Barry Manilow – Mandy

I’ve always liked this song. I even like the Westlife version. Why? It’s got a fantastic melody. Go on, hum it. Lovely isn’t it?

On the strength of this song (and because I’ve always admired him as a person – you know, the poverty-stricken background, the success against the odds, his Jewishness, the playing to exclusively gay audiences in the New York bathhouses with Bette Midler, the being a very nice bloke, the big nose, the good humour in the face of all the cruel jibes…) I decided a few years ago to investigate the rest of Manilow’s ouevre. I really wanted it to contain moments of greatness, or something surprising. But alas, there’s not much there beyond what you already know about his music. Which isn’t to knock it – there’s always a place for perfectly pleasant, blandly theatrical show tunes. Just not in my house.

And yes, Mandy is easily the best thing he’s ever done. So if you also want to investigate further, go no further than his Barry Manilow II album from 1974.

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About Paul Saxton

Follow me on Twitter if you like: @paulsaxton
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