a review of singer Barry Manilow's album Greatest Hits of th Sixties.
"Greatest Songs of the Sixties"
From the age of two Grandpa Joe knew he had talent and nurtured that talent. But the young man had his eye on composing, arranging, and remaining in the background. In the end although he never got to see it Grandpa's wishes came true . And to prove Grandpa was right he has won Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, 13 number one singles, 38 top 40 hits, and has been given 27 gold, 15 platinum, three double platinum, and four triple platinum awards. Along the way he has massed over 75 million albums sold internationally over the past 30 years.
On October 31 Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Barry Manilow released his fifty-ninth international album with "Greatest Songs of the Sixties". The album was the second release for Manilow in less than a year. Selling more copies in one week than he ever has in his career, Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Sixties" debuted at number two on the Billboard charts. Exactly one month later the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Album sales by Nielson that determine placement on the Billboard charts and RIAA certifications are for the US only. International sales are not tracked on an individual basis.
Manilow's Greatest Hits series brings him back to Arista Records and long time friend Clive Davis. It was Davis who made the original suggestion, but Manilow himself after seeking many suggestions from friends who made the final decision for the song list based on what matched his vocal style and voice. From a list of over 100 songs Manilow chose 13 for the album. Songs made popular by The Righteous Brothers and Elvis also appear on the new album as does a duet. This time Manilow sings with the Association on "Cherish/Wendy".
Barry utilized his talents as an arranger on the album and simply by changing an arrangement or the phrasing on a son Manilow takes a song that has been performed countless time by numerous singers and makes it sound fresh and like a new song. Manilow also re-records the Frank Sinatra song "Strangers in the Night". Manilow first recorded the song on the album "Manilow Sings Sinatra" which was recorded shortly after the legendary singer's death. Sinatra once pointed a finger in Manilow's chest and said, "you're next." While the critics have never been kind to Manilow, millions of fans and sold out shows would seem to show that Sinatra knew what he was talking about.
Barry Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Sixties" is a masterful performance of songs that have stood the test of time. Manilow jokingly remarked that perhaps he should have labeled the album "I've Always Loved that Song" after comments made by friends and fans after hearing the album. Maybe so, but after two Greatest Hits albums Barry Manilow fans will be eagerly awaiting to see what happens next when Manilow may attempt an album of songs from the seventies the decade where Manilow came to fame and never left.