Sore joints in the wake of hip surgery aside, Barry Manilow is in great spirits. And for good reason: 2006 has been a very good year for the singer/songwriter.

Sore joints in the wake of hip surgery aside, Barry Manilow is in great spirits. And for good reason: 2006 has been a very good year for the singer/songwriter. Nearly a year ago, he released "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties," the first Billboard 200 chart-topper of his career. Days before surgery, Manilow picked up an Emmy award for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program for the PBS special "Manilow: Music and Passion -- Live From Las Vegas." There's also his sold-out run at the Las Vegas Hilton, which is scheduled to resume next month.

On the eve of the Oct. 31 release of his new Arista album, "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties," Manilow admits he and Arista founder and BMG U.S. chairman/CEO Clive Davis-partners in song on both collections -- were shocked by the success of "Fifties." "Weeks later, we began discussing a follow-up, and it was logical to go with the '60s," Manilow says. "The music of the '60s formed my pop musical taste -- it was the music of my youth," he continues. Because of this, the song selection process was easier and more fun, but not without complications.

"We had hundreds of songs to choose from, as opposed to 70 for the 'Fifties' collection," Manilow says. "I compiled a list of 100 songs and sent the list to friends and asked them to select their favorite 10 songs from the list. The same songs kept showing up."

"Sixties" includes "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "And I Love Her," "Strangers in the Night" and lead single "Can't Take My Eyes off You." To be sure, the "Fifties" album spotlighted songs of a certain period, some of which were not well-known. "With the 'Sixties' album, you have classic copyrights that are timeless and that reach a wider audience," Davis says. "These songs are not typical of a period."

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