Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Barry Manilow - First and Farewell|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
After 30 years of live performances from Boston to Blenheim and everywhere in between, Barry Manilow┬?legendary songwriter, producer and entertainer┬?said goodbye to life on the road at The Pond in Anaheim, California t... more »
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"First and Farewell" is First and Foremost for All Fans!
Brenda Meskunas | Orlando, Florida | 11/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dedication at the beginning of the disc:
"To everyone who's been here forever - thanks for the ride. And to
everyone who just arrived - welcome aboard."
There are basically two groups of people out there reading this review:
those of you who are fans of Barry Manilow and are already convinced
that he is "the showman of our generation" (as first coined by Rolling
Stone), and the rest of you who are either undecided about this guy or
convinced there's nothing to like about him.
Well, first and foremost, this one's for you, no matter which group you
find yourself relating to.
If you already enjoy Barry's music, this 2-disc DVD is one you can't
miss. To have the best of both Barry worlds in the palm of your hand
is priceless. The first disc is the Barry many of us old-time fans
recall with great fondness ... the young, geeky, awkward musician who
really didn't know the first thing about using his body as an
instrument. He wasn't smooth, slick, or handsome ... and he seemed too
terrified to even get up from the piano. Yet somehow his talent
manages to shine through, and you can imagine being in that first
audience and thinking, "Yep - this guy's got the spark. He's going all
the way!" The second disc is Manilow, 30 years later: the slick,
polished professional who dazzles with a show that both touches the
heart one minute and makes you want to jump up dancing out of your seat
the next. You'll watch the first disc and think, "Wow, I really miss
that geeky, innocent guy," but then you watch the second disc and
realize you can't part with him either. One of my favorite parts of
both discs is Barry's intro to each. Talking to the camera he's warm,
chatty and friendly. It's as if he's sitting in your living room and
having a casual conversation with you about who he was in the beginning
and who he is now. It's a candid side to Barry fans seldom get to see.
But for those of you who are lukewarm about Barry and have wondered
what all the fuss is about - and are yet open-minded enough to ask
yourselves, "Did I maybe miss something?", then this is your perfect
introduction to Manilow 101. By comparing and contrasting the Manilow
of yesterday to the Manilow of today, you can get a better idea of why
so many people have responded so positively to his music over the
years. It's the passion. It was there in the beginning and it's still
with him, on stage, every night as he continues to perform today at the
Las Vegas Hilton.
Now, a warning about the first disc - it can be difficult to watch.
You have to remember that this was recorded back when dinosaurs roamed
the earth and video technology wasn't that great. You feel like you
were dropped into a fuzzy, black and white world holding a ticket that
shoves you to the back of the room. It's a low-tech world that makes
you wonder if you're in somebody's garage and whether Barry's putting
on a show with The Little Rascals. If your purpose in watching this
disc is to ooh and aah over Barry's physique, forget it - you'll barely
see his face. He's too far away. But sit through it anyway, because
the music and the banter is priceless.
Some of the disc one highlights:
-- "It's A Miracle" with some alternate lyrics
-- Barry singing "As The Saints Go Marching In" backwards. (Okay, he
doesn't sing the whole thing, but what you hear is pretty hilarious -
but not quite as hilarious as hearing "The Shadow Of Your Smile" being
sung like "Hello Dolly")
-- Barry beautifully belting out a wonderful, little-known album cut
called "Oh My Lady"
-- The first VSM ("very strange medley") of commercial jingles,
including the long version of the ever so infamous Dr. Pepper
commercial (of which I remembered NONE of the words, but it was
entertaining just the same)
-- A really sweet rendition of "Make Our Garden Grow" (from "Candide"),
a song which didn't go over well with the Spanky and Alfalfa crowd, but
would wow audiences some years later when Barry performed it on
Disc two fast-forwards us to one of the best concerts I'd ever seen.
The "One Night Live/One Last Time" arena tour was bittersweet, true,
because it was billed as Barry's last real tour. I was lucky enough to
attend that show, and the disc really captures the excitement that
Barry generated throughout his entire performance. What a way to go
-- One of the best versions of "Mandy" (not one of my favorite hits)
you'll ever hear
-- The most kick-ass version of "Brooklyn Blues" (another song that
wasn't one of my favorites) you'll ever hear, featuring a saxaphone
duet with Dave Koz and George Shelby that will blow your jazz-lovin'
-- A rendition of Joni Mitchell's "River" that will send you running
for the kleenex if you're the least bit emotional around the holidays
-- "Dancin'Fool", a tune that makes it VERY hard to sit quietly in your
-- A revamped dance version of "Copacabana" that is the best live
version you'll ever see of this song, and one which you can still hear
Barry perform in Vegas. It's always the showstopper of the night!
So, if you have been with Barry forever, then definitely do not miss
this one ... but if you're just coming on board, check this out and see
why Barry Manilow sets the bar for live entertainement in show business
today. You might surprise yourself and find out that yep, you're right
- you've definitely been missing something.
"Too Great to be Farewell"
Kathy W | Baltimore | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(2 DVDs with some bonus features)
DVD #1 is the first rehearsal at Carroll's Studio, in November 1974. It's a great show and is something like watching a home movie in visual presentation. The music is great though.
DVD #2 (about 1 hour 49 minutes) begins with a brief history commentary by Barry, in his home studio I believe, telling about this "final" tour. The DVD then opens in concert, at The Pond, Anaheim, California, November 2004, with Barry saying a few words again to the audience and jumping into an opening medly. I'm guessing there are about 20,000 people here. There are great and beautiful Barry classics included, as always, such as "Even Now, I Made It Through the Rain, Somewhere Down the Road," and others. Included are also: "Why Don't We Live Together" which I haven't heard very often. It's a rockin' song with an almost gospel flare to it. Also included here is a film clip of Young Barry in the `70s playing and singing "Mandy", which moves to Seasoned Barry, singing "Mandy". There is a fantastic version of "They Dance" from Barry's album "The Mayflower," with 2 of his dancers doing a really super dance routine while Barry sings. Barry also sings a few of the commercial jingles he wrote in the old days, but he said he drew the line when they asked him to do a douche commercial. He kibitzes back and forth with the audience between numbers and is witty and charming, as always. He obviously appreciates EVERY SINGLE PERSON who comes to his concerts and he obviously LOVES what he's doing. He also NEVER fails to say something appreciative about the musicians and backup singers who accompany him.
"Brooklyn Blues" rocks and includes Dave Koz, an outstanding sax player, who has an album about to come out in about 2-4 weeks. Dave and George Shelby do an absolutely outstanding sax-jaz duet in this extended version of "Brooklyn Blues" while Barry sings and plays piano. Whew! That was awesome!!! He also does both versions of "Could It Be Magic," soft and uptempo, and both are fantastic! He does "River," which I've only heard on his "Christmas Love" album--beautiful song! Great extended versions of "Dancin'Fool" and "Copa" and love the red velvert jacket/leather pants look. The concert finishes with Barry singing a medley while reminding us that we are all ONE people--in brotherhood--LOVE--BEAUTIFUL! This finale is such a rush of positive energy!
The sound and visual clarity on the second DVD is great. Plenty of close up shots that make you feel like you're right on stage with Barry. (The first DVD, being what it is, is expectedly like watching an old home movie). The selection of songs, the acts, and the whole show is just friggin'fantastic!--money well spent! As great as all his CDs/DVDs are, this one is just OUTSTANDING! On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it 15!
Barry Manilow - First & Farewell
Michele Yohanna | Carmel, NY USA | 11/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a true Barry Manilow loyalist for 30+ years and after 100's of concerts and buying everything he's every recorded...the only problem I have with this DVD...it's NOT long enough!! I really enjoyed it and he is so talented. A true showman who makes you feel as if you are the only person in the room, even with the applause and screams. He is a true force and his staying power is amazing. He is better than ever and I did notice how strong his voice is lately. He just keeps getting better and better. If you haven't been to Las Vegas and treated yourself to one of the best shows they have...GO, NOW!!!!
BaRRY IS THE BEST!!
Joan F. Pegram | Los Osos, California United States | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i HAVE ALL Barrys albums and I will buy them till either he dies or I die. Great singer and musician!!!"