Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Manhattans

  • Greatest Hits [Columbia, 1980] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Greatest Hits [Columbia, 1980]
Dedicated journeymen, true songs of the street corner, they ended up outlasting even the Chi-Lites, making their mark and their living adding greaseless Barry White moves to old-fashioned slow stuff, and they deserved the fluke crossover "Shining Star," which made this album possible. It's baited and/or larded with two "hits" that were only projected, shall we say, when the album was released, and how about that--one's a memorable almost-uptempo that eventually went top-twenty r&b, and the other's inspired doowop manqué that sounds just fine leading side two even though it's out of time as far as the charts are concerned. My favorite tune here braved the year of our disco 1977: "We Never Danced to a Love Song." Bet you they did--even in 1977. A-

Further Notes:

Distinctions Not Cost-Effective [1970s]: I recommend their 1980 best-of, but for albums I'll take the Chi-Lites. Or the Detroit Emeralds. Maybe even Boston.