Barry Manilow is an American singer/songwriter famous for composing every song ever written
, including hits such as "Mandy"note
, "Can't Smile Without You"note
, "I Write The Songs"note
, "Looks Like We Made It"note
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
Is the Trope Maker
for Stuck on Band-Aid Brand
(he wrote the jingle
- Barry Manilow (1973)
- Barry Manilow II (1974)
- Tryin' To Get The Feeling (1975)
- This One's For You (1976)
- Even Now (1978)
- One Voice (1979)
- Barry (1980)
- If I Should Love Again (1981)
- Here Comes The Night (1981)
- 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe (1984)
- Manilow (1985)
- Swing Street (1987)
- Barry Manilow (1989)
- Because It's Christmas (1990)
- Showstoppers (1991)
- Singin' With The Big Bands (1994)
- Summer of '78 (1996)
- Manilow Sings Sinatra (1998)
- Here At The Mayflower (2001)
- A Christmas Gift of Love (2002)
- Scores (2004)
- The Greatest Songs of The Fifties (2006)
- The Greatest Songs of The Sixties (2006)
- The Greatest Songs of The Seventies (2007)
- In The Swing Of Christmas (2007)
- The Greatest Songs of The Eighties (2008)
- The Greatest Love Songs of All Time (2010)
- 15 Minutes (2011)
Barry Manilow's work shows examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Love Song: "The Last Duet" (duet with Lily Tomlin) is of the Comedy/Parody variety:
Into my heart,
And make my heart burn.
Into my mind,
And make my head ache.
Both: Look, It's time to face the music.
Barry: Bye bye!
And I don't want,
Barry: I don't want,
Lily: I don't want.
Barry: I don't want,
- Audience Participation Song: Manilow picks a girl out of the audience to sing "Can't Smile Without You" with him.
- The Bermuda Triangle: "Bermuda Triangle", from the Barry album.
- Big Applesauce: "New York City Rhythm", "Copacabana (At The Copa)", "Avenue C", "Brooklyn Blues", and of course the Concept Album Here 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.
- Christmas Album: Three of 'em.
- Concept Album: Here At The Mayflower, and 15 Minutes, which is about the perils of fame.
- Cover Version: The Greatest Songs Of... albums. And Manilow Sings Sinatra. And all those Christmas albums.
- 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.
- Darker and Edgier: 15 Minutes.
- Everyone Is Christian At Christmas: Three Christmas albums, Barry? Really??
- Intercourse with You: Many, many times. "I Wanna Do It With You", "I'm Your Man", and lots of others.
- Large Ham: Have you seen the page pic?
- Lonely Together: "Lonely Together". Fits this trope so well that it should possibly be the Trope Namer.
Wouldn't it be fine bein' lonely together?
Wouldn't it be fine havin' a shoulder to share?
You could tell me how he broke your heart,
And I'll tell you how she broke mine.
Now, wouldn't it be sad bein' lonely all alone?
- Long Runner
- 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!
- Murder Ballad: "Copacabana"
- Rockstar Song: "It's a Miracle".
- Self-Backing Vocalist: "One Voice", among others.
- Self-Demonstrating Article: "I Really Do Write The Songs". Manilow hangs lampshades all over the place with this one. Served with delicious side dishes of Self-Parody and Self-Deprecation, with a Funny Moment at the very end for dessert. A little taste:
You gotta grab 'em first
But most of all, you move along
To the center of the song.
Sing it for us
Never overlook givin' it a hook
- The Seventies: And how!
- Silly Love Songs: Too many to name here.
- Stuck on Band-Aid Brand: The Trope Maker.
- Your Cheating Heart: "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed?", "Starting Again", and countless others.