Saturday, December 03, 2005

Music and Passion were always the Fashion

I have always had a slight soft spot for Barry Manilow. He's like the Cliff Richard of America. I'm not sure if words can express my opinion of that thing he's wearing on the cover of his 2005 calendar. It's like - give those women their wedding dresses back!

I like songs that have a little story in them - because they're generally so cheesy and bad. And Barry is a Master of the Art. My favourites are Copacabana and Bermuda Triangle. Copacabana is the oh-so-dramatic tale of showgirl Lola and her bartender boyfriend Tony. They've got it made ("they were young, who could ask for more" asks Barry innocently) but it all goes wrong when some gangster type called Rico - all bling ("he wore a diamond") and swagger takes a shine to Lola. The resulting gun-fight sees off Tony, and suddenly it's 30 years later and Lola has turned into an INSANE OLD HAG. Barry warns - "Don't fall in love!" We never did find out what happened to Rico - he probably became a Republican Senator and/or a Televangalist.

Let's move on to the Bermuda Triangle. For younger readers, the Bermuda Triangle was a 1970s Urban Myth regarding a number of boats and planes which went missing or crashed around the same period. There was a film of the same name in 1979. I was fascinated by the whole thing in the 70s, but I was only 5 so I guess I had an excuse. Barry's Bermuda Triangle song is a jaunty number which focusses around his holiday to Bermuda with his girlfriend/drag queen? But just like in the myth "people disappear" - and in this case, the girlfriend goes off with a "lovely stranger" and Barry's left all alone - funny that. This has some of the worst attempts at rhyming in a song ever - "Bermuda Triangle" is tortuously made to rhyme with "Looking at it from my angle".


Elaine said...

I just ADORE Barry Manilow. Trouble is, his stage costumes always looked like they would have been more appropriate on 'Come Dancing'. Very frilly!

d_harvey said...

My mother went to Vegas recently for her birthday and as a treat went to see Barry in concert. She was sooooo excited to have seats that were actually on stage and - gasp! - Barry even danced with her during one number. However, she confessed to me, it was so strange because, do you know, all during the dance he never ONCE made eye contact.

Oh mother.....