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Customer Review

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stale Pop Idol karaoke....., 27 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties (Audio CD)
We've read the news that his covers CD of '50s pop songs by Johnny Mathis, Bobby Darin, Frankie Avalon, the Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, recorded at the suggestion of his old pal Clive Davis, is currently topping The Billboard 200 for the first time since " Live " in 1977.

Unfortunately, his " Greatest Songs of the Fifties " ranks not at the top but among the BOTTOM of his recorded works, especially when compared to his recent output on the small , sophisticated jazz-oriented Concord label.

For instance, the more inspired " Here at the Mayflower " (2001), a concept album that would make for a nifty stage musical, found Manilow in good voice and at the peak of his songwriting talents.

Back on Arista, Manilow and Davis pander for a hit by tapping the lucrative, yet cheesy, standards market. Face it, much of the music of the '50s was corny and Manilow's Wonder Bread readings of overexposed tunes like " Unchained Melody ", " Are You Lonesome Tonight " and " Venus " add nothing to the originals. On " Sincerely/Teach Me Tonight " duet partner Phyllis McGuire slurs on a medley of the two hits she had with the McGuire Sisters 50 years ago.

Technically, Manilow's voice is just OK and the musicianship is fine. But frankly, we like him better when he writes the songs the whole world sings.
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