EMI Gold's 2008 release The Very Best of Manfred Mann is an excellent 18-track collection of the group's earliest years, spanning from 1964 to midway through 1966, when the group left EMI and switched singers. With the inclusion of the carnivalesque Dylan cover "If You Gotta Go, Go Now," this hints at the moddish psychedelia they later pursued, but this collection spotlights when Manfred Mann were at their hardest-hitting as a jazzy R&B outfit, scoring hits with "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and "Pretty Flamingo," as well as chugging through any number of blues and R&B covers, some of which are highlighted here, including "I've Got My Mojo Working," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Stormy Monday Blues," and "Smokestack Lightning." There are other discs to turn to, either if you want more (EMI has a four-disc complete set) or if you want a single disc covering both phases of the band's career (Raven's superb Hit Mann!, the only disc to have both eras on one CD), but for a good overview of the band's first phase, this Very Best of Manfred Mann is very good. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
15776MThe Very Best of Manfred Mann [20 Tracks] (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/74/14/724385741425.jpg?v=1911.989.88USDOutOfStockEMI ImportCDPop-RockManfred-Mann2007-03-15
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