Friday, October 7, 2011

Terry Manning- Home Sweet Home (1970) MP3 & FLAC

"I got a Mazerati GT with the snakeskin upholstery. I got a charge account at Goldsmith,
but I ain't got you."

As a teenager, Terry Manning emigrated from El Paso (where he had played in several bands with Bobby Fuller of "I Fought the Law" fame) to Memphis and somehow talked Stax Records producer and master session guitarist Steve Cropper into making him an assistant engineer at the legendary label after having simply walked in off the street one day. Manning quickly became a mainstay at Stax, going from sweeping up and making tape copies to gaining a reputation as a sought after engineer and producer in a matter of only a few years. The extent of his reputation can be gleaned from the list of artists whose best albums he had a hand in shaping, including Ike & Tina Turner, Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, and The Box Tops (to only name a few). As many of Stax's recordings were cut and mixed at neighboring Ardent Studios owned and operated by John Fry, Manning became a fixture there as well, eventually leading Fry to make him the studio's first official employee by hiring him to be Ardent's chief engineer and manager. Terry Manning: "Neither studio had a problem with this arrangement [....] In the musical sense, Memphis was fairly isolated [...] Its music style was homegrown, even though technically we were trying to emulate the big boys in London, New York and Los Angeles. Musically, Stax was doing what it liked, and together with Ardent we were just one big happy family of people wanting to do music." During this time, Manning was also an active participant in the local Memphis music scene, playing in various bands and befriending many of the musicians who would later craft, with the help of Manning and Fry's willingness to give them free access to Ardent's state-of-the-art recording equipment, the Power-Pop sound that characterized early-seventies Ardent bands such as Big Star, The Hot Dogs and Cargoe.

During a 1968 recording session with The Box Tops, Manning, known as a relentless prankster in the studio, decided to play a joke on one of the songwriters, Eddie Hinton, who had been brought in to furnish the band with material (The Box Tops were not generally allowed by their handlers to record their own songs). Hinton had written a less than stellar piece of Southern boogie called "Choo Choo Train," which he insisted was a perfect fit for Alex Chilton. Less than convinced and also intent on taking a piss out one of Chilton's overly-controlling handlers, Manning, late one night after everyone had left the studio, recorded a heavily ironic, brilliantly over-the-top psych version of the song. After playing the song the next day for producer Dan Penn, Hinton and Chilton, everyone enjoyed it as the joke it was intended to be; however, Stax producer Al Bell, seeing more than just a joke, asked Manning to record an entire album's worth of songs. The result was to be Terry Manning's lone album, Home Sweet Home- on one level, a tongue-in-cheek send up of any number of sixties-era rock cliches, but on another level, a brilliant pastiche of Psychedelia, rockabilly and Stax-style R&B that at times anticipates many of the hallmarks that came to define Memphis-style Power-Pop during the early seventies. For example, on the Johnny Cash cover, "Guess Things Happen That Way," Manning combines exaggerated Elvis-style vocals with a proto-Big Star Power-Pop arrangement that features one of Chris Bell's first moments on tape. Another standout, "Trashy Dog," also featuring Bell, is perhaps the silliest moment on Home Sweet Home; nevertheless, it also manages to be a fine piece of disposable Memphis Soul pop that bears more than a passing resemblance to Big Star's "Mod Lang." Home Sweet Home is an odd listening experience because despite the considerable doses of irony-laced irreverence that punctuate every song, it also reveals itself to be an important chapter in the evolution of the Ardent Power-Pop sound, as Manning, while working on his solo record, was also helping Chris Bell record tracks for Rock City, the band that would soon evolve into Big Star with the arrival of Alex Chilton.

Home Sweet Home 
(Sunbeam ~ 2007/1970 ~ Remastered & Expanded)

 1. Savoy Truffle  (10:09)
 2. Guess Things Happen That Way  (3:24)
 3. Trashy Dog  (3:01)
 4. Wild Wild Rocker  (2:29)
 5. Choo Choo Train  (4:40)
 6. I Ain't Got You  (4:16)
 7. Sour Mash  (4:01)
 8. I Wanna Be Your Man  (5:02)
-Bonus Tracks-
 9. Talk Talk  (2:29)
10. One After 909  (3:04)
11. I Can't Stand the Rain (Live)  (5:00)

Terry Manning (behind the board) and Chris Bell in Ardent


  1. hello voixautre,
    this comment is just to say you "thanks" for the Talk Talk series.
    i've got all your files and listening with calm these days, aprreciated series (you know i'm on the electronic side of the music)
    i've re/discovered them only these days after the reissues on vinyl, even if i remember most of their music when i was younger...
    see you soon ;)

  2. JFK, good to hear from you old friend! I miss writing about Talk Talk- I really enjoyed that series. They go back a long way with me as well :)

  3. ;) maybe i'll buy the reissue vinyls

  4. Great album, but unfortunately megaupload links are dead. Is there any chance to renew the link for the lossless format? Thank you in advance!!


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