My purpose of these lists was to find artists I could find more than 10 songs I like and then rate the songs so someday my kids could have a quick guide to what to check out. The other thing I want to do is create some dialogue among my readers, so no matter how much I might like Bad Religion or Barkmarket, I don’t want to write just for myself.
I totally understand I’m probably better served if I would’ve kept today’s list to myself. Barry Manilow has made a lot of crap, but I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit I enjoy some of his music. Maybe my ear has been warped because I heard my Mom play this stuff on our paneled stereo console when my 10 year old ears were very impressionable. So here we go. I’m a grown-ass man and you can dog me out if you think I’m tone-deaf to like some Barely Man-enough. I can handle it. While he wasn’t Sinatra or Billy Joel, he had great phrasing and got every bit out of his voice he could.
1. Could It Be Magic
How many pop singles begins with a Chopin prelude? The music is dramatic, the lyrics are heartfelt, and Manilow never delivers a stronger vocal. From his debut record, overseen by Clive Davis.
2. Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again
This tune has a Broadway classic feel to it, as it begins slowly and builds to a crescendo. The lyrics capture a real emotion.
His first smash-hit. If you want to know where Kiss cribbed their ballad Beth from, listen to this one.
4. Weekend in New England
One thing that is unknown that most of Manilow’s best songs were written by others, including this one. He could write a great commercial jingle, but this talent didn’t always convert to pop music.
5. This One for You
Here is Manilow at his most Elton John-like.
6. It’s a Miracle
This is the 1st song I ever heard by Barry, as it was on the 1st K-Tel record I ever got. Best up-tempo song he ever did.
7. Look Like We Made It
A really good ballad that I think could be great if the syrupy strings didn’t get in the way.
8. Even Now
Manilow’s peak was basically a 4 year period and this was the last of his classics ballads.
9. I Am Your Child
The most underrated song of his career. Off his debut, a beautiful love song to his Mom.
10. Nice Boy Like Me
The only other really good up-tempo song Manilow did.
Best/Worst Song of his career: Copacabana
I have no idea how to judge this song. It is about the cheeziest tune ever produced, but if you are in the right mood it can be pretty undeniable. 5 margaritas in and it might be the best song he ever did.