Monday, November 4, 2002
RELEASES "A CHRISTMAS GIFT OF LOVE"
ON COLUMBIA RECORDS
An 'Ultimate' Year Closes With New Holiday Album –
Live CD & Broadway Show Coming 2003
LOS ANGELES, CA – Capping a banner year featuring a record breaking chart entry and headlining one of the top 10 grossing concert tours of the year, the unstoppable BARRY MANILOW will release A Christmas Gift of Love on Columbia Records (Sony Music Entertainment), November 12, 2002.
With over fifty musicians, the album was recorded in the legendary Studio A at Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, California. "You can't imagine what it feels like to have the power of this orchestra backing you up," says Manilow, who co-produces the set with Robbie Buchanan.
"I think of snow, cold, fireplaces, giving gifts, making people feel good, family," states Manilow, regarding the holiday season. "I wanted to make a family Christmas album that would make you feel good. And the way I thought I'd get there was to swing."
And swing he does. Tracks like My Favorite Things, I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Happy Holiday/Winter Wonderland, are among the up-lifting, up-tempo tunes receiving a Manilow treatment.
Additionally keeping listeners warm is a tender reading of an acoustic Winter Wonderland, as well as What Are You Doing New Year Eve? and The Christmas Waltz.
A standout track is Manilow's cover of Joni Mitchell's River. "I hope she approves of it because I think I retained the integrity of it," said Manilow. Noting it's "not one of your happier holiday songs," River finds the singer singing about a ruined relationship just in time for Christmas.
A Gift of Love, the album's sole original, was penned by Manilow with Bruce Sussman (Copacabana, Bandstand Boogie). "It was sitting in the drawer," Manilow admits. "I never throw anything away. I tuck them away for use down the road."
A Christmas Gift of Love tops a stellar year of success for Manilow. In November 2001, Concord Records released his Here at the Mayflower (Concord Records) album to glowing reviews. "With 'Mayflower,' Manilow has returned to center stage with a vengeance!" - New York Daily News
Sandwiched between Jennifer Lopez and Alan Jackson, Ultimate Manilow (Arista/BMG), a collection of 20 hits, entered the Billboard Album charts at #3, the highest chart entry of his career. The album has sold 1.5 million to date.
Manilow's "Live2002" 9-month concert tour took him around the globe and became one of the Top 10 grossing tours of the year. The concert was filmed for his May 2002 CBS-TV special, "Ultimate Manilow," at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Other achievements keeping Manilow busy in 2002 included a performance of his timely Let Freedom Ring at Super Bowl XXXVI, a one-hour appearance on Bravo's "Musicians," which is the highest rated episode of that series, and in June, Barry was honored to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Sting, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
Concord Records is scheduled to release a two-disc recording of Manilow's "Live2002" concert in February 2003, titled "2 Nights Live."
Manilow is co-producing the up-coming Diane Schuur album, scheduled for release in Spring 2003 on Concord. The album features all new originals co-written by Manilow.
Additionally, with its financing in place, Barry Manilow's original musical, Harmony, is awaiting a theatre and is determined to open on Broadway in Fall 2003.
Manilow's first holiday album, 1990's "Because It's Christmas," (Arista/BMG) is platinum-plus. A Christmas Gift of Love is Barry Manilow's 32nd album.
Track listing for A Christmas Gift of Love:
Columbia Records (Sony Music Entertainment)
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