Manfred Mann/Manfred Mann's Earth Band
South African Jazz pianist, Manfred Lubowitz immigrated to England in the early '60s and started, with drummer Mike Hugg, the pop oriented Manfred Mann (the group's name taken against Mann's wishes). They had two exceptional vocalists, Paul Jones, and later, Mike D' Abo. Future Cream bassist Jack Bruce signed on for awhile ('65-'66). The Beatles' Hamburg artist friend, Klaus Voorman, ventured to England and drew The Beatles "Revolver" cover then joined Manfred Mann on bass in '67.
The group had a huge hit with the inane "Do Wah Diddy Diddy." The less annoying and less successful "Pretty Flamingo" followed. Trying to burnish its image, the group began showing progressive tendencies with songs "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" and "Cubist Town." However, they also had an ear for "emerging" songwriters. This trait yielded both short term and long term benefits.
They recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman" and were going to release it as a single but Dylan beat them to it. They went to Dylan again and had a decent hit with his "Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)."
Eventually, Manfred Mann (the group) ran out of gas. However, Mann wasn't done.
Manfred Mann's Earth Band, with new members, was launched in the early '70s. This unit's claim to fame was recording a pair of songs by a relative unknown. A cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By Light" provided the Earth Band with their biggest hit. Their version was tighter and more direct than the original, though not nearly as good. "Spirit In The Night" tried the same formula but with less success.
1972 Manfred Mann's Earth Band
1972 Glorified Magnified
1973 Solar Fire
1974 The Good Earth
1975 Nightingales & Bombers
1976 The Roaring Silence
1979 Angel Station
1983 Somewhere In Afrika
1986 Criminal Tango
1996 Soft Vengeance
"Best of Manfred Mann's Earth Band" has the two Springsteen covers and three Dylan songs, including an extended version of "Quinn The Eskimo."