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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.

Customer Reviews

One Of The Best Live Albums Ever

Barry was at the top of his game and in full power during this concert, he learned how to sequence concerts by listening to another great concert album, "Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall." This concert captured him early in his career, indeed "A Very Strange Medley" explains how some artists have to spend a few years in obscurity before becoming an overnight sensation. This remastered expanded edition collects the entire concert and like the aforementioned Judy Garland is a classic and I don't even like live albums.

Consummate entertainment

Manilow has always been a great showman, and this live album recorded at a show in New York is a perfect example. It contains most of his 1970s hits, with a live twist that you don't get from the radio versions. The Very Strange Medley is great fun, the medley of Could It Be Magic and Mandy works extraordinarily well, and the Lady Flash Medley with Cloudburst and American Bandstand is high energy fun. In my view, this is a "must have" for Manilow fans.

Easily one of the top live albums ever

This album represented the best of Barry Manilow the writer, Barry Manilow the singer and, most importantly, Barry Manilow the entertainer. Talk about an engaging work...I can still remember listening to this album over and over in the vinyl versions I owned (one wasn't enough!) and feeling as though I were actually at his show! From pure upbeat fun, to tastefully warm ballads and topped off with some incredibly dramatic musical moments, this LP truly has it all. Also, pay special attention to the backing musicians and vocalists, as their professionalism adds significantly to the strength of this live work. I've felt the same way about this LP for nearly 40 years now...Bravo, Barry, Bravo!


Born: June 17, 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...
Full Bio

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