Originally 2LPs also a CD release in Italy.
- Spunk Box 13:08 (Jones/John)
- Conscience 6:38 (Man)
- The Storm 12:45 (Leonard/Jones)
- Would The Cristians Wait Five Minutes...? 10:08 (Man)
- Alchemist Of The Mind 19:32 (Man)
- Daughter Of The Fireplace 4:08 (Leonard)
- Scholar Of Consciousness 5:55 (Man)
- THE BAND
- George Ace--Vocals
- Martin Ace--Bass
- Clive John--Keyboards, Vocals
- Mickey Jones--Guitar, Vocals
- Deke Leonard--Guitar, Vocals
- Terry Williams--Drums
The album, originally titled 'To Live For To Die' and released as a double vinyl album on the Violet Systems label, came about by a roundabout route explains Deke 'The gig in the Ernst-Merck-Halle in Hamburg was a corker. The promoter surreptitiously recorded it, and a week or two later a bootleg was released. Bootleggers, like drummers, are a necessary evil. It's a curious feeling, being flattered and ripped off at the same time.'
The release of 'Man' several months later on a new label, United Artists, marked a new beginning as its eponymous title suggested. It also featured just five tracks as opposed to their first album's eleven, indicating that the extended, improvisatory approach they favoured on stage was being carried through to the studio.
Three tracks the band previewed in their October (not May, as billed) 1970 performance were presented in definitive form: Deke's 'Daughter Of The Fireplace' (introduced with the words 'if you like 'Purple Haze" you'll know what it's all about'), 'Would The Christians,..' and 'Alchemist', here split into two tracks called 'Alchemist of The Mind' and 'Scholar Of Consciousness'. As guitarist Micky Jones, normally the most reticent Man member, says: 'If you listen to "To Live For To Die", It's very embryonic. Some tunes came out of that tour, like 'Many Are called": you can see the development of things. 'This, then, is work in progress... not only that, but amazingly the first ever gig of the Leonard Jones John Ace Williams line-up. (Best line up IMHO).
'To Live For To Die' reappeared in digital form in 1992, retitled 'The Honest One' and with its sound re-EQ'd. The band have now bootlegged the bootleg, and why not? One final mystery remains, though: the gig was also filmed for an unknown German Kids' TV programme. If we could locate that historic footage, 'The Honest One' would be even more of a blast from the past. But even without the visuals, this is a prime piece of early- 1970s prog.
CommentaryThis is the earliest live recording of Man I know of (1969 Beat Club videos exception), predating "Live at the Padget Rooms" by nearly two years , and recorded about the time of their third album "Man" (if you can rely on the dates given by Italian bootleggers, more about this in my notes for "Live in London 1975"). The sound quality is better than average considering the age of the recording, the vocals are mixed well back making them difficult to understand at times, but the quality of the instruments, especially Clive's keyboards is quite good. This is the only acknowledged appearance of George Ace (Martin's wife) on a Man album whose vocals appear most prominently on "The Storm". This is a good example of what the early shows must have been like and includes the two long jams from the third album, "Alchemist" and "Would the Christians Wait" plus "Spunk Rock" and "The Storm" from the second album. Of the shorter cuts "Conscience" and "Scholar of Consciousness" are otherwise unreleased, while "Daughter of the Fireplace" appears as the obligatory "medley of our hit".
The Point Records reissue is not an improvement over the original bootleg, actually the sound is much more muddy and the vocals even harder to decipher. This was probably mastered from a LP copy of the original boot without the re-EQ'd mix of the Italian CD.
Notes taken from http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/users/staffba3/manb1.html which has the Man Band homepage.