Manfred Mann Songs Ranked

Manfred Mann was an English rock band, formed in London and lasting from 1962 to 1969. The group was named after their keyboardist Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The band had two different lead vocalists, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966, and Mike d’Abo from 1966 to 1969. The group was regularly in the UK charts in the 1960s. Three of the band’s most successful singles, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Pretty Flamingo” and “Mighty Quinn”, topped the UK Singles Chart. Their 1964 hit “5-4-3-2-1” was the theme tune for the ITV pop music show Ready Steady Go!. They were the first southern-England-based group to top the US Billboard Hot 100 during the British invasion. Here are all of Manfred Mann songs ranked.

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16. Mighty Quinn (Mighty Garvey!, 1968)

“For some strange reason I have always liked this song, yet I don’t know why. I’ve never even heard the Dylan version, but I don’t think he could do as good as this. This is one damn infectious tune, that much I do know.”

15. Do Wah Diddy Diddy (The Manfred Mann Album, 1964)

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is one of the few big dumb pop songs out there that I really like. The lyrics are about as pointless as they get; One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” has more substance than this. Why does this song work? For me, it comes down to the musical conversation. Manfred Mann keeps up a really tight groove, with each instrument responding in time to the other members, from the organ’s descending counterpoint against the bridge’s main melody to the timpani rolls during the chorus. It might be silly, but the sound works to complement the happy-go-lucky narrative rather than mire it in electronic mush, much like most modern big dumb pop songs.”

14. Don’t Kill It Carol (Angel Station, 1979)

“I’d only just come across this song a week prior to buying. And I had it on repeat for a bit before slipping into what became a multi-dimensional fall through time that left me shocked. In summation, this song is dope and worth the buy.”

13. Solar Fire (Solar Fire, 1973)

“The title song is about as catchy and exciting as anything you’ve heard from the 70’s, not to mention quite melodic and the kind of song that would be appropriate at dance parties or whatever.”

12. The Road to Babylon (The Roaring Silence, 1976)

“The Road to Babylon”. Interesting enough, despite the fact I’ve heard literally hundreds of 70’s albums by this point, I’m surprised how closely the chanting in the beginning of the song reminds me of the Stones classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. It’s interesting because you’d think several bands would take advantage of such a nicely performed (and popular) idea, but in my experience at least, this hadn’t been the case. Nobody besides the Stones and Manfred Mann admire a nice chanting introduction, I suppose.”

11. When Will I Be Loved (The EP Collection, 1989)

“It has a feelgood nostalgic sound, the music is 60s beat goodness and it has a hook most definitely, which is why I can’t imagine anybody not knowing of it at least.”

10.One Way Glass (Attention!, 1978)

“Prodigy stole the best part of this song and then made their own which basically lives off the strength of the horns here. Hard not to get amped up for the famous horns in this song. The one issue with the song is that while the great part is great and then build-up to the horns is also very good, the end of the song gets a little annoying because the horn gets really high-pitched and insistent and doesn’t sound very good at all. But the song is worth the first 2 and a half minutes.”

9. Blinded by the Light (The Roaring Silence, 1976)

“Love this song, even more so than when was first released back in the mid ’70s. Its lyrics made no sense back then and they still don’t but I can appreciate this aspect now more than ever.”

8. There Is a Man (Mannerisms, 1969)

“There is a Man” starts off in a weird and rather psychic way. The melody is quite beautiful, and there is an idea in the arrangements. We must not forget that a few years later Manfred Mann, an English singles pop group, will transform into Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, a very interesting progressive rock group.”

7. Sweet Pea (What A Mann, 1968)

“Odd release for a single by the Manfreds, a near-instrumental version of the Tommy Roe bubblegum number which had been a big U.S. hit in 1966. With Manfred intoning the title phrase from time to time, what we’re left with is what sounds like a studio piss-take, a strange mixture of clumping drums, organ, vibraphone and penny whistle all combining to offbeat effect.”

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6. My Name Is Jack (Mannerisms, 1969)

“Brilliant condition, speedy service! Framed it for a perfect Naming Day gift for a boy called Jack – no fear of duplication for that gift!”

5. Up the Junction (Up the Junction, 1968)

“Title song to the film of the same name, a realistic slice of working life in the poor part of London, co-written by new band member Mike Hugg, is a fine dreamy psychedelic pop number with the wistful melody documenting everyday life for the have-nots, breaking out to the hardly ringing chorus as if to affirm there’s little prospect of escape from the “daily grind” as it’s termed here.”

4. Hubble Bubble (The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, 1964)

“A mighty unusual title for what was in truth a fairly conventional bluesy piece, with organ and harmonica prominent, kept going by a familiar Bo Diddley-esque beat. While it was a follow-up hit to their debut success “5-4-3-2-1″, it presumably didn’t go high enough to convince Mann to keep going down the R ‘n’ B route and saw him find consolation in regular top 10 singles success down the years with more conventional pop material.”

3. I Put a Spell On You (Pretty Flamingo, 1966)

“When most people think of early Manfred Mann, “Doo Wah Diddy” comes to mind. But Manfred Mann was much more: Rock and Roll, Jazz infusion, Funk, and Blues rolled into one sound. Many of the standard Blues songs done by British bands were also part of Manfred Mann’s repertoire, as were some R&R standards, but Manfred Mann took them to a different level. This is a great addition to any music collection.”

2. Fox On the Run (Mannerisms, 1969)

“‘Fox on the Run’ is a great pop song with organ or leslie speaker treated guitar and a catchy chorus. Much like their other releases, the single falls short on the B side, which is a pretty boring piano and vocal led down-tempo number (except for the break at the end).”

1. 5-4-3-2-1 (Mann Made Hits, 1966)

“The Manfreds do a decent job on this cd, but there is just a HINT of “dine and dash” at times. The production sounds cheesy in places, which is what happens when you rely on synths to reproduce something that was organically analog in its original incarnation.”