Barry Manilow is an American singer/songwriter famous for composing every song ever written, including hits such as "Mandy"note actually written by Scott English and Richard Kerr, "Can't Smile Without You"note written by Christian Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, "I Write The Songs"note written by Bruce Johnston, longtime member of The Beach Boys, "Looks Like We Made It"note written by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings and "Copacabana"note in fact co-written by Manilow, along with Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman.Despite ranking as one of the top-selling artists of all time, as well as enjoying street cred with artists such as Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, Manilow was plagued by a reputation as the least hardcore singer alive. With the exception of "Copacabana" (itself a codifier of Lyrical Dissonance), his uplifting anthems have wringed the most consistent success.A varied composer, he branched into jazz and blues in The Eighties, but found himself somewhat pigeonholed by his old hits. Today he has settled into a kind of wry awareness of his Disco Dan image.Is the Trope Maker for Stuck on Band-Aid Brand (he wrote the jingle).
Big Applesauce: "New York City Rhythm", "Copacabana (At The Copa)", "Avenue C", "Brooklyn Blues", and of course the Concept AlbumHere At The Mayflower, which is about life in a New York apartment building.
Breakup Song: "Lay Me Down", "I Was A Fool (To Let You Go)", and many, many others.
Broken Record: "Sweet Heaven (I'm In Love Again)" is quite repetitive.
Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Despite endless claims to the contrary by journalists, Manilow did not write the famous "You Deserve A Break Today" McDonald's commercial, but he did sing the vocal on it.
"I Write The Songs" is not Manilow going on an ego trip about what a fantastic songwriter he is. The "I" in the title actually refers to the spirt of Music, and in fact the very last line of the song is, "I am Music, and I write the songs". As Manilow himself is constantly at great pains to point out, he didn't even write that song; Bruce Johnston did.
Lyrical Dissonance: "Copacabana". Peppy little ditty about a woman losing her boyfriend in a bar brawl and having an alcoholic meltdown that she never recovers from, returning to the same bar, night after night, long after the old crowd has grown up and moved on...
Particularly peculiar was when the song was acted out by muppets on The Muppet Show when Liza Minelli was the guest star.
And then there's "Bobbie Lee", an upbeat, cheerful, poppy song about a teenage runaway who ends up living on the streets and prostituting herself:
She's got this picture of her brother, That she took when she left home. She rolled her hair up like her mother, With her mother's ivory comb. She was sweet sixteen last Easter, But she knows how to treat you right. Tomorrow, she's gonna be in the movies,. But man, you won't forget tonight!