Kiss and Say Goodbye
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|"Kiss and Say Goodbye"|
|Single by The Manhattans|
|from the album The Manhattans|
|B-side||"Wonderful World of Love"|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, soul|
4:27 (full version)
Background and recording
The song was written by Manhattans member Winfred "Blue" Lovett. The lyrics and melody came to him late one night. As he later recalled, "Everything was there. I got up about three o'clock in the morning and jotted down the things I wanted to say. I just put the words together on my tape recorder and little piano. I've always thought that when you write slow songs, they have to have meaning. In this case, it's the love triangle situation we've all been through. I figured anyone who's been in love could relate to it. And it seemed to touch home for a lot of folks."
The original demo of the song was recorded with The Manhattans backing band, "Little Harlem." After hearing a tape of the recording, producer/arranger Bobby Martin decided to re-record the song with MFSB at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. Recorded in early 1975, Columbia Records officials withheld releasing the song until 14 months later. Lovett had his concerns over when the record came out as well as the record itself. "I was critical, a perfectionist in the studio, and there are still parts of it that make my skin crawl. For example, in one place, the background vocals go off pitch. Somehow, though, that didn't seem to bother anyone else.
Released as a single, the song became a worldwide hit for the group, spending two weeks at number one on the U.S. Pop and U.S. R&B charts. and reaching number four on the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 1976. In the U.S., the song was the 400th #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. It also became just the second single to earn platinum certification status, after the RIAA established the designation in 1976. (Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" had been the first a few months earlier.) Billboard ranked it as the No. 6 song for 1976.
Besides being the first and only No. 1 pop hit for the Manhattans, "Kiss and Say Goodbye" marked more than 11 years since the group first made the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965 with "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)."
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