Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by the 2006 reissue CD which includes 2 bonus tracks.
Manilow at the height of his powers. Corny but catchy songs with lots of upward key modulations and ever-increasing volume. And I love it. I listened to it a lot. This album produced four Top 40 singles: the title track, Somewhere In The Night, Can't Smile With You, and a song the liner notes call "a stunningly ambitious and infectious number and arguably Manilow's best-loved recording ever," Copacabana (At The Copa). Copacabana was later turned into both a made-for-TV musical and a stage musical. I missed both of those. I don't know if I really like all these tunes or if they just bring back good memories and I listen for nostalgia's sake.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #3
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #2
Tracks: In general, I've always been partial to the songs that made up side one (tracks 1-6 on this CD). In addition to the four hits, I like A Linda Song, Leavin' In the Morning, and Sunrise. I also like the attempt at a lounge song, I Was A Fool (To Let You Go). Granted, songs like Losing Touch and Starting Again aren't very good, but as long as I still enjoy singing along, I guess it really doesn't matter, does it? The only tracks I skip are the two bonus tracks - the album was just fine as is.
It's hardly surprising that I like Copacabana as it is the perfect combination of two of my favorite genres: soft rock and disco.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: If this wasn't the first album I ever purchased with my allowance money, it was certainly one of the first. I fell in love with Copacabana after hearing it on a TV variety show about the time Can't Smile Without You was on top of the charts. My elementary school music teacher had a copy of the album and I begged her to play it during class. And by "begged" I mean "cried like a little girl lost at the supermarket."
About 6 years later, when I was a high school senior, I was on a trip into Houston with my friend Jack. He drove a huge mid-70s land-yacht maroon Ford LTD. Of course, it had an 8 track tape player in the dash. I opened the glove box, saw the 8 track tape of this album, and immediately shoved it into the tape deck. Barry, Jack, and I sang all the way into the city.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Ultimate Manilow (2002)
If I Should Love Again (1981)
One Voice (1979)