ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR.
SOLO EP, ‘GLAMPING,’ OUT TODAY VIA PLEDGEMUSIC;
“IS IT ALL A DREAM?” EXCLUSIVELY PREMIERES ON
May 18, 2018 – ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. released three pieces of music today as part of an elaborate PledgeMusic campaign.
A four-song solo EP of self-penned, self-produced brand new songs (his first in 10 years), GLAMPING, is now available on CD, purple vinyl and digital download via PledgeMusic. He also re-released a Deluxe Edition (CD/digital download) of his 2006 LAND OF PURE IMAGINATION album, which includes three bonus tracks: “What You Don’t Know About The Girl,” “Sleep Children,” and “’Til We Meet Again.” These songs were previously included in the album’s counterpart, SOLID STATE WARRIOR, which was only released in Japan. Last, but not least, MANNING’s 2009 CATNIP DYNAMITE is now available as a CD and digital download.
“Is It All A Dream?” exclusively premiered today on PopMatters.com.
“It’s been 24 years since Jellyfish last harmonized, 22 since Imperial Drag last rocked, 21 since The Moog Cookbook synthesized, 15 since TV Eyes electrified, 11 since Malibu computerized, and 10 since my last solo album, CATNIP DYNAMITE, had you all singing and drumming along unashamedly behind the steering wheel of your car. And still, my fans are right here with me, waiting patiently in support of my next move.” – ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR.
The extensive PledgeMusic campaign offers fans a wide selection of exclusive and one-of-a-kind items from MANNING’s personal archives, including outfits worn during his time with Jellyfish. Most notably, the vintage 1960 pants, cape and parasol outfit seen on the cover of their BELLYBUTTON debut album and “The King Is Half Undressed” music video, as well as the crushed velvet zebra 1970s dress coat from the “That Is Why” video. Both sold out within the campaign’s first 24 hours! Also available are promotional materials from his Japanese tours, signed posters, signed and decorated handwritten lyric sheets, keyboards used throughout his career, personal voice-mails from MANNING, Skype interviews, made-to-order songs, studio sessions, and so much more.
"I’m doing it this way as a big experiment,” MANNING explains. “One of the reasons I’ve been most excited about jumping back into doing more original music, and getting back in the saddle again after 10 years of various life trajectories, is due to sites like PledgeMusic, and how they help projects like mine come to fruition. These kinds of Pledge campaigns seem to do really well for a certain level of artist -- and this really, really seems to meet my needs. We had no middle-ground fans in Jellyfish. They completely understood what we were doing. I’ve found my fans to be the most loyal fans out there, and that’s a worldwide thing. I look forward to seeing their support for this EP, and how they're going to react to all of the extras I plan on offering through PledgeMusic."
About the songwriting process behind GLAMPING, MANNING says, "It’s very natural and very gratifying for me. I like the architecture and assembly process of it all -- getting a song from its raw form of acoustic piano and vocal into this whole other world. I love that process, even though it can be very time-consuming for someone like me. It’s like putting together a sonic jigsaw puzzle."
Rave reviews for GLAMPING have already been pouring in:
“…a quartet of original songs that bridge many of the ’60s and ’70s vocal harmonies and keyboard sounds that MANNING favors.” --Barbara Schultz, Keyboard
“…the music of his new album keeps his signature sound alive…" --Jim Pasinski, Record-Journal (CT)
“He 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.” --Jedd Beaudoin, Popmatters.com,
“GLAMPING’s four hooky songs lasso a variety of pop styles from pure to power for an exhilarating listening experience…” --Alan Haber, Purepopradio.com
“Four songs is like torture when they’re this good. These songs are musically rich and spectacular. ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. is someone that can embellish a song with all kinds of ear candy, but can somehow avoid a cluttered workspace. These are perfectly written, well produced, elegant pop offerings that are going to please a whole lot of fans hungry for MANNING’s inimitable style.” --Scott Itter, DrMusic.org
“MANNING keeps it short and sweet with a mellow and soulful array of emotion and character.” -- JT "Doc" Berry, Altrevolt.com
“GLAMPING sounds as if something awoke inside of him and really pushed and inspired him to make some new music. While four songs may not be enough, Roger proved Yngwie Malmsteen wrong: less is definitely more. This EP left me wanting more and I can only hope that this is just the beginning of a Roger Manning renaissance that will bring is much more music in the not so distant future.” -- Don de Leaumont, Thegreatsouthernbrainfart.com
“While the collection might be short, it is indeed sweet. Here, a heavy Beatles’ influence permeates the vintage Funk-fest of ‘Operator,’ a glittering little sashay born of the ‘70s and even earlier sonic notions. He goes Cheap Trick for the rocking beat of ‘Funhouse,’ while the vintage nostalgic heart continues for the gentle bop of the synth-heavy ‘Is It All A Dream?’ Ultimately, MANNING’s sweetly soaring vocals are highlighted by the gentle piano accompaniments at the core of ‘I’m Not Your Cowboy,’ with a cinematic feel that leaves behind visuals of dust-strewn streets and a parting of ways. It all builds to an epic closing number, at just over six minutes, that almost seems to require closing credits rolling by the eyes to bid the fondest of farewells. That is, just for now! A four song collection cannot offer up much other than a whetting of the appetite, and on the GLAMPING EP, ROGER JOSEPH MANNING shows that he is living in a rose-colored, vintage-happy world of sonic delights that range from Glam to Power Pop, Cheap Trick to the Beatles.” --Jeannie Blue, CrypticRock.com
About ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR.:
ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. has enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a touring keyboardist, most notably with Beck (for the past 22 years), session player, arranger, and producer. His arranging career began in 1989 when he began arranging string, brass, wind and vocal ensembles for his first band, Jellyfish, on Virgin Records which he co-founded. He co-wrote and co-produced the two Virgin releases, BELLYBUTTON and SPILT MILK. Out of the ashes of Jellyfish arose his second co-founded project, Imperial Drag, on Sony's WORK Group label, from 1994-97, which saw overwhelming overseas success, particularly in England and Japan. From 1995-97, he co-founded the all-vintage electronic duo known as The Moog Cookbook. This group was started solely as a means of having a forum to express its love for the bygone era of vintage synthesizers and exotic keyboards. Ultimately, it became his calling card for longtime friend and collaborator, Beck. At this time, MANNING began his almost 20-year and still-active relationship as Beck’s sideman, touring the world and recording upwards of five critically acclaimed albums, including the 2014 album, MORNING PHASE, on which MANNING both played keyboards and sang, won 2015 Grammy® Awards in both the “Best Rock Album” and “Album Of The Year” categories.
By 1997, MANNING’s career as a freelance session keyboardist, songwriter, arranger and background vocalist was in full swing. Over the last 20 years, he has contributed keyboards to hundreds of pop/rock albums, played on numerous films and TV soundtracks, composed for commercials and radio spots, enjoyed a long run as a remixer, and toured extensively with other artists. Over the past decade, he has been involved with many large-scale orchestral arranging projects, including Nate Ruess' first band, The Format, and his second band, fun.. His success with Nate Ruess’ projects reawakened MANNING’s love for arranging and more offers soon followed. His arranging career re-launched in 2012 when he was asked to work on Nate's duet with Pink! for the 2012 smash, “Learn to Love Again,” produced by Grammy® Award-winning producer Jeff Bhasker. Later that year, MANNING was invited by producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen to arrange on Paramore’s double-Platinum selling 2012 self-titled release. Most recently, he contributed four orchestral arrangements to Morrissey’s latest offering, LOW IN HIGH SCHOOL. In the past years, MANNING has contributed to albums by Adele, Eric Clapton, HAIM, The Killers, Johnny Cash, Roger Waters, Diana Ross, Marilyn Manson, Lana Del Rey, Glen Campbell, Fitz & The Tantrums, Neil Diamond, Interpol, Blink 182, and Cheap Trick.
PledgeMusic is a global next-generation music company and fan marketplace dedicated to and enabling artists to build communities, harvest new fans, create exciting ways to connect fans into every promotional opportunity from pre-order through touring and “down” cycles, while presenting their creative vision far beyond just “click and play.” The company has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Nashville.
Amanda Cagan (Roger Joseph Manning Jr.)
ABC Public Relations
Ellee Fletcher (PledgeMusic)
The Press House
Downloadable photos can be found here:
(Photo credit: Tim Manning)
(Photo credit: Jay Gilbert)
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