While Barry Manilow's fans patiently wait for 15 Minutes, his first album of all original material since 2001's Here at the Mayflower, Arista and Legacy will offer a chance to look back at some past moments in Manilow's long career. Duets compiles fifteen teamings, some more difficult to find than others, spanning the period between 1980 ("The Last Duet" with Lily Tomlin, from Barry) and 2008 ("Islands in the Stream" with Reba McEntire, from The Greatest Songs of the Eighties.) This 15-track collection is due on April 5.
Duets covers all of the eclectic bases in Manilow's lengthy career. His work as a film score composer is represented by two tracks from Don Bluth's animated films ("Let Me Be Your Wings," a duet from Thumbelina with Debra Byrd, now an American Idol vocal coach, and "Now and Forever," a Sheena Easton duet from The Pebble and the Penguin) while his explorations into jazz and swing are covered by collaborations with a legendary and now-deceased group - Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and Sarah Vaughan - as well as the very-much-alive and still active Diane Schuur. A trip to Broadway on Showstoppers yielded "Look to the Rainbow" from Finian's Rainbow with the renowned Barbara Cook. Songs not released on Manilow's own albums or soundtracks are present, too, including 2003's reunion with Bette Midler on the Frank Loesser classic "On a Slow Boat to China" and 2002's "I Don't Want to Be the One to Let Go" which joined Manilow with fellow Brooklynite Barbra Streisand for the first time on disc. (This song is actually a duet in more ways than one, as it was co-written with none other than Richard Marx!) Among the most underrated tracks present (other than the delicious and all-too-unknown "Last Duet" in which Manilow spoofs a number of hit songs) is the 1985 teaming with Dionne Warwick on The Bee Gees' "Run to Me." For more details as well as the full track listing with discographical information, hit the jump, won't you?
One unreleased track is present, an alternate mix of the Melissa Manchester duet "You've Got a Friend," from 2008's The Greatest Songs of the Eighties. (Interestingly, CD Universe, allmusic and other sources are listing a 20-track version of the collection, which would add "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" with Debra Byrd and the Glenn Miller Orchestra from Singin' with the Big Bands, "Black and Blue" with Tom Scott and the late Phyllis Hyman from Swing Street, "How About You" with Rosemary Clooney from Clooney's At Long Last, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with KT Oslin from Because It's Christmas, and "Don't Talk to Me of Love," a rare track from the French release of 1985's Manilow. This may be an international release of the compilation, and we will update the information as soon as it is confirmed.)
Duets isn't a complete collection of Manilow's pairings on disc, but it's a fine overview for fans who might not have all of these tracks or wish to have them collected in one place. Duets streets on April 5 from Arista and Legacy. A pre-order link can be found below.
Barry Manilow, Duets (Arista/Legacy 88697 82093-2, 2011)
- You've Got a Friend (with Melissa Manchester)
- Hey Mambo (with Kid Creole and The Coconuts)
- Let Me Be Your Wings (End Title Duet) (with Debra Byrd)
- Cherish/Windy (with The Association)
- Look to the Rainbow (with Barbara Cook)
- Islands in the Stream (with Reba McEntire)
- Big City Blues (with Mel Torme featuring Gerry Mulligan)
- On a Slow Boat to China (with Bette Midler)
- Run to Me (with Dionne Warwick)
- Summertime (with Diane Schuur featuring Stan Getz)
- Sincerely/Teach Me Tonight (with Phyllis McGuire)
- Blue (with Sarah Vaughan)
- Now and Forever (with Sheena Easton)
- I Won't Be the One to Let Go (with Barbra Streisand)
- The Last Duet (with Lily Tomlin)
Track 1 previously unreleased mix; original version from The Greatest Songs of the Seventies, Arista 88697 10034-2, 2007
Tracks 2 & 10 from Swing Street, Arista 8527, 1987
Track 3 from Thumbelina: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, SBK K2-29126, 1994
Track 4 from The Greatest Songs of the Sixties, Arista 88697 02990-2, 2006
Track 5 from Showstoppers, Arista 18687-2, 1991
Track 6 from The Greatest Songs of the Eighties, Arista 88697 37161-2, 2008
Tracks 7 & 12 from 2:00 a.m. Paradise Café, Arista 8254, 1984
Track 8 from Bette Midler, Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook, Columbia CK 90350, 2003
Track 9 from Dionne Warwick, Finder of Lost Loves, Arista 8262, 1985
Track 11 from The Greatest Songs of the Fifties, Arista 82876 74509-2, 2005
Track 13 from The Pebble and the Penguin: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Kid Rhino R2 71995, 1995
Track 14, from Barbra Streisand, Duets, Columbia CK 86126, 2002
Track 15 from Barry, Arista 9537, 1980
Now if we can just get the remaster campaign back in gear with the 1980 "Barry" album onward...
Joe Marchese says
I couldn't agree more! I really had hope after the last (terrific) round of remasters that "Barry" would finally be addressed. Hopefully soon...!
"Barry" is the only Manilow album I don't have on CD. I know it has a very limited Japan release in the 80's but nothing in the US. I've never understood the hold up. At his Las Vegas show, in the upstairs lounge, there is even a record plaque with "Barry" and all the details. Not all of his albums got the "on the wall" display treatment.
Two comments, actually...
1) Was there an alternate release of the P&tP soundtrack that I missed? The CD I have (Kid Rhino R2 71996) very definitely does NOT have the Sheena Easton duet on it.
2) I agree that getting the remaster campaign going again would be nice, especially if they could get the "Oh Julie" EP in as bonus material somewhere. Heck, they've issued remasters of albums that charted lower than "Barry" did...
Joe Marchese says
Thanks, Eagle-Eyed Dave! The attribution of the Sheena duet to the "Pebble" Original Soundtrack actually comes straight from the press release. I just went and grabbed my copy of the soundtrack CD, and yup, you're correct! It's odd that this track isn't being promoted as unreleased...there might be a few Sheena completists out there who would be interested. We'll do our part to spread the word! Thanks for the heads-up.
"Oh, Julie!" could definitely fit on CD paired with "Barry"...start writing your cards and letters now!
I've been thinking for years that "Oh Julie" would fit in nicely on "Here Comes the Night" (aka "I Wanna Do It With You" in the UK and elsewhere) which has also gone unreleased on CD in the States, although it's been issued on CD on both the UK and Japan. Two of "Oh Julie"'s four tracks are already on there, might as well just add the other two and be done with it. 🙂
Johnnie M. says
I am exhausted at trying to locate Barry's "BARRY" album. It has such an array of fine Manilow tunes. "I Made it Through the Rain" was one of his biggest hits and yet this wonderful album remains unavailable to his fans. Does anyone know why? Personally, I my favorite track is "London" - an epic Manilow tribute to his time there while on tour. Though I have the LP, I am craving the ability to pop that CD into the player in my car and ride away with the nostalgia. BTW...I have been enjoying "15 Minutes" very much. Not typical Manilow but what a terrific concept album.
Joe Marchese says
I've been advocating a CD reissue of BARRY for years, and I thought we actually had a shot when Legacy was assembling its last (terrific) round of remasters, all with bonus material. Keep those cards and letters coming to Sony, and maybe one day we'll convince the powers-that-be! It's quite a strong album, and I also love "London". And let's hear it for 15 MINUTES, too -- it's great to see Manilow stretching himself artistically at this point in his career, and I hope he delivers on his promise of more original material to come! (A sequel to PARADISE CAFE has been mentioned!)