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Rate-O-Rama: Could It Be Magic

Sogmania #20: Barry Manilow, Donna Summer, Take That

By Rick Henry Christopher Published about a month ago โ€ข Updated about a month ago โ€ข 4 min read
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Welcome to Rate-O-Rama!

If you wish to receive a notice when the next Rate-O-Rama post is published please mention that you would like a notification in the comments section.

Rate-O-Rama : Songmania is a reader participation game.

Every Thursday evening I will publish a Rate-O-Rama article which will feature three versions of a popular song.

  • The object is to listen to each of the music videos provided within the post.
  • After listening to each video you can rate each song in the comments section below.

(You must be a member to comment. If you are not a member you can join Vocal Media for FREE. You donโ€™t ever have to pay for membership unless you choose to upgrade your membership)

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The rating method is easy. Simply give each song a rating of 1 to 100.

(The more you like the song the higher the rating).

If possible, please provide a brief comment to let us now what you think of each song.

After a week (Thursday evening) I will tally the ratings and in the next Rate-O-Rama post, I will announce the average rating each song received.

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Last time we featured the Classic Rock classic: โ€œBohemian Rhapsody" as recorded by Queen (1975), The Braids (1996), and Panic! At the Disco (2016).

The following are the average ratings for each song as result of the votes:

๐Ÿฅ‡ Queen: 82.5

๐Ÿฅˆ The Braids: 65.8

๐Ÿฅ‰ Panic! At the Disco: 61.6

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The Twentieth Edition of Rate-O-Rama features three renditions of the 70s Pop classic: โ€œCould It Be Magic."

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Barry Manilow (1975)

Written by Barry Manilow and Adrienne Anderson and based on Chopin's Prelude in C minor, Opus 28, Number 20. Manilow did two earlier recordings in 1971 with his band Featherbed and a solo recording in 1973.

The song opens dramatically with Manilow on the piano playing eight bars of Chopin's Prelude No. 20 at the start and ends the same way by returning to the Prelude. The song continues to build and build until it reaches a powerful crescendo.

โ€œCould It Be Magicโ€ was Manilow's third consecutive hit following โ€œMandyโ€ and โ€œIt's A Miracle.โ€ The song made it to #6 in the US, #4 in Canada, #28 in Ireland, and #25 in the UK.

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Donna Summer (1976)

Donna released her rendition only six months after Barry Manilow released his. Her version infuses the eight bars of Chopin's Prelude No. 20 with Giorgio Moroder's deep disco arrangement.

The song was a hit for Donna and actually charted in more countries than Manilow's rendition. She made it to #2 in the Netherlands, #4 in Belgium, #6 in Italy, #10 in South Africa, #14 in Austria, #23 in Germany, #40 in the UK, and #52 in the US.

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Take That (1992)

British boy band Take That based their cover of this Manilow song on Giorgio Moroder's arrangement he composed for Donna Summer.

Like the other versions, it was a hit for Take That. The single reached the top 10 in Belgium, Ireland, Israel, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The song won Take That their first major award: Best British Single at the 1993 Brit Awards.

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My Ratings:

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Barry Manilow: I'm not much of a Barry Manilow fan. But the reality is he produced some of the best pop music of the 1970s. โ€œCould It Be Magicโ€ was one of his masterpieces. The song gets right from the beginning with its airy ethereal mood and works into a beautiful crescendo of melody. I must give Mr. Manilow a 98 for this genius work.

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Donna Summer: I always want to think that this song should not work for Donna Summer, but it not only worked she and her team of Giorgio Moroder, Pete Belotte, and Thor Baldurson hit the disco jackpot with this. The mood is dark and deep and takes disco to a level of class and funk packed into five minutes of dance floor bliss. To top it off Donna powerhouse vocal performance, rich and deep, gives the song more texture and depth. Donna gets 100 for her rendition.

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Take That: The boys did a fine job with the song. Yes, the music video can be a bit much. But the song itself is done very well. I love the parts where they harmonize together - what a sweet, sweet sound. An 18-year-old Robbie Williams took the lead on this one and did a fine job. Take That gets a 90.

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I will be back next week with the results of this Rate-O-Rama Edition.

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The Previous Rate-O-Rama:

With Love, RHC โค๏ธ

๏ปฟ

pop culturesong reviewssocial mediapophistoryfeaturedance90s music70s music
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About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction to fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and soothing the bruises of the day.

The shattered pieces of life will not discourage me.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/vocalplusassist

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Comments (9)

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  • Tiffany Gordon about a month ago

    Ms. Summers wrecked her version because she made the song danceable! She gets 100 Take That gets 85 Manilou gets 79 I always loved Chopin & Vivaldi! P.S. you gave me an awesome new name for Ken with the name Giorgio, Cousin! ๐Ÿ˜ Great job on this piece!

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Sign me up, please for notifications :) Barry Manilow= 65 Donna Summer= 90 Take That= 75 I do love Barry M, BUT that song was just NOT for him...some parts were ok, but it was too long, and not believable for me. Donna Summer nailed it, but I am not crazy about the song otherwise. Take That might have worked back then, but the whole thing made me feel nervous...

  • Manilow 95 - yes, it's genius which brings what otherwise is nice elevator music for me up from 90. Summers 100 -the song is genius & so is she. Take That 90 - it's elevator music without much more. Capable & nice.

  • Xine Segalasabout a month ago

    So fun. Manilow 100 Summers 100 Take That 80

  • Sandra Tena Coleabout a month ago

    How fun! All three versions are great, tbh ๐Ÿ’œ Manilow 90 Summers 100 Take That 90

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Manilow 98 Summers 95 That 90

  • Mother Combsabout a month ago

    99 barry 95 donna 80 take that

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Barry 100 Donna 95 Take 50

  • Naveed about a month ago

    This is a fun and engaging activity, and I appreciate the detailed context provided for each version of the song. Looking forward to the next Rate-O-Rama!

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