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on 26 March 2011
I dont really know much about 'Manhattan Transfer' except that they had a number one hit with 'Chanson D'Amour' which was so catchy and that they used to appear on 'The Two Ronnies' sometimes( when Barbara Dickson was busy!).
However I have been looking for a decent compilation as an introduction to their music for a long time, but have either found that the 'best ofs' dont include the tracks that I wanted.. (Chanson D'Amour, On A little Street In Singapore, 'Spice Of Life', 'Boy From New York City' etc) or if they did they were ridiculously expensive. So finally here it is, a comprehensive 2 cd collection that includes all of the hits and loads of other tracks to educate me about Manhattan Transfer at a really budget price. The music is really classy and all the hits sound as good as I remembered or better. I am thoroughly enjoying listening to these excellent singers and the beautiful instrumentation of these tracks. You wont ever find a better compilation than this. Highly recommended.
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on 6 August 2011
I've been a fan of the group since Chanson D'amour, a long , long time and have all of their cd's. That was the reason I bought this one, just to have it in my collection. And at a very reasonable price,worth it for an addition to it.
It may have none of the packaging of The Manhattan Transfer Anthology- Birdland, but is a very good very reasonable priced cd for anyone just discovering the group-or who might have wondered what had happened to them after all these years. Still going strong I am glad to say.
It has all of the tracks that people in the UK will be familiar with and a few more up to date tracks they might not be.
My only slight gripe, would be the cover. Ok, it's a cartoony type picture. But Laurel Masse, left the group in 1978 and only recorded 3 albums with the group. Cheryl Bentyne had been singing with them for 33 years!
Anyway, sit back, listen and enjoy The Man Tran sound.
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on 28 July 2011
It is irrelevant that one has a few of Manhattan Transfer's hits on certain Various Artists CDs. This double CD by this fantastic group does not only for the first time include ALL their UK and US hits plus others but it has been released as a budget price.
Thanks to the record company. This is a MUST BUY for all collectors of good music of the past.
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on 13 June 2012
This is the most complete of the current Manhattan Transfer compilations, including all their UK and US charting singles for the first time in one collection. Can't argue with that, especially at a budget price!

Like Bette Midler, Gloria Gaynor, Village People, Donna Summer and other acts, Man Tran emerged from playing gay clubs and/or bathhouses but they were very different to the pounding dance music commonly associated with the gay scene - being primarily a retro vocal group of jazz/swing songs of the 20s and 30s, extending later to the 50s and 60s. To watch they were as "camp as Christmas" and quite spellbinding, so on vinyl/CD something is lost by not having the visual style before you. On the other hand, their huge vocal range and prowess becomes even clearer with the visuals removed.

On this collection, many different styles of music are covered, from retro Chanson D'Amor to futuristic disco Twilight Zone. I love all the singles, the best of which (from their first three albums in my opinion, probably because they feature the luscious vocals of Laurel Masse!) take me back to the 70s when they were released, really unusual sound in the charts of that time. Punk, new wave and Man Tran!

For me some of the choices here are less than perfect. I would have liked to see "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Helpless" from the Coming Out album, and they certainly should have replaced either Speak Up Mambo or Poincina from the same collection which did make it onto this CD. I would also have included "Love For Sale" and "Gal in Calico" from the wonderful Pastiche album, but with so many wonderful songs here its perhaps a bit unfair to carp.

Some will find this music too slick and retro, yet it is amazing how little dated the recordings sound. Whilst retro when they were first recorded, these 70s/80s recordings sound as fresh as Abba still do.
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The writer of the liner notes exaggerates somewhat when he claims that there is no style of music that the Manhattan Transfer cannot do. Still, they have a very diverse repertoire, albeit most of it is rooted in jazz and swing, and this 39-track compilation clearly shows that diversity. The period covered is from 1975 to 2000, but I suspect most fans remember them best for their hits in the early part of their career. Although they were successful in both Britain and America, the hits weren't always the same.

Operator, the song that became their first big American hit, is here along with the UK number one hit Chanson d'amour, their first UK hit Tuxedo junction, which was itself a cover of a song that had been a big American hit for Glenn Miller in the forties, and all their other UK hits including Walk in love, On a little street in Singapore, Spice of life, Twilight zone twilight tone. Away from their normal repertoire, they recorded excellent versions of Where did our love go (Diana Ross and the Supremes) and A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square (most commonly associated with Vera Lynn).

There are many other great songs here, all interpreted superbly by Manhattan Transfer. Some of them may be familiar from other recordings even if you haven't heard the versions here. Whether you recognize the other songs or not, this is a magnificent reminder of some of the music that Manhattan Transfer recorded for Atlantic.
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on 2 October 2012
This review is for: Chanson d'amour: The Very Best of Manhattan Transfer (Music Club Deluxe 2CD)
Anyone feeling stressed only needs to put this on to be transported on an ocean of calm. Manhattan Transfer is all about classy music and great harmonies. You can't put them into a box, because they switch from genre to genre. Here we get Pop, Jazz swing, Doo-Wop, Gospel, Bossa Nova and Disco. How many groups can cover all those styles authentically? I can only think of Manhattan Transfer. They are so good at this that they won a Grammy award in the Pop category (with "Boy from New York City") and also in the Jazz category (with "Until I Met You") at the same year's awards ceremony (1981). They also received a Grammy the year before (for the wonderful cover version of Weather Report's "Birdland") and the year after (for "Route 66").

The first UK hit for Manhattan Transfer was the brilliant "Tuxedo Junction (no. 24)", but it was the next hit that really put them on the map in the UK. "Chanson D'Amour" has a slight Edith Piaf vibe to it without being too much of a copy. If it had been slightly more overcooked it could have headed into novelty territory, but the style is just right. The single was largely overlooked in America, but in the UK it hit number one on the singles chart for 3 weeks back in 1977. Following that mega-hit were 3 singles that made the top 40 but didn't crack the top 10; "Don't Let Go (no. 32)", "Walk in Love (no. 12)", "On A Little Street in Singapore (no. 20)", all of which are included here. Obviously hoping for another top 10 hit, the next single was a cover version of The Supremes "Where Did Our Love Go" which although passable is not a patch on the original and is not single material at all in my opinion. For me, it's probably the weakest track here, but obviously had to be included because this double CD includes all the hits. Unfortunately, after this single only scraping a no. 40 placing, Manhattan Transfer only bothered the UK singles chart twice more with the Disco dance floor filler "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone (no. 25 in 1980)" and "Spice of Life (no. 19 in 1983 - If you like this one, investigate Elbow Bones & The Racketeers "A Night In New York" for more of the same style)" and both scrapped into the lower end of the singles chart in America. The only other American hits were the Gospel track "Operator" (no. 22, not a hit in the UK) and "The Boy from New York City" (no. 7, not released in the UK presumably because Darts had recently had a no. 2 hit with it in 1978 and the two sound very similar). Both of these singles are also included here.

The order of the tracks here is generally good, but the sequence going from The Supremes cover of "Where Did our Love Go" into the Disco hit "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" and then into the vocal harmony Doo-Wop style of "Gloria" just doesn't work at all. This is a minor point though and my only slight negative along with the fact that the sleeve says 40 tracks, but 22 + 17 actually only equals 39 - oops! But who cares, I'm nitpicking - this is a truly great collection. In fact, I can't believe how great it is.

One track that massively stands out for me is the fantastic Jazz Swing track "Four Brothers" which should have been released as a single. This one will blow your socks off. It was the lead track on the group's 1978 album "Pastiche" and also featured on the first "Best of Manhattan Transfer" album released back in 1981. As it was one of only 12 tracks featured on the "Best of", somebody at the record company obviously rated it and it has appeared on every "Best of" to date. If you haven't got it already it's worth buying this CD if only to get that one track. Another great track from that album also included here is the wonderful A cappella song "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square". A track that is underrated is the lovely "Mystery" which was released as a single in America but failed to make any impact despite being written by Rod Temperton (writer of MJ's "Thriller"). It gets another outing on Anita Baker's "Rapture" album though and both versions are great and worthy of attention.

Music Club Deluxe have put out some great CD's over the last year or so and are becoming a label to look out for. Although the albums are budget price, the attention to detail and comprehensive track lists make these essential purchases. I have bought and reviewed 3 other titles from them recently including Hazell Dean, Detroit Spinners, and Frankie Beverly & Maze - all great titles. This one from Manhattan Transfer is also top class and highly recommended. 39 great tracks on 2 CD's for £5.00 including delivery is incredible value. They've crammed the 2 discs full to capacity. Disc 2 actually comes in at exactly 79:00, so you can't fit any more on. It's worth more than 5 stars.
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on 8 November 2011
Everything except one track on this double album is at the very least - excellent.
Birdland is one of the most incredible vocal versions of an incredible instrumental
ever recorded. Only Another Night in Tunisia fails.
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on 28 May 2012
This album has such a wide selection of tracks on it. I read the track list and thought there were about 5 familiar hits on it. Then when I got listening I realised just how many hits they had really had and how many I was singing along to. The variety of musical styles is great. Highly recommended.
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on 6 November 2011
i had most of there albums on vinal, so when i saw this greatest hits 2 disc set on here it was a must have for me !,if u like this sort of music ,and mahattan transfer ......................Buy it!...............thanks amazon l.b x
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on 31 May 2012
Very pleased with this,it has a good mixture of tunes new to us,as well as a few old favourites.The delivery was as always very swift.
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