Feels So Good
What is it?
“Feels So Good” is a 1978 instrumental by flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione. It was both written and produced by Mangione and is the title track from his 1977 album. The album version of the song runs almost ten minutes, but an edit trimming the piece to 3 minutes 28 seconds was released as a single in early 1978.
Why is it underrated?
Many years ago, in a diner, I was sitting and having coffee with a friend late at night. We went to the diner because where I grew up, there was nothing else to do at night, other than go to the music store to look at records or go to the movies and then go to the diner. That’s it. Nothing else. So we’re sitting in the diner and talking, and while we were sitting there, someone had put money into the jukebox in their booth and we were forced to listen to their selections.
Anyway, the music was crappy, but without even realizing it, I found that I was singing along. How the hell did I know the words to a Mariah Carey song? The good news was that I didn’t know the words to a Mariah Carey tune. It turned out she’d covered “Open Arms” by Journey, and that’s why I was singing along. All of this is a long way of saying that our minds are like steel traps, particularly as far as music is concerned. Whether we know we know or not, it’s in there. And that’s why “Feels So Good” feels so good.
Here’s the thing about “Feels So Good”: it’s the most recognizable instrumental song that no one knows anything about other than the tune. They can’t tell you who recorded it. They can’t tell you the name, but when they’re standing in the elevator or sitting in the dentist’s office and they hear it, they immediately start humming it. And not only that, it’ll stay in their head for days or weeks.
It’s quintessential 1970s music. It’s a jazzy, smooth tune that just envelops you. Outstanding stuff. This is the kind of music that they played on the real life Love Boat, when they weren't busy chasing stowaways and giving Charo regular work, despite her having no discernible talent beyond shaking her boobs and saying "Coochie, coochie."
Don’t believe it? Check out this live performance of the song on the outstanding 1970s late night program The Midnight Special and report back. This tune is like the urine stain on your pants. It starts as a small stream, and then just spreads slowly until your pants are soaking wet.
Chuck’s Good Luck
Mangione, a Yankees fan, played the national anthem and joined the broadcast team for an inning on July 4, 1983 when Dave Righetti pitched a no-hitter for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. This is not at all interesting, and only informative in the sense that there’s information here. The information itself is useless.