Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Memory" by Barry Manilow

Song#:  1253
Date:  11/20/1982
Debut:  79
Peak:  39
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After a stop-gap experiment with the EP "Oh, Julie!," Manilow returned with the full-length album "Here Comes the Night." For the LPs first single, Manilow applied his patented big ballad approach to this song from the Broadway show "Cats." It did pretty well for a Broadway song just getting inside the Top 40 and hitting #8 at AC. The results bested Barbra Streisand's version that got to #52 pop and #9 AC earlier in the year. Although many artists have covered this song, Manilow's version still remains the only one to reach the pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  When it comes down to a Streisand version vs. any other version, I will usually side with Streisand. She typically knocks it outta tha park, so why look elsewhere? However, there are occasions where her version (dare I say it!) may not be the best (sacrilege!). I'd have to say this is one of those cases. Streisand soars high and sounds awesome, but what Manilow did was fit the song into his proven ballad formula and it just was a better fit for a pop audience. That gives his version a slight edge. I still don't think the song makes for a good single, but Manilow got about as close as anyone to making it fit.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  !) This song was sung by Grizabella, the Glamour Cat in the musical. Elaine Paige originated the role of Grizabella for the UK production. When the show moved to Broadway, the role was given to singer/actress Betty Buckley. Although Buckley became famous for this show and other Broadway roles, she is probably more well-known for two other non-stage roles. In 1976, she played the gym teacher in the horror classic "Carrie." Then from 1977-1981 she played the new stepmom on the hit TV show "Eight is Enough."  2) Up until 2006, "Cats" was the longest running Broadway show in history. The show had 7,493 performances from 1982-2000. Actress Marlene Danielle was the only original cast member to remain with the show for its entire Broadway run.


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