Song: Pluto The Dog
Band: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
The Earth Band was just one of South African keyboardist and ardent Minimoog popularizer Manfred Mann’s incarnations. Formed in ’71 after Mann’s far more pop-oriented work of the 60s, the Earth Band released material which saw band leader Mann embracing a more proggish, extended and orchestrated approach to music. Lead vocalist Mick Rogers’ brilliant electric guitar often shared the centre stage with Mann’s keyboards. The band would go to on to shed and add members and also explored more radio-friendly fare such as their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Blinded By The Light in 1976, but this particular Earhead is from an era predating that hit. From 1973’s Solar Fire, the fourth of sixteen Earth Band studio albums, comes this quirky instrumental, which feels like it was included as a light-hearted departure for the group; Pluto's intermittent, laconic, singular ‘woof’ suggests he is one chronically fatigued (or perhaps extremely stoned) canine. The loose, jammy vibe of the song amounts signals a break from the more ambitious tracks on this excellent album. Check out the inexplicably Giger-heavy fan video below (hey, works for me).
Posted by Max MacDonald