Mike DŽAbo

“Handbags And Gladrags”


SHORT BIOGRAPHY:

Michael d'Abo was born in 1944 in Betchworth, Surrey. He reached his teens during the early days of England's rock 'n' roll boom and as a boy took up the piano as well as singing. While attending the Harrow School, he co-founded A Band of Angels with guitarist/singer John Graydon, guitarist John Baker, bassist Dave Wilkinson, and drummer James Rugge-Price. The group managed the get noticed and cut a quartet of singles (the last, "Invitation", written by d'Abo) for Pye Records' Piccadilly subsidiary and for United Artists Records. It was a televised performance of "Invitation" in early 1966, on a show called A Whole Scene Going, that brought d'Abo to the attention of the members of Manfred Mann -- organist Manfred Mann and drummer Mike Hugg initially saw him on the broadcast, and soon Mann and bassist/guitarist Tom McGuinness was checking out his work at a club date, and this led to an offer to join the group.


He first rose to prominence in British rock through his assumption of a most unenviable task, succeeding Paul Jones as lead singer in Manfred Mann -- the group's own record label, EMI, was so persuaded of the unlikelihood that anyone could replace him, that they dropped the band from the roster. He proved up to the challenge, however, and across the four decades since has remained a busy and well-known musical figure, in rock and in music in general.

Partly thanks to the extended departure schedule of Paul Jones, and EMI's decision to plunder the vaults for commercially viable sides left behind by the group, there was some overlap between d'Abo's recordings with Manfred Mann -- done for the Fontana label under a new contract -- and those featuring Jones on EMI. Eventually, however, the new edition of the band featuring D'Abo caught the ear of the public, enjoying a string of British hits starting with "Just Like A Woman" in the summer of 1966 and extending through "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" and "Ha Ha Said The Clown", all culminating with "The Mighty Quinn" in early 1968, which topped the British charts and restored the group to the American hit parade for the first time in two years with a top 10 placement. By the time organist Manfred Mann pulled the plug on the group in 1969, d'Abo was one of the more prominent rock vocalists in England, though the group's decision to turn down an offer of a US tour in the wake of "The Mighty Quinn" cost the band an opportunity for renewed stardom in America.

D'Abo also established his credibility as a songwriter during this period with his compositions "Handbags And Gladrags" and "Build Me Up Buttercup", both huge hits and the latter written in collaboration with composer/producer Tony Macauley, who placed it with the Foundations, whose version sold over a million copies. D'Abo's tenure with Manfred Mann lasted until the spring of 1969 -- by that time, they'd had five major hits in their new incarnation and their leader, organist Manfred Mann, had been hinting strongly that it was nearing time to disband the group. All of the members were increasingly eager to explore other sounds and musical avenues, and they'd run out their string most profitably and honorably, even recording a serious psychedelic classic album, The Mighty Garvey, on which d'Abo played an essential role, portraying the non-existent singer "Eddie Garvey" (a sort of forerunner to David Johansen's Buster Poindexter). And almost as important, they'd lasted at the top for three years longer than their former label, EMI, had believed possible for them to do without Paul Jones fronting them. Even before the band broke up officially in the summer of 1969, d'Abo had taken the step of recording a single, "(See The Little People) Gulliver's Travels", for Andrew Oldham's Immediate Records, which had to be recalled when Fontana Records asserted its exclusive rights to d'Abo's voice, although an accompanying album -- evidently among the rarest long-players of its period -- did follow suit on the Immediate subsidiary Instant Records.

His contractual problems were solved by the time d'Abo embarked on his next project, as one of the singers on the original studio production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), which became a mega-hit in the United States. A solo album entitled D'Abo, recorded for MCA and featuring Albert Lee on guitar, was released in 1970 to little notice. In 1972, he followed this up on A&M with Down At Rachel's Place, and two years later -- with Graham Nash, Mike Bloomfield, and the Jordanaires, among others, participating -- he released Broken Rainbows, which was greeted as a pop masterpiece by some critics but failed to chart and also closed out his A&M contract. In 1976, d'Abo formed a composing and recording partnership with Mike Smith, formerly the vocalist and keyboard player with the Dave Clark Five, which resulted in the release of Smith & d'Abo on British CBS. His subsequent releases, Indestructible (1987) and Tomorrow's Troubadour (1988), saw little popular interest. D'Abo was not without success music, however -- during the 1970's and 1980's, he turned to writing songs for commercials and found special success with a jingle for Cadbury's chocolate on British television. He also played with a band called Beat Goes On (who cut a live album at Ronnie Scott's) and a top dance band called Mike d'Abo & His Mighty Quintet, in addition to serving as a deejay and host on a couple of long-running top-rated radio programs. During the 1990's, d'Abo and Jones both rejoined their former bandmates -- apart from Manfred Mann himself, who had other musical pursuits in mind -- in the Manfreds, a reunited version of their sixties band.

Source ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide



Discography :


1. GulliverŽs Travels - Instant 1968 ( various artists )

Tracks:
1. Intro ( Small Faces ) / 2. The Journey ( Small Faces ) / 3. GulliverŽs Travel ( Mike DŽAbo )/ 4. The Sea / 5. See The Little People ( Mike DŽAbo ) / 6. Ameriva ( Nice )/ 7. Afterglow ( Bob Kerr ) / 8. Laputa ( Zodiac ) / 9. GulliverŽs Travels single ( Mike DŽAbo ) / 10. Anthology of GulliverŽs Travels ( Mike DŽAbo ) / 11. In The Beginning ( Mike DŽAbo )
Rating :

2. Mike DŽAbo - Uni UNLS 1970

Tracks:
1. Let It Roar / 2. Walk A Million Miles / 3. As Long As I Have Loving / 4. Mary, Warm My Bed / 5. Call My Heart You Home / 6. The Ladder / 7. Maria, Maria / 8. Woman In My Life / 9. Clancy / 10. California Line / 11. Oh! What A Day / 12. Handbags And Gladrags
Rating : 5

3. Down RachelŽs Place - AM Records 1972

Tracks:
1. Rachel's Place / 2. Belinda / 3. Poor Man's Son / 4. You Are The Singer / 5. My Life / 6. Little Miss Understood / 7. Salvation Song / 8. Battlefield / 9. Tomorrow On My Mind
Rating : 7

4. Broken Rainbows - AM Records 1974

Tracks:
1. Fuel To Burn / 2. This Is Me / 3. Broken Rainbows / 4. The Last Match / 5. I Go Where My Spirits Leads Me / 6. Handbags And Gladrags / 7. Sitting On A Wood Floor / 8. Pappa Didn't Tell Me / 9. My Load / 10. Hold On Sweet Darling
Rating : 6

5. Smith and DŽAbo - CBS 1976

Tracks:
1. Hang Your Hat / 2. Two Worlds / 3. Free As A Bird / 4. Ray Of Sunshine / 5. Happy / 6. Skid Row Kid / 7. Running Away From Love / 8. Rockin' Chair / 9. A Broken Dream / 10. Lovin' You / 11. Take You Higher / 12. Only Love
Rating : 6

6. Indestructible - President PTLS 1084 - 1987

Tracks:
1. Loving On A Shoestring / 2. Love Indestructible / 3. Horns Of Memphis / 4. Nobody Else But You / 5. Easy Street / 6. Time Warp / 7. Thank You / 8. Wonder Of A Woman / 9. Slow Burning Love / 10, Whose Geart? / 11. Ships / 12. Revival
Rating : 6


7. Tomorrow's Troubador - President PTLS 1090 - 1988

Tracks:
1. Tomorrow's Troubador / 2. Twinkle In The Eye / 3. Velvet Glove / 4. Hurricane / 5. Isle Of Debris / 6. Jump Boogie And Jive / 7. Build Me Up Buttercup / 8. Just Like A Woman / 9. The Mighty Quinn / 10. Handbags And Gladrags / 11. Fox On The Run / 12. Rock 'n' Roll Crusade
Rating : 7

8. Collection, Vol. 1: 1964-1970 - Handbags & Gladrags - RPM 2001

Tracks:
1. Me / 2. Not True as Yet / 3. Gonna Make a Woman of You / 4. She'll Never Be You / 5. Too Late My Love / 6. (Accept My) Invitation / 7. See the Little People / 8. Miss Me in the Morning / 9. Cinderella Arabella / 10. Because You Are / 11. Let It Roar / 12. Walk a Million Miles / 13. As Long as I Have Loving / 14. Mary, Warm My Bed / 15. Call My Heart Your Home, Girl / 16. Ladder / 17. Maria Maria / 18. Woman in My Life / 19. Clancy / 20. Californian Line / 21. Oh! What a Day / 22. Handbags and Gladrags
Rating : 6

9. Little Miss Understood: Mike d'Abo Collection, Vol. 2 - RPM 2003

Tracks:
1. Rachel's Place / 2. Belinda / 3. Poor Man's Son / 4. You Are the Singer / 5. Fuel to Burn / 6. Broken Rainbows / 7. Last Match / 8. Sittin' on a Wood Floor / 9. Papa Didn't Tell Me / 10. My Load / 11. Salvation Song / 12. My Life / 13. Little Miss Understood / 14. Battlefield / 15. Stardust Serenade / 16. Happy / 17. Runnin' Away from Love / 18. Two Worlds / 19. Ray of Sunshine / 20. Rockin' Chair / 21. Tomorrow on My Mind
Rating : 8

10. Hidden Gems and Treasured Friends ( comp, ) - Angel Air 2004

Tracks:
1. Poor Old Joe / 2. I'm A Ram / 3. May / 4. For Jackson / 5. Soldier Sailor / 6. All At Sea / 7. Relax / 8. Fuel To Burn / 9. Day That War Broke Out / 10. Slim Pickings / 11. Mighty Quinn / 12. I Don't Want To Be There / 13. Salvation Song / 14. West Is Best / 15. Little Miss Understood / 16. My Life Is Starting From Today / 17. Fuel To Burn / 18. Handbags And Gladrags
Rating :

11. Handbags & Gladrags - The Mike D'Abo Songbook ( comp, ) President 2004

Tracks:
1. Handbags And Gladrags / 2. The Mighty Quinn / 3. Just Like A Woman / 4. Build Me Up Buttercup / 5. Tomorrow’s Troubadour / 6. Velvet Glove / 7. Isle Of Debris / 8. Loving On A Shoestring / 9. Thank You / 10. Nobody Else But You / 11. Revival / 12. Twinkle In The Eye / 13. Easy Street / 14. Love Indestructible / 15. Whose Heart? / 16. Ships / 17. Rock’n’Roll Crusade / 18. Jump Boogie And Jive
Rating : 7


My Suggestion For a 80 minutes (app.) Best Of Compilation:
More Tracks will be Added Eventually!


1. RachelŽs Place ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
2. Californian Line ( DŽAbo ) Mike DŽAbo
3. Little Miss Understood ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
4. The Last Match ( DŽAbo ) Broken Rainbows
5. Belinda ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
6. Battlefield ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
7. Poor ManŽs Son ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
8. Happy ( DŽAbo/Smith ) Smith & DŽAbo
9. Tomorrow on my Mind ( DŽAbo ) Down at RachelŽs Place
10. Papa DidnŽt Tell Me ( DŽAbo ) Broken Rainbows
11. Two Worlds ( DŽAbo/Smith ) Smith & DŽAbo
12. Handbags and Gladrags ( DŽAbo ) Mike DŽAbo
13. TomorrowŽs Troubadour ( DŽAbo ) TomorrowŽs Troubadour
14. Revival ( DŽAbo ) Indestructable
15. Miss Me in the Morning ( DŽAbo ) Collection, Vol. 1
16. Handbags and Gladrags ( DŽAbo ) TomorrowŽs Troubadour
17. Ships ( DŽAbo ) Indestructable
18. Isle of Debris ( DŽAbo ) TomorrowŽs Troubadour
19. See The Little People ( DŽAbo ) GulliverŽs Travels

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