Manfred Mann Pretty Flamingo
Mark Barkan's superb song about being in London 1966.
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The song became a hit in 1966 when Manfred Mann's recording of it was released as a single. and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 5 May 1966.
The recording features future Cream bassist Jack Bruce, who briefly joined the band in 1965.
The original demo of the song was recorded by noted New York City vocalist Jimmy Radcliffe stylized for The Drifters, but songwriter Mark Barkan was dissatisfied with the overly produced results and had Radcliffe recut the song with a pared-down arrangement.
The speaker describes a woman—whom "all of the guys call 'Flamingo', 'cause her hair glows like the sun and her eyes can light the sky"—for whom the singer has fallen, and his plans to win her affection. Mark Barkan's daughter said that it was based on a girl who lived above a parking lot in his neighborhood: Barkan and his friends used to call out to her.
After Barkan's death in 2020, Paul Jones of Manfred Mann said: "I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that not only did I never meet him, but I never even got in touch to say thank you for the song. But I would like to thank him posthumously."