Extended-play formats were hugely popular in the U.K. during the 1960s. Often EPs were collections of previous singles or selected cuts from albums — their popularity due to albums not being an affordable item for many consumers until the end of the decade. Unlike many acts, Manfred Mann were to use the EP format as an opportunity to showcase new material. Only releasing two albums during their stay with EMI, a huge number of tracks not considered for singles found their way onto EPs, three of which The One in the Middle, There’s No Living Without Your Loving, and Machines hit the number one spot on the nation’s EP charts. This collection gathers together some hidden gems such as “Groovin,” Bob Dylan’s “With God on Our Side,” and the self-penned “The One in the Middle,” initially written for but rejected by the Yardbirds. It also includes several early singles, including “5-4-3-2-1,” “Cock-a-Hoop,” and the transatlantic number one “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.” However, this package is sadly not definitive, lacking several tracks such as “I Put a Spell on You” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned” from There’s No Living Without Your Loving and the majority of cuts from the band’s 1966 Instrumental Asylum EP. Yet for the Mann enthusiast who wishes to go beyond the purchase of a standard hits package, this is an excellent introduction to some of the group’s more eclectic work.

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