Tuesday, June 14, 2011
New York City Images As Album/CD Cover Art #21: Gordon Jenkins "Manhattan Tower" (1956)
Artist/Composer: Gordon Jenkins
Title: Manhattan Tower/Complete Manhattan Tower
Manhattan Tower was a multi-disc LP album by Gordon Jenkins, released by Capitol Records in 1956, as "Complete Manhattan Tower." It is a development of the first side of Jenkins' 1948 Decca Records LP Manhattan Tower/California Suite, which was characterized as "Two Musical Narratives" and featured Elliot Lewis, Beverly Mahr and Lee Sweetland. The 1948 Manhattan Tower/California Suite combined mood music, original songs, spoken narration, dialog, and sound effects to tell the story of a young man who moves to New York City to take a job. The tower referred to in the title is the apartment building he lives in. The album chronicles his rise in both business and society. Although the original introduces the theme of love, it is more thoroughly developed in the 1956 recording. (The flip side of the 1948 Decca album consisted mostly of short, impressionistic songs of historic California.)
Gordon Jenkins performed part of Manhattan Tower on the Ed Sullivan Show. At the time of its release, it was considered quite innovative. Patti Page released a monaural recording of Manhattan Tower on Mercury Records in 1956. In 1964, a new recording of Manhattan Tower featuring vocalist Robert Goulet was released in stereo by Columbia Records. It was marketed as the first recording of the Jenkins' work in stereo. The album was reissued in compact disc format by Sepia Records on March 19, 2007.
Here are a few more variants of the cover art that have been issued over the years...
Let's have a listen, shall we? Best not to watch the video though - it just distracts from the purity of the audio track. Just sit back, close your eyes and listen...