Fricke's Picks: Man

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The golden age of Man — the Welsh band founded in the late Sixties and still going — was 1971-74, the peak of the prog-rock stoners' spin on the double-helix guitars of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Half a dozen albums from that period are back in print, in deluxe bonus-track editions on the Esoteric label, including the studio LPs Man (1971) and Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day (1972). Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth is a two-CD extension of a defining '72 concert release, taped at an old Welsh ballroom, and 1974's Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics now comes with a bonus disc of a '74 gig at L.A.'s Whisky A Go Go. The indispensable Man, though, are on a three-CD reissue of Greasy Truckers Party (EMI), originally a '72 double LP recorded at a benefit show in London that year. Space rangers Hawkwind and pub-rock soldiers Brinsley Schwarz also play rough-delight sets (the latter with future pure-pop icon Nick Lowe on bass), but Man guitarists Micky Jones and Deke Leonard steal the night in "Spunk Rock," "Bananas" and "Romain" with twin treble spirals and wah-wah exchanges that seem to rise — and shine — forever.

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