Manilow, Barry - 1982 Here Comes The Night


ARTIST: Manilow, Barry
ALBUM: Here Comes The Night
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1990, Arista, 260-927


LINEUP: Barry Manilow - lead vocals, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizers

Additional Musicians: Paul Jackson, Jr, Richard Zito, George Doering, Robben Ford, John Pondel, Mitch Holder, John Goux, Art Phillips - guitars * Dennis Belfield, Leon Gaer - bass * Bill Mays, Victor Vanacore - piano * Bill Mays - keyboards * Gabrial Katona, Robert Marullo - synthesizers * Gary Herbig - sax * Alan Estes - percussion * Ed Greene, Bud Harner, John Ferraro - drums * Tom Kelly, Richard Page, Bill Champlin, Steve George, Kevin DiSimone, James Jolis, Pat Henderson, Muffy Hendrix - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Wanna Do It With You * 02 Here Comes The Night * 03 Memory * 04 Let's Get On With It * 05 Some Girls * 06 Some Kind Of Friend * 07 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter * 08 Getting Over Losing You * 09 Oh Julie * 10 Heart Of Steel * 11 Stay


By 1980, Manilow was something of an inside joke in the music industry and with especially with rock fans.

While it became in vogue to hear Manilow free weekends on radio and bash Barry in mainstream media; Manilow was busy selling out Royal Albert Hall, for which nearly a half million people vied for the 21,500 available seats!

In 1980, Manilow's 'One Voice' special, with Dionne Warwick as his guest, was nominated for an Emmy for 'Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction'.

The first small chink in the Manilow armour (if you can really call it that) occurred when he released the self-titled 'Barry' in 1980, his first album to not reach the top ten in the United States (stopping at #15!).

'Barry' did contain the hits 'I Made It Through The Rain' and 'Bermuda Triangle.' 'If I Should Love Again' followed in 1981, containing more modest hits 'The Old Songs', 'Let's Hang On' and 'Somewhere Down The Road'.

The following tour was huge with Manilow's sold out Pittsburgh Civic Arena show airing nationally on Showtime. After the release of a live album that was culled from his Royal Albert Hall shows, Barry recorded 'Here Comes The Night' in Van Nuys, CA in the early part of 1982.

We've heard Peter Allen, Paul Anka, Dionne Warwick incorporate an AOR sheen to their somewhat milk toast AC delivery. But what about can ole white eyes himself? Can he actually pull off decent West Coast/AOR?

The Songs

If you are after those Manilow piano orchestrated ballads, this is not for you. Most of the tracks are upbeat, and this, for the most part, works.

The opener 'I Wanna Do It With You' (The UK release went by this title) is an upbeat ditty, with a decent chorus and sax solo to boot.

Barry makes sure the housewives didn't chuck their 8 tracks out the station wagon with the title track which is a ballad. This is not your traditional Barry ballad though (although I must admit 'Mandy' and 'Ships' are guilty pleasures of mine), its hook and refrain is breathtaking - moving into West Coast/AOR territory with ease.

Unfortunately there is no way I can justify 'Memory', the Andrew Lloyd Webber staple which Manilow sings without conviction-almost forgetting the key changes and often out of tune.

Thankfully 'Let's Get On With It' makes up for it in spades with its smooth bass line and arrangement that could of been lifted off of Robbie Dupree or John O'Banion's acclaimed platters.

'Some Girls' is another filler as is the dull doo-wop 1950's pastiche of 'I'm Gonna Sit Right Down'.

'Some Kind Of Friend' however is the album highlight, pitch perfect AOR, in line with David Roberts best or even Rick Springfield with its memorable whirling synth line and electric guitar parts.

'Getting Over (Losing You)' is loyal to the Manilow's sound, and is effective, with the right amount of climaxes and cliches, that Barry made his own in the late 70's.

'Heart Of Steel' is another album highlight and is West Coast/AOR to the bone, similar to the turn Peter Allen took with 'Bi-Coastal' a few years prior.

Coincidentally next up is the Richard Page/Steve George penned 'Oh Julie', as important as they were during this period of time to a genre of fine West Coast/AOR platters, this really doesn't hit the mark for me here. Very disappointing considering the quality of work they are known for. One of the reasons this may not work is Manilow's voice can be so distinct and recognizable which may take away from any AOR-ish element that even slightly begins to take hold.

I must admit 'Stay' is a beautifully executed ballad that pushes Manilow beyond his puke-worthy image that ingrained itself with so many by this time.

In Summary

Recently, West Coast fans have re-discovered this thanks to its presence on the Japanese AOR collectors market. It can command some hefty prices as many of these OOP releases do.

If you can stomach Manilow, his 70's albums are where it's at (See Eric's excellent 'Manilow II' review here on Glory Daze). Even someone with the most disdain for the man has to admit he really did make a valid attempt here, even though the results are somewhat hit and miss.

Perhaps a Jay Graydon (See Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers reviews here at Glory Daze) or David Foster could of put this over the top.

Even though Manilow drives down West Coast blvd a couple times, it's a chance he probably isn't willing to ever take again. That would make this a valid reason to check this out IMHO.

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