Manhattan Soul, Vol. 2

Manhattan Soul, Vol. 2


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The Scepter label, its affiliated label Wand, and Musicor (which had no ties to Scepter) produced a lot of quality "uptown" soul in the 1960s, reflecting their New York base. Though they scored hits by the likes of Maxine Brown, Chuck Jackson, the Platters, the Shirelles, and Inez & Charlie Foxx, you won't find hits, or indeed any tracks by the aforementioned artists, on this compilation. Instead, it's devoted to a couple dozen sides, spanning the early -60s to the mid-'70s, that didn't make it. Indeed, seven of them weren't even released at the time, and four make their first appearance on this collection. A few of the artists made a bit of a commercial impression at one point (Tommy Hunt, Freddie Hughes, Jimmy Radcliffe, Big Maybelle, Nella Dodds), but most of them may well draw blanks from even the collector eager to hear these kind of specialized anthologies. In most cases, the labels for which the singers were recording guaranteed a well-produced brand of pop-soul that makes many of the tracks a cut above most such rarities, at least in the production and arrangement department. The absence of great original material doomed these performances to obscurity (or, in some cases, the vaults), but that doesn't mean Manhattan Soul, Vol. 2 won't give you a fair listen if you have a taste for the slicker side of pop-soul, and for New York "uptown" soul in particular. In some cases, similarities to other, more celebrated artists are apparent, and sometimes enjoyably so. Porgy & the Monarchs' "That Girl" sounds like a Gene Pitney LP filler track with different singers, for instance; the Masqueraders' "I Don't Want Nobody to Lead Me On" probably wouldn't have existed if not for the mid-'60s Four Tops; Radcliffe's previously unissued "Deep in the Heart of Harlem" is very much in the early-'60s Drifters/Ben E. King vein; Chris Bartley's "A Man, A Woman" sounds like an early Jackson 5 track (though, frankly, with much less dynamic vocals). A little more strangely, Ed Bruce's "I'm Gonna Have a Party" -- yes, that Ed Bruce, who would become a middle-of-the-road country star -- can't fail to recall Chuck Jackson, especially when the opening string riff pretty much replicates the hook of "Any Day Now." If nothing else, such quasi-imitations have their documentary value as testaments to how wide the influence of other great songs/artists/producers spread, in a pretty listenable fashion. Other names of note contributed to several tracks in behind-the-scenes capacities, like Van McCoy (who produced Billy T. Soul's "Call On Billy"), Kenny Gamble (who wrote Nella Dodds' 1966 single "I Just Gotta Have You"), and Curtis Mayfield (composer of "Something New," a 1970 single credited simply to "You Babe"). The connections are explained at length in the liner notes, to which a minor correction should be made here: Louise Williams (who sang and wrote the previously unreleased gospel-soul outtake "No Jealous Lover" under the name Lois Lane) went on to a lengthy career as member of the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives, not as a Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/07/2012
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667237925
catalogNumber: 6723792
Rank: 43952

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bert de Coteaux   Conductor

Technical Credits

Ed Bruce   Composer
Curtis Mayfield   Composer
Alan Lorber   Composer
Teddy Randazzo   Composer,Producer
Roscoe Robinson   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Riley Hampton   Arranger
Will Hatcher   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Lonnie Hewitt   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Bert Keyes   Arranger
Chips Moman   Producer
Peter Paul   Producer
Jimmy Radcliffe   Composer
Luther Randolph   Arranger,Composer
Nick Robbins   Remixing
Rudy Robinson   Arranger
Harold Thomas   Composer
Paul Vance   Composer,Producer
Bert de Coteaux   Arranger
Stan Green   Arranger
Ady Croasdell   Liner Notes
Kenny Williams   Composer
Luther Dixon   Composer
Alan Klein   Producer
Gary Illingworth   Composer
Carl Spencer   Composer
Alvin Steward   Composer
Bob Elgin   Composer
John Kelly   Composer
Leon Mitchell   Arranger
Benny Gordon   Composer
Ralph Murphy   Composer,Producer
Bob Moore   Producer
Bob Perper   Composer
Joanne Jackson   Composer
Jimmy Bishop   Composer
Ady Lupton   Cover Photo
Larry Kusik   Composer
Jerry Meyers   Producer
Robert Lewis   Composer
Fred MacRae   Composer
Stan Kahan   Producer
Shep Grant   Composer
Ralph Newman   Composer
Mel Tanner   Engineer
Lee Jones   Composer
Joshua C. Pridgen   Engineer
John Stiles   Composer
Yvette Ball   Composer
Louise Williams   Composer

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