The Singers: The Manhattans formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1962. The outfit had its biggest chart hit with the #1 single “Kiss and Say Goodbye” in 1976, though 1980’s “Shining Star” remains the group’s signature song.
The Song: Not to be confused with the Earth, Wind & Fire song of the same name, “Shining Star” sounds like an updated slice of Philly soul, with glossy strings and a jazzy guitar vamp laying the foundation for the sweet, simple lyrics.
The Video: The video for “Shining Star” appears to be taken from some poorly dubbed VHS cassette from Japanese MTV, but you can’t beat the matching suits and slick choreographed dance moves. But take note of the YouTube contributor who posted this little gem: the user, with the screen name “fuckthisshit12345,” has only posted this video – an odd choice, given the curse-laden moniker.
Hipster Cachet: Gerald Alston, who took lead vocals on many of the group’s songs after joining in 1970, appears on the Wu Tang Clan’s 2007 album 8 Diagrams, contributing to the song “Stick Me for my Riches.”
-- Christian Schaeffer