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Archive for the ‘The Manhattans’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of December 15

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Kinks Anthology

The Kinks, Anthology 1964-1971 (BMG/InGrooves, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Producer Andrew Sandoval (the recent The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition) helms this kink-sized 5-CD kollection of hits, demos, interviews, alternate mixes, session outtakes, 25 previously unavailable tracks, an exclusive 7-inch single and copious, new liner notes!

Dionne - Finder of Lost Loves

Dionne Warwick, Finder of Lost Loves: Expanded Edition (Arista/Funky Town Grooves) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 2-CD edition of Warwick’s 1985 album features a bonus disc with 12 additional tracks – three rare single versions and nine previously unreleased recordings, including the Barry Gibb-produced Heartbreaker outtake “Broken Bottles” and two alternate versions of the Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager title track featuring Dionne joined by Luther Vandross!

Aretha - Aretha

Aretha Franklin, Aretha: Expanded Edition (Arista/Funky Town Grooves) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

FTG adds a staggering 19 bonus tracks to create a 2-disc edition of The Queen of Soul’s 1986 album featuring “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” – including rare remixes of five songs as well as the Aretha Megamix!  It appears that the companion disc – an expanded edition of Through the Storm – won’t be available until next month.

Manhattans - Black Tie

The Manhattans, Black Tie / Forever by Your Side (Columbia/Funky Town Grooves)

Black Tie: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Forever: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

FTG continues its series of reissues from The Manhattans’ catalogue with expanded editions of the legendary vocal group’s 1981 and 1983 albums of silky R&B!

Trip Shakespeare

Trip Shakespeare, Applehead Man / Are You Shakespearienced? (Omnivore)

Applehead CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Applehead Translucent Red Vinyl & Download Card: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Are You... CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Are You… Translucent Green Vinyl & Download Card: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Omnivore remasters and expands the first two albums from Minnesota band Trip Shakespeare – the training ground for John Munson and Dan Wilson, two members who would later go on to form Semisonic!

Foreigner - 4 and More

Foreigner, The Best of Foreigner 4 and More (Sony) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Just two months ago, on October 3 and 4, 2014, Foreigner took the stage at Atlantic City’s Borgata.  Now, highlights from those concerts are being released on one budget-priced ($5.99 as of this writing!) CD including the hit songs from 1981’s landmark Foreigner 4 and other favorites. Tracks include “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”



Into the Woods

Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods: 2-CD Deluxe Edition Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Okay, this isn’t a reissue, but we’re looking forward to it all the same.  This week, Walt Disney Records releases the original soundtrack to the new film version of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woods, featuring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and future Late Late Show host James Corden.  The 2-CD edition features all of Sondheim’s songs plus the film’s orchestral underscore.

The Last Ship OBC

Original Broadway Cast Recording, The Last Ship (UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Sting recently stepped into his Broadway musical The Last Ship for a limited run through January 24; here’s a chance to experience his songs for the musical as performed by the original cast of Michael Esper, Jimmy Nail, Fred Applegate and others.  Sting himself is heard on a bonus track singing “What Say You, Meg?” from the show’s impressive score.

Written by Joe Marchese

December 15, 2014 at 08:32

The Manhattans’ “Its Feels So Good” Comes To CD In Expanded Edition

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Manhattans - It Feels So GoodThe Manhattans took their name from a New York borough, had their roots in New Jersey, and found their greatest success with The Sound of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But thanks to the enduring success of songs like “Kiss and Say Goodbye” and “Shining Star,” the vocal quartet belonged not just to the Tri-State Area of the United States, but to the world. 1977’s It Feels So Good, from The Manhattans’ classic tenure on Columbia Records with Philly soul producer Bobby Martin, has finally arrived on CD in an expanded edition thanks to Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records imprint.

It Feels So Good immediately followed Manhattans, which wasn’t the group’s Columbia debut but rather The Manhattans’ third album for the label. Edward “Sonny” Bivins, Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Kenneth “Wally” Kelly, George “Smitty” Smith and Richard “Richie” Taylor began singing together on the streets of Jersey City, New Jersey in the days of doo-wop. In 1963, Lovett, Bivins and Smith recorded a single as The Dulcets for the Sue label, but their trio days were short-lived. Soon, all five men reconvened, and they were signed – as The Manhattans – by saxophonist and entrepreneur Joe Evans to his Carnival label. At Carnival, The Manhattans reached a high of No. 12 R&B (Pop No. 68) with 1965’s “I Wanna Be (Your Everything),” and went on to score numerous Top 30 R&B hits there.

From Carnival, the group migrated to King Records’ DeLuxe imprint, and between 1970 and 1973, The Manhattans scored further chart successes such as “If My Heart Could Speak” (R&B No. 30, 1970) and “One Life to Live” (R&B No. 3, 1972). Tragedy struck in late 1970, however, with the death of Smith from a subdural hematoma. Gerald Alston, less than 20 years old and the nephew of The Shirelles’ Shirley Alston Reeves, stepped in to replace him. Alston had befriended Smith when his group The New Imperials opened for The Manhattans, and the elder man actually gave the young singer his blessing to join The Manhattans. Alston’s soaring lead vocal on “One Life to Live,” in part, helped earn the group a spot on the Columbia Records roster. But just as The Manhattans were taking off on a national level at Columbia, Richard Taylor left the group. The four-person line-up made its debut with It Feels So Good, released on the heels of The Manhattans and its massive hit single “Kiss and Say Goodbye” (No. 1 Pop/No. 1 R&B, 1976).

The quartet had the good fortune of continuing its association with Philadelphia-based producer Bobby Martin, who had co-produced and arranged the group’s first three Columbia long-players (and would continue through 1978’s There’s No Good in Goodbye, his fifth album with The Manhattans). Martin was a key arranger at Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label, and brought the group to Sigma Sound Studios, incubator for all of that label’s hits. The services of MFSB – the studio’s “house band” – were also enlisted. Norman Harris, Bobby Eli, Roland Chambers, Lenny Pakula, Vince Montana, Ronnie Baker, Jack Faith, Don Renaldo, Earl Young and Larry Washington all, at one time or another, played on The Manhattans’ Philly-made records.

There’s more after the jump including the complete track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 19, 2014 at 13:05