The Axiom Of Truth
October 1994

This CD is meant as a tribute to the late Geoff Mann, being filled with songs Geoff wrote and helped to write in his life, performed by various progressive bands. All profits from the sale of this CD will be divided equally among Geoff's family and cancer research.

The music

Naming everyone involved would take too much of my time, but I'll try and explain some things right now: 'Eh!' is his old band with Nicholls from IQ adding his vocals. Flap comprises Peter Nicholls, Tony Lythgoe, Paul Turner and Andy McEvoy, Twelfth Night is in the Art and Illusion set-up, so with Andy Sears doing the vocals.
The booklet contains lots of photo's, drawings, all lyrics, Geoff's life story and also a discography of his band and solo works.

The English progressive scene still hasn't completely come over the loss they had on the 5th of February 1993, when Geoff Mann, mostly known by his role as lead singer in Twelfth Night, passed away. It's October 1994 now and finally, the long-awaited tribute album to Geoff Mann has found it's way to me, to be reviewed here. Surprisingly for some maybe only a small number of songs on this album are Twelfth Night songs (three to be exact) and that it also contains songs of his not so well-known band The Bond. All three bands have an equal share of songs (all of them three) and Geoff solo for two songs to make the total eleven. I'm not familiar with all songs and will not really talk about the songs and their quality. This album is a monument or a manifest and anyone with the slightest interest in any of the bands involved or more importantly in Geoff Mann, should want to have this album.

The song by IQ is quite different from the original, because it contains more than just Apathetic, Here, I,... as featured on the album. The song has been lengthened to 7.24 and is quite IQish, though they have left the main part of the song (the vocal part) very much intact. Very worthwhile. Galahad on the other hand play their song like Twelfth Night would, having taken little freedom for themselves, a very noticable difference being in the vocals of course (needless to say I rather hear Geoff, I hope Stuart does not take offense). Number five is quite like the original, only this version contains quite a lot of flute, that the original doesn't (Yes I have the original tape, so can know). It's a very melodic and soothing song. Than we get Down Here, the second best song on Ministry of the Interior, and afterwards another soft tune from The Bond, not very diverging from the original. Pendragon deliver a good job with Human Being, a song on which very easily the style of Twelfth Night shines through, even in the vocals. I am not familiar with Never Mind, but it's definitely Jadis that we hear here. Twelfth Night fulfill their obligation, by performing Piccadilly Square, one of the better songs on I May Sing Grace and they make a good job of it, a lengthening it a bit and making it more lively and less cold. The evident closer is Love Song, their sig tune, a regular tearpuller, that was put on Fact and Fiction, to take a way a bit of the pessimism evident on that album. At the end of the album there's a little surprise, because after a silence we hear Geoff talking during a gig (on one of those Being kind to John nights, with John probably being John Maycraft (having heard myself what they say about him during gigs) and the third 'song' on the album is actually the start of Yes (from Second Chants, a lovely parody on progressive and the music industry: Nicholls: Across the plateau.... Mann: Wasn't that your eh hit single?

Good to hear that they haven't chosen to just replay the songs, but most bands have taken their freedom with the songs in arranging them, some more enthuastically than others, though they all stay within the realm of progressive and melodic rock with some folk thrown in. A good effort by all, also the ones behind the scenes. This is album is definitely worth anyone's attention. It's good music for a good cause.

Reviewed byJurriaan Hage

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