I rarely play instrumentals here, for they don’t seem to please the way that vocals do, but I’ve found myself whistling this one off and on all day, and it’s such an upbeat, cheery tune that I decided to offer it today in hopes that it might get your feet tapping and bring a little rhythm into your heart.
You might not know the title of this song, but you’ll recognize it when you hear it. In America, Feels So Good is one of the most popular instrumental songs of all time, and certainly the biggest flugelhorn hit.
Chuck Mangione first recorded with his brother Gap in a band called The Jazz Brothers, which formed in 1960. After signing with Mercury Records as a solo artist, he grew a following in jazz circles and scored a surprise mainstream hit with Feels So Good, which reached #4 in June 1978 and also hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. These were the last days of disco, and his smooth jazz number provided welcome relief from the typical dance music that had saturated the airwaves. It sold over two million copies.
On the Feels So Good album, this track runs 9:42. Mangione recorded it along with five more instrumentals for the album, none of which seemed to have hit potential. An executive at his label suggested cutting down the title track to make it more radio-friendly, so a 3:28 edit was made and released as a single, which became the hit. The radio edit retained the two key elements in the song: Mangione’s flugelhorn, and the guitar solo by Grant Geissman. Other performers on the track were Charles Meeks on bass, Chris Vadala on saxophone and James Bradley, Jr. on drums.
I offer both versions … I’m partial to the long version, but in case you don’t have nearly ten minutes to spend listening, I include the short version as well. No lyrics, for obvious reasons!
Short Version …
Long Version …