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The Very Best of the Manhattan Transfer

73 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 1, 1994
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Few groups have a more distinguished pedigree than the Transfer. Since their formation in New York in 1972, these four voices (two male, two female) have notched up numerous gold and platinum albums, and accumulated a shelf full of Grammy's. Their performance of "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" (included here) won a Grammy for its Gene Puerling arrangement. With collaborators Jon Hendricks and Richie Cole, they promulgated the use of the vocalese technique-singing lyrics over jazz solos. They had their biggest hit of their career, with "Boy From New York City," in 1981, when it went to number seven. "Route 66" and "Tuxedo Junction" were made famous by Nat King Cole and Glenn Miller respectively ("Route 66" won the group yet another Grammy in 1983). "Birdland" was originally recorded by Weather Report; with the addition of Jon Hendricks' lyrics, a Transfer classic was born. This is required listening for vocal jazz fans.

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This is an excellent collection of many of the high points of the Manhattan Transfer's first decade, demonstrating both their reach and their grasp as they draw material from swing, modern jazz, and doo-wop into their own distinctive style. There's a tongue-in-cheek cool that connects the swing of Erskine Hawkins's "Tuxedo Junction" to the elemental girl-group harmonies of "Boy from New York City" and the TV themes like "Route 66" and the variations on the "Twilight Zone." More traditional jazz skills, though, are apparent in their renditions of some Jon Hendricks vocal classics. Composer Jimmy Giuffre plays saxophone on their version of his "Four Brothers," a key theme for bandleader Woody Herman, while there are also stellar renditions of Weather Report's "Birdland" and the standard "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square." It's an entertaining collection by a group that's never let itself be confined by the expected. --Adam Rains


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Boy From New York CityManhattan Transfer 3:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Trickle TrickleManhattan Transfer 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. GloriaManhattan Transfer 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. OperatorManhattan Transfer 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Tuxedo JunctionManhattan Transfer 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Four BrothersManhattan Transfer 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Ray's RockhouseManhattan Transfer 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Soul Food To Go (Sina)Manhattan Transfer 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Spice Of LifeManhattan Transfer 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Baby Come Back To Me (The Morse Code Of Love)Manhattan Transfer 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. CandyManhattan Transfer 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley SquareManhattan Transfer 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. BirdlandManhattan Transfer 6:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Java JiveManhattan Transfer 2:48$0.69  Buy MP3 
15. Route 66Manhattan Transfer 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Twilight Zone/Twilight ToneManhattan Transfer 6:06$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00000336G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I found this title quite by accident. I was looking for "The Best of the Manhattan Transfer" only to find "The Very Best of the Manhattan Transfer." Yes, they are two different CDs, but the latter obviates the need for (even subsumes) the former.
First, I love the Manhattan Transfer. I wouldn't give them a bad review if they practiced bird calls while KISS provided vocal backup. BUT, this CD is truly extradinory. It encompasses the best (small 'b') of the Manhattan Transfer -- it gives us their style, their harmony, their effortless vocal ease, without the need to buy their whole collection of wonderful music. (Yes, I do hesitate to say that, because their repetoir is quite sublime.) The fact is, if you've ever thought of buying a Manhattan Transfer CD but never have, then THIS is the one to buy, because it truly does pick the very best titles from their many releases and puts them all in one convenient place.
This CD isn't the perfect gift for an MT fan (because he or she will already have the songs on other CDs), but it is the perfect CD for anyone to whom you might want to introduce this wonderful ensemble group.
Again, this really is the very best of the Manhattan Transfer.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
They have been around for more than three decades now. This group has earned a reputation as one of the most hard working and versatile acts in show business. The Manhattan Transfer made a decision years ago not to concentrate on any one particular style of music. It was surely the right choice because Manhattan Transfer continues to perform to this day their unique blend of bebop, fusion jazz, pop and doowop to enthusiastic audiences all over the world.

"The Very Best of the Manhattan Transfer" certainly does live up to its moniker. Rhino has done a splendid job in assembling 16 of the groups very finest recordings. It is simply amazing to me that a group of such abundant talent only managed to place a total of 7 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Each and every one of those tunes appear here including as you would expect "Operator", "Trickle Trickle", "Baby Come Back To Me (The Morse Code of Love)" and the groups biggest single release "Boy From New York City" from 1981. At that point it looked as though Manhattan Transfer just might be a fixture on the pop charts for many years to come. But Manhattan Transfer never really fancied itself a Top 40 act. Rather the group appealed to a wide variety of audiences and as such found a great deal of success on the album charts in the ensuing years. Many great tunes from those albums appear on this disc including phenominal renditions of standards like "Candy", "Tuxedo Junction", "Route 66" and "Java Jive". I also loved the groups cover of the doo wop classic "Gloria". I found each and every track on this CD to be an absolute delight. The remastering job is amazing and the 8 page booklet was also very nicely done.

The Manhattan Transfer was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. They have also won 10 Grammys. This CD should be considered "essential" for serious collectors of American popular music. Very highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Best Of The Manhattan Transfer is the one collection that lives up to it name! The mainstream songs/hits like "Boy From New York City", "Spice Of Life", and "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" are included along with other notable gems "Birdland" (a well-constructed and enjoyable song) and "Tuxedo Junction" (a swing-era favorite).
The liner notes provide a brief history of how the group began and how the lovely voice of Cheryl Bentyne was able to replace Laurel Masse and changed the sound of the band. The are also pictures and discography along with song credits.
Overall, this collection is ideal for both the casual fan (who only wants the hits) and for the Transfer fan (who would approve this collection as a truly single CD anthology of the group). Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1998
Format: Audio CD
There's nothing bad I can say about this album. Not the best IMO ("Swing" and "Vocalese" fighting for that distinction in my collection), but its the best album you can reccomend to friends. An excellent cross-section of the Transfer's wide range of vocal styles (whether Do-Wop, Swing, Jazz, Pop..or, dare I say it, Disco), this album will hook ANYONE. Their rendition of "Route 66" is, to me, legendary. I'm sure my neighbors want to kill me I play it so much. Or want me to tell them where the heck I got it from.... BUY THIS ALBUM!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Well, all I can say is it's a great CD. I like everything that the Manhattan Transfer has made, since I started liking them when I was younger. (I'm 14 now.) Like the last person, I wouldn't ever give them a bad review, but, belive me. This one has go to be the best. The songs I recomend on this are: Baby Come Back to Me, Tuxedo Junction, Ray's Rockhouse, and Twilght Zone/Twilight Tone. These are just some of my favorites, but I like all the songs on here. If your a Manhattan Transfer fan, like me, you GOT to have this. If you're new to their music, this CD is perfect for you too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By candlewriter on February 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This recording is a great sampler of music from what must be one of the best jazz vocal ensembles in the world -- Manhattan Transfer. Most of the tracks are the toe-tapping jazz tunes they are famous for, but you also get their mellow arrangement of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square", which features some interesting chords and harmonies, the 50s bop "Baby Come Back to Me," and the pop/dance hit "Twighlight Zone". My favorite of all the songs on this recording is "Birdland", which I am lucky enough to have performed, and which Manhattan Transfer sings to jazzy perfection. If you like great a cappella singing and jazz, then this is it!
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