Verve Label GroupBarry Manilow‘s upcoming studio album, This Is My Town: Songs of New York, is an homage to his hometown that mixes new original tunes and classic standards, all celebrating the Big Apple. Now, one of the pop legend’s new tracks, a mash-up of his own song “New York City Rhythm” and the Drifters hit “On Broadway,” has premiered at Billboard.com.
Manilow tells Billboard that he came up with the idea for the mash-up while he was making demos for the project.
“‘New York City Rhythm’ was done as an uptempo thing, but I decided to slow it down and use it as an intro into ‘On Broadway,'” he explains. “And then in ‘On Broadway’ I kept quoting the string lines of ‘New York City Rhythm.’ So only fans or people who actually know my music will understand that I used a lot of the string line from ‘New York City Rhythm’ in ‘On Broadway.'”
Regarding the album’s concept, Barry notes, “This is just great songs about New York. It started off being a jazz album, but then I did a little pop and then a little blues along with the jazz and a little Broadway and I said, ‘Y’know, that’s what New York is. It’s a melting pot of different styles.'”
The album ends with a track called “NYC Medley” that features segments of the theme from New York, New York, Billy Joel‘s “New York State of Mind” and the Jay Z–Alicia Keys duet “Empire State of Mind.” Manilow admits, “I thought I’d sound like a real idiot with [‘Empire State of Mind’] in the middle of that medley; I did, but not as much as I thought I would. I think I pulled it off.”
This Is My Town: Songs of New York will be released on April 21.
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