Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Barry Manilow - One Voice (1979)


NUMBERS WEEK (MARCH 14-20, 2011)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.

This is a little terrifying, starting with the pic on the album cover. I'm a confessed Fanilow, but even I can admit that this was the beginning of the end for Barry. I'll also admit that if I were in Vegas, I'd check out his cheesy show at the Paris. Every now and then, I get nostalgic for my youth, and I listened to a lot of Manilow when I was in elemntary and junior high school. I hadn't heard this music in over 25 years, the CD was cheap, why not? It's an interesting trip for the memories, but not so much for the music. I can only shake my head at the fact that, after this record, I stuck with Barry for two more albums before I gave up on his new releases. His '70s output is so much better than his later work, and I'm betting his Vegas shows focus on that earlier era of Manilow's career.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #9
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #8

Tracks: The title track is loved by many of his fans, and I liked it when I was 13, but now I can hear how bad the tuning is. The worst songs are those that Manilow wrote himself: One Voice, A Slow Dance, Bobbie Lee, Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed (disco!!), and Sunday Father. But Manilow only gets blame for the music. The lyrics on this album are among the worse I've ever heard. I usually don't even listen much to lyrics, but these are so bad they got my attention. I'd give an example, but I wouldn't know where to start. The only decent track on the album, the top 10 single Ships, is a cover of former Mott the Hoople leader Ian Hunter's song that appeared on his solo album You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic. Manilow performs the 1941 Styne and Loesser song I Don't Want To Walk Without You from the Paramount Pictures motion picture Sweater Girl. Listening to this song, we should have easily predicted Barry's later output covering jazz standards. This 2006 re-release comes with 4 bonus tracks, a b-side and 3 demo tracks. Dear Arista, some music is in the vault for a reason.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Surprisingly, nothing comes to mind. Surprising because I remembered all these songs 25+ years later.

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