe with embarrassment, but its nice sometimes to watch the mighty squirm! These faults are so few and far between though that it doesn't spoil the overall pleasure that the listener will experience.
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