Our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list takes a look at a long running r&b group. They have 45 hit singles on the r&b charts. Twelve of their hit singles were in the Top 10 of the r&b charts. They have 16 singles that were on the Hot 100 charts. Two of the singles that were on the Hot 100 charts were in the Top 10. Eight of their albums were in the Top 20 on the r&b charts. Three of their albums went gold. Some of their hits include “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” “Shining Star,” “I Wanna Be (Your Everything),” “There’s No Me Without You,” “Don’t Take Your Love,” “It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad,” “We Never Danced to a Love Song,” “Here Comes The Hurt Again,” “You Send Me” as well as other hit songs.
The Manhattans formed in 1962. The original members were George “Smitty” Smith, Edward “Sunny” Bivins, Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Kenny “Wally” Kelly and Richard “Ricky” Taylor. The Manhattans got their name from the drink. The name suggested they were a classy group. The group went through member changes throughout the years. When lead singer George “Smitty” Smith got sick, they had to replace him. He was replaced with Gerald Alston. George “Smitty” Smith went on to die from a brain tumor 12 days before his 31st birthday.
The Manhattans released Dedicated to You in 1966. It peaked at number 19 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Follow Your Heart,” “The New Girl,” “Our Love Will Never Die,” “I’m the One That Love Forgot,” “Can I” and “What’s It Gonna Be.” For You and Yours was released in 1967. It features the singles “I Call It Love,” “There Goes A Fool,” “Alone On New Year’s Eve,” “All I Need Is Your Love” and “For The Very First Time.” A Million to One was released in 1972. It peaked at number 35 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Cry If You Wanna Cry,” “A Million to One,” “Do You Ever” and “One Life to Live.”
There’s No Me Without You was released in 1973. It peaked at number 19 on the r&b charts and number 150 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “There’s No Me Without You,” “We Made It,” “Wish That You Were Mine,” “I’m Not a Run Around” “And It’s So Hard Loving You.” That’s How Much I Love You was released in 1974. It peaked at number 59 on the r&b charts and number 160 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Don’t Take Your Love From Me.” “I Don’t Want to Pay the Price of Losing You,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Fever” and “That’s How Much I Love You.” They released an eponymous album in 1976. It peaked at number six on the r&b charts and number 16 on the Billboard 200. It features the singles “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” “Hurt,” “If You’re Ever Gonna Love Me,” “Wonderful World of Love” and “Take It or Leave It.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
It Feels So Good was released in 1977. It peaked at number 12 on the r&b charts and number 68 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “I Kinda Miss You,” “It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad,” “We Never Danced to a Love Song” and “It Just Can’t Stay This Way.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. There’s No Good in Goodbye was released in 1978. It peaked at number 18 on the r&b charts and number 78 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Am I Losing You,” “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” “Tomorrow,” “Everybody Has a Dream” and “Happiness.” Love Talk was released in 1979. It peaked at number 20 on the r&b charts and number 141 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Here Comes the Hurt Again,” “The Way We Were/Memories,” “The Right Feeling at the Wrong Time” and “Devil in the Dark.”
After Midnight was released in 1980. It peaked at number four on the r&b charts and number 24 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Shining Star,” “Girl of My Dreams,” “It’s Not the Same” and “Just as Long as I Have You.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Black Tie was released in 1981. It peaked at number 21 on the r&b charts and number 86 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Just One Moment Away,” “Let Your Love Come Down” and “Honey Honey.” Forever by Your Side was released in 1983. It peaked at number 17 on the r&b charts and number 104 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Just the Lonely Talking Again,” “Crazy,” “Forever by Your Side,” and “Lovin’ Did Not Come Easy.”
Too Hot to Stop It was released in 1985. It peaked at number 44 on the r&b charts and number 171 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “You Send Me.” “Don’t Say No,” “When We Are Made as One” and “Too Hot to Stop It.” They would go on to record several more albums throughout their career.
The Manhattans had their ups and downs due to member changes and health issues, but they managed to find success throughout their career. They were able to be successful throughout the 70s through 2000s era. There aren’t too many groups who started in the 60s who can say they have had hits throughout different eras. A lot of the members of the group are no longer with us, but their memory still lives on through their amazing music. They have a lot of songs so narrowing it down was a bit of a challenge. Our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list will feature their best songs.
# 10 – Am I Losing You
The first song on our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list is “Am I Losing You” from the There’s No Good In Goodbye album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. This yearning song is about a man who is afraid of losing the woman he loves. Anyone who has loved and lost someone will resonate with this heartbreaking jam. The music is soft and soothing. It has the TSOP sound. This is the kind of song that makes you appreciate music.
This is classic r&b music at its best. The musical production is stellar. The composers and instrumentalists did their thing on this tender ballad. Gerald Alston’s sweet voice could charm even the biggest cynic. He does a wonderful job with his vocals. He sounds similar to singer Bobby Smith from The Spinners. Gerald Alston’s baritone vocals were used to the best of his ability. He belts in parts of the song. He doesn’t hold any big notes, but the song didn’t need it. He didn’t need to do any vocal gymnastics to make the song work. He showed his vulnerable side and that’s what made the song work.
This would be one of the best songs to play if you and the person you love are arguing. It will help men appreciate the women in their lives because when she is gone she may not come back. This is one of the hits from the album. It’s no surprise that this song was a hit. It should have been a bigger hit on the Hot 100 charts, but it doesn’t change the fact that this jam is a classic.
# 9 – There’s No Me Without You
The next song on our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list is “There’s No Me Without You” from the album of the same name. The song has an r&b and soul beat. This is a moving song about a man who realizes he is nothing without the woman he loves. He expresses what life would be like if he loses the woman he loves. If you are in love and feel that you would be nothing without the person you love, this is the song for you.
Here is some trivia about the song. Edward “Sunny” Bivins wrote this song for his wife. He thought it was a song everyone could relate to. He was right about that because people in relationships can relate to the lyrics. The music is soft and romantic. The thumping drumbeat gives the track tempo. The vibes and percussion mixed together give the song its sincerity.
The music has the classic sound of Philadelphia. The lyrics are genuine and heartfelt. Gerald Alston’s voice is elegant. He sings the song with a doo-wop blend. His articulation of the lyrics is on point. He sings the song very passionately. You can tell that he really loves the woman in his life. The rest of the Manhattans do a great job with the harmonies. They harmonize beautifully in the background. This is the kind of track that would never get old. It was released years ago, but still has meaning years later.
# 8 – Don’t Take Your Love
This heartfelt song is from the That’s How Much I Love You album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. This is a pleading ballad about a man not being able to make it in life without the woman he loves. Men didn’t always feel secure enough to express their feelings. The Manhattans are allowing themselves to be vulnerable for the women they love.
This song is geared towards men, but women can appreciate the sentiment behind the lyrics. This is the kind of song that will let you know that you are in love. Here is some trivia about the song. The song was written specifically for the group. The writers made the right decision giving this jam to The Manhattans because they are the best group to convey the message they were sending. Like our previous entries, this song has the TSOP sound. It also has a classic r&b sound. This track could make a great bedroom song because once your lady hears the sensual music she is yours for the taking.
Winfred “Blue” Lovett’s velvety voice was perfect with the music. You could get lost listening to him talking. Gerald Alston’s voice is through the roof. He does a lot of great runs and holds notes. He sings from the heart. He does a convincing job expressing how much he loves the woman in his life. His voice will make women swoon. He sounds sensual and vulnerable which was the exact emotion he needed to pull off the song.
# 7 – If Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad
This romantic song is from the It Feels So Good album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. The sweet song is about a man loving the fact that a woman loves him the way she does. He explains how much she loves him. The song is about pure an unadulterated love. The group uses an oxymoron to explain how “good it feels to be loved so bad.” This track would be a wonderful wedding song. Any woman would be honored to hear this song at her wedding.
The gentle music is just what the song needed. It is perfect for slow dancing. It is also perfect for when you are in a romantic mood. If you are a man who doesn’t know what words to use to express how you feel about the woman in your life, you should play this song for her. It will let her know how you feel about her. You wouldn’t have to say a word. Let Gerald Alston do the talking for you.
Gerald Alston sounds amazing. He starts the song off softly and vocally explodes by the second verse. His voice blends perfectly with the music. His voice is truly a gift from God. He shows versatility because he switches back and forth between pitches effortlessly. The Manhattans sound incredible in the background. They harmonize well with each other as usual. This infectious song will stay in your head long after the song is over. It will tempt you to play the song again when it’s over.
# 6 – We Never Danced to a Love Song
The lush song is from the It Feels So Good album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. The tender song is about a man who wants to slow dance with the woman he loves. He talks about dancing to up-tempo songs, but he wants to take it down and slow dance with her. This song came out during the disco era. Most artists were singing disco songs, but The Manhattans wanted to be different. They wanted to sing ballads. They did just that with this song. The track is about dancing which has been done before. When singers sing about dancing, it’s usually a novelty song.
The Manhattans managed not to make this a novelty song. It is a love song. It’s a little dated because they make reference to disco music, but it can still be appreciated. The music is slow and rhythmic. It is something you can slow dance to which is the message they were trying to get across in the lyrics. The music starts off like a disco song and then transitions into a ballad. The piano chords are exquisite. The drums give the music a little tempo. The strings give the song a romantic flair. It expresses the vulnerability in Gerald Alston’s voice.
Speaking of Gerald Altson’s voice, he sounds melodic. There aren’t enough words to express how good he sounds on this track. He is at the top of his game as he pours his heart out in the lyrics. The Manhattans are also at the top of their game supporting him in the background. Their harmonies are top notch.
# 5 – Here Comes the Hurt Again
The next song on our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list is “Here Comes the Hurt Again” from the Love Talk album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. The painful song is about him feeling lonely when the woman he loves leaves him. He explains how much it hurts him when she leaves him. He has been hurt before and has been hurt again. This track is relatable to anyone who has been hurt over and over again in relationships.
The lyrics give great detail on how it feels to be hurt in love. They do such a convincing job with the song that you can feel the pain that they are talking about. The music is smooth and relaxing. It helps convey the story the group is trying to tell. This track has a catchy chorus that invites you to sing along with it. Gerald Alston’s voice sounds a little different. He sounds as if he’s singing in a lower register. His phrasing is on point. You can understand every painful word he says. He sings in time with the music and never misses a beat. He is right there with all of the beat changes. Winfred Lovett’s spoken word is sexy. His sexy voice blends well with the music.
The harmonies are flawless. The Manhattans are made to vocally harmonize with each other. They know what they are doing when it comes to harmonizing. This is the kind of song that you will want to play for years to come. If you are hurt by love it is the best song for you to listen to.
# 4 – You Send Me
This is a simple love song from the Too Hot to Stop It album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. This heart-on-your-sleeve song is about being in love. This is a cover of Sam Cooke’s number one hit song. Since this is a cover song, the questions are coming. Did the Manhattans do the right thing by covering a hit song? Did they make this song their own? The answer to the first question is maybe not.
This track was one of Sam Cooke’s biggest hit singles. You would be very brave to cover a song that was a huge hit for another artist. It would leave your song vulnerable for comparisons to the original. The song has been covered many times so it is risky to cover a popular song. The answer to the second question is yes. The Manhattans make the song their own. Their version is slightly different from Sam Cooke’s. The tempo is SSam Cooke’s version is a little faster than The Manhattans’ version. Sam Cooke’s version is an r&b version while The Manhattans has a mix of r&b and doo wop. Other than the change in tempo and vocal flow, the song is similar to the original version.
The Manhattans manage to put their vocal spin on the song. Gerald Alston’s vocals are extraordinary. His vocals are a little bit deeper than Sam Cooke’s vocals. Gerald Alston’s vocals are sincere and pure. He does an amazing job. He sings the song as if the song was written for him. He makes you almost forget that he is singing a cover song. The Manhattans also do an amazing job in the background. They harmonize well throughout the track. Fans of Sam Cooke’s version will enjoy The Manhattans version.
# 3 – Crazy
This soulful song is from the Forever By Your Side album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. This stirring song is about being with someone and going crazy if you lose the person. The song doesn’t come off like a sappy love song. It is actually an alluring love song. The song displays exactly how someone feels when they are in love and how it makes you go crazy.
They were able to make the transition from the 70s TSOP sound to the 80s. The music sounds similar to George Benson’s music from the 80s. The music has a mid tempo beat that is good for dancing. The music sounds a little dated because you can tell it’s an 80s song but it is still enjoyable. The music has a funky bass. The piano and saxophone are fire. The saxophone makes the song sound sexy and jazzy. The drumbeat gives the song tempo so you can dance to it.
Gerald Alston sounds different on this track. He sounds similar to George Benson. He sings in time with the music. His vocals also blend well with the music. The spoken word is missing from this song. It wasn’t a bad decision because it doesn’t fit with the beat. The spoken word fits better for their ballads than their mid tempo songs. The majority of the songs on our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list feature ballads so this was a chance to include a song with tempo.
# 2 – Shining Star
The meaningful song is from the After Midnight album. The song has an r&b beat. The enchanting song is about a man caring about the woman he loves. This is a strong and dramatic ballad about being in love. He doesn’t want her to go away. This is the perfect track to play if you’re with someone you love. This song will bring back memories for anyone who has been in love. The Manhattans are right at home with this ballad. Your heart would have to be made of stone if this song didn’t touch you. It tells a beautiful story about couples in love.
This is one of the group’s biggest hit singles and it’s easy to see why people love this song. It can be a wedding song or a baby-making song. People of all ages can appreciate the message in the track. The music is simple and soft. It is the definition of smooth r&b or quiet storm music. The music features the piano, drums and strings. They all blend to make an incredible r&b song. Gerald Alston’s vocals are cool and smooth. He enunciates every lyric effortlessly.
He belts in the chorus and has amazing runs. The Manhattans sound extraordinary in the background. The harmonies are fire. Their voices blend so well together that they sound like one person. There aren’t too many groups that can harmonize the way The Manhattans can. The lead and background vocals make the song work. This is an earworm that will stay in your head long after you hear it.
#1 – Kiss and Say Goodbye
The number one song on our Top 10 Manhattans Songs list is “Kiss and Say Goodbye” from the album of the same name. The song has an r&b beat. The regretful song is about the end of a longtime love. He wants the woman he is breaking up with to remember him fondly. The song has a lot of drama. He is cheating on his significant other. The woman he is cheating with is also cheating. He knows the affair was wrong. It’s reminiscent of Atlantic Starr’s “Secret Lovers.” This is their biggest hit single.
Here is some trivia about the song. The song wasn’t written for the Manhattans. It was originally a country song instead of an r&b track. Winfred Lovett wanted Glen Campbell or Charlie Pride to sing the song. The Manhattans didn’t like the song because they thought it sounded too much like a country/western song. They wanted to release a faster song because they didn’t want to do a ballad during the disco era. Luckily they changed their minds because the song went on to be their biggest hit single. The music still contains a hint of country in it because of the string guitar.
The rest of the music features the saxophone, bass, strings, drums and violins. The music is soft and soothing. The music will please fans of country and soul music. The spoken verse by Winfred Lovett appears in the song. His soothing voice is perfect with the music. Gerald Alston is on top of his game once again. His vocals are passionate and heartfelt. You would never know he didn’t want to sing this song based on the way he performs it. The Manhattans did their thing in the background. The song is flawless and deserves to be number one on our list.
Top 10 Songs From The Manhattans article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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