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L'intérêt de The Essential Barry Manilow est assurément de faire une bonne cure de pop marshmallow (marshmallow égale guimauve en anglais), violonades à go go, piano romantique ou poliment sautillant, c'est à une grande leçon de variété internationale pop que se livre Barry Manilow durant toute sa carrière.
The Essential Barry Manilow prend le parti d'un suivi chronologique de la discographie de Barry Manilow, ce qui n'est pas superflu vu l'amplitude de celle-ci. ses principaux tubes sont donc positionnés au début de la première face et tout un chacun s'aperçoit vite qu'il connaît par coeur, « Mandy », « I Write the Songs », « Could It Be Magic » qui fait toujours son effet avec son intro et son final tirés du « Prélude en C Mineur, Opus 28, Numéro 20 » de Frédéric Chopin, « Looks Like We Made It ».
L'intérêt va cependant vite en décroissant et e deuxième CD est pratiquement superflu si l'on n'est pas fan transi du gars de Brooklyn. Un « The Old Songs » retient bien l'attention, voire l'interprétation en public de « When October Goes », mais les reprises qui parsèment la seconde partie de carrière de Barry Manilow sont plutôt a éviter.
Dommage que cette compilation ne soit pas présentée en un seul CD, regroupant la crème de la crème, car deux CD de tubes de Barry Manilow c'est péché. De gourmandise évidemment.
- Copyright 2016 Music Story
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Outre la rafale de tubes attendue, cette compilation a le mérite de donner quelques titres ensorcelants qui ne m'ont jamais quitté : 'Ships', tiré du magnifique 'One Voice' (1979), ou 'Read 'em And Weep', une perle piquée à Meat Loaf ('Dead Ringer'), qui figurait sur le 'Greatest Hits Vol. II' (1983). Parce que j'aime Barry MANILOW et que, passionné d'art lyrique et devant faire état de goûts résolument country, j'ai longtemps eu du mal pour faire mon acting-out de "Barry Manilow's fan". C'est fait... Je n'ai pas honte !...Lire la suite ›
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Now here are some reasons why I was disappointed in this collection: 1)I prefer the studio version of "Jump Shout Boogie". The live version is included here even though it's not stated as such on the track listing. This is one of my favorite Manilow songs and although it wasn't one of his hit singles, I think any comprehensive collection of Manilow material should include the studio version. 2)I wish they would give us a shorter version of "Copacobana" 3)although other reviews here have stated that "Daybreak" is the single version from the "Live" album (and the track listing says it's live), my copy of "Essential" has the studio version. I don't know if the other reviewers are mistaken, or if my disc is one copy of an unfortunate run that included the wrong version by mistake.
If I could have this same collection with the live single version of "Daybreak", the studio version of "Jump Shout Boogie", a shorter version of "Copacobana", and Manilow's great cover of Shakin' Stevens' "Oh Julie", then I would have the perfect Manilow collection.
The first CD starts with a huge hit for Barry entitled "Mandy;" this torch song moves me whenever I hear Barry sing it. Barry puts a lot of feeling into this ballad and it works very well. "It's A Miracle" is a relentlessly happy, upbeat tune that celebrates the joys of love; Barry sings this perfectly with a backup chorus as the percussion marks the beat--great! Listen also for "Bandstand Boogie;" "Bandstand Boogie" is a loving tribute to the days of the big band style arrangements and the bandstand hits.
"Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again" is a most tender love song that Barry makes so special with a fine treatment that impresses me greatly; and "Weekend In New England" is easily a major highlight of this first CD. Barry sings this with panache and his voice never sounded better! "Can't Smile Without You" may have its critics in the therapist community; but when I hear this I can only hear and see a loving song that again celebrates the joys of love and the admission that we all need someone to love. "Can't Smile Without You" is one of my very favorite Barry Manilow hits ever.
"Copacabana" really swings and sounds great although this actually was never one of my personal favorites; and then the second CD continues the hits. "Somewhere In The Night" gives us Barry singing a touching love song that always moves me when I hear it--it's flawless. "I Don't Want To Walk Without You" is yet another classic Barry Manilow tune that shines as Barry sings it as only he could! The melody is really very pretty and it works so well to make "I Don't Want To Walk Without You" a very special number. Similarly, "I Made It Through The Rain" is truly a masterpiece that Barry delivers as only he could; this song touches me and it proves very well just how well Barry can sing.
In addition, "Brooklyn Blues," a number that's somewhat more modern in its style, gets a fine interpretation by Barry and this sounds so smooth when Barry Manilow sings it. The second CD also ends nicely with Barry's "up-tempo mix" of "I'd Really Like To See You Tonight."
Barry Manilow remains a king in the music entertainment industry; and even though this CD set is not truly all his greatest I still recommend this. I think it would take at least another CD or maybe even two to capture all of Barry's best hits; but what we do get is five star material throughout--and that's wonderful.
The Essential Barry Manilow, is a reflected look at the legendary Barry Manilow's career on 2 cd's. The compilation is the first of Arista acts recognized from Sony's essential series, since the merger of Sony & BMG. The songs here are reflected graciously with so many of Manilows biggest hits recognized including his classics I Made It Through The Rain, the legendary Copacabana, the guilty pleasure piano ballad Mandy, Weekend In New England, Somewhere Down The Road, and many of his other greats. The collection has been remastered nicely, and is delivered quaintly well. Yet, for some who've bought any earlier Barry Manilow collection, this one might want to be a good addition for some, where others may just consider the earlier Ultimate Manilow collection, considering all 20 tracks from that collection are also here.
Nevertheless, Barry Manilow just keeps coming back with his great pop songs issued all over again. I just absolutely suggest this package for anybody who is interested into Barry Manilow and his great songs. He just can't keep smiling without you.
Album Cover: B 1/2+
As another reviewer pointed out, "Could It Be Magic" is edited in this compilation, down to about 4:18. I'm not sure exactly why this is, since there was plenty of time left on the disc to accomodate the full 6 minute-plus album version. I don't think this is even the single version of the song, since a book I have says the single version ran about 3:37. Also, it should be noted that "Jump Shout Boogie" is a live version as well as "New York City Rhythm". On the back of the CD, it states that "Rhythm" is live, but it doesn't do the same for "Jump Shout Boogie", for whatever reason.
The only complaint I have with this album is that it doesn't include Barry's two Top 40 hits from 1982, "Let's Hang On" and "Oh Julie". The former has showed up before on a Manilow hits compilation, but I've never seen "Oh Julie" on any of them. You'll have to get the Japanese import of Barry's 1982 album "Here Comes The Night" if you want to get "Oh Julie" on CD. (That's the only place I could find it).
The booklet contains some black and white pictures of Barry, along with some small pics of some of his album covers. The track listings denote the songwriters, producers and the original label number of the singles and albums released, as well as each song's performance on Billboard's Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. There are no liner notes, though. Not a very big deal in general, but keep it in mind if you're thinking about buying this and are looking to read a little about Barry.
Overall, a great compilation and well worth the price. Highly recommended if you're looking for a Manilow hits collection.