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Red Cab to Manhattan

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Southern
Originally issued in 1980, Red Cab to Manhattan was singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop's fascinating follow-up to the smash debut Careless (1977) and his uneven sophomore release, Bish (1978). Bishop wrote and recorded Red Cab during his bicoastal romantic involvement with actress Karen Allen and not long before their reportedly crushing split. Listening to the album, you can hear both sides of the equation: it alternates between playful pop tunes that sound like they were authored during the relationship's happy times, characterized by a prankish, occasionally raunchy sense of humor (as in the opener, "The Big House," and the bizarre, irreverent "Sex Kittens Go to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Southern
Originally issued in 1980, Red Cab to Manhattan was singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop's fascinating follow-up to the smash debut Careless (1977) and his uneven sophomore release, Bish (1978). Bishop wrote and recorded Red Cab during his bicoastal romantic involvement with actress Karen Allen and not long before their reportedly crushing split. Listening to the album, you can hear both sides of the equation: it alternates between playful pop tunes that sound like they were authored during the relationship's happy times, characterized by a prankish, occasionally raunchy sense of humor (as in the opener, "The Big House," and the bizarre, irreverent "Sex Kittens Go to College"), and poignant selections such as "The Story of a Boy in Love," about a distraught young man who leaps off a building to his death after a breakup. At one point -- a refrain on the track "Little Moon" -- Bishop even works Allen's name into the lyrics, bleating out "Karen" repeatedly. The emotionally schizoid nature of the recording is its Achilles' heel. However, if taken on a case-by-case basis, the individual songs do demonstrate much greater compositional maturity than the selections on Bish. From the beginning of his career, Bishop always demonstrated a tendency to add oddball musical flourishes to conventional pop songs, but on Bish, the attempts at innovation often sounded klutzy and tacky -- as when he opened "What Love Can Do" with a nutty Wizard of Oz sound-alike chorus. The artist sustains an offbeat vibe on Red Cab as well, but here, the frequent eccentricities feel fluidly integrated into the overall song structures. This is particularly true of the outstanding title track -- which begins as a wistful, dreamlike ballad with a couple of Brian Wilson-esque bridges, and then segues effortlessly into a mellifluous trombone solo by Bishop. Also memorable is the album's closer, "My Clarinet," a kind of tragicomic ode to a dead-end life, performed on solo guitar. It's tinged with melancholic irony and some of Bishop's most clever lyrics ("I feel like the Z in xylophone, tonight"). Unfortunately, despite Red Cab's many assets, it marked the beginning of a lengthy dry spell for the musician. Because his next effort, 1986's Sleeping with Girls, never received North American distribution, fans had to wait until 1989's Bowling in Paris to enjoy another new Bishop release.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2006
  • Label: Vivid Sound Japan
  • EAN: 4540399033440
  • Catalog Number: 3344

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stephen Bishop Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Trombone, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Soloist
John Tropea Guitar, Electric Guitar
Phil Collins Drums
Art Garfunkel Vocals, Background Vocals
Phoebe Snow Vocals, Background Vocals
Warren Bernhardt Keyboards, Clavinet, fender rhodes
Don Grolnick Piano, Keyboards, fender rhodes
David Lasley Vocals, Background Vocals
Gary Brooker Piano, fender rhodes
Clive Anstee Strings, Cello
Dennis Belfield Bass
Lenny Castro Percussion
Eric Clapton Guitar, Electric Guitar
Howard "Buzz" Feiten Guitar, Electric Guitar, Soloist
Steve Gadd Drums
John Giblin Bass
Neil Jason Bass
Russ Kunkel Drums
Neil Larsen Piano, Keyboards
Mike Mainieri Synthesizer, Percussion, Cymbals, Marimbas, Timpani, Vibes, Vocoder
Hugh McCracken Guitar, Slide Guitar
Arnold McCutler Vocals
Sid McGinnis Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jeff Mironov Guitar
Andy Newmark Drums
Chris Parker Drums
Dean Parks Guitar, Electric Guitar, Fills
David Spinozza Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Chris Stainton Piano, fender rhodes
Jeffrey Staton Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ed Walsh Koto
Willie Weeks Bass
Arnold McCuller Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Stephen Bishop Composer, Contributor
Jeremy Lubbock String Arrangements, Woodwind Arrangement
Don Sebesky Horn Arrangements, Horn Conductor
Tommy LiPuma Producer
Mike Mainieri Producer, Flute Arrangement
Judy Maizel Composer
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