Glen Zimmerman | West Bumblefuch, USA | 08/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A group that should have been much bigger than it was, the 70s/80s funk/rock/R&B collective Manchild takes the gritty guitar work of masters like Jimi Hendrix & Sly & The Family Stone and adds exquisite harmonizing reminiscent of Earth, Wind & Fire to create beautifully textured music that any fan of the above-mentioned groups should definitely want to check out. This group was also the first musical endeavor undertaken by the now-legendary Babyface. This compilation disc is probably the best place to start for a good introduction to this group, as it contains material made both before and after Babyface became a member of the group, and many of the group's original albums are available only as expensive import CDs, and the original LPs/cassettes are long out of print and very difficult to come by these days."
Too much potential to last
Al Numanlia Wone | Atlanta, Georgia | 12/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These guys were phenomenal! I bought both albums new, and knew instantly that they were special. However a new (very progressive) power r&b/funk rock group was just too much for the "dumbing down the masses" strategy of urban radio. Too bad. These guys would have been a great compliment to the achievements of EWF, Marvin and Stevie Wonder. Of course Kenny Edmonds went on to the Deele (thanks to Midnight Star) and later vast riches and musical sterility.Oh the shame.What would have been, what could have been...."
Little-known band spawned today's top talent
firstname.lastname@example.org | Indy | 12/06/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title of this 1997 compilation is a misnomer, as Kenneth "babyface" Edwards was not the lead singer for the band, founded in Indianapolis in 1974. It would take three years for the group to score a hit and yes, Face shared writing credit. Manchild's lead vocalist, Flash Ferrel, had a grittier, funky tenor than Face's subdued sound, which was well suited to the band's musical style. The seven-member outfit developed a local following and eventually signed with the now-defunct Chi-Sound Records. The lushly arranged, etheral ballad, "Especially For You," went to No. 70 on the R&B charts in 1978. That track is included on this disc, which features the cuts from the two LPs Manchild released before it broke up in 1980. Manchild was a true R&B band that developed a sound that mixed elements of R&B with jazz. This CD features raw, bottom-heavy,funk-laced tracks,particularly the southern blues thump of "Don't Get Me Rowdy," penned by Reggie Griffin. Griffin, Face and band member Daryl Simmons have all enjoyed successful careers as R&B writers, producers and performers. This CD is an excellent addition to music lovers who also enjoy entertainment history."
C'mon now, how shameless can you get ??
Peppino | 11/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
".......the typical American recording industry "geniuses" make me nauseous! Babyface & Manchild ???????Manchild, the incredibly versatile Jazz/Funk band DID have one "Kenny Edmonds" in the band---virtually a NON ENTITY, as the 2 lps(now cds) were masterminded by the musical excellence of ANOTHER, Reggie Griffin!My guess, he's 1 part P**ED off that his musical vision is being passed off as an "incubatory stage" of "Babyface" K.E.'s career, yet 1 part happy that without this shameless misrepresentation by the record label, that this fine music would be lost forever!The funk stuff goes from the Nasty "hard" FUNK to downright ordinary run of the mill, but R.G.'s doowop-spacey ballad gem, *Especially for You", the Earth Wind & Fire homage "We Need We", and not to forget the wonderful "These are the Things That are Special", which brings to mind VINTAGE 5 Stairsteps sounds.......... These cuts stand out and are Exceptional!R.G. is also quite a guitarist, a kind of Hybrid Eddie Hazel/ Sugar Bonner/Roger Troutman....Jazzy chops with impeccable frasing--the solo in "Especially......" is flowing and melodic,the gritty jazzfusion solo on "Red hot daddy" kicks with power & inventiveness-- he is "blowing" some fantastic lines on that track---GUITARISTS TAKE NOTICE!The future Babyface is really just another cog in the wheel that was Manchild. Without Reggie Griffin, there's no Manchild!I've been intrigued lately, as i just figured out this "rare groove" thing these English djs have had going--- Im amazed this band hasnt been "discovered" by these guys......I ALWAYS marvel at how the English music scene "reinvents the wheel" and sends the great musics RIGHT BACK TO THE USA (or Brasil) where these "dicovered sounds have been languishing quasi-neglected.These dj-scene chaps have revitalized the likes of Marcos Valle and Joao Donato from brasil, and keep the musics of "obscure" US artists like Leroy Hutson, Leon Ware and Terry Callier ALIVE! So, that's good.....I must say to these djs, "Hats Off", BUT.........HOW DID YOU MISS "MANCHILD" (!!), hehehehe (English reissue probably wouldnt even MENTION Babyface, as *style* counts with these "rare groover" fans... Dont get this on the merits of the Babyface connection, check it out for what it is...it's a worthwhile pickup.
3 1/2 stars in general, but 100 stars for the "feature" tracks!"
Majok | Hartford, CT USA | 05/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A comment on the band. I remember these guys from the East side of Indianapolis, the "In Crowd" night club, circa 1974-5. Knew Kenny, too. But it was the BAND, Manchild, that was as progressive as they come, real "Cool People." There should be more honest-to-goodness bands like that doin' it in the clubs today.