Barry Manilow's Least Offensive Songs, Ranked in Order

Categories: Music

220px-Barry_Manilow_1979.jpg
Barry Manilow--who always reminded me of a gay Snoopy--is coming to Broadway, so it's the perfect time for me to sit back and determine which of his hits is the least egregious to the ears.

(And also to admit that some of them are actually pretty catchy, and not just like a plague.)

My choices in ascending order.


(10) "I Write The Songs"

This one always annoyed me. I always want to say, "Well, I wish they hadn't written this song."


(9) "Copacabana (At The Copa)"

This should be put into a medley with Peter Allen's "I Go To Rio" and sent on the next flight to South America. Though at least it's a story song about a showgirl--the kind of thing I'd normally like.


(8) "This One's For You"

A song that always sounded written for a beer commercial (even though Barry wouldn't let Bud use it, so they wrote a whole new one).


(7) "Trying To Get The Feeling Again"

Sounds like a Viagra commercial. It depresses me deeply.


(6) "Could It Be Magic?"

I always want to say "No!" but as it keeps mounting, some people want to keep mounting.


(5) "Mandy"

She gave without taking, she stopped him from shaking. She's a miracle worker! And the tune is as pretty as I imagine Mandy herself is.


(4) "It's a Miracle"

Light and poppy, this one gets me, so I'm giving in. Yes, that's a miracle too.


(3) (tie) "Looks Like We Made It"/"I Made It Through The Rain

A friend and I enjoy rewriting the first one as "Looks Like We Ate It" but I must say it's one of Barry's more appealing hits. The second one has a lilt too. Ugh. Don't tell anyone I said that.


(2) "Can't Smile Without You"

Again, it's optimistic and jaunty. What's not to like--especially if you like riding elevators?


(1) "Weekend In New England"

The old sap in me comes out when this song plays, and I'm suddenly misting over lines like "When will our eyes meet again?"

But I'll skip seeing Barry on Broadway for fear of showing any appreciation in public.


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14 comments
eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

One more reason for this love-hate relationship with Manilow: He's "conservative."

SouthernDave
SouthernDave

Tastes change.

 

Barry was hip when his first solo album came out, when he was still playing for Midler at concerts.

 

Personally, he'll always remain a guilty pleasure for me, especially because John Waters used his songs for Kathleen Turner's cheerfully homicidal  "Serial Mom" and his delicious duet with Bette on "Slow Boat to China."

blissbaby
blissbaby

And for "I Write The Songs," Musto wrote, "I wish they hadn't written this one."

 

"They," not Barry.

blissbaby
blissbaby

I believe Musto knows that Manilow didn't write a lot of these songs. He's ranking Barry's hits.

monsieurpatric
monsieurpatric

Picky, picky I'll readily admit.  But, Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys wrote "I Write the Songs".

jackson30
jackson30

Who made fun of his looks? What, "a gay Snoopy"? Snoopy is adorable.

rogienepomuceno
rogienepomuceno

Hal David wrote some lyrics for him, and while Barry's music can't compare to early Bacharach, Hal was in fine form. And it's better at hinting at queerness than Mandy. Title's in the opening line: "Every morning many late-night lovers wake up to become Early Morning Strangers"....

kitten4barry
kitten4barry

I do now, and always have loved Barry and his music. Of course, not everyone can like the same music or person, the world would be boring, but WHY do you and others have to make fun of his looks? It's unecessary! He happens to look much better than SOME people his age but the man is a showman and he DESERVES this place on Broadway. Fine if you don't wanna go but I'm sure there will be plenty of others of us who do. Thanks for the honesty though. I have a couple songs of my own I'm not crazy about but for the most part... Well said it all already.

SavannahMontgomery
SavannahMontgomery

I'm with you Michael...Years ago, I was dragged to a Manilow concert at MSG by a rabid fan, and despite myself, I loved the concert. 

 

It also helped that Barry is totally aware of his "image" and right off the bat acknowledges that probably 50% of the audience was dragged there.

ladybug9
ladybug9

The whitest man who ever lived. But he must have had fun at the Continental baths (playing for Bette, that is).

mae.swazey
mae.swazey

I have always liked Barry.  I was a teen in the 1970s so remember all his songs, many of them fondly.  My favorite is Can't Smile Without You, and I also love Weekend in New England, Daybreak, Looks Like We Made it, and (sorry, Mike) Tryin' to get the Feeling Again, among others.  My least favorites?  Mandy, Could it be Magic, and I Made it Through the Rain.  Overall, more hits than misses with Barry.

bethesda
bethesda

Love this list. A riot. You'e so cute.

williamHK
williamHK

 @rogienepomuceno

 I like Cher's version of "Early Morning Strangers" on her "Rather Believe in You" album.

lindakay34
lindakay34

I first started listening to Barry Manilow when I was a freshman in college. Some of my favorite hits include: It's a Miracle, Stay, I'm Coming Back, If Tomarrow Never Comes, Daybreak, and Christmas is Just Around The Corner. I go back alot of years with Barry since I was a freshman in the 70's. I have also been to several of his shows and they only get better with time. Keep the music coming BARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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