Melissa Manchester Download
Feb 26, 1975Record Plant (Sausalito, CA)
Melissa Manchester Download
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Total Length:
56:06
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Melissa Manchester Download

$5
$5
Download Concert
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Sample this concert
  1. 1Bright Eyes04:37
  2. 2Midnight Blue04:21
  3. 3Party Music04:50
  4. 4This Lady's Not Home Today05:22
  5. 5Stevie's Wonder06:42
  6. 6Newton's Ego05:39
  7. 7We've Got Time04:31
  8. 8Easy06:08
  9. 9Just Too Many People05:07
  10. 10Love Havin' You Around08:49
Item Number:
  • 20052657-4611-AD
Date:
  • Feb 26, 1975
Venue:
Sample this concert
  1. 1Bright Eyes04:37
  2. 2Midnight Blue04:21
  3. 3Party Music04:50
  4. 4This Lady's Not Home Today05:22
  5. 5Stevie's Wonder06:42
  6. 6Newton's Ego05:39
  7. 7We've Got Time04:31
  8. 8Easy06:08
  9. 9Just Too Many People05:07
  10. 10Love Havin' You Around08:49
Total Length:
56:06
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Liner Notes

Kirk Bruner - drums; Lenny Castro - percussion; James Newton Howard - keyboards; Melissa Manchester - vocals, piano; Cooker Lo Presti - bass; David Wolfert - guitar

Mentored by Paul Simon, Melissa Manchester emerged in 1973 with a debut album containing original material that assimilated aspects of pop, rock, soul, gospel and jazz, while showcasing her rich earthy voice. Heavily influenced by Laura Nyro, her early material lacked Nyro's intensity, but was impressive on its own terms. Her second album, Bright Eyes, released in 1974, still clearly showed her influences, but was another step toward originality. It revealed that Manchester had a knack for sensitive and romantic songwriting, and her voice displayed more restraint and confidence, particularly on the piano ballads. Her breakthrough third album, Melissa, released just days before this remarkable Record Plant performance, is still considered her masterpiece to this day.

This performance, before an intimate in-studio audience, literally captures Manchester standing at the threshold of stardom. Accompanied by many of the musicians that helped her record that breakthrough album, one could hardly ask for a better time to capture her live. The album was quite polished, but here those same songs have more immediacy, and as great as that album was, in many ways this performance is even more impressive and satisfying.

The set begins with "Bright Eyes," the title track off her 1974 album. It's a perfect opener as this was one of the songs that began to display her potential. With the exception of "Easy," a highlight track off her 1973 debut album and "Newton's Ego," an instrumental showcase for her keyboard player James Newton Howard, the remainder of the set concentrates strictly on material from the new album.

Right after the opener, she performs "Midnight Blue," and it is wonderful to hear this before it had any recognition from the audience, totally fresh and new. This highly intoxicating piano ballad, which she will always be recognized for, would soon tear up the charts, reaching #6 on the pop charts and #1 on adult contemporary. Before long, it would join the rare ranks of becoming a permanent radio staple worldwide and be covered by countless other artists. The follow-up single, "Just Too Many People," also debuted here later in the set, would have less impact, but not by much, as it too charted and hit #2 on the AC charts. The songs in this set would function as a virtual blueprint for much of her later career.

The torch song ballads, like "Bright Eyes," "The Lady's Not Home Today" and "We've Got Time" are all soulful and beautiful performances, with great passionate vocals from Melissa. This is not to say all the best music is introspective. "Party Music" goes for a more up-tempo feel, and there is also not one, but two tributes to Stevie Wonder here - Melissa's own personal tribute, "Stevie's Wonder" as well as the nearly nine-minute jam on the set closer, an engaging cover of Wonder's own "Love Havin' You Around." The latter rocks pretty hard and the entire ensemble is allowed plenty of room to stretch out and solo.

Manchester's career would really take off during the course of this year and thanks to this remarkable recording, one can enjoy a very special moment in time, when fame and stardom was just around the corner.

Show More
Comments