Barry Manilow is one of the top 100 pop recording artists of all time. He never intended to be a singer, but he wanted his songs to be heard. Bell Records liked Barry Manilow singing his own songs and released his first album. Later Bell was merged into the newly formed Arista under Clive Davis. Barry Manilow was reluctant to record the song "Mandy," but with the insistence of Clive Davis, it was included on the second album and became Barry Manilow's first #1 pop hit. The rest, as they say, is history. These are Barry Manilow's 10 best pop songs ranked subjectively.
The song "Somewhere In the Night" reached the Billboard Hot 100 twice before Barry Manilow recorded the only top 10 version. It has become the definitive interpretation of the song. Helen Reddy hit the top 20 with "Somewhere In the Night" in 1976. The song was the fourth single from Barry Manilow's triple platinum album Even Now.
At the present time, "I Made It Through the Rain" stands as Barry Manilow's final top 10 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a positive inspirational song co-written by Barry Manilow himself. After five consecutive studio albums had reached the top 10, Barry, the album including "I Made It Through The Rain," only made it to #15. However, Barry was certified platinum for sales.
Barry Manilow and Adrienne Anderson wrote "Could It Be Magic" around Frédéric Chopin's Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20. The song opens and closes with an excerpt from the piece. There is a reference in the song's lyrics to "sweet Melissa" that is thought to refer to singer Melissa Manchester. "Could It Be Magic" was released in 1971 and 1973 as a single and failed to chart, but the 1975 re-release went to #6.
Barry Manilow topped the adult contemporary chart with this ballad about falling in love on a trip to New England and returning to the city wondering "when will I see you again?" The song gained a bit of notoriety whe it was the song performed by Jennifer Hudson the week she was eliminated from American Idol. She later performed "Weekend In New England" live with Barry Manilow at Clive Davis' 2009 pre-Grammy Awards party.
Ian Hunter, lead vocalist of the classic rock band Mott the Hoople, wrote and recorded "Ships" for his album You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic. It was written about his relationship with his own father. Barry Manilow liked the song and took his version to the pop top 10.
"Looks Like We Made It" became Barry Manilow's third and so far final #1 pop hit single. It is a bittersweet love song about a couple finding happiness and fulfillment with others after breaking up. However, the song expresses doubts about the reality of that happiness.
"Mandy" was originally titled "Brandy" and as such hit #12 on the UK pop singles chart in 1971 in a version recorded by one of the song's writers, Scott English. Barry Manilow did not want to record the song, but Clive Davis convinced him to do so. The name was changed to "Mandy" to avoid confusion with the hit "Brandy" by the group Looking Glass. The result was Barry Manilow's first #1 pop hit.
Although some music fans are occasionally confused about its origins, Barry Manilow did not write "I Write the Songs." It was written by Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. The first recorded version was released by the Captain and Tennille. David Cassidy had a minor hit with the song in the UK before Barry Manilow's version. Once again Clive Davis had to convince him to record what became another #1 hit single.