Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award-winning recording artist Barry Manilow, has just announced that he has re-signed his recording deal with Arista Records and will be releasing two new albums, one of seasonal favorites, ringing in the holidays with contemporary and traditional yuletide repertoire on IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS and THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME scheduled for release in January, just in time for Valentine’s Day (track listing and details for THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME to be announced soon).
On the heels of the extraordinarily successful “decades” series (Greatest Songs of the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties), IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS¸ produced and arranged by Manilow, will arrive in stores on October 13th. A special pre-order campaign at the www.manilow.com website and at Amazon will ensure that fans will receive IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS in its very first week of release.
Manilow, who has had a long-standing relationship with Arista Records and its founder Clive Davis, now Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment will be teaming up once again to record his forthcoming album THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME, set for release in January. Davis has been a perennial collaborator with Manilow on virtually all his recordings, since they first worked together on “Mandy,” Manilow’s debut #1 single as the first artist signed to Arista by Davis in 1974, the first year of the label’s existence. Beyond the sensational “decades” series, Arista is the home to Manilow’s biggest hits including “Mandy,” “It’s a Miracle,” “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write the Songs,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Copacabana (At the Copa),” “Somewhere In the Night,” “Ships,” “I Made It Through the Rain,” and many, many more. Comments Clive Davis: “Barry and I have a mission to bring to a new generation the great songs that are the soundtrack of our lives. This album does just that and Barry is sounding better than ever.”
IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS presents a dozen holiday gems. Contemporary standards include: “Silver Bells” (first recorded by Bing Crosby & Carol Richards in 1950); “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis); “Christmas Time Is Here” (one of the instrumental themes composed by Vince Guaraldi for 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas); and “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire,” the Mel Tormé standard that became an evergreen after Nat King Cole’s 1953 recording).
More: “Violets For Your Furs” (a Frank Sinatra rarity from his album Songs for Young Lovers, 1954); “Toyland” (a perennial favorite from Victor Herbert’s 1903 operetta, Babes in Toyland); “Count Your Blessings” (by Irving Berlin, from 1954’s timeless film, White Christmas); Johnny Marks’ classic “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” (popularized by Gene Autry in 1949); and “Christmas Is Just Around The Corner,” composed by Manilow for Cranberry Christmas, the ABC Family animated TV special first broadcast in December 2008, based on the 1976 children’s book of the same title.
IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS is actually the third album of holiday songs recorded by Barry Manilow during his career. In 1990, he released the 10-song Because It’s Christmas on Arista; and in 2002, Columbia issued A Christmas Gift of Love.
IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS is Barry Manilow’s follow-up to the mega-bestselling series of “decades” albums that he masterminded with Arista founder and co-producer Clive Davis. The series began in January 2006 with The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties, which entered the Billboard 200 album chart at #1 (his first #1 album since Barry Manilow/Live in 1977), and was certified RIAA platinum. The Greatest Songs Of The Sixties (October 2006) entered at #2. When the RIAA platinum The Greatest Songs Of The Seventies entered at #4 (September 2007), Barry Manilow was distinguished as the only artist to chart three Top 5 debuts during 2006-2007. The most recent entry in the series, The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties was released November 2008.
With worldwide record sales exceeding 75 million, Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records); with no less than 25 consecutive top 40 hits to his credit between 1975 and 1983, on the Billboard Hot 100. Manilow has worked on over 40 albums over the course of his career as a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer.
Stay tuned for further information on THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME set for release in January.
Barry Manilow: IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS (final track listing)
“Carol Of The Bells/Jingle Bells”
“Joy To The World/It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
“Violets For Your Furs”
“O Tannenbaum/Winter Wonderland”
“Christmas Time Is Here”
“The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”)
“Count Your Blessings”
“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”
“Christmas Is Just Around The Corner”