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Album Review

Live was Barry Manilow's only number one album, selling over three million copies, and aside from his greatest-hits collections, it was also his most consistent. In fact, Live was pretty close to a greatest-hits collection itself, covering most of Manilow's biggest chart successes up to 1977 and including a few of his stronger album cuts as well (primarily from This One's for You). The real treats for fans are a couple of medleys: one a jazz/boogie workout culminating in the theme from American Bandstand and the other a series of the high-profile advertising jingles Manilow penned before getting his big break as a solo performer (for products like Dr. Pepper, Kentucky Fried Chicken, State Farm, McDonald's, and others). Manilow delivers tight, professional, totally unselfconscious performances, maintaining his energy all through the double-LP set. It's arguably his strongest effort.

Biography

Born: 17 June 1943 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of record sales and career longevity, Barry Manilow is one of the most successful adult contemporary singers ever. That success hasn't necessarily translated to respect (or even ironic hipster appreciation) in most quarters; instead, Manilow's music has been much maligned by critics and listeners alike, particularly the romantic ballads that defined his career, which were derided as maudlin schlock even during his heyday. It's true that Manilow's taste for swelling choruses and lush arrangements...
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Live, Barry Manilow
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