Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Because no living artists were interested?

I know, I know. Music is largely a matter of personal taste. You can’t really argue someone into liking Mozart or Stravinsky or Cab Calloway, Elvis or Ella or Isaac Stern; a person either does or doesn’t.

Which philosophical position acts as a brake on my strong impulse to denounce Barry Manilow’s warbling as elevator music that is only marginally tolerable even in elevators limited to very short rides. Insipid melodies and utterly forgettable lyrics delivered in a voice that is practically invariable as to decibel level (a police siren has more technique).

Ah…I guess that brake isn’t working too well after all. Well, there are people who like him, and if you are one of them, I hope we can still be friends. Nonetheless, Manilow’s announced intention of recording duets with dead singers – many of whom are vastly his superior, and none much, if any, worse – strikes me, as it may even strike some of his fans, as a dubious proposition, very unlikely to shine in the annals of music history. (Barry Manilow and Judy Garland? You might as well punctuate Over the Rainbow with an occasional blast from a vuvuzela). Not exactly a sign of the end times, I suppose, but definitely a caution light on the road to perdition.

13 comments:

Robert of Ottawa said...

No comment

rinardman said...

I have to agree. Manilow is one of a very few singers that makes me reach for the mute button.

And if this leads to a song of his getting stuck in my head, I'm coming after you, Paco!

Paco said...

"At the Copa...Copacabana..."

Mwahahaha!

bruce said...

"I write the songs that make the old(ish) men cry..."

Actually Bruce Johnston wrote that. Barry only sang it.

- Hair of the dog, replace one ear-worm with another.

Paco said...

Ah, "earworm". I had quite forgotten that term. How very appropriate!

Mikael said...

You're an evil, evil man, Senõr Paco. Did you know that?
Now I will have that stupid song in my head for the remainder of the day.
It's not fair. What have I ever done to you?

Mr. Bingley said...

Actually heard (a long long time ago) a rather candid interview with Mr. Manilow where he talked about why he went into the singing-end of the business: he actually wrote the State Farm jingle "And like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" and he said that whilst he got paid a flat $35 (or some such) the lady who sang it was on her third Mercedes...

Minicapt said...

A suggestion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Moreschi

Cheers

Minicapt said...

Even better:
Florence Foster Jenkins ...

Cheers

RebeccaH said...

Mr. Bingley, that is interesting news indeed, because there are few commercials I despise more than that stupid State Farm "sing the jingle and get a magical transformation" commercial. As to Manilow himself, the only thing I ever enjoyed by him was when he sang the lyrics to Johnathan Livingston Seagull, and that was back in my semi-hippie days (thankfully, long gone).

bruce said...

Hate the music but respect for the guy's hard work and pop-sense:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Manilow

He's the Colonel Sanders of pop!

Please Barry, leave the dead (and our ears) in peace!

JeffS said...

Barry Manilow is one of those unforeseen consequences arising from technological advances.

In this case, the invention of the elevator. Sometimes, the neo-Luddites get it right. Just for the wrong reasons.

TimT said...

Singer with no taste meets singer with no life to sing music with no tune. Bound to be a hit!