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After ’50s album, Manilow to release ’60s disc

Two Beatles tunes, one by Elvis likely to appear on album
/ Source: The Associated Press

Barry Manilow had so much success with the music from the 1950s, he’s taking on another decade.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Manilow said he plans to release “The Greatest Songs of the Sixties” on Oct. 31, a follow-up to “The Greatest Songs of the Fifties,” which debuted at No. 1 when it was released earlier this year and sold more than one million copies.

Manilow thinks his upcoming album might be even more popular than the first.

“I think these songs from the ’60s are more well known to a lot of people than the songs of the 50s,” he told the AP on Thursday. “I really have a sense that these songs are even going to be more accepted to a bigger audience because everybody knows these songs.”

Manilow, whose own hits include “Mandy,” “Weekend in New England” and “Copacabana,” said he reordered more than 100 songs for “Sixties” album from various acts, including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Motown acts. But he found that some songs just didn’t fit his style.

“For instance, the Motown catalog. Although I love the Motown catalog more than any of them, I could not handle any of them, because they are R&B songs, and they are relying on the singer to do that R&B performance, and that’s not what I do. No matter how I tried, I just sounded bad,” he laughed. “Doing any of these Four Tops, Temptations, any of them ... they weren’t right.”

But he found he had the right tenor for Burt Bacharach songs, and Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” which will likely be on the album. He even recorded two Beatles tunes, “Yesterday” and “And I Love Her.”

Noting that he got his start in the industry as a musical arranger, Manilow said: “When I get an opportunity to take a classic beautifully written song and arrange them for singers or myself, it’s great fun for me.

“I’m able to find different facets of each song that maybe the public hasn’t heard.”

Still, like the “Fifties” album, there won’t be too big a departure from what the public is familiar with.

“I can’t go too far away from the original, because people are expecting to hear the songs that they love,” he said. “That’s the challenge.”

If this album is as successful as the first, Manilow said might go into the ’70s — the decade when Manilow first gained his fame.

“I gotta figure out a way to do it, and not just doing my stuff!” he said.