The Manhattans – 1970 – With These Hands

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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“. Influenced by :  The Moonglows, the Dells, the Flamingos, Sam Cooke and Johnnie Taylor, they also influenced groups like Boyz II Men.

The Manhattans recorded two LP’s for Deluxe, a subsidiary of Starday-King of Nashville, between their Carnival and Columbia recordings.
•    [With These Hands] (Deluxe, 1970, prod. Buddy Scott)  was George Smith‘s last LP with the group, and includes such uncharacteristic material as “Georgia on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”.
•    [A Million to One] (Deluxe, 1972, prod. Various)  was the first LP with Alston. “One Life to Live,” from this LP, was one of their best.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Deluxe Records LP including covers

Tracks
A1 Can’t Take My Eyes Off You 3:35
A2 Loneliness 2:55
A3 By The Time I Get To Phoenix 3:05
A4 Straight From My Heart 2:46
A5 It’s Gonne Take A Lot To Bring Me Back 2:59
B1 If My Heart Could Speak 3:52
B2 With These Hands 4:05
B3 Georgia On My Mind 2:55
B4 Give Him Up 2:37
B5 People Get Ready 2:36

Life after Carnival Records finds the Manhattans recording for the Deluxe label, where they cut some charmers. George “Smitty” Smith had polished his God-given, captivating, crying tenor into an instrument that ranked with the greats. With These Hands is the closest the Manhattans came to recording an album of standards or pop material. The album’s ten songs consist of five standards and five cold-blooded originals. You can’t help but feel the aching pain in “It’s Gonna Take a Lot to Bring Me Back“, a minor R&B hit that had major potential; the slow weeper oozes soul. “Give Him Up” displays the quintet’s lovely uptempo harmony; the shuffler unfortunately got lost as a B-side. The tear jerking “If My Heart Could Speak” is a slow, tenderly sung ballad and one of their best. Winnie Lovett, Kenny Kelly, Ernest Bivens and Richard Taylor provides splendid backing to Smitty’s lead on “People Get Ready“, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You“, “Georgia on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and the title track, all ably arranged by Chico O’Farrill. (Andrew Hamilton – AMG)

Five pairs of white gloves appear in the spotlite, accompanied an orchestra in a latin-soulful groove. Five voices in perfect harmony glide into “Can’t take my eyes of you”  and you’ve met the fantastic Manhattans. Smitty, Blue, Dip, Kenny and Richie – five groovy multi-talented  people.
Listen to their change of mood from “Georgia
“, with that haunting harmonica and violin background to “Loneliness” which is a soulful as it wants to be. Compare to tender reading of “If my heart could speak” to the moving rendition of “With these hands“. Follow Blue Lovett as he moans his way to “Phoenix“.

Yes, these are the Manhattans as big as life and as full of excitement as the big town that is their namesake.

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36 Comments
  • Nikos
    Posted at 11:36h, 05 June 2010 Reply

    I bought the album this year (I had it on mp3) cause I wanted to see the back cover which I couldn’t find anywhere. Enjoy! It is really a great one!

  • Tony
    Posted at 17:36h, 05 June 2010 Reply

    Oh, my Lord, this is fantastic! Many thanks.

  • JTF
    Posted at 19:21h, 05 June 2010 Reply

    Thanks!

  • Nicolas
    Posted at 20:07h, 05 June 2010 Reply

    Beautiful. Really appreciated, many thanks guys.

  • Aggelos
    Posted at 11:28h, 06 June 2010 Reply

    Lovely stuff – many thanks

  • Luis
    Posted at 08:49h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    Great.Keep up the good work y’all.

  • KenG
    Posted at 08:25h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    Yippee! A Manhattans album I don’t have. Thank You!

  • hooch
    Posted at 13:14h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    many thanks, lovely lp!

  • Gabriel
    Posted at 15:34h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    Thanks for this one! I know I’ve seen it before. It sounds great from the preview. Thanks again!

  • rich
    Posted at 21:20h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    nikos great post what a wonderful group i never heard this album tho so i cant wait to give it a play thanks nikos

  • Joao
    Posted at 22:18h, 07 June 2010 Reply

    Hey, thanks for sharing your collection. Never seen this one before and it’s wonderful.

  • Chris
    Posted at 17:37h, 08 June 2010 Reply

    You always come correct with the good taste! Thank you.

  • Brian
    Posted at 20:35h, 08 June 2010 Reply

    I love The Manhattans. Positively brilliant.

  • Duncan Walls
    Posted at 21:35h, 08 June 2010 Reply

    Love seeing old Manhattans here. I wonder if you’ve ever seen a white label CBS promo of “Kiss and Say Goodbye” with an X Rated version of the same on the b-Side? If so, where can I find it again? I had it long ago and loaned to somone who never returned it! It was outrageous!

  • Nikos
    Posted at 23:08h, 08 June 2010 Reply

    Never seen it my friend. I wonder too. I can’t find it anywhere on the web.

  • Oliver
    Posted at 10:08h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    Lookin’ forward to give this one a spin, cheers!

  • Warren
    Posted at 10:20h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    Only heard a bit of it so far; sounds pretty good. Thank you!

  • Emil
    Posted at 10:21h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    I never had the chance to listen properly to this album. Now I hope I will find the time. Thanks…

  • onejazzyman
    Posted at 14:20h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    A classic and rare gem. Thanks for posting.

  • Gustavo
    Posted at 21:45h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    Thanks from a Manhattans lover. These guys are always worth a listen.

  • Pierre
    Posted at 01:08h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    One of the few bands that could tell you a story in a song.

  • whoknows
    Posted at 02:44h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    love them manhattans, thanks!!!!

  • Raphy
    Posted at 03:09h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    Thank you Nikos for this RARE GEM. I only have a few 45s from this LP.
    Nikos, I ripped a Manhattans LP-‘Doing Their Thing’ about 4 years now.
    At the time I’ve ripped it at 224kps….But the quality is EXCELLENT!
    The thing is that the main & faster computer I usually used is now at the repair shop. and I’ve installed the Printer/scanner on that machine. Tell me if you want me to post it…(It’s a Collector’s Lp)

    Big [email protected]!

  • Jess
    Posted at 11:03h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    This is what you get when the artist actually cares about the music they put out. An all time CLASSIC!!!

  • Brotherpete
    Posted at 12:08h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    Wonderful once again ! Thanks !!!

  • jACK
    Posted at 18:51h, 10 June 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the manhattans. Really an underrated force.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 09:47h, 11 June 2010 Reply

    The Manhattans – what a great-sounding group! This is music at its best – great melodies, great arrangements and great lyrics – stuff you can’t get from “today’s artists”.

  • Daniel
    Posted at 19:44h, 11 June 2010 Reply

    Always loved the manhattans. Thanks nikos for this addition!

  • Noa
    Posted at 12:49h, 13 June 2010 Reply

    Your blog is so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

  • Robert
    Posted at 01:31h, 15 June 2010 Reply

    thanks!!
    This will be the first time that I listen to the Manhattans:)

  • Eugene
    Posted at 23:59h, 16 June 2010 Reply

    Thank you for sharing these gems with us. I have some of their later recordings, but I don’t think I,ve ever heard these…so I really have something to look forward to.
    Thanks, again

    Eugene

  • B.Graff
    Posted at 03:34h, 19 June 2010 Reply

    Thanks for posting. Smith was a great vocalist, I prefer him to Gerald Alston.

  • Trudy
    Posted at 05:59h, 18 July 2010 Reply

    Oh, Nikos, you just don’t know. I love you. Marry me. “A Million to One” I had on vinyl (one heavy album, thick as hell) and I loved just about every song. I’m really crazy about Gerald Alston’s voice and the title song has been a favorite. I couldn’t find this one anywhere and knew I shouldn’t give up because somewhere, on a blog, some wonderful soul music lover was going to share. I screamed when I saw it and hugged the computer, convincing everyone here I had lost my mind. Thank you so so much. I’m a very happy woman.

  • soulboy
    Posted at 08:32h, 03 August 2010 Reply

    many thanks the soulboy spain

  • Peter
    Posted at 17:18h, 04 August 2010 Reply

    I own this LP in mint condition. If somebody is interested, so please contact me at [email protected]

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