Thursday, June 24, 2010

On my turntable: Barry Manilow - Greatest Hits

This is a brilliant collection of songs, by a genius of a man who totally got a raw deal in the image department. For those of you who weren't around in the early to mid 1980's, there were few artists who faced ridicule and scorn like Barry Manilow (the Bee Gees might be close). This, of course, was after he'd already racked up a couple dozen huge hits and sold tens of millions of records.  Perhaps his crime was too much success; As they say, the higher they climb...

The true genius of Manilow, in my opinion, is his gift for arranging.  He is also a gifted songwriter, but he was not always the author of his hits (trivia: "I Write the Songs" was NOT written by Manilow, but by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Manilow was also not the first to record the song).  Manilow has a special knack for building a song from a simple piano intro to a huge lush production, and when he kicks it into high gear with a key change  - that's when the ladies start throwing their panties.

Manilow has experienced a renaissance of sorts with his "greatest love songs of the 50s-80's" collections.  No doubt he's still got a few tricks up his sleeve.  My hope is that he gets back to old some old-school Barry soon.

1 comment:

Reb said...

I agree. always was a fan..always will be..but I sure wish Barry would go back to doing THIS type of music!