Mighty Garvey!

Mighty Garvey! is the fifth and final studio album by Manfred Mann, released on 28 June 1968 by Fontana Records. It was the last recorded by the band (not including compilations) after the change of direction and personnel of their 1966 album As Is. It continued a transition away from jazz and blues towards self-composed art-pop. Despite including two UK 'Top 5' hit singles (Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" and Tony Hazzard's "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown"), the album did not chart and the band split up the year after. In the US and Canada, it was released as The Mighty Quinn by Mercury Records.

Mighty Garvey!
Mighty Garvey! album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 May 1968 (1968-05-06) (US)
28 June 1968 (1968-06-28) (UK)
LabelMercury (US), Fontana (UK)
ProducerManfred Mann
Manfred Mann chronology
Up the Junction
Mighty Garvey!
Alternative cover
North American release
North American release
Singles from Mighty Garvey!
  1. "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown"
    Released: April 1967 (North America only)
  2. "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)"
    Released: February 1968 (North America only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(moderate)[2]


The group's continued pop success with material by established songwriters such as Dylan and Hazzard made its handlers averse to the risk of releasing self-written singles, a state of affairs that had prevailed ever since the success of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", even though the group's first hits had been self-composed, at least one example of drummer Mike Hugg's new-found productivity had been seen as potentially chart-worthy[3] and singer Mike d'Abo was able to provide other artists with hits such as "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Handbags and Gladrags". The resultant pop image did not encourage album sales to "serious" listeners, particularly when trends were turning from baroque pop to hard rock. So, like contemporary releases by The Kinks and The Zombies, Mighty Garvey! became a record esteemed more in retrospect[4] than at the time. It was later re-issued in 2003, with bonus tracks.

The group's commercial compromises[5] also led to "self-knocking",[6] and its recordings developed an ironic distance that on Mighty Garvey sometimes invites comparison with The Kinks,[7] Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, Frank Zappa or The Bonzo Dog Band. Even on Hugg's intricate and sentimental "Harry the One Man Band" the vocal track finally dissolves into schoolboy mirth and silly noises. The three different versions of d'Abo's song "Happy Families", credited as; (Track 1) Performed by Eddie 'Fingers' Garvey, (Track 6) Performed by Ed Garvey and The Trio and (Track 14) Performed by Edwin O'Garvey and His Showband, are outright parodies of "the pompous big rock band style, the sleazy lounge jazz style, and then the semi-drunk family entertainment "country-shape Christmas" style"[7] that appropriate and poke fun at the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band concept ("Edwin Garvey" being an invented character introduced on the similarly flippant flip side of "Mighty Quinn").

These three parodies and two hit singles take up over a third of a relatively short L.P. and of the remainder, d'Abo's "Country Dancing" and "The Vicar's Daughter" are likewise somewhat arch, besides strengthening an impression of "chameleonism"[7] and lack of sincere direction. "Big Betty" is also non-original, a treatment of Huddie Ledbetter's song "Black Betty" in a manner reminiscent of The Spencer Davis Group's hits, providing the only real point of contact with the band's rhythm and blues past. Yet this still leaves a core of worthwhile, intelligent and melodic songs, also by Hugg and d'Abo apart from "Cubist Town", written by guitarist Tom McGuinness in a one-off collaboration. The group made full use of the new possibilities of multi-tracking, overlaying complex and inventive textures of flutes, keyboards and vibraphones, while the group's backing vocals, originally limited to a tribal unison, began to take on an almost Pet Sounds complexity.

Track listingEdit

Original UK releaseEdit

Side one
1."Happy Families"Mike d'Abo2:18
2."No Better, No Worse"d'Abo3:02
3."Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey"Mike Hugg2:54
4."Country Dancing"d'Abo2:53
5."It's So Easy Falling"Hugg3:20
6."Happy Families"d'Abo2:09
7."Mighty Quinn"Bob Dylan2:52
Side two
8."Big Betty"Huddie Ledbetter3:06
9."The Vicar's Daughter"d'Abo2:18
10."Each and Every Day"Hugg2:47
11."Cubist Town"Tom McGuinness, Charles Perrot3:21
12."Ha! Ha! Said the Clown"Tony Hazzard2:27
13."Harry the One-Man Band"Hugg3:11
14."Happy Families"d'Abo2:16

North American releaseEdit

Side one
1."The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)"Dylan2:51
2."Ha Ha Said The Clown"Hazzard2:25
3."Everyday Another Hair Turns Grey"Hugg2:56
4."It's So Easy Falling"Hugg3:23
5."Big Betty"Ledbetter3:06
6."Cubist Town"McGuinness, Perrot3:19
Side two
7."Country Dancing"d'Abo2:56
8."Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James"Geoff Stephens, John Carter2:37
9."The Vicar's Daughter"d'Abo2:17
10."Each and Every Day"Hugg2:47
11."No Better, No Worse"d'Abo2:26





  1. ^ Mighty Garvey! at AllMusic
  2. ^ Pomeroy, James (5 July 1968). "The Mighty Quinn". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  3. ^ Sleeve notes, What a Mann!, Fontana Records compilation, Fontana SFL 13003. Released 28 June 1968
  4. ^ See, for example, the critical review at http://starling.rinet.ru/music/mann.htm
  5. ^ "As Is (Manfred Mann) – Resources on RateItAll". Rateitall.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  6. ^ Sleeve note, As Is, Fontana TL/STL 5377. Released 21 October 1966
  7. ^ a b c "Manfred Mann". Starling.rinet.ru. Retrieved 1 March 2012.

External linksEdit