Friday, December 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Barry Manilow

Artist:Barry Manilow
Song:Looks Like We Made It
Album:Ultimate Manilow

Barry Manilow seemed so pervasive in the 70s that it might surprise you that he only had three number one hits and Looks Like We Made It was the last of those number one hits in 1977. And though he has taken detours to jazz and Broadway style music, his biggest hits seem like remnants of the glory days of New York City's Brill Building. He was born Barry Alan Pincus June 17, 1943 in Brooklyn, NY. He took his mother's maiden name Manilow after his Bar Mitzvah. In the 60s, Manilow got into jingle writing and he was very successful. He won several Clio awards. He also worked as an arranger for CBS in New York. In 1971, Bette Midler hired Manilow as musical director for her band after catching his act. He was also attempting to establish himself as a recording artist. He signed with Bell Records in 1973 and his debut album Barry Manilow probably wasn't focused enough to be successful. All of Manilow's 70s albums were produced by Brill Building veteran Ron Dante, best known as lead singer of The Archies. When Clive Davis took over Bell and changed the name to Arista, he took charge of selecting songs for Manilow. This resulted in Manilow's first number one hit Mandy. Manilow didn't want to record it but Davis insisted. The 1974 album Barry Manilow II was certified 2XPlatinum. His third album Trying To Get The Feeling Again was even bigger and was certified 3XPlatinum. I Write The Songs was Manilow's second number one hit. Looks Like We Made It was Manilow's third and final number one hit from the 1976 album This One's For You. Looks Like We Made It was written by veteran songwriters Richard Kerr and Will Jennings. Kerr also co-wrote Mandy and Jennings has written many hits. Manilow had a few more top ten hits like Can't Smile Without You and Copacabana. But by the late 70s, he had faded significantly and he split up with Dante. The success of Copacabana sent Manilow in a more Broadway oriented direction and he also recorded a jazz album in 1984. He continues to have a loyal following though he hasn't had a big chart hit since the 70s. This budget comp covers Manilow's 70s hits. Manilow left Arista in 2000. And after two albums for Concord, he returned to Arista in 2006. He left Arista in 2010 and his latest CD My Dream Duets was released on Verve last year. It's a weird album. His duets are with recordings of deceased legends. At least he has his 70s hits to fall back on. And he was a big part of establishing Arista as a force in the music business. Here's Barry Manilow performing Looks Like We Made It.

1 comment:

  1. I remember him so well from the 70's when so many of my friends at Junior and High school would curse him out a blue streak! We hated his songs because they were so mellow and seemed made for women. Mind you we loved Aerosmith and Kiss and Black Sabbath. But I am not surprised he had success. He definitely had the talent and voice for singing. I did not know he was so good at singing jingles and won awards for doing it. Interesting. Good bio Frank.