Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Billboard Top 200-Great News!

According to a press release today:

Barry's new album debuted at #7 in the Billboard Top 200 and was #2 on the Independent album chart.

Three words: WAY TO GO!

This is fabulous news for the fans (and for Barry and his team!)

Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The "question" controversy

It happened. An interviewer, Gayle King, asked the dreaded question: Are you in love? And Barry, true to form, answered, "I am in love...with my music." But Gayle wouldn't let that go. She said, "I mean with a two-legged person." Here it comes. The answer all fans have been wanting to hear (even though they would never admit it), "Yes I am."

You would have thought the fan world would be all abuzz about the admission. Especially those fans who "knew he loved them" or were convinced that "one day he would fall in love with them." But nope. The uproar over the interview was that she had the audacity to even ask the question. How dare her? And once again, the defenders of things Manilow jumped on the bandwagon and began their attack.

Sadly, they missed the best highlights of that interview:

  1. He is happy. You could tell when he answered the question, he smiled. And when he talked about his album, you could tell how proud he is of his work.

  2. He answered the question. He didn't have to answer it. He's dodged it before. But he chose at this point to answer the question.

  3. He put her in her place. He told her that he doesn't allow just anyone into his private life and only if he chooses to let them in are they privy to his personal information. Basically, "any other information is none of your business."

  4. He turned the interview back to the album. He's a pro and he Numbered Listknows how to answer questions. He's perfectly capable of handling himself in any uncomfortable situation, especially from the media.
I agree with YBA's comment on the subject. These interviews would make great clips filtered together to make a promo for his album about fame. Gather them together, put the music from the album as the background, and post it on YouTube. It would go viral in a heartbeat!

Can't we just let him enjoy the ride?
Texas Fan

Monday, June 13, 2011

15 Minutes: A Fan's Review

I'm not really equipped to give this album a critical review. I'm just a fan. I've listened to Barry's music for years. There are some albums that are at the top of my playlist and other songs I enjoy listening to when the shuffle brings them up. Any fan who has been around for many years knows that Barry's original music is far and above superior musically to any of the cover songs he has been doing lately. And this album does not disappoint.

I'm not a musical expert, but I know what I like. I know that the best reviews will take the album song by song, but for me, this new work is all about the album. It's about the story it tells. It's about taking us through the steps to fame, what happens when you get it, and what happens when you lose it. If you take the songs separately, you miss the whole point of the album--it weaves a story with lyrics and music. You can't just read pages from a book and understand the plot. You have to read the entire book. It's the same with this album. You have to listen to it all together to appreciate it's genius.

What do I love about the album?
  • I love Enoch Anderson's lyrics.
  • I love the guitar/rock sound in the songs.
  • I love the emotion you can feel in the songs (anger, frustration, sadness, regret).
  • I love the way the musical melody from some of the songs recurs throughout the album in other songs.
  • I love how the music fits the lyrics (in every single song).
  • I love the power in Barry's voice and the shear joy you can hear as he sings these songs.
  • I love the musical transitions as they carry you through the story.
  • I love fades and the repeats in some of the songs, enhancing the point of each song.
  • I love Nataly Dawn and her eerie rendition of Letter from a Fan (she was the PERFECT choice for this song).
  • I love the quotes that were interjected in Winner Go Down.
  • I love Slept Through the End of the World and Trainwreck (these songs are GENIUS!).
  • I love 15 Minutes and Work the Room (for the shear rocking excitement).
Enough from me. I'm sure there will be tons of reviews in the next few days (especially from the fans). But that's my two cents tonight. As the days go by, I'm sure I'll find even more gems within this concept album. Just as I have with 2AM Paradise Cafe and Here at the Mayflower.

I know I'll have these songs in my head tonight when I go to sleep, but I can't think of a better soundtrack to dream by--
Texas Fan

Manilow at Radio City Music Hall

The CD signing is on and here's a pic from @Franaway on Twitter of the man himself. Thanks Fran for getting this for us!

Later tonight I'll be giving my own little review of the new album--come back and check it out.
Texas Fan

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Manilow, The Showman of our Generation...

...may have become too good at making people "feel".

That's right, I said it. It's time for a much needed REALITY CHECK for some of these "feeling" fans. It's all I can do these days to read some of the reviews, the posts on Twitter and Facebook, the Manilow Network and the old Barrynet.

Reality Check #1-He is NOT singing to you, and only you. If you think otherwise, you are delusional. The music and the delivery is meant to make you feel, NOT send you into a fantasy world that makes you believe he cares for you.

Reality Check #2-Sucking up to the band, the back up singers, his staff, or any other person close to him will NOT get you into his inner circle. If you think it's not obvious that you are doing this for the sole purpose of getting close to him, you are delusional. Everyone around him knows to keep an eye out for this type of fan.

Reality Check #3-Using social media to contact him or score points is absolutely delusional. If you think he's the man behind the Twitter account, think again. If you think he reads your personal messages, knows that you care, and knows when you are at his shows, you've fallen off the limb of fandom.

Reality Check #4-You are NOT solely responsible for defending him in the media, with non-fans, or with anyone who posts a negative commentary related to him or his music. He wouldn't have survived this long in the business if he hadn't learned to take it with the grain of salt and ignore most of the attacks. The more you stir up the pot, the more negative the publicity becomes. Put a lid on it.

Reality Check #5-If you are at every single show, every single media event, every single public appearance, it's time to step back and ask yourself if this "fandom" has gone too far. Even if you have all the money in the world and nothing else to do with your time, it's not healthy to eat, sleep and breathe Manilow. He would be the first to tell you so. Get a life!

Barry has said in interviews, even recently on The Talk, that all he has ever wanted to do was "make people feel." The extent to which these crazed fans presume to take those feelings cannot be blamed on him or his music. Those fans who have become all-consumed with the delusion that he cares for them (other than as a fan) have only themselves to blame. It's clear how Barry feels about this type of adoration in the song he included on his new album 15 Minutes (Letter From a Fan/So Heavy, So High). He doesn't think it's healthy, and neither should we. you can throw the tomatoes,
Texas Fan

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Manilow Media Blitz--what's different this time?

Since my good friends (YBA and Lori) are doing an excellent job keeping everyone up to date on the latest appearances, I'm going to let them be the "go-to" blogs for the links and Facebook posts. If you want to watch some of the appearances, check them out!

I thought I'd throw in my two cents about this media blitz and how it differs from the ones for the cover albums. And since I'm infamous for "sharing my unsolicited opinion", why break the mold? I just finished watching the clips from the George Lopez show, while spewing a mouthful of diet coke onto my iPhone as I watched.

What makes this media blitz different?

1-Who is this guy? Remember a few posts ago I said this after listening to the QVC presentation of the album. Now I'm saying it after watching several of the interviews. He is grinning from ear to ear, excited about talking to reporters and interviewers, displaying some of that Manilow wit I've heard about from years gone by, and more relaxed than I've ever seen him with the media. And the STORIES he is telling--isn't it great to hear some NEW tidbits after all these years???
2-Way to use social media. Ok, so it was barely around for the last few cover albums, but MySpace has been. Way to use it to promote the album, create contests for the fans, and spark the conversations on Facebook and Twitter. The candid posts from Barry are the icing on the cake.
3-We don't have to hear about Clive. I don't know about you but I got sick of the "Clive" reference. Yah...I know he's a genius. Yah..I know Barry was grateful for his advice. But seriously, Clive is NOT the reason for Barry's success. It is his widespread appeal and his willingness to make his audience "feel" his music. If you don't believe it, watch his appearance on The Talk--those women were putty in his musical hands.
4-When you believe in something, it shows. His passion for this album is coming out not only in the music, but in the way he promotes it and himself. You can tell he's not doing any of them out of obligation, but out of pure excitement for the quality of the album.
5-Way to get the fans involved. The contests, the Facebook posts, the album signings, and keeping them abreast on all the media appearances. From what I've heard from some of the fans who have been around for years, this is reminiscent of the past years when the new albums came out and the fans got involved in the promotions.
6-All the radio appearances. From what I'm reading about iHEARTradio and the Manilow station, it sounds amazing. Then there has been the BBC radio segments on the great masters and the Sirius Love channel weekend. It's great to hear his music on the radio again and have people call and say, "hey, I just heard a new song from Barry; did you know he has a new album coming out?"

I wish I could head to NYC for the CD signing, or had the time to watch and keep up with all the marvelous appearances. But as YBA said, I will be living vicariously through those who can and look forward to reading about it online.

The excitement builds for the 14th!
Texas Fan

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