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Recorded between 1973 and 1984. Includes liner notes by David Wild.

Barry Manilow's commercial heyday may have been confined from the mid-'70s to early '80s, but the true testament to his unflagging popularity is the fact that this 2002 compilation debuted in the Top 5 of Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. This 20-pack of classic pop features all of the Brooklyn native's big hits starting with the 1974 chart-topper "Mandy" right through to 1982's "Somewhere Down The Road". Anyone who remotely remembers the '70s will feel like they've stepped into a time machine when they hear radio staples like "It's A Miracle", "Looks Like We Made It", "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana (At The Copa)".

Widely recognized for multiple talents that include formidable musical chops, production skills, and song writing, Manilow's genius can be heard in his use of a Chopin prelude in "Could It Be Magic," and in the melancholy "When October Goes," featuring Johnny Mandel lyrics donated by his widow. Manilow's eye for a great song also found him scoring great chart success with songs written by others including Beach Boy Bruce Johnston's "I Write The Songs" and former Mott The Hoople frontman Ian Hunter's "Ships".

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

Ultimate Manilow [Arista] 1 LISTENMandy 3:17 2 LISTENIt's a Miracle 3:51 3 LISTENCould It Be Magic 6:47 4 LISTENI Write the Songs 3:50 5 LISTENBandstand Boogie 2:50 6 LISTENTryin' to Get the Feeling Again 3:50 7 LISTENThis One's for You 3:26 8 LISTENWeekend in New England 3:45 9 LISTENLooks Like We Made It 3:32 10 LISTENDaybreak 3:05 11 LISTENCan't Smile Without You 3:07 12 LISTENEven Now 3:26 13 LISTENCopacabana (At the Copa) 5:40 14 LISTENSomewhere in the Night 3:23 15 LISTENReady to Take a Chance Again 2:57 16 LISTENShips 4:00 17 LISTENI Made It Through the Rain 4:19 18 LISTENThe Old Songs 4:41 19 LISTENWhen October Goes 3:58 20 LISTENSomewhere Down the Road 3:59
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Performer:  Barry Manilow
Label:  Arista
Genre:  Soft Rock, Tradtional Pop
Release Date:  February 5, 2002
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review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Music Matters
I suppose that a number of my contemporaries will be snickering when they read this. After all, in the mid to late 1970's no one was considered less cool and more irrelevant than Barry Manilow.  His records were played on the radio ad nauseum and lots of "sophisticated" people dismissed his music as trite.  But the fact of the matter is that Barry Manilow and his producer Ron Dante made some of the most enduring pop records of the past 40 years.  You might also be surprised …
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