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Manfred Mann

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Manfred Mann was a British R&B and pop band of the 1960s, named after the keyboard player.

Manfred Mann himself was originally named Manfred Lubowitz (born October 21, 1940). Born in South Africa, he originally formed the band in 1962, with his friend Mike Hugg, but both took a background role in live performances. The lead vocalist and undoubted star of the band in the early years was Paul Jones (later a successful actor). With Jones fronting, they had number one hits in the U.K. with their cover version of the Exciters' "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and with "Pretty Flamingo". When Jones left in 1966 at the height of their fame, he was replaced by Mike D'Abo, and this was one of the few occasions when a band has successfully swapped lead singers and remained at the top.
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With D'Abo as vocalist, they enjoyed several more hits, including a number one with Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" in 1968. They split up in the following year.

Manfred Mann went on to write advertising jingles after the group's demise, and later formed Manfred Mann's Earth Band (who had a number 1 hit with Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light"). While the Springsteen version from 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album has a folky, acoustic sound, the Manfred Mann's Earth Band version is driving rock with the electronic keyboards of the '70s. The lead vocalist actually singing Blinded By The Light is Chris Thompson, Manfred can be heard singing at the end of Blinded By The Light, in the round, with Thompson. The band released the previous year on Nightingales and Bombers, another Springsteen song named Spirits in The Night, and that song was also a driving rock setting with a typical electronic keyboard sound of the 70s, in comparison to the jazz set version on Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. by Springsteen.

In the 1980s, Mann became very active in the international anti-apartheid movement, and was banned from entering South Africa, the country in which he had been born in but left as a child. He had one final hit with a cover of "Demolition Man" by the Police. The album of Somewhere in Afrika was a great setting of compositions in AFrican influence. That album included Demolition Man and a great version of Bob Marley's Redemtion Song, including the hit of Runner, whose video had immages of the Munich and Montreal Olympic Games.

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