So my thoughts are going to be the nightowl version.
It's fun to get advance notice of new records and appearances, but then you have to sit on your hands and wait for them. I normally don't enjoy QVC or other TV shopping shows but this was one to watch.
First, the hostess, Chickieboo, the one with oral diarrhea, should be first in line for an intervention with Tim Gunn.
Second, correction on the Manilow CD availability: it was released in Japan mostly and had a very limited release in the USA because the CD format was just hitting the mainstream. Hence why you can find it on eBay. I'm one of those people who made getting a copy of this CD a bloodsport.
Making this a bonus was a slick move. It's one of Barry's records that has a lot of underrated music on it and one where the stereotypical 80s style comes through. I've lost track of how many artists I've heard of who were wooed to a new label by a current exec, then had their project set adrift when said exec is suddenly ousted and replaced with another who doesn't give a damn. Personal favorite: "It's All Behind Us Now". I've been playing around with an idea for an amateur video for it. "Sweet Heaven" will never be the same after the Close Up DVD. I can't hear it without blushing and putting my face in my hand.
Third: Barry, did you really have to try to do Michael Jackson before realizing it was a bad idea? Just ask me, I could have saved you a ton of studio time!
Those of you who prefer Barry's hair dark, hope you enjoy it now. I'm the world's biggest sucker for blondes, though I'll take him however he is.
I've been debating all evening whether to go through song-by-song thoughts but I think I'm waiting to get the record before the serious details. Briefly:
- "Open Arms" sounded more emotional and more involved than it did on The Tonight Show the other night. It helps to have serious fans in the audience.
- "Arthur's Theme" was just as I imagined it would sound and I'm sure that's going to end up being a favorite.
- "Islands in the Stream" IS the big hit on this record. I'm keeping this DVR recording because the version here with Kye and the girls is what I remembered bringing the house down in Vegas. Even with the QVC banners across the bottom, it's a keeper.
So my full run-though will have to wait until I snag the record on Monday.
Some other random thoughts that have been rattling around my head lately:
I'd love to hear what Barry would do with some of his own 80s songs, in the way he recreated some of his 70s hits with the last collection. My choices:
"Getting Over Losing You" from Here Comes the Night. The most underrated song on that album. Somehow I imagine it being more emotional if a woman sang it, though. Go figure.
"No Other Love" from If I Should Love Again. When Barry remade "I Write the Songs", it sounded a little different, like there was an emotional difference in how he sees the song now - an acceptance, maybe that wasn't there before. I'd like to see if the same type of difference would occur in this song as well.
"Somewhere Down the Road" - the way he performs it in Vegas today.
"Anyone Can Do the Heartbreak" from Barry Manilow. Because I like it and I said so! ;-)
"Keep Each Other Warm" This would make a great accoustic "unplugged" cut.
I won't complain if a DVD companion is released in the same vein as the 70s collection. I always love commentary tracks or interview segments. You hear the music and once I get comfortable with it I start thinking, "OK, I get it, now how does it work?" Hence Barry's thoughts on them are very valuable. In the 70s DVD, he goes into technical details that I could listen to for days at a time. I may not be able to create music but I can relate with trying to force a box of chips to do what I want it to do. At the end Barry throws out, "Nobody cares, right?" What is he thinking?? First time I heard this I had to stop myself from waving furiously: "HELLO? ME! OVER HERE!!"
This afternoon I received a beautiful thank-you note from someone associated with Keely's family for the United Warrior Survivors Foundation. I used my company's PayPal account to keep the donation discreet and my name off of the blog or anything public. These folks don't know me from Eve and have never heard of my company. So it was a very nice suprise to hear from them. I hope whoever reads this keeps my relatives, still in Iraq and Afghanistan for the holidays, in their thoughts or prayers.