Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #77: 160317
[A favourite 1950’s song (3)]
We have a favourite Italian restaurant close to where we live. Every time a birthday is celebrated there, they’ll bring out a cake with sparklers and all the restauranteurs will sing “Happy Birthday’. Then , as has become tradition now, Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’ will follow and we’ll all sing along and move in time to the music to that as well.
One song a day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 23 – a song you cannot stand to listen to
Barry Manilow – Can’t smile without you (1978)
You know, for someone like me for whom music is such a vital part of life, there actually aren’t that many songs or ‘artists’ that I hate. But Barry Manilow is very definitely one of them. He is a carbuncle on the bottom of the Music Industry and should be made illegal.
This ‘song’ is one of his most heinous crimes for which he should have been locked up for back in 1978 when he had the audacity to release it. The world would have been a better place and a great many people would have been spared the shameless brainwashing that has for years allowed them to believe that this master criminal has even a modicum of talent. I feel so sorry for those poor misguided souls rising to give him a standing ovation at the beginning of this video. They could have been spared this indignity had we been brave enough to lock him away the first time he tried this on back in the sixties!
Having said this, I always try to find something good in everything. And that’s true here as well in the opening lines of this absolutely awful song. “I can’t smile without you…” has come back to haunt Mr Manilow, as he’s had so much plastic surgery over the years that he can’t smile at all now! Bonus.
There are a couple of covers albums in this series. This is the first; Bryan Ferry’s ‘These Foolish Things’ from 1973. Released whilst he was still the lead of Roxy Music, Mr Ferry turned predominantly Stateside for this eclectic selection touching everything from Motown to the early jazz standard that gave its name to this, his first solo effort.
The opening track admirably sets the scene, with the Bob Dylan classic outrageously changed with sufficient aplomb to merit a single release of the track a month before the album in September 1973. And, whereas the official video may seem a little basic, the vampish backing singers are each a certain Mr Ferry.
The album manages to capture the instantly recognisable crooner overtone synonymous with the man in later life with classics here from Elvis’ ‘Baby I don’t care’ (via Leiber/Stoller), Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s my party’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ ‘The tracks of my tears’. There have been many covers albums over the years but this one sits up there close to the top with the likes of Cat Power, David Bowie and Jeff Healey.
Full track listing
- A hard rain’s a-gonna fall
- River of salt
- Don’t ever change
- Piece of my heart
- Baby I don’t care
- It’s my party
- Don’t worry baby
- Sympathy for the Devil
- The tracks of my tears
- You won’t see me
- I love how you love me
- Loving you is sweeter than ever
- These foolish things
Way too many collaborators for a lineup, so here’s the video…