Up The Junction - Fontana 1967
The title track is the stand out; one of the finest Manfred Mann Chapter Two recordings. Great melody with Beach Boys inspired harmonies and fine lyrics.
The other three songs are also good; two of them with my favourite Mann singer Mike dÁbo in front. Some band members obviously had ambitions towards jazz, which clearly shows on several of the instrumentals. I'm not much into jazz, but most of it sounds quite nice. In fact the Manfreds regularly recorded jazz-inspired music for their albums, B-sides and EP's.
Really interesting that 9 bonus tracks have been included. All them originally left in the can, and first released in 1997 on the "The Ascent of Mann" compilation. Some of them are really great and ought have been released in their time. Especially "Please Mrs. Henry", which at a certain point was considered a follow-up to "Mighty Quinn". "Sitting Alone in the Sunshine" and their version of "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today" also stand out.
Compared to the sound on "The Ascent of Mann" this release is a big step forward; much cleaner/clearer sound. All songs sound much better here. On the negative side it should be mentioned the booklet contains no information about the songs ( composers ) or the creation of the music. Lyrics for all songs are included though; also the bonus-tracks.