Off Topic Messages

Barry Manilow: Back at #1

Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:53 pm

ImageNumber 1 Barry can smile again
Thursday, February 9th, 2006 ... 0724c.html

Another sign of the Apocalypse? After 29 years, Barry Manilow is back at the top of the charts.

The campy crooner shouldered out the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx and Eminem to land at the top of the Billboard chart with his new album of covers, "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties." The new album sold 156,000 in its first week. It was Manilow's first No. 1 debut.

"I swear, if you live long enough, anything is possible!" he said in thanking the fanilows who put him back on top.

The Williamsburg, Brooklyn, native, who will be 60 in June, last topped the charts in July 1977 with a live album. That was the year "Star Wars" came out, disco was huge and "The Love Boat" was a brand new TV show. (And a certain legend of the ages died.. :roll: .-The Editor)

Manilow has sold a whopping 75million albums in the last three decades, chiefly on the strength of hits like "Can't Smile Without You," "Copacabana," "Mandy," and "I Write The Songs."

There are other signs that moms and grandmoms beat their kids to the stores last week. Also on the top10 album chart: Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli and the classical boy band Il Divo. Manilow's album features remakes of classics such as the Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" and Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea."

Manilow is following in the footsteps of Rod Stewart, another '70s icon who rebooted his career with an album of covers. The third album of Stewart's "American Songbook" series became his first No. 1 one in 25 years in 2004.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:14 pm

Good for Manilow. I am not a fan of his, but for a guy who will be 63 in June, not 60 like the article states, being #1 is big! But he is not the oldest to have a #1 album on the Top 200....Who is???? At the age of 77.......Frank Sinatra, who in 1993, scored a #1 album with his DUETS cd.

Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:03 am

I think Duets only got to #2.

It's good to see Manilow try and keep the classic pop alive although I'm not a fan of his.

It's interesting in that this placement and others have shown that you really can't interpret the cultural moment from what's on the charts and that in fact there may be no cultural moments. Just because Barry Manilow is #1 doesn't mean that most people are listening to him or at least aware of what he is doing as it did at one time. Today, we have all our little cults and when a performer in a cult releases a new record all the fans come out and buy it and it's #1. I'm not saying this just specifically about Manilow. I could say the same about E1. It's just an interesting shift.

Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:06 am

True. A "number one" has been devalued in the era of the splintered radio formats and multiple genres and subgenres.

I share the lack of interest and even disdain for Manilow but in fairness he is into actual songs and to some degree good old "entertainment." But someone has to tell him to lose the spiked, dyed-blonde hair and make-up. You're ready for social security, Barry, take it easy!

I kind of like that fact that some people are somehow getting the word to go out and buy a record (so to speak) in 2006. They say it's harder but not impossible to get your troops out today to support the new work.

And older fans are more likely to actually recall and remember the habit of buying a record as downloading is a foreign concept.

Here are two related threads about the state of record sales and the industry today that thought would be interesting and posted but got nary a response on: ... highlight= ... highlight=

Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:14 pm

I can't help but feeling that there's a "Rod Stewart Songbook - feeling" surrounding this new Barry Manilow release...

While Stewart has met quite a few harsh critics in his path with the Songbook releases, it seems like Manilow has succeeded on his part..?

Strange though, that a release like this tops the charts in 2006..?


Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:29 pm

Indeed, it is a bit strange. While being number one may not mean what it used to, someone has to be at the top, so a tip of the cap is due to Manilow for his accomplishment. There is not an artist out there today who wouldn't love to be at number one, regardless of its value, meaning, etc.

Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:32 pm

It's a function of this trend:

Music Execs Push Mediocre Music For Too Much Money (article) ... highlight=

Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:22 pm

Well you do have to appeal to sufficiently large numbers to make #1. I don't dispute it's an achievement but it's not necessarily the cultural gauge it was at one point.

One thing that can be somewhat gauged by the success of this album, the Stewart albums even Dean Martin's greatest hits record last year which went Top 30, is the fact that there has been a renewed appreciation for the Tin Pan Alley pop song among a large segment of the audience. You could see the music's reputation being restored as far back as "Unforgettable" album in the 1990s. Again it is not the dominant taste but there does seem to be a more widespread appreciation of it than there was say in the 1980s where the pop world was still all rock all the time.

Sat Feb 11, 2006 2:07 am

I don't buy Manilow records but If it was Elvis getting that #1 the charts would have no flaws! :roll: :)

Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:07 am

Gosh didn't somebody say a few posts above that the same theory applies to E1?

Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:12 pm

Barry Manilow is #1???

Well........I guess I can see that.

I always rather considered him #2 :wink:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:12 pm

Kristian Hjelmaas wrote:I can't help but feeling that there's a "Rod Stewart Songbook - feeling" surrounding this new Barry Manilow release...

According to Yahoo, it was conceived by the same guy who had the idea for the Rod Stewart release - BMG North America chairman Clive Davis.

I'm fairly confident that the idea for Rod Stewart's original came from the hugely successful Robbie Williams' CD, Swing When You're Winning. That might seem unlikely to our American friends, for whom Robbie means nothing, but it was a massive release in the UK.

Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:37 pm

It may have come from there as critics and industry people are aware of Williams, however it has been in the air for some time now.

Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:34 am

Right. I really don't think Williams registered in this, although it's part, perhaps, of the same trend.

There seems to be conscious attempt to reach out to those last generations who once had the habit of going to a record store and now will go when they are told there is something good out by one of their old favorite performers.

As time has marched on, there are fewer outlets for fans of older music (and less appetite for today's hits like Hip Hop) so something like Neil Diamond's 12 Songs is actively "worked" in different ways in different non-radio and non-traditionall outlets. In his case, he even aimed at younger fans by getting some acclaim for working with Rick Rubin.

Sun Feb 12, 2006 1:31 am

likethebike wrote:Gosh didn't somebody say a few posts above that the same theory applies to E1?
Sorry I did not read your post. But it does not matter (in this case) to rain over where it has rained before.

Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:18 am

ok, first off, i have to admit i kinda like mandy.

don't hurt me! it's played/referenced so often in angel: the series that it grew on me. :oops:

it's nice to see nearly ANYBODY who's old beating out today's garbage. that's how bad today's garbage actually is. and yes, i like even barry more than i like the oversingers like mariah/christina/celine (make me barf), not to mention the likes of eminem and other such worthless acts who make a career on producing utter sh*t.

i mean a ballad guy (even a sentimental one who seems to have cloned himself into clay aiken) somebody who i'd rather see on the charts than some new big butt/hoes song.