Apr 132003
 

From MECCA FOR MODERNS
Written by David Foster, Jay Graydon, Bill Champlin & Alan Paul

Here we are talking about another wonderful Foster/Graydon/Champlin collaboration. This time they worked their magic for Manhattan Transfer’s album “Mecca For Moderns” which Graydon produced in 1981. “Smile Again” is a sweet ballad, very refined with a jazzy vibe, a perfect showcase for Man-Tran’s unbelievable vocal harmonies and the classic keyboards playing of David Foster. In this song you can hear the unique blend of the piano and the fender Rhodes which is really one of his trademarks as he explained in an 1988 interview for “Keyboard” magazine: “I love that sound of the Rhodes and the piano together. We stumbled across that when we were doing “Here You Come Again” for Dolly Parton…..i don’t remember if I started on the Rhodes or the acoustic, but after we got the track, I said “Hey why don’t I try the exact same part again on the other piano?” I did it, and it was this very cool sound”.

As always Jay Graydon’s production is flawless, he is a another genius, the two records he made with Manhattan Transfer are nothing short of brilliant. He took this vocal combo to another level and showed them the way to mix quality music with big chart success, a goal he achieved with even bigger results with Al Jarreau always in the same years.

Graydon is also one of the best guitar players, if you want some clear evidence check out his solo on the album’s opening track “On The Boulevard”.

“Mecca For Moderns” takes you to a jazz club with one song and on a Rio De Janeiro beach with another, and also in a James Bond movie or right in a fifties’ atmosphere. It is an incredible record that still sounds interesting and fresh today, a good twenty-two years after its release.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Alan Paul and Janis Siegel
Drums: Steve Gadd
Acoustic piano, fender Rhodes & Synths: David Foster
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Abraham Laboriel
Background Vocals: Janis Siegel, Tim Hauser, Alan Paul & Cheryl Bentyne
Strings arranged by David Foster
Produced and arranged by Jay Graydon


Lyrics

Endless nights
I’d play solitaire
Imagining that you were here
One night flights
Such heartless affairs
They froze the hopes of love in me
You suddenly appeared
Melted all my fears
Filled me with the love I need

You make me smile again
Like a child of three
And I believe it will turn out right baby
Oh you make me smile again
Oh love, my love

Heart to heart
Our souls intertwine
Make love and float away with me
Twins of flame
A love so divine
I want to spend my life around you
Now, now I have the strength
Now I have the hopes
You give me all I need

To make me smile again
Like a child of three
And I believe it will work out right baby
Oh you make me smile again
Hold me in your arms
Oh love, my love

You make me smile again
Like a child of three
Oh I believe we’ll live a dream for two
Oh you make me smile again
Hold me in your arms
Oh love, my love