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Barry Manilow Is Back At Number One

February 8th, 2006 11:45pm EST
Barry ManilowIn a career spanning more than 30 years and over 75 million albums sold worldwide, Barry Manilow broke brand new ground this week when his new Arista Records album, Greatest Hits of the Fifties (click for review) debuted in the Number One position on the Nielsen SoundScan charts, moving a remarkable 155,630 copies in its first week of release.

This is the first time in the singer's career that one of his albums has debuted at Number One and marks only the second time a Manilow album reached the top spot on the chart --1977's Barry Manilow Live was the first. The 29-year stretch between Number Ones is virtually unprecedented, having only been exceeded by Ray Charles and Elvis Presley, according to Billboard Magazine.

The groundbreaking sales week was made all that much sweeter due to the fact that the Greatest Hits of the Fifties is a reunion between Manilow and Arista Records founder Clive Davis. It was in 1974 that the duo first worked together on the Grammy nominated "Mandy," Manilow's debut Number One single as the first artist signed to Arista by Davis, the first year of the label's existence.

"Over the years Barry and I have had many incredible, memorable moments together, but none to match this one," said Mr. Davis. "It's not only a genuine thrill to see the album enter the charts at Number One, but it's truly an historic occasion for both of us."

Barry Manilow"I've had some pretty amazing experiences in my career, but this one tops them all," said Manilow. "My deepest gratitude to the brilliant Arista marketing team, my supportive fans, my own management staff and most of all to my colleague, friend and mentor, Clive Davis. I swear, if you live long enough, anything is possible!"

The Greatest Songs of the Fifties is a veritable jukebox of 13 Number One hits from one of the most beloved periods of popular song. Any one of them would be a thrilling addition on any new Manilow album - from his remake of the Four Lads' "Moments To Remember" (1955) and the Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (1958), to Bobby Darin's "Beyond The Sea" (1959) - but to hear them all on one collection is a treat that has resonated deeply with a wide variety of fans. The project (just like the era it emulates) cuts across musical genres, from Frankie Avalon's "Venus," to Johnny Mathis' "It's Not For Me To Say"(1957), to Tommy Edwards' "It's All In The Game" (1958), and Dinah Washington's signature "What A Difference A Day Makes" (1959).

Some of America's greatest artists are evoked on songs that are forever associated with them, for example, Tony Bennett on "Rags To Riches" (1953) and the Four Aces on the motion picture title tune hit "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (1955). The spirit of Frank Sinatra imbues "Young At Heart" (1954) and Elvis Presley is remembered with "Are You Lonesome Tonight." "Unchained Melody" (1955), which is the album's first single, remains one of the most- recorded songs in contemporary popular music. The album is available as a CD and DualDisc release, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the record.