Cristo Redentor, Phillips (dist. by Mercury), PHS 600-281 / 1968
Righteous, Phillips, PHS 600-306 / 1969
Games Guitars Play, Phillips, PHS 600-325 / 1970
Baby Batter, Janus Records (dist. by GRT), JLS-3017 / 1971
The Snake (with Don “Sugarcane” Harris), Janus, JLS-3037/ 1972
He emerged as one of the most innovative guitar players to come out of the psychedelic blues boom of the late 1960’s. Harvey “The Snake” Mandel pioneered electric fusion guitar with a string of jazz influences and an unmatched Blues background honed in the Windy City’s seediest clubs. “The Snake” marks Mandel’s signature stamp on modern music as an player looking decades into the future, incorporating then-unheard of effects and his signature snake-like guitar licks. “Uno Ino” features a rare foray into vocal work, and “Ode To The Owl” pays tribute to the then-recently deceased Alan” Blind Owl” Wilson. The slinky leads on this record will make you want to get up and strut the evening away.
Shangrenade (with Don “Sugarcane” Harris) Janus, JLS-3047 / 1973
Employing a distinctive two-handed finger-tapping method that many guitarists including Eddie Van Halen later mimicked, Shangrenade implements this on over 85% of the album. Teaming up once again with Don “Sugarcane” Harris of Don & Dewey fame, Mandel put out a record that was years before it’s time in the realm of psychedelic guitar. Incorporating sustain effects to replace strumming, he overdubs himself several times intertwining snake-like guitar licks and interjecting whammy-bar whines. Recommended to every aspiring axeman.
Feel the Sound of Harvey Mandel, Janus, JLS-3067 / 1974
The Best of Harvey Mandel, Janus, 7014 / 1975
Harvey’s first “Greatest Hits” record, it combines tracks from his first seven albums. Originally released during the height of his Mercury Years, “The Best Of Harvey Mandel” was concurrent with his tryouts for the Rolling Stones. Including hits like “Wade In The Water”, “Cristo Redentor” and “The Snake”, it provided a good introduction to his career for the beginning listener, and a cheaper alternative than buying seven records at once. It is still occaisonally available on eBay for the moderate price of around $15-20.
Nashville Bandit/Country Rose, Fresh Squeezed Records, FS-4506 (single) Live Boot: Harvey Mandel–Live in California 1990, Vol.1, Fresh Squeezed Records/ 1990
Blues Guitar & Beyond, Hot Licks, VGM 158 (guitar instructional video) / 1991
Twist City, Western Front Entertainment, WFE 10022 / 1993
Back to the basics of guitar innovation, Twist City marks The Snake’s first solo record in 19 years and features nine recharged tracks of inferno intensity. He pays tribute to his roots; The title song is named after the club where he first sat in with Buddy Guy, “Bear Down” assimilates the boogie persona of fallen Canned Heat band-mate Bob “The Bear” Hite, and “Crosscut Saw” delivers a tastefully groovy nod to Albert King. Vocalist Mark Skyer takes care of the shouting, bellowing through each tune with the intensity of a 1970 Hemi Cuda. “Twist City” enjoyed a stint on the charts when “Shotgun Man” was featured in the network TV series Nash Bridges.
Learn Blues Guitar with the Greats, Hot Licks, VAB 701 (guitar instructional video) / 1995
Snakes And Stripes, Clarity Recordings, CCD-1013/ 1995
“Snakes And Stripes” goes back to the twelve bar basics of Mandel’s complete mastery of the blues guitar, and simultaneously reestablishes is 3-D approach to changing instrumental effects. The six instrumental tracks show liquid direction and applied theory with intermittent supernova explosions of notes. “Future Blues” by Willie Brown and later reworked by Canned Heat is covered with a full horn section and female lead vocalist, and “Tears For Eric” employs many of the licks that led Barry Goldberg to give The Snake his nickname. The disc was released in two formats, the regular version, and a 24k gold remastered audiophile disc. The latter has been seen by the Snake Crew in collector shops for the $30-40 range.
Harvey Mandel: The Mercury Years ('Chronicles' 2-CD Anthology), PolyGram, 314 528 275-2 / 1995
The Mercury Years is a compilation of Mandel’s first three records; “Cristo Redentor”, “Righteous”, and “Games Guitars Play” on Phillips/Mercury Records. This set marks an audiophile release of his legendary first recordings, leveling the psychedelia scene with sustain previously unheard of. All three releases have been re-mastered in chronological order, and the Masters were digitally tracked to ensure the full potential of the audio quality. Liner notes including the original album covers and artwork are included, as are facts about The Snake’s career, focusing on the early work with Mercury. The album is packaged in a slim-line case and is currently Out Of Print in the United States. Copies routinely sell on eBay for $50 apiece.
Planetary Warrior, ESP/Lightyear/WEA, 54215-2 / 1997
The 1997 release from guitar master Harvey "The Snake" Mandel (the world's premier psychedelic guitar player), entitled Planetary Warrior, is a contemporary twelve song adventure in vocals and instrumentals which features vocalist Sonny Reece (on the first five vocal numbers), drummer Bennie Murray, and bassist Artis Joyce. The six instrumentals find Mandel showcasing his concise chops, his command of a multitude of tone pedal controls and exposing his unique take on Link Wray's "Rumble". Guest artists include keyboard legends Howard Wales and Barry Goldberg, and Steve Kimock on slide guitar. On balance, Planetary Warrior serves up a hard-edged platter of rock/blues outer space nourishment. Note: this CD's jewel case has been marked by a drill hole in the lower spine by a former distributor to prevent return; it does not effect the performance of the CD. Instrumental Guitar (Electric/Rock), total running time, 55:56
Emerald Triangle, Electric Snake Productions, Inc., ESP-9701 / 1998
All-instrumental and dangerously funky, “Emerald Triangle” is an astral project that saw Harvey Mandel ready to embrace the new millennium. Smooth jazz is combined with an edgy crystalline feel that is part new age, part old school, and wholly in the groove. Subtle flurries of muted notes interlude through the corners of the record while mathematical precision delivers rhythm, magnitude and overall solidity. Assimilation of synthesizer knowledge and digital processors saw The Snake take complete control of the digital production, filling soundscapes of both keyboards and guitar. Classical composer Ravel’s “Bolero” is also tastefully redone to modern standards.
Lick This, Electric Snake Productions / 1999
The 1999 CD release from guitar master Harvey "The Snake" Mandel (the world's premier psychedelic guitar player), is entitled Lick This, a modern contemporary techno recording which offers body-moving instrumentals and hip-hoppin' trance vocals from collaborator Sonny Reece. The bulk of the CD features instrumental tracks with Mandel spicing up the sonic stew with his unique guitaristic flavorings -- plenty of effects are used to enhance and humanize the techno backdrops. Lick This cuts a new musical path for Mandel, showing the boundless nature of his ideas and talent. Instrumental Guitar (Electric/Rock/Electronica), total running time, 65:44
West Coast Killaz, Eric & Harvey Mandel, Eectric Snake Productions / 2000
West Coast Killaz is guitar master Harvey "The Snake" Mandel's second production collaboration with his son, vocalist Eric Mandel. Their first, "Lick This" was a modern contemporary techno recording which offered body-moving instrumentals and hip-hoppin' trance vocals whereas West Coast Killaz is a rap/hip-hop record blended with Harvey's cool, quirky, overdriven guitar jams. The CD features songs about crack dealers, dope and drive-by shootings ("3rd Street Killaz"), running from the police ("You're Busted"), hoes, 5-0s, and drug dealers ("Street Soldierz"), and homeboyz down on their luck ("Gimmie A Hit!") -- and contains the ubiquitous profanity one would associate with a rap release (the CD carries a Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics sticker). Rap/Rock, total running time, 43:34