Friday, January 06, 2006:

Manhattans -- It Feels So Good

Manhattans -- It Feels So Good
Manhattans -- Let's Start It All Over Again
Manhattans -- Mind Your Business
These two tracks are off Manhattans' 1977 LP It Feels So Good. The first track, "Let's Start It All Over Again," is typical of their work on this LP (and, from what I understand off, typical of their work in general: soft R&B with high, mellow crooning and a deep deep voice stepping in occasionally.

"Mind Your Business" is different from the rest of the tracks: a funk tune starting with handclaps and tight harmonizing, adding horns and a snappy thumping bassline, the vocals a page ripped from Chapter 1 of Stevie Wonder's book, the lyrics telling someone what's what. It seems a direction the group could have explored more, but it's not what they're known for. This is the first of their LPs I've heard; it's solid but for the most part not outstanding; luckily from poking around a bit it seems it's not considered their best record. The LP's out of print and it seems "Mind Your Business" is unavailable on CD, though there's a (poorly reviewed) compilation with "Let's Start It All Over Again" on it.

Maybe Oliver Wang or London Lee know something about this group--where to go from here, which LPs have great songs otherwise unavailable, etc. From what I've seen so far, they know something about every nook and cranny of soul music, which is both impressive and intimidating.

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2 posts in 2 days.
The Shanty's burnin' it up.

Enjoy it while it lasts; I'm sure the pace will slow a bit when classes get started. ^_^

The Manhattans started out on Carnival (a few others as well) and those recordings were put out on two different volumes on Collectables. After their work with Carnival they moved over to DeLuxe (which was a subsidary of King). George "Smitty" Smith was the original lead singer of the group, but he passed away while the group was signed to DeLuxe. Gerald Alston took over for him and was the group's lead singer for the rest of the group's DeLuxe tenure and for the glory-filled Columbia years. Those DeLuxe recordings are harder to find than anything else, but I recommend all of it. It's good stuff. I did a post on Soul Shower back in July on the DeLuxe recordings. These late 70s tunes are great as well.


Dah, I wanted to mention a sort of label time line: those Carnival recordings were in the 60s, the DeLuxe were around the turn of the decade/early 70s, and the Columbia tenure went from the early 70s until the late 80s.

Thanks for the additional info, AK. I missed your earlier Manhattans post; I wonder if that was when I was out of town--if I remember right it was late June/early July.

You three amaze me--it's a very different, and more focused, approach you have to music. Mine is much more like Dory from Finding Nemo--"oh look! a shiny thing." ^_^

Ha that's my review! Yeah it was tough for me to give that comp a bad review, but frankly few of the songs reached the standard of that Manhattans track. "Let's Start It All Over Again" is such a cool song, Winifred "Blue" Lovett's parts just made the song for me...

hey tuwa

i know you don't 'do' requests exactly, but i'm looking for son house's john the revelator or death house. any chance?

Hey Jason, congratulations. How did you manage that, anyway (getting published in Allmusic guide)? I'm sure I don't have the chops for it, but I'm curious what the process is like.

John, no, sorry. I don't do requests. If I did I would probably have emailed the song to you, but since I don't I didn't.

Thanks Tuwa. Well, I did freelance work there for about two and a half years. I saw that they were reviewing some albums there that were my type of music. I sent a query letter, a few clips and heard from them a month or so later, maybe more...

The process is pretty simple. I'd pick what album I want to review and either I could or someone else got there first. I'm not there anymore, I did the Slow Jams review about four years ago I would say...

Anyway, I think you most certainly do have the chops...

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I'm finding a few different copies on ebay at the moment.

Also, are you sure you want to leave that comment up with your email address in it? You'll start getting spam once the spambots find it.

Actually, I remembered this morning that I hate ebay and don't recommend it at all to anyone. I wrote them about this series of posts:
airnxtz posts about ebay,
airnxtz posts about ebay again,
airnxtz posts about ebay yet again, and
metatalk post about airnxtz, providing a rather convincing explanation of what's going on here.

ebay wrote back saying that they were concerned about airnxtz too. But they didn't close his account then, and they still haven't closed it now. So I quit using ebay, because they know about fraud and are choosing to profit off it rather than put a stop to it.

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