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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Barry Manilow - Even Now (1978)


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) 


2 comments:

  1. One of my favorite CDs is a Barry compilation you made me years ago.

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  2. Hard to pinpoint why I like Manilow's music (maybe it's the upward key modulations - I have no idea what they are) but WLS played the crap out of his songs so I heard them and liked them a lot. Still do.

    Noticed from your 8-track scan that it was one of those rare albums where the songs did not extend across Programs - you probably noticed they had to rearrange the tracklisting to pull this off.

    Your CD also features the longer so-called Disco version of "Copacabana" - the original vinyl version was nearly two minutes shorter.

    I maintain that 1978 is seccond only to 1982 as the greatest year ever in music. Manilow himself would follow up this outstanding album witha new song for the film Foul Play later in 1978.

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