December 21, 2009 – 4:13 am

Another expertly compiled disc of rarities from the early days of Manfred Mann.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Abbey Road Commercial Test + 2 [no label, 1CD]

Excellent mono SBD. Recorded in 1963.

This is the complete Abbey Road Studios “commercial test” by Manfred Mann. Recorded in 1963, this features the line-up heard on the first two EMI singles: Paul Jones (lead vocal, harmonica), Manfred Mann (keyboards), Mike Vickers (guitar, saxophone), Mike Hugg (drums) and Dave Richmond (bass). Richmond, a jazzman who played acoustic bass, was making an uneasy transition to electric bass guitar, and he was soon replaced by Tom McGuiness. Richmond went on to a very successful career as a sessionman playing acoustic bass, notably on Elton John’s “Your Song” and Bill Wyman’s “Green Ice” soundtrack.

The idea of this compilation is so that with the EMI four-CD set “Manfred Mann - Down The Road Apiece” and the Rykodisc soundtrack CD “What’s New Pussycat” (which has an alternate take of “My Little Red Book”), that you will have the complete EMI recordings of Manfred Mann.

Although EMI presented a few tracks from the “commercial test” on the four-CD set “Down The Road Apiece”, the official releases had odd editing, particularly a glitch in EMI’s digital mastering system resulting in an unintended edit in “Let’s Go” causing the music to skip in mid-verse, omitting 13 seconds of the song. EMI never corrected their four-CD set. Here, you get all the still-existing takes from the “commercial test”, including all takes, false starts, studio chat etc. This session was recorded direct to mono.

I have added two interesting bonus tracks. Fans will be aware of the rejected long version of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” which has been released several times, albeit in mono. Manfred decided that his organ solo disrupted the flow of the song, so on the released hit version, Manfred edited out the organ solo, and replaced it with a tape copy repeat of the middle eight section. (This is the reason for the abrupt audible edit before the final verse in the hit version). What isn’t known, is that the long version exists in stereo, released once on a 1967 Capitol Canadian edition of “Mann Made Hits”. Though the album cover claimed that the album was “Duophonic” (fake stereo), in reality, the album was a combination of fake stereo, mono and true stereo, including this rare gem.

Also included is the rare “Version 2″ of “She Needs Company”. Originally released only on the Capitol of Canada “Mann Made” LP (no relation to “Mann Made Hits”!), this track received its first stereo mix in 1990 and, unfortunately, this excellent mix was never released. Sadly, this track is the only EMI Manfred Mann recording for which the multitracks tape still exist.

Though some people believe that the EMI Manfred Mann multitracks were thrown away in an early 1970s Abbey Road Studios “housecleaning”, there is some evidence to indicate that they were never saved to begin with, that is, that they were thrown away in the 1960s immediately after producer John Burgess and engineer Norman Smith decided which takes to mix down and release.

Even in the mid-1960s, there were certain EMI Manfred Mann songs which could not be remixed for stereo. The four-track tapes were already gone. This apparent policy of rapidly disposing of these tapes has resulted in the permanent loss of 14 unreleased Manfred Mann songs which were never mixed down. Also, as with 1963-65 Beatles session tapes, the voice that you hear speaking from the control room is not the producer. It’s engineer Norman Smith. - Phil Cohen

Note: Thanks to Phil Cohen for sharing the lossless tracks.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Why Should We Not (Take 1) (7.4MB)
Track 02. Why Should We Not (Take 2) (5.2MB)
Track 03. Why Should We Not (Take 3) (3.6MB)
Track 04. Why Should We Not (Take 4) (7.1MB)
Track 05. Why Should We Not (Take 5) (7.1MB)
Track 06. Why Should We Not (Take 6) (5.8MB)
Track 07. I Don’t Want To Know (Take 5) (676k)
Track 08. I Don’t Want To Know (Take 6) (4.9MB)
Track 09. Let’s Go (4.2MB)
Track 10. Don’t Ask Me What I Say (Take 2) (370k)
Track 11. Don’t Ask Me What I Say (Take 3) (4.2MB)
Track 12. Brother Jack (6.6MB)
Track 13. Without You (4.2MB)
Track 14. Do Wah Diddy (long version, rare stereo mix)* (5.6MB)
Track 15. She Needs Company (Version 2. Stereo remix from 1990) (8.1MB)

*This is a few seconds longer than the official single mix which is 2:23m.

Lineup in 1963:
Paul Jone - lead vocal, harmonica
Manfred Mann - keyboards
Mike Vickers - guitar, saxophone
Mike Hugg - drums
Dave Richmond - bass

An excellent boxset of the EMI recordings can be found on this 4CD compilation, Manfred Mann: Down The Road Apiece - Their EMI Recordings 1963-1966. Buy it here.


  2. Thanks for this brief insight into early Manfred Mann (and for all the other recent MM offerrings).

    Merry Christmas

    By Dennis on Dec 22, 2009

  3. Thanks. Always loved Paul Jones’ voice, and always intrigued by Mann music. Thanks for sharing

    By mystere on Dec 23, 2009

  4. Thanks for more great Manfred.

    By Matt on Dec 24, 2009

  5. Is the single version of “She Needs Company” the same as the Canadian “She Needs Company” on Mann Made?

    By Reekos on Oct 4, 2011

  6. thanks for this and other MM recordings

    By Sladest on May 5, 2012

  7. can’t seem to download these tracks - any chance of a reupload please?

    By db on Feb 5, 2020

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