Thanks to my friend, Mary, I was recently able to get my hands on a copy of Barry Manilow’s out-of-print album, Here Comes The Night. Originally released in 1982, this was Manilow’s 12th record and the studio album that preceded it was If I Should Love Again, which was filled with beautiful ballads including “Somewhere Down The Road” and my favorite, “The Old Songs.”
After having listened to Here Comes The Night several times, I have to say I think it’s a shame that it’s not available to the public. It’s a wonderful collection of music. And while the album went platinum, it didn’t spawn as many hits as it should have. I blame this on Arista because the music quality was top notch. Below are my six favorite songs out of the album’s 11 tracks.
“Here Comes The Night”
This song is spectacular. It’s a traditional Barry Manilow power ballad that soars. Between the gorgeous arrangement and heartfelt vocal, I get lost every time I listen to it. This track should have been a monster hit, but it wasn’t. I’d love to hear Barry perform it live the next time I see him; it’s one of his most underrated numbers.
“Memory” is the most popular song from Cats, the 1981 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s a beautiful song that many artists have covered, including Barbra Streisand, whose version of the song charted lower than Manilow’s. Anytime Barry Manilow sings a Broadway show tune, I listen with rapt attention. His voice is perfect for these kinds of songs and he knows how to make them sound magnificent. This is one of his best.
“Some Kind Of Friend”
I would classify this as a rock-infused pop song. It has a harder edge to it than the other music on the album, but it’s still as infectious as Manilow’s other hits. The funky synthesizer, descriptive lyrics and catchy chorus make this a song that gets stuck in my head frequently.
“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter”
Here’s a song that’s been covered by everyone from Nat “King” Cole to Paul McCartney. It’s simple, funny and catchy as hell. And when I hear Barry Manilow’s version, it makes me think of Elvis. It has that rockabilly sound “The King” was known for; and when listening to Manilow’s recording, it’s clear he had a lot of fun with this number.
“Getting Over Losing You”
What a terrific melody. The chord progression in this song is simply wonderful. It tells a great story, the vocal is spectacular and just like “Here Comes The Night,” it should have been a massive hit. I love it.
One of the things that makes Barry Manilow a great live act is he performs the songs he enjoys – not just the hits. About a year or two ago, he started adding “Stay” to his set and longtime fans loved it. This sexy mid-tempo number is another song that didn’t get the attention it deserved. The haunting chorus is one that I find myself singing long after the song has ended.
Michael, it’s so nice to see the album cover, front and back! I remember going to Peaches Records & Tapes to buy “Here Comes the Night”, along with the clear plastic album cover sleeve (always a necessity), and even paying $30 for a new needle, just to make sure the sound through my record player speakers was perfect! Nothing but the best would do for a fresh Barry Manilow album. It seemed to take FOREVER to get home from Peaches with that orange bag.
Of course, I love all the songs you reviewed, and agree they should have been big hits for Barry. However, I was not consulted on the matter, even though I remember calling in numerous requests for “Stay” to whichever radio station I listened to at that time.
My personal hit pick- meaning I played it about a thousand times- was “Let’s Get On With It”:
Whatcha gonna do with my time darlin’?
Whatcha gonna do with my soul?
When you gonna make up your mind about me?
Whatcha still need to know?
Let me tell you something, if I had my say, that song would have been Number One on Billboard’s Top 40 every week until the next Manilow single was released!
The album can still be found as a vinyl LP, but it makes no sense at all, after three decades, why “Here Comes the Night” isn’t available on CD or iTunes. Thank God, I still have a record player. *That* record player.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
It’s funny that you should mention that song because I was strongly considering adding “Let’s Get On With It” to my list. But I thought seven “favorites” would look a little excessive. I agree that it’s a wonderful song; the lyrics are terrific and the piano and harmonies are excellent.
Hopefully this album will be re-released soon.
This is one of my absolute favorite albums of Barry Manilow and I have virtually all of them! There’s not a bad song on it! I acquired the CD (yes, CD!!) on eBay a few months ago and paid a premium for it … but I admit it’s absolutely worth every penny!!!! I play it all the time. Barry calls this his “naughty” album.
Just in case you didn’t know, the song “Stay” was a hit in England. He talks about it on one of his England videos. He states it was one of his personal favorite songs as well.
He’s coming out with a new album this month (January 2014) entitled Night Songs. I have one of the cuts from the album sent as a bonus to those who did an album pre-order and I can’t wait to get my hands on the entire album. He’s even releasing it on vinyl!
Barry is so underrated by most critics. He’s just the best!!!
Thanks for stopping by.
I agree, Barry Manilow is one of a kind and an underrated musician. I’ve seen him live three times and met him a few years ago. He’s a wonderful performer and a kind person. I’m very much looking forward to Night Songs. Knowing Barry, I’m sure it’ll be great!