Barry Manilow


Song Review by

"Mandy" was Barry Manilow's breakthrough single, topping the charts in early 1975 and launching a long string of hits that made Manilow one of the most popular entertainers in the country for the next several years. "Mandy" was originally recorded for a U.K. hit in 1971 by Scott English, who co-wrote the song with Richard Kerr; English's version was actually titled "Brandy," and arranged as a light, breezy, mid-tempo pop tune tailor-made for AM radio, although it was perhaps hindered in the U.S. by English's idiosyncratic vocals. In hopes of landing a hit, Arista president Clive Davis asked Manilow to record the song after the icy reception afforded the singer's debut album. Manilow had trouble connecting with it until he hit upon the idea of turning it into a melancholy heartbreak ballad -- which actually made much more sense given the lyrics (in his original version, English doesn't seem all that concerned about sending Brandy away, sounding more like he's reminiscing while sipping lemonade by a pool). The title was changed to "Mandy" in order to avoid confusion with the recent Looking Glass hit "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"; Manilow and co-producer Ron Dante piled on the strings, choir, and echoing snare drum for the song's big finish, and the rest was history. Davis' instincts about the song were right; "Mandy" is an excellent piece of pop craftsmanship, and Manilow's flair for the dramatic serves it well. "Mandy" established the polished, orchestrated blueprint for the majority of Manilow's hits, demonstrating that his path to success lay as a balladeer.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Barry Manilow II 1974 Arista 3:32
No Image 1977 MGM / UA
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1978 Arista 3:18
Greatest Hits [Bonus Tracks] 1978 Arista
No Image 1985 Arista
Heart Rock, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
Greatest Hits: The Platinum Collection 1994 Arista 3:21
Kuschelrock, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:19
Burning Hearts: Best Sad Songs for Your Soul 2000
Various Artists
Empire DisK / Polygram
Ultimate Manilow [Arista] 2002 Arista 3:17
The Songs 1975-1990 2002 BMG International 3:22
The Essential Barry Manilow 2005 Arista / Legacy 3:22
The Greatest Songs of the Seventies 2007 RCA 3:24
Music and Passion: The Best of Barry Manilow 2008 Sony Music 3:19
Essential 3.0 2010 Arista / Legacy / Sony Legacy 3:22
The Music of Barry Manilow 2010 Arista / Legacy 3:34
Las 50 Grandes Canciones de Universal 92.1 FM Stereo 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:20
Me to You with Love 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution / Joint Venture 3:19
Super Hits 2011 BMG / Commercial Music Group / Sony Music Entertainment 3:22
Pure... Crooners 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:53
Haynes Ultimate Guide to the 70s 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:19
The Box Set Series 2014 Sony Legacy 3:34
Party Tyme Karaoke: Billboard Top 40 Karaoke, Vol. 5 Sybersound Records 3:22
The Classic 70s Collection [Sony]
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:52
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:18