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The Essence of Melissa Manchester

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Album Review

The Essence of Melissa Manchester is a comprehensive overview of her decade's worth of recordings for Arista. During her stint at the label, she was at the peak of her popularity, racking up a string of adult contemporary hits including "Midnight Blue," "Just Too Many People," "Just You and I," "Don't Cry Out Loud," "Pretty Girls," the Peabo Bryson duet "Lovers After All," and "You Should Hear How She Talks About You." All of those hits, plus several lesser-known gems like "Whenever I Call You Friend," are included on this terrific compilation, which is a definitive retrospective of her finest recordings.

Customer Reviews

Nice Index Of Arista Recordings

During 1997 Arista pulled all the stops on it's top drawer artists and either re-issued key albums or assembled single-disc anthologies like this one and mastered it utilizing the latest in 24-bit oversampling. Unfortunately the results vary in quality, some nice and loud and others, like this one, a bit muted. The individual album remasters of Melissa's Arista body of work recently released and available here on iTunes sound far better. She did a one-off recording after her Arista tenure for Casablanca for a soundtrack appearance titled "Thief Of Hearts" and a one off album for MCA titled "Mathematics" which, like the Casablanca recording, remain vaulted. Melissa cut her chops as a singer-songwriter and most recordings arranged, produced, and released by such artists have a tendency, at least early in their career, to sound like well produced acoustic demos. In Melissa's case her work leans toward a gospel slant with an r&b backbeat and as she developed her sound became very commercial, almost New Wave. Vocally this girl can sing the phone book and I absolutely love every thing she's done, though I prefer her big ballads like "Midnight Blue" and "Don't Cry Out Loud." I remember her "Fire In The Morning" and she had a follow-up in the 80's called "Pretty Girls" which although a hit didn't make this collection. I personally think Melissa and her album cuts are worth seeking out but if just the highlights is all that's desired this collection's fine, just turn up the volume.

Just To Many People - !!!

Just love Melissa - her music brings back so many memories - especially "Just To Many People" We need to get back on board and get involved. Luv u Melissa.


Born: February 15, 1951 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

MOR singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, whose father was a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera, began singing commercial jingles at age 15 and went on to become a staff writer for Chappell Music while attending the High School of Performing Arts. After taking a songwriting class at New York University taught by Paul Simon, Manchester took her talents to the Manhattan club scene, where she was discovered by Bette Midler and Barry Manilow; the two hired her as a backup singer in 1971....
Full Bio
The Essence of Melissa Manchester, Melissa Manchester
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