Album #257 – Manassas
This album is very funky, at the start. It reminded me instantly of Joe Walsh’s band The James Gang. The sound of those two bands is very similar. Funk, blues, country and rock mixed together. Manassas was actually the name of the band as well as this album. Created by Stephen Stills, Manassas featured mostly session musicans along with Dallas Taylor (who drummed on CSN (and Y)’s first two albums) and Chris Hillman of the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. Bill Wyman, the first and only official bassist for The Rolling Stones, appears on The Love Gangster. Wyman also co-wrote the song with Stills. Manassas would record one more album before breaking up. Their albums are virtually unknown to anyone who did not listen to rock radio stations in the early 1970’s. It is easy to see why. This album is very bland and forgettable, IF you only listen to the first five songs. It is not bad, by any means. But, there is nothing on this album that really stands out to me, UNTIL Side Two. That is where the sound of the album changes to country rock. I almost gave up on this album until I heard Jesus Gave Love Away For Free. What a song!!! It sounds like an outtake from The Flying Burrito Brothers’ first album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. The rest of side two is just as amazing!!! Sides three and four mostly return to the rock/funk mix with a few exceptions. If the whole album was like side two, I would have liked it more. The songs on the other three sides of this album are forgettable, generic and do nothing for me. Luckilly, at least some of this album was great. Other highlights include: Fallen Eagle (a return to the band’s roots via bluegrass), Colorado, So Begins The Task, Hide It So Deep (sounds like an old school/classic country song and could have been written by Hank Williams, Sr.), Don’t Look At My Shadow, Johnny’s Garden and Bound to Fall. Overall, I give this album 2.5 out of 5.
Next: The Slider by T. Rex