Saturday, October 11, 2008

Number 445 - Manhattans


Number 445

Manhattans

"Shining Star"

(1980)
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Genre: R&B
art by Ian
With the recent economic crisis affecting us worldwide, putting most western countries into recession, or aptly put, depression, i thought since moi had a bit of land where i reside and turn it into *wait for it* .... a veggie garden! After digging out 40m2 of land i know realise why there were no "fat bastards" 3 or 4 generations ago! Talk about good ole hard fashion yakka and actually [oddly even] it was a bit of fun watching the land turn from overgrown bush and grass back to dirt. I might even throw up a couple of before and after pictures for ya's ... as soon as i leave hospital.
Now Manhattans Grammy winning "Shining Star" was not as big as their Number One hit "Kiss and Say Goodbye" so i will let you people decide which one is better or maybe neither at all.
Suave 'hattans
The Manhattans were one of those classic R&B vocal groups who manage to achieve incredible career longevity by adapting their style to fit changing times. Formed in the '60s as a doo wop-influenced R&B quintet, the Manhattans reinvented themselves as sweet smooth soul balladeers during the '70s. In doing so, they somehow overcame the death of lead singer George Smith, and with new frontman Gerald Alston became more popular than they'd ever been, landing an across-the-board number one hit in 1976 with "Kiss and Say Goodbye." Under the leadership of Winfred "Blue" Lovett (who also composed some of the group's biggest hits), the Manhattans survived as a viable chart act well into the '80s, over two decades after their formation.
Sophisticated 'hattans
In early 1975, the Manhattans had recorded a Blue Lovett composition called "Kiss and Say Goodbye," which was released as a single almost a full year later. It became the second platinum single in history (after Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady") and their first number one hit in the spring of 1976, not just on the R&B charts, but the pop side as well -- a remarkable feat, considering that they'd never had a single peak higher than number 37 on that survey. While it proved difficult to match the crossover success of "Kiss and Say Goodbye," the Manhattans reeled off a string of Top Ten R&B hits -- "I Kinda Miss You," "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad," "We Never Danced to a Love Song," and "Am I Losing You" -- that lasted into early 1978 and made them staples on the newly emerging quiet storm radio format. Their momentum slowed over the next couple of years, but they came back strong in 1980 with "Shining Star" -- not a cover of the Earth, Wind & Fire hit, but a co-write by their new producer Leo Graham. "Shining Star" reached the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts, went gold, and won a Grammy -- overall, not a bad haul.
Honey you ....
The Manhattans' last major hit came with 1983's "Crazy," which put them in the R&B Top Five for the final time; they bade farewell to the Top 40 in 1985 with a cover of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me." That year Richard Taylor left the group, which carried on as a quartet for a few years; Taylor passed away in December 1987. Gerald Alston signed with Motown as a solo artist in 1988, upon which point the group finally parted ways with Columbia and recorded an album for the small Valley Vue label before disbanding. Alston and Lovett reunited in 1993; with new members Troy May and David Tyson, they toured regularly into the new millennium, with the occasional recording appearing on a small label. ~ [Steve Huey, All Music Guide]
For Earth Wind & Fire see Number 774
For Sam Cooke see Number 481
What does Rolling Stone think of the Manhattans? Thats right .. absolutley nothing! So lets head to Rhapsody.com which is a link from Rolling Stone. Yes, this is the group that took "Shining Star" to the top of the charts in 1980. But long before that, the Manhattans had proved themselves to be a stellar vocal Soul group. From the moment they scored their first hit in 1965, they always seemed to have bucketloads of R&B and crossover pop hits that reflected the changing times -- from sophisticated Soul to Disco and beyond. These days, the Manhattans still tour the world and show how it's done. ~ [Source: Rhapsody.com - Nick Dedina]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '446th Song of all Time' was "Come As You Are" by Nirvana. Nirvana has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ Number 480
Other songs with reference to Manhattans #970
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Its true....) the Album ranked at (...We don't respect the rhythm and blues)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 77.3 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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