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Tryin' to Get the Feeling

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Album Review

Barry Manilow made it to number one again during his first year as a hit artist with a rendition of Beach Boy Bruce Johnston's "I Write the Songs," beating out covers by David Cassidy and Captain & Tennille (who also released a version in Spanish). The modernized (read: no distortion) take-off on Phil Spector's Wall of Sound was what made "Mandy" so very special, and it came back to work here; Manilow sings with a seriousness on "I Write the Songs" that is as determined as his voice is on the title track, David Pomeranz' "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again." Both titles are light years beyond the rest of the album, even including Bruce Sussman and Barry's reworking of the American Bandstand theme. Like the Four Seasons before him, Barry Manilow is known for his ability to take a song up the charts; the album tracks are secondary and reserved for his most devoted followers. This quest for chart supremacy had a formidable team pooling their talents. It was co-produced by the star and Archies' lead singer Ron Dante, while Bette Midler, Miles Laurie, and Dick Fox are thanked for showing Manilow "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again." Peter Thom and Phil Galdston's "Why Don't We Live Together" is nice enough, but indicative of the near-miss compositions Manilow himself contributes — "She's a Star," "You're Leavin' Too Soon" and "A Nice Boy Like Me" — that might have gotten some Top 40 action due to Manilow's momentum, but didn't have the staying power of the established hits. At least the co-write with Adrienne Anderson, "As Sure as I'm Standin' Here," has a bit of a future, with the David Pomeranz/Manilow hit, "The Old Songs," something to look forward to. The problem with Barry Manilow is also his strength — that he skillfully mixes Johnny Mathis' adult contemporary charm with Liberace's flamboyance. Both Mathis and Liberace knew how to reign in the excesses, while Barry could care less — and he doesn't have to. By the same token, his fan base might be more prone to spinning Ultimate Manilow and avoiding the few rough spots of this album. [This edition includes two bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Fanilow

Known these songs for years LOVE em! Hard to believe that Barry started off writing the State Farm & Band-Aid jingles. I'm 16 and I totally think any of today's music (other than Michael Buble) is nothing but some synthesized rats singing. NO TALENT what so ever.
I mean half the artist of today can't even play a instrument so they just rap/talk in the mic. This music will always be the music that moved the generations!! Tryin' to Get that Feeling will make you want to get up and GROOVE!!

Beautiful Music

By the time of this release Barry was a true star loved and loathed by many, "I Write The Songs" would be the center of the love him/hate him debate that still goes on today. According to Barry, Clive Davis forced him to record that song and Barry not only conceded he blasted the production into space, it's a massive song. "New York City Rhythm," the re-written "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again," originally written to tell a story from a woman's point of view, the Carpenters recorded the song exactly as written during the "Horizon" sessions in 1975, was discarded then lost, discovered in 1994, the production completed and released in 1994 and '95 for the compilation album of covers "Interpretations" released in the U.K. and the U.S. respectively, were major hits. "Bandstand Boogie" was yet another hit, retro-flavored featuring Barry's stacked vocals, "As Sure As I'm Standing Here" is a beautifully produced ballad, "Lay Me Down" is a fan favorite, "Beautiful Music" is Barry's ode to music and a popular album track, "I'll Make You Music" and "Marry Me A Little" are bonus tracks, this cd was one of the re-issues from the 1996 remaster series then re-released a few years ago. The 1996 remaster was a bit muted, this version turns up the volume correcting the sonic levels.

Bobby Bee on Barry Manilow

Isn't it wierd ow 2 of my favorite singer are both named Barry (White & Manilow)?? The latter? I own all of his stuff just like the former. "Tryin' to Get the Feeling" was the beginning for me along w/ "I Write The Songs" (he truly does) and then we were off!

Biography

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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