Manfred Mann

An R&B band that only played pop to get on the charts, Manfred Mann ranked among the most adept British Invasion acts in both styles. The fact that their range encompassed jazz as well as rhythm & blues, coupled with some elements of their appearance and presentation -- co-founder/keyboardist Manfred Mann's bearded, bespectacled presence -- also made the Manfreds more of a thinking person's band than a cute, cuddly, outfit like the Beatles, or sexual provocateurs in the manner of the Rolling Stones. Yet, their approach to R&B was as valid as that of the Stones, equally compelling and often more sophisticated. They charted an impressive number of singles from 1964 through 1969, and developed a large, loyal international fandom that lingers to this day.