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Manhattans – 1974 – That’s How Much I Love You

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Sublime work from The Manhattans – who are on top of the world at this point! The group’s harmonies are excellent, a bit rough in the best parts – ala Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes during the Teddy Pendergrass years – but also capable of tremendous strength when forged together, which happens often on the album’s tight set of Philly-produced tracks.

Bobby Martin arranged the material, and backing is by the cream of Sigma Sound – a perfect backdrop for gems like “Don’t Take Your Love From Me”, “That’s How Much I Love You”, “Summertime In The City”, “Strange Old World”, and “I Don’t Want To Pay The Price Of Losing You”. 

Tracks
A1 Summertime In The City 4:50
A2 Don’t Take Your Love From Me 3:28
A3 Save Our Goodbyes 3:11
A4 I Don’t Want To Pay The Price Of Losing You 3:14
A5 That’s How Much I Love You 2:57
B1 Blackbird 3:03
B2 A Change Is Gonna Come 4:17
B3 Strange Old World 2:10
B4 Feve 3:04
B5 Nursery Rhymes 3:29

The Manhattans’ second Columbia album was a somewhat poorly conceived affair, combining one LP side of new recordings and a second LP side of released and unissued tracks they’d cut for DeLuxe before signing with Columbia. As those Deluxe tracks were several years old (some perhaps having been recorded even four or five years earlier), the record spanned too wide of a time frame to qualify as a wholly new (or wholly realized) effort. Certainly it’s not as consistent, either in style or quality, as their 1973 Columbia debut There’s No Me Without You.

It was decent (though not brilliant) period early- to mid-’70s soul, however, including the Top Ten R&B (and pop Top 40) hit “Don’t Take Your Love” as well as the much smaller chart single “Summertime in the City“. The latter song was certainly reminiscent of the early-’70s Temptations’ funk, while the former was very much a lush Philly soul-style ballad.

The Philly soul path, in both its ballad and funk modes, was also followed by some of the “new” tracks, such as “Save Our Goodbyes” and the title song. While the older selections on side two have a less Philly-fied vibe, really they don’t sound that out of place; “Blackbird” is much in line with the O’Jays’ early-’70s recordings and both “Strange Old World” and “Nursery Rhymes” again recall the funked-out Temptations, though the covers of “Fever” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” were a little more old-school.

 

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