The first of a duo of "two-fer" collections of Manfred Mann's earliest work from 1964 and 1965 oddly combines their first and third American albums onto a single disc. Although there aren't any extras added onto these straight 2001 reissues (except for replications of the original cheesy notes), the crisply remastered sound is in pristine stereo. As a cross between the jazzy style of the Zombies, the ragged R&B of Them, and the recycled American blues of the Pretty Things and Yardbirds, Manfred Mann hit a lot of diverse bases. Covering songs from Burt Bacharach, Muddy Waters, Goffin, King, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bo Diddley, Joe South, and even early Bob Dylan, the band cut a wide musical swath. That they pull it off is a testament to the talents involved, and not just keyboardist Mann.