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Barry Manilow: The Greatest Songs of the Fifties *
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BARRY MANILOW: The Greatest Songs of the Fifties
(Courtesy of SF Weekly) 

Some jokes never get old, but the music of Barry Manilow isn’t one of them. For his latest, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties, the Man Who Writes the Songs instead takes a cue from fellow dinosaur Rod Stewart, raiding the catalogues of yesterday’s hit-makers for a tasty profit today. The result is an uninspired collection of warmed-over classics, from an unabashedly vanilla take on “Unchained Melody” to an Elvis Presley cover, “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” that recalls the King in his youthful heyday… had he been neutered. For Manilow fanatics who’ve worn out their copies of Showstoppers and A Christmas Gift of Love, this is precious stuff. Everybody else would be better off saving their money for tickets to the schlockmeister’s long-running revue at the Las Vegas Hilton. Or not. 

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