Friday, February 13, 2009

Feels So Bad

In the comments to my item on instrumentals the other day, Rob lamented the fact that Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" never made it to Number One (it peaked at Number Four in June 1978). Well, there's more bad news for flugelhorn fans: Chuck was scheduled to appear with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this evening (Friday night), and two of the members of his band, guitarist Coleman Mellett and saxophonist Gerry Niewood, were on the plane that crashed in Buffalo the other night. Chuck's from Rochester, so it would have been a sort of homecoming. The performance, of course, has been canceled.

Neither of those gentleman played on "Feels So Good"; I'm not sure who's left from that band, which I studied many times on the album sleeve while listening to the record back in 1978. (The guitarist from that band, Grant Geissman, went on to not only play the theme song to the TV show Monk [unheard by me] but to write a book called Collectibly Mad, about Mad magazine.) The sleeve also contained lyrics to "Feels So Good," which I have never heard anyone sing. They are as follows:

There's no place for me to hide
The thoughts of all the times I've cried
And felt this pain that I have known
Because I needed just to hear that special something

And then one day
You just appeared
You said, "Hello, let's make love along the way"
Your name is music to my heart
I'll always really love you

Feels so good when I'm with you
I can't believe you love me too

With you it feels like it should feel
Feels so good let's make a deal

I'll trade my baseball cards for you
Now I believe that dreams come true

With you my smile sticks all the time
With you the sun will always shine


This is one of two Adult Contemporary smashes of the mid-1970s to mention (however obliquely) baseball cards, the other being Chicago's "Old Days." You cannot overestimate how significant this was to me back in 1978.

4 comments:

Kinky Paprika said...

Niewood played with Mangione from 1968 to 1976, then split to do his own thing.
I believe he came back in the early '90s or so.
He missed Chuck's Top 40 career, but Niewood did pretty well for himself during that time, playing with people like Frank Sinatra and Simon & Garfunkel.

There's a very early Mangione live album - circa 1969 - that features Mangione and Niewood playing with a then-unknown rhythm section consisting of Tony Levin (bass) and Steve Gadd (drums.)
An OK bunch of players.

Rob said...

condolences all around.

oddly, Grant Geissman wrote a letter to Spin magazine to complain about the first review I wrote there, in 1988. It was Tiffany's 2nd album, and the final track was Grant playing a medley of Tiff tunes entitled "Overture," which I kinda made fun of, so Grant wrote to question my credentials as a "critic" (which he cleverly put in quotes) which was entirely fair. He also played on Joanna Newson's 2nd album, another one of the eerie similarities between Joanna and Tiffany.

I had no idea until last year he played the awesome guitar ripples in "Feels So Good!" Somehow those lyrics don't seem to fit the melody at all, but they cry out for the velvet caress of a fluegelhorn.

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