Barry Manilow is loving the Top 10.
Back in 2006, he released "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties" and it shot straight up to No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. A few months later, he released "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties," which reached No. 2. Late last year, he released "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies," which debuted at No. 4.
Well, the man who first hit the charts back in 1974 with the No. 1 hit, "Mandy," decided to celebrate.
Actually, it was a three-way partnership between Stiletto Television, PBS and Manilow that brought the one-hour TV special, "Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies," to PBS last month.
The concert, which was taped live in the Old Navy Yard studio in Brooklyn, N. Y., just a few blocks from Manilow's childhood neighborhood, featured the singer serenading the audience from an intimate array of stages and walkways.
The songs performed include Manilow hit-makers "Mandy," "I Am Your Child," "Could It Be Magic?" "Looks Like We Made It," an acoustic version of "Copacabana," an abbreviated "New York City Rhythm" and a medley of "Can't Smile Without You," "Even Now," "It's a Miracle," "I Made It Through the Rain," "Daybreak," "This One's for You," "I Write the Songs," and a full vocal solo of "One Voice."
The '70s cover tunes he performs (and are also on the album) include Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You," Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were," the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains in Southern California."
In addition, Manilow zapped out a medley of his TV jingles "Band-Aids," "State Farm Insurance," "McDonald's" and a previously unreleased ad, "Vicks."
Well, for you Manilow fans, the PBS special is now available on DVD. And not only does it contain the full broadcast, the package also has a bonus DVD with outtakes of "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed," "All the Time" and "The Way We Were" medley featuring "It Never Rains in Southern California" and "You've Got a Friend."
Amazingly, Manilow, who will be 65 this year, still has the voice and the penchant for performance. He seems more comfortable with his audience than he has in the past and he performs the songs most of them backed by a full band with vigor.
In fact, "Mandy" sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released 34 years ago.Love him or hate him, there is no denying Manilow is an artistic entertainer who still has some kick in his performance. And "Barry Manilow: Songs of the Seventies" is proof.
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