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Summer of '78

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Album Review

Barry Manilow decided to follow the success of Singin' with the Big Bands with an album saluting another great lost era — The Summer of '78. Even on the newly written title song, it's never quite clear why Manilow chose the summer of 1978 out of an entire decade of summers — after all, the album is comprised of songs written throughout the '70s — but the exact reason doesn't matter: as much as its predecessor, this is an exercise in nostalgia, pure and simple. Of course, it's very entertaining nostalgia, as Manilow has chosen soft rock songs (Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch," Leo Sayer's "When I Need You," Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight") that perfectly suit his style. It's a minor entry in Manilow's catalog to be sure, but The Summer of '78 is a perfectly executed and entertaining slice of nostalgia.


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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Summer of '78, Barry Manilow
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