Man: Maximum Darkness

Great live Rock'n'Roll

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My Rating

Nine out of ten.

Not their best live album but great nonetheless.

My review

In the seventies, Man seemed to be on a mission to go through as many line ups as they released albums. While they didn't quite acieve that, this live album sees the unique combination of a set of established band members with a special appearance from the late John Cipollina best known as a member of "Quicksilver Messenger Service".

One interesting aspect of this was that Man went from being a band with two lead guitarists to being one with three. Still they managed this without total disintegration though this album does not really give a full impression of the live line up. It was subject to a lot more post concert studio work than most live albums.

The CD kicks off with a Deke Leonard number 7171-551 which, as is normal for his compositions, it is at the harder end of the spectrum of Man's music. I think that this is the highlight of the album, everthing is really tight and together. This is followed by a couple of non-Man songs which were introduced by Cipollina. The first, Codine is a powerful song anyway and the band do a particularly good job on their version. This is followed by "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" which is OK but sounds some way from the Man that I like.

The last two songs, "Many are Called, but Few Get up." and "Bananas" are well established in the Man live set. The version here of the first of these is not my favourite. It is not so well focussed as the one on the "Padget Rooms" CD. However, I really like the version of "Bananas" here.

All in all, I think that the 1999 party tour is a better live albun than this but it still has a lot of great songs.