Back in November, I expressed mild incredulity at the news that Barry Manilow was releasing an album of fifties cover versions. I’m even more astonished to report that said disc — the imaginatively titled The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties — has just debuted at the very top of the US Billboard albums chart, with a whopping 156,000 copies sold. OK, I know there’s a big ‘adult contemporary’ audience out there and this isn’t a peak time of year for CD sales so the competition is slim, but that’s still a pretty astounding figure.
One element in Manilow’s comeback has been a recent successful residency at the Las Vegas Hilton. In the souvenir shop for the show (a compulsory feature of all Vegas productions, it seems), you can actually purchase Barry Manilow-branded wine. So let’s go for the obvious gag here: it’s bound to be a bit on the nose.