Landmark harmony soul – back to back! This excellent set features the first two Columbia albums by The Manhattans
– groundbreaking records that took the New Jersey soul sound firmly into the mainstream – and showed that some great things could happen when a vocal group got polished up a bit! First up is There's No Me Without You – The Manhattans
' first album for Columbia – and a monster LP that showed that there was no turning back for the group! After cutting some seminal indie singles for the Carnival label during the 60s, the group sort of bumped around a bit during the early 70s – but with the release of this album, they emerged as a perfectly formed harmony group, armed with a sophisticated adult sound that sounded light years ahead of most of their contemporaries, who were still singing falsetto soul or simple pop. Gerald Alston is a lead vocalist on a par with Teddy Pendergrass in his later years – and the arrangements by Bobby Martin at Sigma Sound are some of his best mellow work of the decade. Titles include "Wish That You Were Mine", "You'd Better Believe It", "We Made It", "There's No Me Without You", and "The Day The Robin Sang To Me". Next is That's How Much I Love You – 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".
(Out of print.)