Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Manhattan Transfer - Tonin' (1994)

An uncontentious covers album.  From Allmusic:
The idea on Tonin' was to turn the Manhattan Transfer loose on a baker's dozen* of good old 1960s pop and R&B hits in league either with the original artists or prominent guests from that period and beyond. And yes, it's a stellar list, guaranteed to stir warm and fuzzy memories, and the tunes echo the old lament of an earlier age, "They don't write songs like they used to."
*[sic] the CD contains 12, not 13 tracks.

So there's no complaint about the material, but I will complain about some questionable arranging choices. The dated arranging and production leave no doubt about the fact this was a mid-'90s release. It's not exactly a waste of the group's vocal talents, but it ain't no showcase, neither. Makes me long for the scattershot variety of the group's early albums. And, like most covers albums, this CD leaves you wanting to hear the original tunes.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #123

Tracks: The better cuts are Groovin' with Felix Cavaliere, La-La Means I Love You with Laura Nyro, and an a capella version of God Only Knows. You'll want to skip I Second That Emotion with Smokey Robinson, Save The Last Dance For Me with Ben E. King, and the cover of The Association's Along Comes Mary. The other tracks contain strong contributions from the likes of B.B. King and Chaka Khan, but their efforts are sadly wasted.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Bought it. Sold it. Then it returned again in a lot of used CDs. Guess I'm stuck with it now.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Man-Tora! Live In Tokyo (1996)
The Christmas Album (1992)
The Offbeat of Avenues (1991)
Brasil (1987)
Vocalese (1985)
Bodies and Souls (1983)
Mecca For Moderns (1981)
Extensions (1979)

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