(NOTE: Music That Sucks is the correct opinion of the author. If you don't like it may you get raped at Copacabana by a 300lb hairy dude named Precious.)
I must be a hardcore masochist. After all, who else would go through great pains to learn about the suckiest artists in the history of modern music? Each and every time I decide to induct someone I scour the Internet while trying to type up an accurate bio, all the while taking pot shots at my subject. The artist seem to get progressively worse, everytime I think "I've hit the bottom of the barrell" I start having doubts as soon as I begin my research on the next induction. It is only for the sake of MTS that I press on. This time, I press straight on into the pure depths homoeroticism.
Pure, unadulterated, Clit Rock. That is what this induction into MTS is all about. WARNING: reading this induction may bring about a taste for cock.
Barry Manilow was born Barry Allen Pincus was in 1946 Brooklyn. After graduating high school, he and his dick nose attended the Julliard School of Music. During this time he also worked for CBS, first as a mailroom clerk and later on as a musical arranger. Getting a feeling he could make more money on his testosterone-less style of Muzak, Manilow set out on his own as a pianist and arranger for musicals and vocalists. He also made money writing jingles for commercials. Yes, the man who "wrote the songs" wrote some of those annoying jingles for commercials as well.
In 1972 Manilow's life, and ours, would change forever. That year Barry met one of the fugliest famous women ever in Bette Midler. Manilow would go on to accompany Midler in her infamous tour of gay bathhouses. This is where it is believed Manilow got his addiction to semen baths. Manilow would also produce two albums for Midler. The first, The Divine Miss M would win a Grammy. If that doesn't prove that the Grammys are a fucking joke, I don't know what does.
Barry would sign with Bell Records (which would later become Artista Records). After an eponymous debut album in 1973 that went nowhere, the rainbow-flagged Manilow juggernaut would take off with the release of his second album, 1974's Barry Manilow II.
Manilow had written a song about his live-in lover, a web-footed hunchback named Andy, but changed the title to "Mandy" to be able to remain in the closet. "Mandy", which leaves a taste in your mouth not unlike going down on a woman while she's on her period, became a #1 smash hit. His next single, "It's a Miracle"(reportedly written about a time in his life when he saw a woman naked without vomiting) made it to #12 on the pop charts and #1 on the Adult Comtemporary charts.
This brings me to a major point. Much like fellow MTS inductee Barbra Streisand, Manilow has had most of success with the middle-aged set. No self-respecting young adult would listen to, much less buy, a fucking Barry Manilow record. Manilow and Streisand are proof that Alzheimers Disease can affect people slightly younger than what was once thought.
After charting for the third time in 1975 with "Could It Be Magic" (#6), Manilow had his second #1 with the insipid little number "I Write The Songs". Even though Manilow is responsible for writing many a shitty song, ironically enough "I Write The Songs" is not one of them. Bruce Johnston actually wrote this song, and both he and Manilow should be condemned to death for it.
After three more singles that made the charts in 1976 that I'm sure that no one but the douchiest Barry Manilow fan remembers, ABC unleashed The Barry Manilow Special upon televisions in 1977. Proof positive that television must have sucked as in '77, 37 million people tuned in for it. The show even went on to win an Emmy for "Best Special of the Year". Give me a fucking break! I'm sure that if I had been born earlier than that same year, I would have committed suicide (or at least changed the fucking channel). This prompted HBO to get in on the act with a live broadcast of a concert from the Greek Theater in LA. The concert became the highest rated show on pay-tv up to that point.
Musically, the evils of Manilow were still not going anywhere, with a third #1 hit, "Looks Like We Made It". In 1978 ABC put together a second tv special (creatively titled The Second Barry Manilow Special), and he had a #3 single "Can't Smile Without You". I must caution you to stay away from the medicine cabinet while listening to these horrible songs, the temptation to overdose on pills or slit your wrists can be overwhelming. Also in 1978, the Manilow song that most people have heard, "Copacabana (At the Copa)", peaked at #8 on the charts.
Manilow would have two more ABC specials and a live concert on Showtime as the 80's began. While Manilow did make the charts plenty of times in the 1980's, the peaks of his songs are lower and lower (for example, "I Made It Through The Rain" (1980,#10), "Lonely Together" (1981, #45), and "Memory" (1982, #39)). By the 1990's Manilow was mostly relegated to the Adult Contemporary charts. All of this does not really matter, however. We live in a post-Manilow world, and we as a planet will never fully recover.
R.I.P. World Before Barry Manilow, you left us way too soon.
Barry Manilow, music...that sucks!