Note: the CD I listened to was the 1998 reissue which includes a bonus track.
I started my Barry Manilow purchases with the Even Now album, but for some reason I never delved into the back catalog of Manilow's four previous studio releases. In fact, I hadn't heard this complete album until I picked up this CD last year from the 3-for-$10 bin at the local Hasting's. It's all typical Manilow soft rock, so I'm of the opinion that was $3.33 well spent. If I had purchased this album back in 1975, I'm fairly certain I would have had the lyrics memorized within a matter of weeks due to constant listening. The album follows a pattern Manilow would follow for much of his career: a few hit singles written by other songwriters and filler tracks written by Manilow himself. Clive Davis and Ron Dante sure knew what they were doing when they put together Manilow albums.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #5
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #6
Tracks: In addition to the #1 single, I Write The Songs, I was previously familiar with the other songs that appeared on Manilow's 1978 Greatest Hits package: New York City Rhythm, Bandstand Boogie, Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again, and Beautiful Music. I like those 5, plus the cheesy goodness of She's A Star and Lay Me Down. If I'm tempted to skip any tracks, it's A Nice Boy Like Me and the bonus track. The bonus track, Marry Me A Little, was cut from the Broadway musical Company and sounds just like you'd think Manilow singing Sondheim would sound.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: As I mentioned earlier, I had the 2 LP Greatest Hits package pictured below. That set got plenty of playing time from 1978 until about 1982, when I decided I was too cool for Manilow. Now that I'm middle aged, I can fully embrace my inner Fanilow and frequently do. Heck, I may even pull out my vinyl copy of the 1980 LP Barry and give it a listen today.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Ultimate Manilow (2002)
If I Should Love Again (1981)
One Voice (1979)
Even Now (1978)