1983 | Atlantic

Bodies and Souls

For Bodies and Souls, the Manhattan Transfer almost completely abandons its roots in favor of a slick, pop/R&B direction on one side of the LP version while trying a few more interesting experiments with textures and styles on the other (the CD, of course, doesn't make such a sharp divide). Side one (entitled "Bodies") is relentless in its search for another Top Ten hit, enlisting the help of Rod Temperton -- then riding high on his red-hot association with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones -- on two tracks, and Stevie Wonder's harmonica on Temperton's slick R&B/disco "Spice of Life." Meanwhile, side two (aka "Souls") pokes around the electronic world before falling back upon another ebullient collaboration with Jon Hendricks on Fletcher Henderson's "Down South Camp Meeting." Manhattan Transfer is so good at vocalese that you wonder why they bothered to chase hits in the manufactured, anonymous pop language of 1983.