Picks and Pans Review: Greatest Hits Vol. Ii
Manilow fans will find some of their favorites of recent years on this album. There are eight recycled hits, including The Old Songs, Let's Hang On, the by-now-overburdened Memory and Somewhere Down the Road, the Tom Snow-Cynthia Weil tune that was a little more than the usual Manilow mash of histrionics and hyperarranging. But the LP also bears three brand-new songs. One is standard banal Barry stuff, You're Lookin' Hot Tonight ("I don't believe my eyes, what have I seen/Looking like you walked out of a magazine"). On Put a Quarter in the Jukebox, though, he teams with country crooner Ronnie Milsap for what is if nothing else a different sound; the two do manage at times to sound more or less like a couple of buddies in a bar. And Read 'Em and Weep is another long, involved track by Jim (Total Eclipse of the Heart) Steinman, the kind of song that makes a virtue of Manilow's style. Arista Records seems mostly, though, to be trying to snare hard-core Manilow fans who already have his big hits by adding a little new material to this set. That seems a little bit like a cheat.