Throughout the 1970s, Chuck Mangione was a celebrity. His purposely lightweight music was melodic pop that was upbeat, optimistic, and sometimes uplifting. Mangione's records were big sellers yet few of his fans from the era knew that his original goal was to be a bebopper. His father had often taken Chuck and his older brother Gap (a keyboardist) out to see jazz concerts, and Dizzy Gillespie was a family friend.
Another addition to the Manhattans' bulging cache of mellow sounds. Gerald Alston, Winnie Lovett, Ernest Bivens and Kenny Kelly made a career of recording romance, heartache and make-out tunes. The popular "We Never Danced to a Love Song" fits in well with their other ballads, as does the majestic "It Just Can't Stay this Way" and "Let's Start All Over Again." They hit the charts with the somewhat contrived "I Kinda Miss You," and the title track, the eloquent "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad" is classic - the harmony is tight and they add a little doo wop for good measure.
Like Ike & Tina Turner, the Ikettes had a pretty confusing recording career, releasing numerous discs for several labels and enduring several lineup changes. They did, however, settle at Modern for a while in the mid-'60s, releasing six singles and one LP for the company. This 27-track compilation includes all of that material, as well as some solo recordings by Ikettes Venetta Fields and Flora Williams (aka Delores Johnson), adding quite a few outtakes and alternate takes not issued in the '60s. It's not, it should be a clarified, a greatest-hits compilation; it doesn't include anything not recorded for Modern, which means it doesn't have their biggest hit, 1962's Top 20 single "I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)" (released on Atco), though it does have their only other Top 40 pop entry, 1965's "Peaches 'n' Cream."
Feels So Good is the second album by Atomic Kitten and features the hit singles "It's OK!", "Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)", "The Last Goodbye/Be With You" (double A-side) and "Love Doesn't Have To Hurt". The style of the album is comparable with the first album and consists mainly of pop ballads, happy songs and one cover version. After releasing a cover version of "Eternal Flame" on the previous album, Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles decided to write a track for the album called "Love Doesn't Have To Hurt". The girls team up with Rob Davis for the songwriting and production of several songs and as a result Kylie Minogue with whom he frequently collaborated, also donates a song, "Feels So Good", to the album. Out of gratitude and because they feel it is a great title, the girl band decided to name the album after that song.
Armed with just his "Feels So Good" quintet and occasionally a couple of brass players, Mangione's more grandiose ambitions are pretty much behind him on his final A&M release. The emphasis is almost entirely on spinning pretty tunes for his new mass audience without alienating or challenging it much. Not that this collection is completely soporific or lacking the jazz touch; "Pina Colada" revives things with some uptempo flights for Mangione's flugelhorn and Chris Vadala's tenor, and the title cut is an amiably jumping, if repetitive funk workout for the quintet. The major push, however, went to "Give It All You Got" – another upbeat, optimistic, good-times motivating tool, heard extensively at the 1980 Winter Olympics – and Chuck gives it to us again at a listless tempo with the title, "Give It All You Got, But Slowly." As things transpired, this would be his last halfway decent studio album for at least the next decade.
This import version of Chuck Mangione's A&M hits collection contains three more tracks than its domestic counterpart, as well as his volume in the Universal 20th Century Masters collection. The bottom line when it comes to Mangione's music: his biggest period was in the '70s for A&M, when he had his monster hit "Feels So Good." That one has to be here, but so are other noteworthy (and very successful) singles such as "Land of Make Believe," "Chase the Clouds Away," and the overture for "Children of Sanchez."