The songs "Lies (All Through The 80's)" sung by Thompson," "Stranded," and "For You" (another Springsteen song sung by Thompson) still. Trevor Rabin, a fellow South African and London session musician, and lead guitarist of the 1980s version of Yes, guested on the album.
By this time Mann had become personally active in the international anti-apartheid movement and was banned from entering his home country of South Africa. Undeterred, members of the band made journeys to South Africa to record African musicians for the album Somewhere in Afrika (which in some ways pre-figured Paul Simon's Graceland). The album included a cover of The Police's "Demolition Man" (sung by Steve Waller) and a version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song".
In 1984, the band issued the single "Runner", a cover of the song by Ian Thomas, which had been written in response to cancer sufferer Terry Fox and his run across Canada for cancer awareness...Fox had succumbed to the cancer before finishing. The Manfred Mann version featured Thompson on lead vocals and Mick Rogers on backing vocals. The song was a non-LP single in the UK but was included on the US release of Somewhere in Afrika. It was a top 40 hit in both Canada and the US and was used during ABC's broadcasting of the 1984 Summer Olympics and in the film The Philadelphia Experiment. At 22 on the Hot 100 it was their biggest hit since "Blinded by the Light" and was the band's second highest-charting song, as well as their final US/UK chart single. In 1986, Thompson exited the group and Mick Rogers returned with both appearing on the album Criminal Tango. For 1987's Masque album, the band consisted solely of Mann, Rogers, and drummer John Lingwood. Shortly thereafter, the Earth Band name was retired for a number of years.