CD Review: Barry Manilow – Even Now

As my reviews of Barry Manilow’s newly remastered albums continue, I’ve spent the last few days listening to Even Now, Barry’s fifth studio album. Originally released in February of 1978, it soon became impossible to escape the semi-disco beat of “Copacabana (At the Copa)” on the radio.

Even Now was the second Barry Manilow album to achieve triple-platinum status. The first single, “Can’t Smile Without You” was the first of four songs to reach the billboard charts. The others were “Even Now,” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” and “Somewhere In The Night.” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” also appeared on the soundtrack for the Goldie Hawn-Chevy Chase film Foul Play, which also included Manilow’s “Ready To Take A Chance Again.”
Manilow shows significant growth as a songwriter on his fifth studio effort. “I Was a Fool (To Let You Go),” is a stripped down vocal about the regret of lost love. “Copacabana (At the Copa),” which is one of Manilow’s most beloved songs of his career, shows an ability to mix pop and disco music with a Latin flair to create an enduring record.
This expanded edition of Even Now includes two previously unreleased tracks; “I’m Comin’ Home Again,” an unfinished song written by Bruce Roberts and Carol Bayer Sager. Barry just sings a guide vocal with no orchestration. Though the song is unfinished, it’s a beautiful story about rekindling love. The second track, “No Love For Jenny” is a sad song about a young woman forced to work as a prostitute.
Barry Manilow is an extremely accomplished artist. He is ranked the number one Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time (with 12 number one records), and had 25 consecutive top 40 hits to his credit between 1975 and 1983, on the Billboard charts. There are not a lot of musicians who have had that many songs on the Billboard charts, particularly when a majority of them are written or co-written by the artist.
Even Now is yet another excellent album in the Barry Manilow canon. Aside from the previously unreleased tracks, the newly remastered version also includes Barry’s original liner notes, some new notes from Barry, and a fan’s notes from Rolling Stone’s David Wild, complete lyrics and previously unreleased photos. The newly remastered Even Now would be a welcome edition to any Barry Manilow fan’s CD collection.

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