Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Oh Julie" by Barry Manilow

Song#:  1125
Date:  07/31/1982
Debut:  81
Peak:  38
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Although Manilow's previous album "If I Should Love Again" produced three Top 40 singles, including the #15 "The Old Songs," it seemed his easy listening, big ballads were falling out of favor. Manilow went back to the studio and recorded this upbeat tune and played it for Arista label head Clive Davis. Davis loved it and ordered up an EP to market the song. Manilow obliged and filled out the balance of the EP with three more uptempo songs. With it's release, Manilow became the first mainstream pop artist to issue an EP, a format that was gaining in popularity around this time. This single from the EP got a tepid response and barely made it into the Top 40 (#24 AC) and the EP didn't fare that well either reaching #69 and breaking his string of gold and platinum albums.

ReduxReview:  This is certainly a change for Manilow. I don't think he had really done this style of rock 'n' roll before. I think Manilow tries his best to mimic a 50's rock vocal, but overall it just comes off as an interesting oddity in his catalog. For the most part, this EP has been overlooked in later years. It has never been issued on CD and two of the songs, "Oh Julie" and "Heaven," have never appeared on a CD in the US (a Japan CD of his next album "Here Comes the Night" did feature "Oh Julie"). The other two songs on the EP did show up on "Here Comes the Night." This could be due to rights issues or maybe Manilow just has preferred to ignore them. If the latter, can't say I blame him.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song by Welsh rock 'n' roll artist Shakin' Stevens who reached #1 on the UK pop chart earlier in 1982 with this song. Stevens had a streak of hit singles in the UK beginning with 1981's #1 "This Ole House." His 33 chart singles, which included four #1's and ten other Top 10's, made him the UK's top selling artist of the 80's. Although hugely popular in the UK, his success did not cross over to the US, where he was unable to get any single on the pop chart. However, he did write "Oh Julie," so he did have a US hit as a songwriter.



  1. Manilow has definitely disowned this song. He does not perform it, and has prevented if from ever being released on anything but the original 45/EP. The song is good; the performance is not. I agree with his decision.

    1. Me too. It's an odd curiosity but certainly not a lost gem! Thanks for the info and tuning into the blog!

  2. Damn anonymous commenters (not really, glad to know I'm not alone).