Terry Manning Home Sweet Home

This 1970 solo LP by veteran rock producer Terry Manning ranks well down the laundry list of the man’s accomplishments, among them pioneering Memphis soul, helping get Ardent Studios up and running and engineering ZZ Top into millions of record collections the world over. An eagerly sought after slab of collectors’ vinyl for years now, Home Sweet Home finally gets to hang its hat in the digital domicile and not a moment too soon. From the opening Moog psych-out (programmed by Robert Moog himself) intro to a bizarre disc-opening cover of George Harrison’s "Savoy Truffle,” to Manning’s own compositions (including the bluesy instrumental "Sour Mash,” a boogie-dance number called "Trashy Dog” and the Presley-meets-garage rock track "Wild Wild Rocker”), there are enough groundbreaking, over-the-top elements here — both sonically and performance-wise — to leave little doubt as to why the record has become the cult classic that it is. There’s also enough of a psychedelic freak-out factor to make it clear why the release never really found its way into the mainstream. Unfortunately, Manning’s myriad gifts do not carry over to his gruff voice, which is at its best when mimicking others’ performances as on the various covers (three of them Beatles tracks) that comprise the lion’s share of this 11-song outing. Some of the material (his takes on "One After 909” and Music Machine’s "Talk Talk,” in particular) comes off as bona fide novelty fare, although that doesn’t appear to have been the intention. Still, the disc stands as a one-of-a-kind gem, the majority of which is as listenable as it is unique. An early multi-track wiz, Manning sings and performs nearly all of the parts here, too, making room for some select guest appearances, including those of Big Star guitarist/vocalist Chris Bell, whose distinct work invigorates four of these tracks. (Sunbeam)