The Manhattan Transfer Live was recorded by The Manhattan Transfer live at Manchester on 23 April 1978, Bristol on 28 April 1978, and the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre, London, on 2 May 1978. The album was produced by Tim Hauser and Janis Siegel. This was the final album made with Laurel Massé.
For many years this album had the distinction of being the only Manhattan Transfer album not to be released on CD. It was released by Wounded Bird Records (WOU-540) on CD in 2005.
In the live performances there was an intermission between Speak Up Mambo (Cuentame) (CD track 8) and In The Dark (CD track 9).
- That Cat Is High - (J.M. Williams) - 3:15
- Snootie Little Cutie - (Bob Troup) - 3:19
- Four Brothers - (Jimmy Giuffre, Jon Hendricks) - 3:56
- On a Little Street in Singapore - (Billy Hill, Peter De Rose) - 3:36
- Java Jive - (Milton Drake, Ben Oakland) - 2:54
- Walk In Love - (David Batteau, John Klemmer) - 3:20
- Chanson D'Amour - (Wayne Shanklin) - 2:36
- Speak Up Mambo (Cuentame) - (Al Castellanos) - 3:21
- 15 Minute Intermission - (Sonny Skylar) - 1:36
- In the Dark - (Lil Green, Bill Broonzy) - 4:14
- Je Voulais (Te Dire Que Je T'Attends) - (Michel Jonasz, Pierre Grosz) - 4:49
- Sunday - (Jule Styne, Chester Cohn, Bennie Kreuger, Ned Miller) - - 0:41
- Candy - (Mark David, Joan Whitney, Alex Kramer) - 3:35
- Well, Well, Well - (Terry Shand, Billy Moll, Dick Robertson) - 1:52
- Freddy Morris Monologue - (Alan Paul) - 1:07
- Bacon Fat - (Andre Williams) - 3:33
- Turn Me Loose - (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman) - 2:50
- Operator - (William Spivery) - 3:52
- Tuxedo Junction - (Buddy Fayne, William Johnson, Julian Dash, Erskine Hawkins) - 3:01
- David Katz - orchestra director
- Tony Fisher, Bobby Haughey, Ronnie Hughes, Derek Watkins - trumpet
- Derek Grossmith, Eddie Mordue, Keith Bird, Stan Sultzman - saxophone
- Cliff Hardie, David Horler - trombone
- Geof Perkins - bass trombone
The album was not originally published in the United States, under the catalogue number SD 19218, belonging to the series of Atlantic Records for the U.S. original publications, was used for some local editions, as in Sweden and in Australia. In the US the album was published as a LP in 1979 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, in a collector's edition under the name "Original Master Recording" (discs made from the master original) For many years, ending in 2005, The Manhattan Transfer Live was the only album of the group that was not reissued on CD.
The cover of the standard editions of Atlantic Records, was described by Janis Siegel as "the worst cover in history (perhaps only after Mecca for Moderns and Coming Out, is a drawing in a cartoon style of the four members of the group, and was reused for the re-release on CD of the Wounded Bird Records of 21 June 2005, while that of the edition Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is a photograph depicting the silhouette of the group at twilight (photography included in the inner envelope of the Atlantic version).