INSPIRATIONS

Before there were millions of Barry fans, there was legendary record mogul/executive and president of Arista, Clive Davis. Clive has been instrumental in Barry's career from the beginning when the #1 smash "Mandy" was still "Brandy" (written by Scott English/Richard Kerr), to the #1 anthem "I Write The Songs" (Bruce Johnston), to yet another #1 smash "Looks Like We Made It" (Richard Kerr/Will Jennings), to the multi-platinum successes of "Barry Manilow Live" and "Even Now," to the unstoppable dance classic "Copacabana," to the critically-acclaimed '80s projects "2:00 AM Paradise Cafe" and "Swing Street," to the genre concept albums of the '90s and today: "Showstoppers," "Singin' With The Big Bands," "Summer Of '78," "Manilow Sings Sinatra," "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties," "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties," "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies," "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties," and "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time." Over three decades together. Clive Davis and Barry Manilow. Incredible!

Barry's #1 album released January 2006, conceived by the one and only Clive Davis, "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties," was a tribute to not only the golden standards of the decade, but to the artists who performed them: Tony Bennett ("Rags To Riches"), Bobby Darin ("Beyond The Sea"), Frankie Avalon ("Venus"), the Everly Brothers ("All I Have To Do Is Dream"), the McGuire Sisters ("Sincerely"), Four Lads ("Moments To Remember"), Four Aces ("Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing"), Tommy Edwards ("It's All In The Game"), Dinah Washington ("What A Diff'rence A Day Makes"), Johnny Mathis ("It's Not For Me To Say") and more. Barry later recorded "The Twelfth Of Never" on his 2010 album "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time," a Top 10 hit for Johnny Mathis in 1957 as well as Donny Osmond in 1973.

Hot off the success of the Fifties CD, Barry Manilow released "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties" in September 2006. The CD included remakes from this marvelous musical decade, including #1 hits from Bobby Vinton ("Blue Velvet"), the Lettermen ("When I Fall In Love") (song also popularized by Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Donny Osmond, and Celine Dion & Clive Griffin!), Jackie DeShannon ("What The World Needs Now Is Love"), Herb Alpert ("This Guy's In Love With You"), Dean Martin ("Everybody Loves Somebody"), and more. Special CD releases also included cover versions by Barry of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" and The Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin')." Barry later recorded Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You" on his 2008 album, "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties."

Barry's tribute to the decade that launched his career, "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies," was released in September 2007. This album included a wish-list of #1 hit songs made famous by some of the great singers and songwriters ever, including Elton John ("Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"), David Gates and Bread ("If"), Albert Hammond ("It Never Rains In Southern California"), Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel ("Bridge Over Troubled Water"), the Hollies as well as Neil Diamond ("He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"), Christopher Cross ("Sailing" which went #1 in 1980) and more. This special CD also included acoustic versions of chart-toppers from The Man-ilow himself! Barry later recorded Christopher Cross' "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)" on his 2008 album, "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties."

Barry had previously covered the Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" on a 1996 album, which featured other remakes of songs you might have heard on the radio during the Summer of '78 by artists such as Paul Davis ("I Go Crazy"), Little River Band ("Reminiscing"), Michael Johnson ("Bluer Than Blue"), England Dan & John Ford Coley ("I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"), Firefall ("Just Remember I Love You"), Dan Hill ("Sometimes When We Touch"), Leo Sayer ("When I Need You"), and more.

After taking on the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, Barry completed the decades series with "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties" in 2008. The album featured new versions of Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton's "Islands In The Stream" as a duet with Country superstar Reba McEntire, Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" from the movie Against All Odds, Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley's "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" from the movie Dirty Dancing, Richard Marx' "Right Here Waiting" (Richard, David Foster and Jeremy Lubbock co-wrote "The Best Of Me" which Barry recorded in 1992), Chicago's "Hard To Say I'm Sorry," "Have I Told You Lately" (written by the great Van Morrison, and a 1993 unplugged hit for Rod Stewart), Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," George Michael's "Careless Whisper" and more.

"Careless Whisper" was also previously recorded by Hideki Saijo, who sang "In Search Of Love" as a duet with Barry in 1985. Cyndi Lauper and Jose Feliciano joined Barry on A&E's "A Barry Manilow Christmas" in December 2003. And Bill Medley, of course, was half of the duo The Righteous Brothers who Barry paid tribute to with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (2006, The Greatest Songs of the Sixties) and "Unchained Melody" (2006, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties, also a former #1 by Les Baxter, His Chorus & Orchestra in 1955).

In 2010, Barry returned with "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time," which included loving interpretations and arrangements of classic love songs over the past century, including Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is The Ocean," Fats Waller's "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" (Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields have also been credited for writing) (recorded by just about everyone and their Baby!), "You Made Me Love You" (written by James V. Monaco), "Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)" (written by Harry Ruby)", "It Could Happen To You" (written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen), "When You Were Sweet Sixteen" (written by James Thornton, revived and popularized by Al Jolsen in 1929), "I Only Have Eyes For You" (originally written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin for the Musical "Dames," popularized by The Flamingos in 1959 as well as Art Garfunkel in 1975) and more.

Manilow Sings Sinatra!!   ... Barry's tribute album to Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra was recorded and released in 1998. The album included great new arrangements of Sinatra standards like "I've Got The World On A String," "All The Way," "Strangers In The Night," "Summer Wind," "My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)," "Angel Eyes," "Come Dance With Me/Come Fly With Me," "The Second Time Around," "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning," "You Make Me Feel So Young," "Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night In The Week)" and "Put Your Dreams Away." The CD was book-ended with two tributes, "One Man In A Spotlight" and "Here's To The Man." Barry's version of "Strangers In The Night" was also featured on the 2006 album, "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties."

Barry performed the Sinatra classic "That's Life" in various concerts, as featured on the VHS/DVD video "Manilow Live!" (taped in Nashville, February 2000) and on the 2005 double-CD, "2Nights Live!" (from the One Night Live! One Last Time! Tour). Barry also included Frank Sinatra's "Young At Heart" on The Greatest Songs of the Fifties.

Not only has Barry performed many years on the very stage at the Las Vegas Hilton that was once home to Elvis Presley, he has recorded/performed songs made famous by The King: "If I Can Dream" (Barry Manilow Live on Broadway), "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (The Greatest Songs of the Fifties), "Can't Help Falling In Love" (The Greatest Songs of the Sixties), "Love Me Tender" (The Greatest Love Songs of All Time).

Speaking of the GREAT ones, Barry has covered the Beatles with "Yesterday" and "And I Love Her" (from The Greatest Songs of the Sixties), as well as "The Long And Winding Road" (from The Greatest Songs of the Seventies).

Barry has crossed paths with Frankie Valli over the years -- The Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On" (1981, If I Should Love Again), "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (2006, The Greatest Songs of the Sixties) and "My Eyes Adored You" (2007, The Greatest Songs of the Seventies).

Take That may have inspired both the 1993 version and 1993 remix of Barry's "Could It Be Magic", but Donna Summer fans recall it was she who had the original uptempo version about 17 years earlier.  Of course, the real inspiration behind "Could It Be Magic" was Frederic Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor (Opus 28, No. 20)". Donna Summer also joined Barry on stage at the Mandalay Bay Resort (June 5, 2004), performing the uptempo version of "Could it Be Magic."

In 1992, David Foster produced Barry's version of "The Best of Me" (written by Foster, Jeremy Lubbock, Richard Marx).

Before "Him" (Him! (Him!!)) and "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" (and No, contrary to popular belief, that was NOT one of Barry's songs), Rupert Holmes wrote a little known song about a "Studio Musician", but Barry discovered this gem and included it on his 1977 quadruple platinum "Live" album.

Barry Manilow's "Weekend In New England" (written by Randy Edelman) is no doubt one of the greatest vocal performances ever!

Barry Manilow and Maurice White (of Earth, Wind & Fire fame) co-wrote "Only In Chicago" for the 1980 "Barry" album. Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" was performed as part of a medley with Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" and Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" by Barry and his incredible singers (Keely Vasquez, Kye Brackett, Melanie Taylor) during the Manilow: Music and Passion concerts at the Las Vegas Hilton (2005/2006).

In early 1993, Barry released his pop version of the Garth Brooks/Kent Blazy tune, "If Tomorrow Never Comes".

Barry was inspired by the music of Stephen Sondheim, enough to record Sondheim compositions "All I Need Is The Girl", "Old Friends", "Marry Me A Little" and even a piece of "Send In The Clowns"!

What do you get when you combine Barry Manilow and the talented songwriting team of Cy Coleman and Betty Comden / Adolph Green?  A real Showstopper:  "Never Met A Man I Didn't Like" (from The Will Rogers Follies).

Speaking of "Rogers" -- a different Rogers -- Barry recorded the ballad "We've Got Tonite" for his Summer of '78 album. The song previously charted for Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton (1983), and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (1978).

Eddie Arkin arranged Antonin Dvorak's Symphony #9 Introduction for Barry Manilow's "A Little Travelling Music, Please."

Barry recorded the 1971 Joni Mitchell song, "River," on "A Christmas Gift Of Love" released at the end of 2002.

Barry co-wrote and recorded a number of John Bettis songs, among them "Don't Fall In Love With Me", "Fools Get Lucky", "Heart Of Steel", "Here Comes The Night", "Let's Take All Night (To Say Goodbye)", and "You're My Only Girl (Jenny)" (B. Manilow/M. Masser/J. Bettis).  John Bettis also co-wrote (with Richard Kerr) "Life Will Go On" and "Where Are They Now".

To find out more about the songwriters, visit The BarryNet > His Music > Who Writes The Songs > Songwriting Footnotes!

Star Performances | Inspirations

This Page Created March 19, 1996 (Last Updated April 11, 2010)
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