Man – Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In (1971)

FrontCover1.JPGDo You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In? is the fourth album by the Welsh rock band Man and was released in November 1971. The album was recorded in August at Charles and Kingsley Ward’s Rockfield Studios near Monmouth in Southeastern Wales. Sessions took place soon after the renowned ‘All Good Clean Fun’ tour of Switzerland, although a brief break in the hectic German tour schedule during the late spring had resulted in two tracks being written at a studio in Swansea, Wales. Critical reaction to the new album was positive. The album title is apparently a Swansea saying, usually directed at pub landlords of exceptionally long standing. (by wikipedia)

From the opening bars of the first track, ‘Angel Easy’, Man’s fourth album; ‘Do You Like It Here Now, (Are You Settling In Alright?)’ exudes a growing confidence. Released in November 1971 it was recorded in August at Charles and Kingsley Ward’s Rockfield Studios near Monmouth. Sessions took place soon after the renowned ‘All Good Clean Fun’ tour of Switzerland, although a brief break in the hectic German tour schedule during the late spring had resulted in two tracks being written at a studio in Swansea. The band were booked into Rockfield for a period of one week, this being the maximum time that the budget would run to. With only two songs written, the classic ‘Many Are Called But Few Get Up’ and the superb ‘Angel Easy’, they hot-housed the rest of the album, writing, recording and mixing on a kind of panic-stricken conveyor belt. They beat the deadline and then it was straight back on tour again.

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Critical reaction to the new album was positive, with encouraging suggestions of a band on the verge of breaking into the big time. The album was promoted during an Autumn tour of Germany, and as the official cover wasn’t yet available it was issued in a promotional sleeve during October and November. The release of the familiar ‘Angels’ cover neatly coincided with the end of the German tour and the start of an intensive four month UK tour. The omens were good.

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Special German cover for their German tour in October/November 1971

The album title is apparently a Swansea saying, usually directed at pub landlords of exceptionally long standing. The cover design was left to Andrew Lauder, United Artists’ head of A&R, and the man who had been responsible for bringing the group to their new label. The LP label introduces a Manband logo for the first time, a cartoon man holding aloft the Welsh flag. The front cover with its staged angelic poise, a touch of Victorian whimsy if ever there was one, perhaps alludes to the opening track. The back cover includes the traditional ‘band on steps’ photograph, and of course there was plenty of space for all the lyrics. (manband-archive.com)

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Long a fan favorite, Man’s fourth studio album was recorded in 1971 during a harried one-week studio session that found the group having to write nearly the entire album, barring the tight and rocking “Angel Easy” and the group’s multi-part masterwork “Many Are Called but Few Get Up.” Frankly, the album sounds like a record that was largely jammed in the studio; the eight-minute-plus jams that close each side, “We’re Only Children” and “Love Your Life,” are particularly tiresome, good instrumental and lyrical ideas stretched well past their breaking points. However, besides the superior “Angel Easy” and “Many Are Called but Few Get Up,” the album does include the rather wonderful “All Good Clean Fun,” a showcase for pianist Clive John and lead guitarist Deke Leonard that has a delightful prog pop playfulness akin to some of Genesis’ more lighthearted early moments or the daffiness of the later band Hatfield & the North. The album may be only half good, but that half is among Man’s very best work. (by Stewart Mason)

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Personnel:
Martin Ace (bass, guitar, vocals)
Clive John (keyboards, vocals)
Michael “Micky” Jones (guitar, vocals)
Roger “Deke” Leonard (guitar, vocals)
Terry Williams (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Angel Easy 5.05
02. All Good Clean Fun 4.34
3. We’re Only Children 8.35
04. Many Are Called But Few Get Up 7.33
05. Manillo 5.20
06. Love Your Life 9.06

All songs written by Martin Ace – Clive John – Michael Jones – Deke Leonard – Terry Williams

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