He's written and recorded hit songs since the early 1970s, and now Barry Manilow is paying tribute to that decade with the release of his new album The Greatest Songs of the Seventies. Gayle talks to Barry about the CD and his passion for music and songwriting.
In the past, Barry has recorded hit songs from the '50s and '60s, but he says the '70s album was the most difficult to record because he covered some of his own hit songs. "This was a challenge because people love the original and I didn't want to stray too far from that, but I didn't want to put the old record on," he says. Choosing other artists' hit songs from from the '70s was difficult as well, Barry says. "Some didn't fit my voice and some of them did, so these are the ones that wound up [on the album]."
The album offers some acoustic versions of his songs from the '70s that Barry says fans may love. He doesn't expect critics to go wild over this album though, because he says they've never really given his work much respect. "The public understands what I am trying to do—that I'm trying to move people," he says. "I'm not trying to move mountains. I'm trying to move people with my music and with my emotions."
Now in his 60s, Barry says he has finally come into his own as a singer. Before now, Barry says he always considered himself a songwriter first. "This year, when I listen back to this record, I hear the maturity in my vocal, I hear the honesty in the interpretation, and I think I've got it."