Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #19!

Because of the holidays and precious little time to devote to higher pursuits, I give you a simple, honest Thursday Thirteen. So run away if you must, but here, for the first time written down for all to view, are my favorite Barry Manilow songs, not in any particular order:

1. Mandy. He didn't write it, but he rearranged it from a rock song titled "Brandy" and sings it beautifully. Still a fave that has held up very well over the last 30+ years.

2. Could It Be Magic. Could it be that I love this song because it is based on a Chopin prelude? Or could it be because my mother discovered this song for that very reason and was one of her favorites? I don't know. I still love it though.

3. Do You Know Who's Livin' Next Door. Done about 2001, it was on "Here at the Mayflower", the first album Manilow created totally on his own. All his compositions, all his arrangements, all his production, all his voice, and he played every instrument (except for Dave Koz on sax) or created it on a computer. He had to jump ship from Arista to RCA to record it because it wasn't considered a profitable undertaking, but the whole of "Mayflower" is one of his very finest.

4. I'm Coming Back. On the Mayflower album. This song is the one I used to sing to myself during a panic attack to get my brain out of panic mode. The melody is easy, the beat consistent and the words are sweet and able to get your mind off the fact that you may have to call 911.

5. Leavin' in the Morning. Fairly autobiographical (IMO, of course) about his decision to leave his wife and start his musical career. Very sad and very telling, but once again, a strong lyric and wonderful arranging.

6. One Voice. A beautiful song, whether he sings it with musical accompaniment or a cappella -- about his belief in the power we have to join together to help one another.

7. Nice Boy Like Me. What a fave -- has been for years! About a "nice" boy like Barry cruisin' chicks in a "place that never closes" -- and "lookin' so sad" cuz he just can't get any (yes, I know -- NOT biographical...well, at least not since 1975). Funny, upbeat, with his usual self-depreciating lyrical style.

8. Sweetwater Jones. On his first album and while his voice is a bit NY twangy and unpolished, the melody is catchy and the lyrics tell a good story. I also feel that way down deep, this one is fairly autobiographical too.

9. It's a Miracle. Just a "true blue spectacle" of a song. And really, even if you don't like Manilow, I bet you know all the lyrics to this song!

10. Who's Been Sleepin' in My Bed. "Gettin' what I get, when I don't get it..." A strong song, great melody, painful lyrics, with a story behind it (reportedly about his breakup with a longtime girlfriend). And you can even dance to it.

11. Baby, It's Cold Outside. With K.T. Oslin. Barry seducing K.T. with drink and god knows what else as the snow piles up outside. She fell for it---and so would alot of women I know! Was originally a song from the 40's sung by Ricardo Montelban and Esther Williams. Really.

12. When October Goes. Johnny Mercer's widow gave Manilow these lyrics after Mercer's death and asked Barry to put it to music. The result is a powerful, yet beautiful and delicate song -- and one that Mercer would be very proud of. It literally can bring you to tears.

13. You Could Show Me. A very short, sweet, simple song on the One Voice album and a demonstration of one of the secrets to Manilow's success -- telling the story of the lost, the lonely and the hopeful...a recurring theme in Manilow-land.

And because I simply couldn't leave it out:

14. Who Needs to Dream? ... "when there is you?" Probably one of the best love songs ever written and so very underappreciated. It's such a great love song that it practically yanks the tears out of your eyes. Story is that he wrote this for the tv movie "Copacabana" and when co-star Annette O'Toole heard it for the first time, she actually did cry.

So while I encourage you to pick up those cover albums (ah hem), Manilow's earlier stuff along with "Swing Street", "2AM Paradise Cafe" and "Here at the Mayflower" make up a pretty impressive body of work. Sure, he's the butt of alot of jokes, many of his own creation, but anyone who sells over 75,000,000 albums and is still around after 30 years has to have something going for him!

29 comments:

redcat said...

Very comprehensive list...although, I would add Weekend in New England and Brooklyn Blues...

I WANT those pics...

xxoo
redcat

jenn said...

I think the only one I know is Mandy. I like that one, though.

Hey, my friend, your link over on the TT page isn't working. You forgot the "." between chronicles and blogspot. You might want to change it!

Happy TT!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Great list. I see Jenn has already told you about your link. Have a great TT. :)

Malcolm: said...

I can tell that you are really into him because it looks like you went deep into his catalog. Although I am not a big Manilow fan, I don't mind some of his stuff... like "Read 'Em and Weep". I seem to remember that he played a clown in the video.

Although I am taking a break from the Thursday Thirteen this week, feel free to stop by my blog and comment on my recent post and vote in my current poll.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

I've never really liked Manilow much, but my husband sure does. Does Manilow do Copa Cabanna? That song I do like, if it's his.

Shesawriter said...

Numbers one and two are my favorites!

Happy TT!

My Thursday Thirteen #5

ellen b. said...

So do you like Barry Manilow? :)
he has some great songs. Enjoy!!

Nicole Austin said...

I'm not much of a Manilow fan, but it's obvious his music moves you and that's all that matters.

Happy TT!
www.nicoleaustin.net

pussreboots said...

Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

Greatfullivin said...

Barry just doesn't do much for me, but I am glad you enjoy him. You have quite a list. Stuff I don't know. Happy Christmas and thanks for stopping by.

MondaythroughSunday said...

Just found out who he was a couple of years ago! Happy you enjoy him! Merry Christmas!

SJ Reidhead said...

New York City Rhythm

The Pink Flamingo
http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog

cajunvegan said...

Are you a Fanilow?

I have considered seeing him here at the Las Vegas Hilton.

If you would like to, check out 13 Reasons I Should Be Getting a Promotion for Christmas Regardless of my Gender.

Happy TT!

Lori said...

Wow...I havent heard alot of those songs in years. Great list. Thanks for taking me back and for stopping by:)

damozel said...

Bless Barry Manilow, I haven't thought of him in years. But "Mandy" wasn't based on "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl", surely (?) Manilow wasn't my cup of tea but I am so happy to hear he is doing so well even now and that he has such wonderful and supportive fans!

13 Extraordinary Winter scenes

Nicholas said...

Not my favourite singer, but I liked his Copacabana because of the memories it brings back.

Darla said...

Oh! Sweetwater Jones! I haven't heard that in ages. Thanks for the memory!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Whoa. I think I recognized one or two of those, only... I might need to check some of those out. Anything that helps in a rough patch is a valuable song!

Happy TT, babe!

Emma Petersen said...

I love Barry Manilow. More as a person than an artist. The only song I know on the list is Mandy. And I barely know that one. *shrugs*

Happy TT!

fullbodytransplant said...

I wish someone would do a punk rock cover album of Barry's songs. That would be so cool.

About my name...

My mom is a teacher too, and she had a student who spelled it "Rian" during the pregnancy. I got SO lucky!

colleen said...

I just got posted and revealed the address to Santa's Blog! I guess you love Barry Manilow!

Amy Ruttan said...

I honestly didn't know that Barry Manilow sang that many songs I know.

Very cool.

Journeywoman said...

I am missing Weekend in New England. I agree with you on Could It Be Magic.

Good list!

Holly said...

I like Barry. In fact since I am also a Clay Aiken fan and many of HIS fans are also FanALows - I know all of those albums (or CDS)

Happy TT-13, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Smiles,

Holly
http://theabundanceplace.com

Believer in Balance said...

I just bought my close friend the Barry Manilow Christmas CD at Hallmark. You should get it!

Nap Warden said...

I 'bout freaked when I got to 13 with no Copacabana!

Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without takin'...but I sent you away...Oh Mandy!!!! Sometimes I get really close to Husband's ear and belt this out for him;)

Open Grove Claudia said...

Barry Manilow is one of those guilty pleasures like a strawberry daquiri. I don't want to admit I like him and wouldn't in public, but can be found singing his songs in the bathroom.

Happy TT!

Dont make me get out my flying Monkeys! said...

Even though Im back from vacation and feeling blah, I took some time to post for my friends! Come take a look, and visit my cruise pictures! myspace/maydakmom

Norma said...

I had no idea he'd sold so many albums. And to think I used to know someone who used to know him before he was famous!

http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2007/12/thursday-thirteen-13-employment.html