Sherrill chills out to two new releases
from Barry Manilow. His new CD 'Greatest Songs of the Sixties' and his
new DVD 'First and Farewell'
Barry Manilow - Greatest Songs of the
From the age of two Grandpa Joe knew he
had talent and nurtured that talent. But the young man had his eye on composing,
arranging, and remaining in the background. In the end - although he never
got to see it - Grandpa's wishes came true. And to prove Grandpa was right
he has won Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, 13 number one singles, 38 top 40 hits,
and has been given 27 gold, 15 platinum, three double platinum, and four
triple platinum awards. Along the way he has massed over 75 million albums
sold internationally over the past 30 years.
On October 31 Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee
Barry Manilow released his fifty-ninth international album with "Greatest
Songs of the Sixties". The album was the second release for Manilow in
less than a year. Selling more copies in one week than he ever has in his
career, Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Sixties" debuted at number two
on the Billboard charts. Exactly one month later the album was certified
gold by the RIAA. Album sales by Nielson that determine placement on the
Billboard charts and RIAA certifications are for the US only. International
sales are not tracked on an individual basis.
Manilow's Greatest Hits series brings him
back to Arista Records and long time friend Clive Davis. It was Davis who
made the original suggestion, but Manilow himself - after seeking many
suggestions from friends - who made the final decision for the song list
based on what matched his vocal style and voice. From a list of over 100
songs Manilow chose 13 for the album. Songs made popular by The Righteous
Brothers and Elvis also appear on the new album as does a duet. This time
Manilow sings with the Association on "Cherish/Wendy".
Barry utilized his talents as an arranger
on the album and simply by changing an arrangement or the phrasing on a
son Manilow takes a song that has been performed countless time by numerous
singers and makes it sound fresh and like a new song. Manilow also re-records
the Frank Sinatra song "Strangers in the Night". Manilow first recorded
the song on the album "Manilow Sings Sinatra" which was recorded shortly
after the legendary singer's death. Sinatra once pointed a finger in Manilow's
chest and said, "you're next." While the critics have never been kind to
Manilow, millions of fans and sold out shows would seem to show that Sinatra
knew what he was talking about.
Barry Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the
Sixties" is a masterful performance of songs that have stood the test of
time. Manilow jokingly remarked that perhaps he should have labeled the
album "I've Always Loved that Song" after comments made by friends and
fans after hearing the album. Maybe so, but after two Greatest Hits albums
Barry Manilow fans will be eagerly awaiting to see what happens next when
Manilow may attempt an album of songs from the seventies - the decade where
Manilow came to fame and never left. Preview
and Purchase This CD Online
Barry Manilow - First and Farewell DVD
In conjunction with the album "Greatest
Songs of the Sixties" international performer Barry Manilow released a
thirtieth anniversary two disc DVD titled "First and Farewell". The DVDs
span Manilow's career from his first solo performance to his final tour.
Manilow can be seen in Las Vegas on a regular basis and he makes the occasional
appearance elsewhere but in 2004 he said good-bye - farewell - to a life
of touring and always on the road.
Each DVD opens with a short dialogue from
Manilow expressing his thoughts about the disc. In each case the DVD's
were taken from tapes never intended to be viewed by anyone but Manilow
himself. While the DVD's are far from a portrayal of his private life -
they are performances - the tapes were intended for Manilow's private use
and collection. "First and Farewell" shows how some things change and other
stay the same even after 30 years.
Disc one - First - was taken from a very
early commercial video tape of Barry Manilow as he performs what could
be termed as a dress rehearsal in front of an audience as he prepares for
his first solo tour. A young and nervous Manilow was far from naïve
when it came to putting together a show. In those days he hid behind his
piano but he knew how to keep an audience. In 1974 Barry Manilow opened
the show with "It's a Miracle". In 2004 and even now in Las Vegas he still
opens the show with "It's a Miracle" as if its his statement of his success.
As the DVDs show miracles had nothing to do with it. It is Manilow's talents
as a writer, performer, and showman that have kept him on the charts and
selling out performances for over 30 years. Manilow himself admits that
it is not easy being a Barry Manilow fan. "They have to put up with a lot
of stuff." But "First and Farewell" shows why fans feel that it's worth
In recent years Manilow has been passing
on some of his musical knowledge to the next generation of musicians in
the form of American Idol tutoring and most recently the pop duo Nemesis.
The music world can only benefit from such things; "First and Farewell"
shows why, and demonstrates how Barry Manilow has earned the title of Greatest
Showman in the World.
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