Manchester-A City United In Music.

Label: Ace Records.

Mention Manchester, and most people think of two things music and soccer,  and specifically God’s own team Manchester City who for too long, were perceived as the city’s second team. That wasn’t always the case and isn’t the case any more.

Between 1966 and 1975, Manchester City won eight honours, starting with the Second Division in the 1965-1966 season. This was the start for the renaissance men, and soon, a team that over the next few years featured Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Francis Lee and the enigmatic and occasional genius Neil Young were soon winning games and friends across England and Europe. 

 Meanwhile, across the city Tommy Docherty who was appointed manager of Manchester United in 1972, saved the from relegation from Division One  in 1973. His luck ran out when the team were relegated in 1974. However, Manchester United were promoted at the first attempt in 1975  and won the FA Cup in 1976 when they defeated Southampton. Manchester won the FA Cup two more times over the next ten years as Manchester City’s fortunes faded.

Fast forward to 2019 and Manchester City look as if they could win the quadruple that has evaded every other team in Premier League history. Manchester City are back on top, but it’s a different game and not the game that was played at Maine Road. Money has changed, and some would say ruined football which helped make Manchester famous the world over.

So did music, including the many of the forty-five artists and bands on Manchester-A City United In Music, a two CD set which has just been released by Ace Records. Manchester-A City United In Music features many familiar faces, cult songs, hidden gems and what will be new names to many music lovers. It’s a veritable musical feast and the perfect reminder to one of the Britain’s great sporting and musical cities. Here’s why;

Disc One.

Opening disc one of Manchester-A City United In Music is Dirty Old Town by folk singer Ewan MacColl which features Peggy Seeger. They’re joined by sixties stars Freddie and The Dreamers who contribute If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody while The Hollies’ Baby That’s All is a welcome addition. So is Crawling Up A Hill by John Mayall and The Blues Breakers who over fifty years later are still going strong. It’s a similar case with future Vinegar Joe front-woman Elkie Books’ Nothing Left To Do But Cry. 

Among the other familiar faces on disc one are Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders’ whose The Game Of Love is joined by Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames’ In The Meantime and Herman’s Hermits’ This Door Swings Both Ways. Progressive rockers Barclay James Harvest’s Mocking Bird is a reminder of a band that sometimes don’t receive the credit they deserve. It’s a similar case with 10cc who released a string of carefully crafted and polished hit singles and successful albums. A reminder of 10cc at their very best is Life Is A Minestrone. Closing disc one is Mr Cool by Sweet Sensation from the 1975 album Sad Sweet Dreamer which is an oft-overlooked album.

Disc Two.

Disc Two of Manchester-A City United In Music opens with Orgasm Addict by Buzzcocks and gives way to You’re A Bore and Slaughter and The Dogs and John Cooper Clarke and The Curious Yellows’ Innocents. I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk by The Freshies is included and so is Leave The Capitol by The Fall who were led by the inimitable Mark E Smith.

Welcome additions include Joy Division’s Dead Souls, New Order’s classic Thieves Like Us and Simply Red’s Come To My Aid. They’re joined by The Stone Roses’ anthemic I Wanna Be Adored, Inspiral Carpets’ This Is How It Feels, the Happy Mondays’ Kinky Afro and Johnny Marr’s New Town Velocity. Closing Manchester-A City United In Music is one of the compilations highlights, is the swaggering anthem Rock ‘n’ Roll Star by Oasis. It closes Manchester-A City United In Music on a resounding high.

For anyone who wants to know more about the Manchester music scene over the past fifty years, then Manchester-A City United In Music is a good place to start. This lovingly compiled two CD set features forty-five eclectic tracks that show the different sides to the Manchester music scene. 

Manchester-A City United In Music features superstars, new names, familiar faces and forgotten heroes of yesteryear. They’re joined one hit wonders and nearly men on a compilation that has been five years in the making. It’s been well worth the wait, and Manchester-A City United In Music is another winner from Ace Records and joy to behold like Neil Young’s winner in the 1969 FA Cup Final.

Manchester-A City United In Music.

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