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Duets

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 3, 2011
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In terms of both record sales and career longevity, Barry Manilow is one of the most successful adult contemporary singers ever. Unlike many of his peers, Manilow wasn't aiming to make smooth, restrained background music -- he conceived of himself as a pop entertainer and all-around showman in the classic mold, and his performances and stage shows were accordingly theatrical.
Manilow dominated pop music during the latter half of the '70s like few other performers, spinning off a long series of hit singles (including 13 number one hits on the adult contemporary charts) and platinum albums that essentially made the Arista label. By the early '80s Manilow was free to explore his long-held taste for swing, pop standards, and Broadway show tunes, which dominated his albums from the mid-'80s on. He has continued to record steadily, and his popularity never completely eroded.
Manilow has performed with countless artists from all around the world at Benefits, Special Events/Appearances & television programs, and of course, in concert. Now, for the first time, a collection of Manilow s duets are available on CD. Included are the warm, low-key "I Won't Be the One to Let You Go" with Barbra Streisand, the jazzy "Epilogue" with Nancy Wilson and the epic ballad "Let Me Be Your Wings" with Debra Byrd.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: May 3, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B004H9LY5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,561 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kathy W TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 8, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding compilation of 15 Barry duets over the years with some other real famous grammy-award winning folks, and it is wonderful! What a line-up! A hair over one hour (almost 62 minutes) of beautiful music! Also included is a 16-page booklet with photos of Barry with many of these folks as well as a little bit of verbiage about the album. Just for an added special touch, the CD case is heavier and better quality than most you receive with a new CD.

CD
1. You've Got A Friend (with Melissa Manchester) - 2011 release -- "previously unreleased mix" - If you say "I have this already," - yes, so do I, but this has additional enhancement added in and is even better than the rendition from the former collection.
2. Hey Mambo (with Kid Creole and the Coconuts) - 1987 release - Nice peppy song from Barry's "Swing Street" CD - latin-swing.
3. Let Me Be Your Wings (with Debra Byrd) - 1994 release - from the Thumbelina Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This is a very beautiful song.
4. Cherish/Windy (with The Association) - 2006 release - beautiful arrangement combining the two songs from Barry's "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties" CD.
5. Look to the Rainbow (with Barbara Cook) - 1991 release - from the 1947 musical Finian's Rainbow and on Barry's "Showstoppers" CD - I absolutely LOVE this song. It is so very beautiful. (This is one of two Barry songs that makes me feel as if I've come "home" again. I have no idea why.)
6. Islands in the Stream (with Reba McEntire) - 2008 release - a peppy "fun" song from Barry's "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties" CD.
7. Big City Blues (with Mel Torme' and featuring Gerry Mulligan) -- - 1984 release - from Barry's "2:00 a.m. Paradise Café'" jazz CD.
8.
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With the minor exception of "Hey Mambo", none of these fifteen duets were hits; however, they are all good-to-great songs that make for a truly entertaining album. The earliest is the CD closer "The Last Duet", from the long out-of-print "Barry" (1980). It's a (fairly) funny, discofied parody of the then-rampant duet trend sung with Lily Tomlin (!). Both jazzy duets from Barry's career landmark "2:00 A.M. Paradise Cafe" (1984) are included: "Big City Blues" with Mel Torme (featuring Gerry Mulligan) and "Blue" with Sarah Vaughan. "Run To Me" (1985) is from a Dionne Warwick LP called "Finder of Lost Loves"--named after a hit TV show of the time. Actually, I never warmed up to Dionne's vocal on this song; I usually love her but something sounds off to me. This was Barry's first pop single after "2:00 A.M." and it failed to nick the Hot 100, reaching 12 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

"Hey Mambo" and "Summertime" (with Dianne Schuur) are from the excellent pop/jazz album "Swing Street" (1987). "Mambo" put Kid Creole and the Coconuts on the Hot 100 for the only time, and Barry for the last time (so far--hope springs eternal). It's a great dance number produced by Gloria Estefan's husband Emilio and is somewhat reminiscent of "Conga" and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You". "Look To the Rainbow" is a beautiful ballad with Barbara Cook from the 1991 CD "Showstoppers", which consisted of songs from Broadway shows.

In 1994, Barry did the soundtrack for an animated movie called "Thumbelina". The single "Let Me Be Your Wings", with longtime backup singer (and sometime American Idol vocal coach) Debra Byrd actually dented the British pop chart at number 73. The only song on this CD I never heard of before is "Now and Forever" with Sheena Easton.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Five BIG Stars! Legendary, award-winning singer, composer, and entertainer Barry Manilow sings wonderful duets with some terrific singers and groups from the pop music, country and jazz genres. Culled from both his own previous recordings and two from other artists, this nearly 1 hour CD of 15 songs rivals the duet recordings of the likes of Sinatra and Streisand, who contributes a stellar "I Won't Be The One To Let Go" pairing with Barry from her own excellent "Duets" CD. My favorites are "Summertime" with Diane Schuur and Stan Getz' tenor sax that generates considerable heat; "Look to the Rainbow" with Barbara Cook from Showstoppers; teaming with Dionne Warwick on the Bee Gees' "Run to Me"; the beautiful, soaring "Cherish/Windy" with The Association from Barry's The Greatest Songs of the Sixties; the two splendid blues: "Big City Blues" with Mel Torme' and "Blue" with Sarah Vaughan (with a touch of Gerry Mulligan's baritone sax); the sizzling "Hey Mambo" with Kid Creole and the Coconuts; and perhaps the biggest surprise is the fun & energetic "Last Duet" with Lily Tomlin from one of Barry's soundtracks. But the remaining duets are likewise excellent. This collection is an enjoyable recording pairing Barry with a number of inspired singers in a variety of attractive settings. Highly Recommended. Five ENJOYABLE Stars. (This review is based on an Amazon.com Cloud Player upload. 15 tracks; Total time: 59:23)
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This is one of the best collections of his songs in a long time and the people with whom he sings are terrific as well. Wonderful, uplifting CD and beautiful songs, some fast, some slow. Really loved it.
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