ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. Highly Anticipated Re-Releases Of Solo Music ‘The Land Of Pure Imagination (Deluxe Edition),’ ‘Catnip Dynamite,’ ‘Glamping’ Digitally Released Today Via Label Logi

July 24, 2020 — ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR.–whose palpable aural résumé includes co-piloting the likes of Jellyfish, The Lickerish Quartet, Imperial Drag, TV Eyes, and The Moog Cookbook, in addition to his continuing role as Beck’s touring keyboardist for 24 years and counting–wants to take you on a trip. Not just any trip, mind you, but one that the noted keyboard wizard/producer/arranger/songwriter would prefer to offer to you and your respective ears as an escape from the humdrum nadir and stress of everyday life and instead launch you into a world of pure sonic imagination.
To do just that, MANNING is serving up a trio of solo reissues for albums that have long been out of circulation and/or hard to find. This catalog threesome consists of 2006’s THE LAND OF PURE IMAGINATION (DELUXE EDITION), 2008’s CATNIP DYNAMITE, and his 2018 PledgeMusic EP, GLAMPING. All three releases have been dutifully remastered to sound better than ever by longtime compatriot/mixing engineer John Paterno under MANNING’s supervision and are now available digitally via Label Logic starting today. CDs and high-grade 180-gram vinyl LPs will be arriving later this fall.
For the first time ever, all three albums will be available on all digital formats for streaming and download. GLAMPING will also include three bonus live songs recorded in 2018 at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles, which are mixed by the EP’s co-writer and Manning’s solo bandmate, Chris Price. All formats and configurations can be purchased and pre-ordered from the official store on MANNING’s relaunched website.
A trailer for the reissues and the new website can be seen on The Lickerish Quartet’s official YouTube page here.
Keyboard/Electronic Musician magazine described GLAMPING as “…a quartet of original songs that bridge many of the ’60s and ’70s vocal harmonies and keyboard sounds that MANNING favors.” While Record Collector praised, “If music’s best-kept secret is coming back this strong after a decade’s absence, then hopefully there’s plenty more to come. If there’s a downside to GLAMPING, it’s that four tracks are not enough to contain Manning Jr’s creativity. (Four stars)” And concluded, “ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. writes wise, funny and emotionally true songs that are consistently great. GLAMPING contains a quartet of impossibly good songs that highlight these strengths. More than that, they remind us of their composer’s brilliance, how easy he makes all this greatness seem.”
“These albums were all really very personal experiments I was conducting,” Manning says about his remastered solo triple replay. “Obviously, there are songs on each of them that I could just do with an acoustic guitar and a vocal, but there’s so much more fun to be had by exploring all these densely layered journeys I made.”
Indeed, each reissue offers prime MANNING musical manna. From the Genesis-meets-The Beach Boys pastoral harmonic experiment of CATNIP’s “Survival Machine” to the movie-screen panorama of PURE IMAGINATION’s “Dragonfly” (a song that could easily have been subtitled “Theme From an Imaginary Spy Movie”) to GLAMPING’s “I’m Not Your Cowboy” (a modernized Last Picture Show pastiche that chronicles the arc of a manipulative relationship), the contents of each re-release exhibit many fine examples of Manning’s inherent knack for being able to unify individual auditory jigsaw puzzles under one umbrella.
Not only that, but each reissue serves as a testament to MANNING’s self-avowed mission to transport his audience to a certain level of sonic nirvana. “Everything I’ve ever done as an artist, whether it was with Jellyfish or all the numerous solo and side projects of mine, has been trying to achieve what my greatest heroes did for me, even if it was just through one or two songs,” he acknowledges. “They transported me out of whatever my surroundings were, and they helped me forget about everything that’s going on in the world. Clearly, those songs were detouring me and catapulting me into a different realm instantly through sound. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my music.”
To that end, MANNING feels the 33 tracks spread across these three updated releases more than attain his earlier ascribed goal of enabling audience transcendence. “It’s really about inviting people to get lost in my world for a while, and hopefully, that will help as a medicinal effect too, because that’s what music does for me,” he concludes. “All this music obsession is why I don’t have vices. To me, music is just the gift that keeps on giving. There’s no tax for deriving joy from music. And if the music from these reissues can help any of my longtime fans or new listeners escape for even a little bit, nothing would make me happier.”
Cue up any of ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR.’s one-man Wrecking Crew-style reissues, and see just how quickly these unburied treasures put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Welcome to the land of pure imagination — MANNING’s magical music will show you how to play.