Much has been made of the fact that Barry Manilow didn't actually write "I Write the Songs," which became the singer's second number one hit in 1976. Manilow often relied on outside songwriters for his biggest hits (in this case, Beach Boys sideman Bruce Johnston) and employed professional lyricists on his own tunes. But in this case, Manilow's detractors (of which there were many) saw it as a sign of hubris, assuming that he was in effect lying about writing the songs that made the whole world sing and was a little too impressed with his newfound stardom. But a closer listen to the lyrics reveals that Manilow was claiming nothing of the sort: the song is written from the point of view of music itself (or some unnamed, ethereal source from which all music flows...or something of the sort). So when Manilow sings lines like "I am music, and I write the songs," he's not referring to himself in the least. (That's also true when he sings "And I wrote some rock & roll," backed by a Baroque-sounding trumpet.) Rhetorical devices aside, "I Write the Songs" is a prime example of Manilow's taste for huge-sounding arrangements (replete with choir, strings, and horns) and climactic builds. Actually, the dynamic shifts are pretty sudden and extreme -- the piano-led intro figure is spare and quiet until the full orchestra comes in for the last bit of the phrase, and then disappears immediately. The rest of the song carries on with pretty restrained instrumentation, until -- with very little warning -- the last few bars of the bridge suddenly build into a gigantic chorus. Manilow was at his best when his arrangements had big, sweeping melodies to support, and "I Write the Songs" certainly does, which is why it became one of his signature songs.