. Mannerisms ( comp. ) - Philips - SON 016 ( org. 1975 ) / Re-release Umbrella 2004
Their characteristics were several things. First of all Mike DÁbo's wonderful voice, but also a great skill of choosing the right material and arranging it to their unique sound -often with an acustic guitar in the foreground and small flute ( flute sounding keyboard ) theme.
As this collection also shows the band had much more than just fine pop-music to offer. Usually their B-sides were used to try out new ideas or to widen out the limits of the pop. They were/are skilled musicians who also were capable of playing other styles like jazz and blues.
Some of these B-sides are pretty weird, others very funny most of them are in differents ways very enjoyable.
It's hard to bring out just a few of their A-sides because they are great, but their instrumental version of Tommy Roe's "Sweet Pea" is quite a surprise; no real wonder that it flopped in the charts. Lyrically most of their hit-singles dealt with more than just the trivial love-thing.
Among the B-sides Mike Hugg's "I Wanna Be Rich" is great - could possibly have been a hit on its own. Tom McGuinness' "There is a Man" shows a great sense of humour and is also musically fine.
Though most a their singles were written by "outside" songwriters like Bob Dylan or Tony Hazzard, both Mike DŔbo, Mike Hugg and Tom McGuinness were great songwriters, which is shown on several of these B-sides and on their 3 studio albums, which are all highly recommendable ( "As Is", "Up the Junction" and "Mighty Garvey" ) - and of course this collection is, too.