Melissa Manchester's Soulful Side
Exploring the broad reach and diverse interpretations of the singer-songwriter's compositions
A few months ago, I had the incredible privilege of talking with singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester for SoulMusic.com about the release of her previously vaulted Live ‘77 album by The Second Disc. Melissa has long been on my list of favorite artists and I never expected I’d get the chance to have a conversation with her. We discussed her love of soul music (especially evidenced on Live ‘77), her collaboration with Leon Ware and more! You can read my SoulMusic.com article about her by clicking here.
I wanted to share a few of Melissa compositions either recorded by her or other artists that I particularly love.
Just Too Many People—from Revelation by Revelation (1975)
This subsidiary of the New York Community Choir, comprised of the choir’s co-founders Bennie Diggs and Arthur Freeman along with Arnold McCuller and Phillip Ballou covered this gem from Melissa’s 1975 album, Melissa. The tune worked well with Revelation’s overarching message of brotherhood and self-determination.
Be Somebody—from Melissa’s Help Is On The Way (1976)
This lyric, which articulates the love required to release someone so that they can truly be free to become their best self, is set to an oh-so-soulful melody that allows Melissa’s voice to go straight to the heart. The version on Live ‘77 is even more emotionally open and should not be missed!
Come In From The Rain—from Shirley Horn’s The Main Ingredient (1996)
There have been countless covers of Melissa’s “Come In From The Rain”—everyone from Diana Ross to Liza Minnelli to Cheryl Lynn has interpreted it—but this version by jazz legend Shirley Horn is incredibly moody and gorgeous, forcing the listener to focus on every single word. If you’ve never heard it, gird up. It’s unforgettable.
I’ll see you in two weeks! Thank you for continuing to spread the word about God’s Music is My Life! Some exciting things are ahead! I’m still hard at work on the Pam Mark Hall feature, but it is, indeed, on the way!
Another great read!!! THANK YOU for sharing these insights with us all!!!
The stories, the music, always such a welcome revelation!