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, November 9, 2012

Barry Manilow - Ultimate Manilow (2002)

Lisette, a faithful reader of the blog, is headed out on a road trip this morning and requested some "traveling music."  Since I like to sing at the top of my lungs when I drive, I think the best traveling music is stuff you can sing along with because you know all the words by heart.  If you grew up in the '70s listening to AM Top 40 radio, this compilation certainly fits the bill.  I still remember all the words and I'm singing along with Barry as I write this. I feel a modulation coming on...

From allmusic:
Unlike some other MOR pop stars, Barry Manilow never enjoyed the sort of swinging-hipster revival that made him a hot name to drop, ironically or otherwise. Incredibly enough, until the release of Ultimate Manilow in early 2002, there was no comprehensive single-disc hits package on the market -- a shockingly long wait for one of the most popular hitmakers of the '70s, hip or not (and clearly the demand was there; Ultimate Manilow entered the charts at number three).
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #3 (Feb 23, 2002)

Tracks:  A non-stop parade of (mostly) Top 40 hits in (mostly) chronological order from (mostly) the 1970s.
  • Mandy (#1 in 1974)
  • It's A Miracle (#12 in 1975)
  • Could It Be Magic (#6 in 1975)
  • I Write The Songs (#1 in 1976)
  • Bandstand Boogie (didn't chart but was heard weekly on TV's American Bandstand between 1977-1987)
  • Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again (#10 in 1976)
  • This One's For You (#29 in 1976)
  • Weekend In New England (#10 in 1977)
  • Looks Like Me Made It (#1 in 1977)
  • Daybreak (#23 in 1977)
  • Can't Smile Without You (#3 in 1978)
  • Even Now (#19 in 1978)
  • Copacabana (#8 in 1978)
  • Somewhere In The Night (#9 in 1979)
  • Ready To Take A Chance Again (#11 in 1978)
  • Ships (#9 in 1979)
  • I Made It Through The Rain (#10 in 1981)
  • The Old Songs (#15 in 1981)
  • When October Goes (did not chart, released in 1984)
  • Somewhere Down The Road (#21 in 1982)
Believe it or not, these aren't all of Manilow's Top 40 hits.  Missing from this compilation are: Read 'Em and Weep (#18 in 1984), When I Wanted You (#20 in 1980), Some Kind Of Friend (#26 in 1983), Let's Hang On (#32 in 1982), I Don't Want To Walk Without You (#36 in 1980), Oh Julie (#38 in 1982), and Memory (#39 in 1983).  That makes a total of 25 Top 40 hits. Whew.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  Lots of memories with Barry.  While I listened to Manilow a lot in the late '70s and early '80s, I later inexplicably forgot about him and his music.  Then, not long after this compilation was released, I visited my good friend Richard's house one Sunday evening and he had this playing.  Without really thinking about it, I found myself singing along to all the tunes.  Whether the music was good or bad was irrelevant - they were songs I remembered from my youth, songs I grew up with. I embraced my inner Fanilow and a copy of the disc was obtained.

In June of this year, I got this email recommendation from Amazon:

I wonder what I purchased from Amazon that caused their algorithms to come up with that recommendation.

In the late 70's, I owned Manilow's first greatest hits collection on vinyl.  It was a 2 LP set released in 1978.  All the songs on those records are included on the Ultimate Manilow CD (tracks 1-15), except for the following four: New York City Rhythm, Jump Shout Boogie, All The Time, and Beautiful Music.  I confess to downloading those four songs from iTunes.

Finally, my first public solo performance of music was singing Mandy in elementary school around 1977 or 1978.  I was accompanied (and greatly encouraged) by my music teacher on guitar.  Dammit, I can't remember her name.  It could have been at a school talent show or a PTA meeting, or both.

Previously revisited for the blog:
If I Should Love Again (1981) 
One Voice (1979)

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