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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Man Made, Canada

Man Made - s/t. 1971 Good Noise

I first ran into this title by way of Marquee magazine's (Japan) expose on rare Canadian progressive rock way back in 1990 or so (I still have the issue). My friend from Tokyo translated the review, and quite frankly it didn't sound all that great. For years I'd see the name pop up, but usually without much fanfare or recommendation. All the same, I was most curious about the side long track that opens the album. Recently I was doing some cross referencing, and there was Man Made. I wonder if the album is on Youtube? And it turns out it is (not in full, but all the tracks are there individually). So after all these years, I finally heard it. No surprise here, the album is indeed somewhat middling.

The side long namesake track is definitely the highlight though. The first half is slow blues coupled with atmospheric space rock. The Hammond organ in particular is quite good. About halfway, there's a really cool jazz rock break, and this is followed by some fine flute work. Odd in that no flute is credited anywhere (see back of LP). There are "horns", but I've never heard anyone call a flute a horn. If the whole album were like this, no doubt its reputation would be stellar. Side 2 is very disappointing, and is typical 1970 era North American styled straight rock with blues, gospel, country, and boogie undertones. 'Keep on Moving' is energetic at least, with a semi interesting compositional model, but otherwise the remainder is a complete snoozer.

Despite the music, kudos goes to the artwork - most certainly as representative of the traditional male mindset as one will ever find.

There's at least one pirate floating about. Not sure this one needs a reissue, but it's certainly not without merits.

Priority: none

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