Two very different milestones in Barry Manilow's performing career have been joined for the DVD "First & Farewell," due Oct. 31 via Rhino/Stiletto New Media.
Two very different milestones in Barry Manilow's performing career have been joined for the DVD "First & Farewell," due Oct. 31 via Rhino/Stiletto New Media. The first disc features a 1974 rehearsal for Manilow's maiden U.S. tour, while the second sports highlights from his 2004 "farewell" concert at the Pond in Anaheim, Calif.
Shot in black and white at Carroll's Studio, the 1974 rehearsal finds Manilow running through early hits like "Could It Be Magic?" and "It's a Miracle," plus his medley of jingles written for Dr. Pepper, State Farm, McDonald's and Pepsi commercials.
"My fondest memory of the first rehearsal at Carroll's in 1974 was the encouragement that the members of the band and crew kept giving me continually," Manilow tells Billboard.com. "Even though these were some of the most popular studio singers and musicians in New York, they always believed in me and my music. I'll be grateful to them for the boost. Without them convincing me that I could pull it off, I may never have gone on tour."
The second disc of the DVD leaps forward 30 years to Manilow's final arena concert to date. It boasts favorites like "Mandy," "Even Now," "I Write the Songs" and "Copacabana (At the Copa)," plus a guest appearance from saxophonist Dave Koz on "Brooklyn Blues." Bonus footage is included from contemporary concerts in Chicago and Las Vegas.
Manilow is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair labrum tears as the Oct. 31 release of his next Arista album, "The Greatest Songs of the Sixties," draws near. Asked if any other projects are on the horizon, the artist replies, "There is word that my beloved musical, 'Harmony,' will be up and running by next fall. That would be a dream come true."