They have been around for nearly four decades now. This group has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working and most 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 "The Very Best of The Manhattan Transfer" 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. "The Very Best of The Manhattan Transfer"should be considered "essential" for serious collectors of American popular music. Very highly recommended.
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The Manhattan Transfer is the name of two incarnations of an American vocal group, with Tim Hauser being the only link between the two groups. The group's name comes from John Dos Passos' 1925 novel Manhattan Transfer and reflects their New York origins.
The first group, established in New York City in 1969, disbanded after producing a single album, Jukin' (1971). This article focuses on the second line-up which was set up in 1972 and is still together as of 2008. It is famous for mixing jazz, big band, and popular music styles.
The current group was founded in 1972 by singers Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Laurel Massé and Tim Hauser. Performances at Max's Kansas City, Trude Heller's and Reno Sweeney in New York City soon brought them a cult following, and it was at the latter venue that Ahmet Ertegün, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records, saw them and offered a recording contract which led to the release, in 1975, of their first album under the new line-up, The Manhattan Transfer. The album included the group's first hit single, the gospel tune "Operator".