Sunday, December 17, 2006

Studio Musician

The last few days I have been listening to some of Barry's early music. Of course, being a "resurrected" fan from the 70's, I only recently acquired some of Barry's older albums. This song was from his recently re-released Live Legacy Edition from 1977.

I especially enjoy Barry's live recordings. They are masterfully done and transport you to the epicenter of his concerts. Since I did not have the pleasure of attending any concerts until 2002, this is how I experience the early magic of Manilow, via his live recordings and his concert DVD's. There are two songs on this recording that I had never heard before: Lay Me Down and Studio Musician. I have enjoyed listening to both of them.

Studio Musician was written by Rupert Holmes. And although this song was not one of Barry's own compositions, he sings it with the conviction of someone who relates to the lyrics. Of course, being a studio musician in the early years, Barry has great compassion and admiration for every musician either playing for him in the studio or in his band. He has always encouraged his band and singers to pursue their own careers and record. This is evidenced by the recordings many of them have made over the years and continue to make while working with Barry.

I have digressed from my original talk about the lyrics and the composition of this song and how it speaks to me. Specifically the following lyrics:

Singles jingles and demos conveniently made
A studio musician
Whose music could have died unplayed

Imagine Barry's music never having been played. Imagine him sitting behind a piano for 30 plus years playing other people's music. What a catastrophic loss that would have been. Not only his music lost, but his interpretation of other's music as he so eloquently does in this song. Then there is the ending of this song, that only Barry does so well. He makes it his own, ever so subtly by adding a few chords of the easily recognizeable State Farm jingle. As if to say to us...I was that studio musician whose music could have died unplayed.

God richly blessed us and all of mankind with Barry's music. It's no accident. Hopefully there will be much more to come in 2007. More of his original compositions and unreleased tracks. This is one FANILOW that can hardly wait!

Signing off for now,

Texas Fanilow

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