First of all, no matter how old he seems to get, Barry Manilow continues to be the greatest romantic crooner of this century. He writes the songs that make the young girls cry. Second of all, for all the big hair, scary fanny-packness of the 80s, the music during that time was pretty rocking.
Now put those two together, and you have some sort of bizarre fanny-pack romance that I don’t want to understand. If this intrigues you, you’ll love Barry Manilow’s newest edition to his greatest songs of the decade series—Songs of the Eighties.
Manilow has wooed his way into the hearts of many Americans, such as the always fabulous Bette Midler and even Frank Sinatra who said in the 1970’s, “He’s next.” You, however, may recognize him as the man who sang “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” and “Can’t Smile without You.”
His achievements seem endless. He’s sold more than 76 million records worldwide, and in 1978, five of his albums were on the best-selling charts simultaneously. Ever since 2000, Manilow has made a tremendous comeback. I like to think it was all the Moms making their kids listen to his greatest hits while cleaning the house. And although you may assume these kids, myself included, grew up associating his voice with mop water, they have instead revived Manilow’s music and are probably forcing him into their own children’s lives.
However, what it really comes down to is not only does his music and voice enchant through the decades, but also through the generations. I let my mother, who’s been 36 for several years now, borrow Greatest Songs of the Eighties. She loved it and lent it to my 18-year-old sister who loved it. I really hope to get it back someday because I too loved it.
Some people were turned off by the fact that Manilow chose such radio-frenzied songs instead of less well-known pieces, but I don’t think that lowered the quality of the CD. He took the most famous ballads, added his own touch and style, and put together what he thought was truly the greatest songs of that time period. Perhaps some of them seem “over-done,” but hearing this man sing “Open Arms” is like crystal meth in my ears. And I’m okay with that.
What should intrigue the world more about this CD is how Manilow can still sound so good after all these years. And songs like “Time After Time,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and “Right Here Waiting” really showcase the smooth, tenor chords of a 65-year-old man whose still got it.
I really liked Barry Manilow’s Greatest Songs of the Eighties and would recommend it to anyone, no matter what age or sex. He’s our modern day Frank Sinatra and is still going strong.