Scores: Songs from Copacabana and Harmony

Scores: Songs from Copacabana and Harmony

5.0 3
by Barry Manilow
     
 

On Scores, Barry Manilow treats his audience to songs he composed for two stage productions, Copacabana and Harmony. There’s always been a strong theatrical streak in Manilow’s work, and his tunes for these two shows are solidly in that vein. The results give proof that this perennial showman also has a real knack for stagecraft: Some of hisSee more details below

Overview

On Scores, Barry Manilow treats his audience to songs he composed for two stage productions, Copacabana and Harmony. There’s always been a strong theatrical streak in Manilow’s work, and his tunes for these two shows are solidly in that vein. The results give proof that this perennial showman also has a real knack for stagecraft: Some of his most memorable songs of the past decade are contained here. And Manilow himself sounds as inspired and technically assured as ever, his voice remaining in truly remarkable condition nearly 30 years after his first hit single. The various songs aren’t overly tied to the their sources, allowing each to be enjoyed without an understanding of plot or character. Among the highlights are the ballads, "Who Needs to Dream?" and "Every Single Day"; the bouncy "Sweet Heaven (I'm in Love Again)" and "Harmony"; the brassy crowd-pleasers "Just Arrived" and "Dancin' Fool"; and the inspirational finale "Stars in the Night." The inclusion of Manilow’s “Copacabana,” in a successfully revamped disco version, brings continuity to the project. With this album, Manilow fans will be able to hum the tunes from these musicals on their way into the theater.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Long before the world new him as a hit-maker and entertainer, Barry Manilow wrote an original song score for an adaptation of The Drunkard. The show was a success and it fueled Manilow's dreams to take his music to the Great White Way, but a job with Bette Midler and a song called "Mandy" forever changed his career trajectory. Years later after the hits had stopped, Manilow and his writing partner Bruce Sussman rediscovered their love for Broadway musicals and looked to their 1978 hit "Copacabana" as inspiration for a show. Written with Jack Feldman, Copacabana - The Musical played in London's West End in 1994 and a successful American tour followed in 2000. Still, Broadway proved elusive and Manilow set his sights on a new project, Harmony, an original musical about the Comedian Harmonists, who were a popular German vocal act during the '20s and '30s and whose demise was instigated by the rise of the Nazi regime. The musical debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1997, but it has yet to be launched as a Broadway production. In the meantime, Manilow revives songs from Copacabana and Harmony for Scores and, for the most part, successfully reshapes them into solo pop songs that stand on their own. The campy tunes from Copacabana are ripe for this format as the show's genre-shifting songs already lean toward pop. The big-band workout "Dancin' Fool" captures the excitement of that era, while the bombastic "Bolero de Amor" works better in this context rather than the appropriately cheesy stage version. But Manilow's penchant for going over the top gets the best of him with most of the Copa songs as the clichéd "Just Arrived" sounds like a weak cousin to Funny Girl's "I'm the Greatest Star" and tepid ballads like "Who Needs to Dream" demonstrate that Manilow hadn't fully abandoned his saccharine past. The Copa set ends with an unnecessary dance mix update of "Copacabana" that eliminates all the campy fun of the original. Fortunately, Manilow and Sussman took a good leap forward with their score for Harmony. Musically and lyrically these songs are denser and their textures blend together forming a more consistent piece of work. The songs are more theatrical and they outshine Copa's scattershot pop with belters like "This Is Our Time!" and quieter songs like "And What Do You See?" sounding like they leapt off a Broadway stage and onto disc. Manilow and Sussman may not be Rodgers & Hammerstein or Kander & Ebb, but with Harmony they prove that they are capable of writing good melodies, solid lyrics, and big showstoppers. Scores may be the final curtain call for these songs, but it is a fitting tribute to two of Barry Manilow's pet projects.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2004
Label:
Concord Records
UPC:
0013431225126
catalogNumber:
2251
Rank:
149586

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barry Manilow   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Olivia Newton-John   Vocals
Bruce Dukov   Violin,Concert Master
Rick Baptist   Trumpet
Chuck Berghofer   Double Bass,Acoustic Bass
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Bryant Byers   Trombone
Lee Callet   Woodwind
Darius Campo   Violin
Bob Carr   Woodwind
Gene Cipriano   Woodwind
Mark Converse   Percussion
Joel Derouin   Violin
Assa Drori   Violin,Concert Master
Jeff Driskill   Woodwind
Ronald Folsom   Violin
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Daniel Greco   Percussion
Dan Higgins   Woodwind
Greg Huckins   Woodwind
Alan Kaplan   Trombone
Peter Kent   Violin
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
Mike Lent   Guitar
Warren Luening   Trumpet
Bob McChesney   Trombone
Larry McGuire   Trumpet
Ron Pedley   Synthesizer,Piano
Kazi Pitelka   Viola
Katia Popov   Violin
Dave Reitzas   Percussion,Drums
Harry Shirinian   Viola
Tina Soule   Cello
Frank Szabo   Trumpet
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Chauncey Welsch   Trombone
Shari Zippert   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
Haim Strum   Violin
Steve Welch   Piano
Wayne Bergeron   Trumpet
Johana Krejci   Violin
John Krovoza   Cello
Timothy Landauer   Cello
Russ McKinnon   Drums
Ron Walters   Piano
Dana Kelley   French Horn
John A. Reynolds   French Horn
Paul Klintworth   French Horn
Julie Berghofer   Harp
Eve Butler   Violin
Jennifer Munday   Violin
Trevor Handy   Cello
Jim Stärk   Violin
Bob Becker   Viola
Lisa Dondlinger   Violin
Phillip D. Feather   Woodwind
Becky Bunnell   Violin
Lauren Evans   Background Vocals
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson   Viola
Craig Gosnell   Trombone
Raymond Kobler   Violin
Dynell Weber   Violin
Caroline Buckman   Viola
Charlie Morialias   Trombone
Andy Rumble   Piano
Trish Skye   French Horn
Yan To   Violin
Olivia Tsui Irina Voloshina   Violin
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Brett Banducci   Viola
David H. Speltz   Cello
Kevin Connolly   Violin

Technical Credits

Barry Manilow   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Artie Butler   Arranger,Composer
Jez Colin   Arranger,Producer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Jack Feldman   Composer,Lyricist
Marc Hulett   Personal Assistant
Garry Kief   Executive Producer
Phil Ramone   Producer,Audio Production
Dave Reitzas   Engineer
Bruce Sussman   Composer,Lyricist,Liner Notes
Jonathan Tunick   Arranger
Doug Walter   Arranger
David Benson   Arranger,Producer
Larry Hochman   Arranger
Jonathan Barrick Griffiths   String Arrangements
John Adams   Art Direction
Rob Kief   Executive Producer
Andy Rumble   Arranger
Sara Zickuhr   Art Direction

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