New York City

I'm Doin' Fine Now [Collectables]

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    8
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This CD is a fine compilation centered around tracks from New York City's debut Chelsea Records LP. The Thom Bell productions mimic the sides he was creating for the Spinners and others. Bell uses female backing like he did with the Spinners, at times making them more prominent in the mix than the group members. New York City's lead singer Tim McQueen has an expressive voice suitable for pop and sounds comfortable with Bell's orchestrations. The group's roots, however, were heavy in doo wop, as member John Brown sang with the Five Satins. "I'm Doing Fine Now" invaded the pop Top 20, nesting at number 17. Thom Bell and Linda Creed's "Quick, Fast, in a Hurry" sounds too formulaic; its chart progress halted at number 79. McQueen wrote their third release, "Make Me Twice the Man" which fared worse at number 97; yet this was more New York City's sound than Bell Productions'. Both of the above pop flops reached higher rungs on Billboard's R&B chart. "Uncle James" has to be a Spinners reject. The song has Philippe Wynne written all over it; all it's missing is a Wynne-type testifying sermon.

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